Know Your Customer’s Business – Part 2


Veteran telecommunications’ engineer and author, Jim Farmer, explains the process for the development of Scientific Atlanta’s 6350 modulator, which helped propel Scientific Atlanta as a leader in the headend space in the late 1970s and 1980s.  He explains how he and fellow industry luminary, Alex Best, developed the 6350 largely based on what they had learned from working directly with customers.

Working with customers has been a hallmark of Farmer’s career, as he made his mark on virtually every aspect of the telecommunications infrastructure, including his work in fiber optics with Wave7Optics (purchased by Aurora Networks). When we caught up with him last year at the SCTE 2013, he had just officially retired. As he points out, he isn’t totally retired, as he is working on a book regarding the practical implementation of Fiber to the Home networks.

In the above interview, he gives what some might consider surprising advice to engineers just graduating from college. Regardless of their path, a young engineer would be wise to follow his sage advice to, “Understand the customer’s business better than the customer understands it.”

Click here for Part 1 of this interview.