Fall 2016 ISOBUS Plugfest Review


Another successful AEF ISOBUS Plugfest is in the bag. You can check out some of my prior blog posts if you want more detail on what a Plugfest entails, but in short, it is a meetup of Ag electronics manufacturers to test their own equipment with other manufacturers’ equipment. This was a record-breaking Plugfest in terms of participation and it made for some challenges in getting enough time for all participants to test with other manufacturer’s products.

DISTek U 210: Part 2

In Part 1 of this two part series, we heard from DISTek Software Engineers Gerardo Zamora and Chad Stapes, who recently completed DISTek U 210 – a DISTek training course offered internally to engineers wanting to embark on a path of growth and prepare themselves for the next engineering tier level. Gerardo reviewed the book, Eat that Frog!, and Chad reviewed the book, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader.

In this Part 2, Michael Barnhardt, a Software Engineer at DISTek for over 5 years, discusses, The Power of Positive Thinking in Business, and provides an overview of the final component of the DISTek U 210 course, the mentor-ship program.

DISTek U210: Part 1

Learn with DISTek U210

DISTek U210: E2 Track is a new DISTek course offered internally to engineers wanting to learn and prepare themselves for the next engineering tier level. We use a classification of E1-E5 here at DISTek with E1 being entry level. Although, it is mostly geared towards E2s looking to set themselves up for success in becoming an E3 or senior engineer, the track also welcomes E1s wanting to learn about E2. In this class, we went over three books, had a panel discussion with senior engineers, and a mentorship project managed by the students in the class. This course also offered the benefit of networking and interacting with other DISTekians who we may not normally get the chance to work with.

In this two part series, we will talk about each of the books and the mentorship program, with the first two books being discussed by Gerardo Zamora and Chad Stapes here in Part 1, and a final book and mentorshiop being discussed by Michael Barnhardt in Part 2.

Embedded Programming Tips from a 25+ Year Veteran

Whether you’re beginning your career or looking to become more proficient in embedded software and systems, there are plenty of useful resources to help you. With over 25 years of embedded programming experience here at DISTek, I thought I’d take a few minutes and share some practical tips to enhance your skills.


In 2018, DISTek began an internal training program called DISTek University, affectionately known as “DISTek U”. This training leverages off-the shelf training resources to develop a common foundation for DISTek’s employee owners to build their careers on. DISTek U promotes collaboration and camaraderie among all DISTekians, regardless of position or geographic location. DISTek leadership strongly encourages all employee owners to participate in these trainings – which help both the employee owner and employer. DISTek can point to numerous examples of promoting individuals to leadership positions after successful course completion and exceptional job performance.

DISTek U: The First Graduating Class

Monday October 22 was a pretty exciting day, the day DISTek recognized the first set of graduates from DISTek U. These 7 graduates completed all the coursework required of the Potential Leads Track, which included reading and answering discussion questions for the books How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, and Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg. They also attended 7 Habits of Highly Effective People leadership training, and gave a presentation to the class and management team on their key takeaways. The group also heard from four current DISTek leaders on their perspective of being a leader, which was a highlight of the class. Below are some of the thoughts and experiences on the training from some of the graduates.

A Vivid Vision: Planning for the Future


In Cameron Herald’s book Double Double, he writes about how important a shared vision is to top performing business organizations. At DISTek, we just went through the vision setting process. We leaned out into the future to paint a picture of what DISTek will look, feel, and perform like three years into the future. The resulting vision highlights what DISTek’s employees, culture, customers, expertise, offices, and growth will look like on December 31st 2018.

ISOBUS Task Controller: Part 4

VIRTEC display.

In Part 3 of my Task Controller series, I promised to get this Part 4 out close to the time of Spring Plugfest … and I missed by over a month. Regardless, here is Part 4.

In this Task Controller (TC) series, I have detailed data collection and variable-rate application. The final big feature of TC is Section Control. This feature also has an ISOBUS Functionality called TC-SC. Most people have an idea what section control is, but for the uninitiated … section control will turn on/off various controllable sections of an implement to avoid overlap in a field.