Do you really wanna know? Because I'll tell ya! In 1996 I started a job at a an electronics store called the The Good Guys!. A kid with a couple years of junior college under his belt, who was a geek totally into anything electronic. I started in the personal electronics department selling walkmans, cordless phones and cameras. I really excelled! However even though my manager said I was a great salesman, I just saw it as a byproduct of having fun geeking out on new state of the art stuff! From the "PE" department they promoted me to the video department where the TVs and surround sounds were sold. This was awesome... at first. I quickly learned that this was the ocean that the career sales guys swam and (I laugh about it now), they were sharks! Oh man, were they tough. I wasn't in their click, I hadn't "paid my dues". I wasn't given encouragement or mentored. This is where the big commission money was, and they didn't want give any of it to stinkin green newbie! I was outcast! SO... I kept to myself and found "projects" to keep me to myself. I volunteered to be the guy who took time away from chasing customers to install the new systems on the endcaps. Cool new speaker and TV packages that cost a lot of money. Because I was the one who set them up, and none of the other guys would talk to me, I was the only one who knew how to demo the new stuff. Ha! The sharks eventually came around. My guess is I eventually looked more like an ally than outcast. I stayed in the department about a year before deciding I wasn't gonna stay. The money was great for a young college kid, but... by then I could tell the salesman's life wasn't for me. My manager disagreed at first but then allowed me to transfer to part time as a Merchandise Control Associate. Unloading and sorting inventory was not fun! After six months of that I was ready for another change. This is when I found out there was an "Installation Department". With a hearty recommendation from my store manager I was accepted to the new department. I spent the next six months shadowing the lead installer. I learned a lot! Next I was driving a company van and handling my own route. Installing DirecTV dishes way back then was most of the workload for a newbie. I loved it! I had a surround sound install thrown my way every now and then, and it gave me a chance to geek out. And the geek in me shined. Enough to get noticed and pulled onto the home theater team full time. I spent another year in home theaters. At the beginning of 2000, I enlisted in the Army Reserves and left CA for a year. When my old manager heard I was coming back from training in the Army, he offered me the Lead Trainer position in the Orange County installation department. I took it! Spent another 18 months installing and teaching before I went out on my own and started my own business. I was so freaked out!! LOL! I was on my own and had just leapt into it. I had no idea how I was going to make it. The first month, I made enough to pay my bills, and every month after that I kept making more than the previous. In 2005 I started another company doing the same thing but with bigger expectations. That company grew to 40 employees with offices in CA, MI, CO, MA, NH, and VA! In 2014 I started Apple Aces and been going like the energizer bunny since then.
Since 2000 - The systems architect is the guy/gal who envisions, sees and maps out all the small systems that will work together seamlessly. He's the one who creates the "blueprint" standing at the whiteboard with marker in hand sketching out line drawings and mapping wire paths.
Since 1998 - A systems integrator (or system integrator) is the one who actually makes all the small systems "talk" to each other. He's usually the guy on site drinking red bull in between checking wire connections and staring at his laptop.
Since 1996 - The systems installer is the worker bee, the cordless drill toting tool slinger. Installer does the heavy lifting and unboxing. He is usually easily spotted because he's the one sweating the most!