Training, Certification & Career

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Why Wifi will require more than just wireless


I was just wondering what everyone is doing to get certified and maybe offer up a few tips...

I work in network operations at a global automotive company, and deal with wireless all day long.. and the thing I find that helps me out on a daily basis, is not wireless at all.. its the knowledge of the wired network, and security as well..


By knowing the whole picture, you can see how everything works together and inter-relates and avoid any unpleasent side effects...think of it like a pharmacist checking your medications.. two medicines might work great alone.. but combine them and it could be trouble..


I can't tell you how many times this complete picture has saved my butt... all the time i see great wifi engineers , coming up with really good ideas only to have them go awry because of an oversight on the wired network.. for example the best wifi design in the world can easily be derailed if your port channel is configured improperly.. or maybe there's an access control list somewhere not permitting your traffic through..


its like a good recipe , with wireless as the main ingredient, throw in a dash of routing, a sprinkle of security and top it all off with a hint of BYOD just as with cooking you don't start out as a master chef, it takes time to figure out what ingredients will make that master dish. and which ones don't so before diving into that complex BYOD design, make sure your not overlooking some basic configurations on the wired / security side.

I would also say to know your RF fundamentals first, because gone are the times when knowing just wifi alone is enough, in todays fast paced BYOD environment. its time to evolve and become more of what i would call a mobility engineer.

that is to say a person that can see how everything blends together and can architect a solution, that will hold up when the rubber hits the road.

how have you evolved your skills? and what has been your experience, i find the more i know , the better off i am..

and the more i talk to others the more i realize, that its a bit of a complex world out there and you can never have to many friends who have been through the same experiences. who have helped you and in turn who you have helped..

" I get by with a little help from my friends...."

Re: Why Wifi will require more than just wireless

True thoughts.  And good visibility and reporting is also needed.  Once you understand your network, invest time and energy into an NMS like Airwave.  It is a wealth of data and the correlation is getting much much better in showing you useful data in a few clicks. 



Seth R. Fiermonti
Consulting Systems Engineer - ACCX, ACDX, ACMX
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Re: Why Wifi will require more than just wireless

All very sensible comments Craig.


When looking at engineers for part of my team, I always prefer experience and general approach over certifications. I can get guys certified if they have the right aptitude, but not always the other way around.


What you could/should think about doing is really defined by where/what you want to do within the industry. Generally speaking, non-techies in the channel (distributors/resellers) will look for certifications. Manufacturers and end users generally look at the person/experience and attitude I find.


As a simple example, I don't hold my ACMX for any other reason, other than it completely opens doors when dealing with customers (in this case reseller and distribution partners). Why? Because the badge immediately instills confidence before I've said anything. I don't however find it helps with a general view of the wireless world (including troubleshooting) at large. Why? Because the world isn't that simple, and there's lots of vendors and customer types out there, all that want different things. I've learnt everything of value being on the pain end of techy stuff onsite. Never in a classroom.


Hope this helps your thoughts?

Kudos appreciated, but I'm not hunting! (ACMX 104)
Guest Blogger

Re: Why Wifi will require more than just wireless

thanks for the comments, they really help!


the thing that bothers me, is when someone takes a multiple choice test and cheats on it and then brags to the world how smart they are, how they should lead the projects , because they got a perfect score. they are always there to take the glory and challenge you in meetings.. it gets frustrating.. 


and yet..


these same people, when something goes wrong, dissappear like a puff of smoke, and leave the rest of the team to hold the bag, but rest assured , come monday morning they will have a righteous excuse.. 


i believe in doing the work, it gets the job done, i'm not the prettiest thing in the world too look at and i could stand to lose a few pounds, but if i tell you i'm going to do something, thats what im going to do. and what i say isn't to be a glory hound, its a product of rational thought and experience... i know.. i have been there at 2am and the world is crashing down around you.. 


it's at that time, that your training will pay off, and you will be able to get the job done with no bs. 

I work for a living... how about you?


Happy New Year To All.



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