I’ve finally updated my Resource List page with tips on where to begin with getting involved in Wireless. Seeing as I wrote so much I thought I’d make it into a nice filler post:
Unsurprisingly the dominant links will be for Cisco products whether they are official config guides or youtube vids from their channel. I find myself looking these up constantly as I come across various issues and the advice for anyone looking long term towards CCIE Wireless and beyond is know this documentation like the back of you hand, particularly the deployment guides e.g. High Density and Voice. Given there aren’t any half decent CCIE Wireless books except the CCNP reference books written by CCIE Wireless guru Jerome Henry it is a case of get stuck into all the official guides. There are many other sources of info around though so despair not.
The Social Networking side of things for IT in general is insanely awesome and perhaps this is me being biased but I’m ultra impressed with the global Wireless community out there and wouldn’t be surprised if it were one of the best. This may have stemmed from the IEEE and WiFi Alliance setting a great example over the years for hard work and constant improvements to specifications and vendor/device inter-operability but other organisations like CWNP really help this community feel keep going with a set of epic vendor neutral certifications that would be incredible to one day conquer. I’m not sure which cert I’d want more: CCIE Wireless or CWNE! Either way their support forums and staff are top notch and most of them all hang around on Twitter and bounce ideas off each other many times daily which unfortunately goes over my head mostly. I can’t not mention Cisco at this point because their forums are extremely helpful as well and there are several people on there who I’m fairly sure don’t work for Cisco but still seem to answer any question thrown at them and are tireless in their efforts to help people get things working. If you have any Cisco hardware/software problems head over to the Wireless forums and introduce yourself along with your technical doozie.
Blogs are highly prevalent in the Wireless field and I certainly can’t count how many times they’ve helped me out or just furthered my education across so many topics. Most of them are thorough and highly active and this is reflected in their attendance at the Wireless Field Days. One personal goal is to attend at least one of those field days (as an invitee and not hiding in the air vents). If you’re looking for a list of people to start following on Twitter then check out the tech field day website.
Youtube is a good source of information as there may be some topics not covered by the books as subjects stray across other sections of IT. Two examples I can think of recently were configuring Option 43 in DHCP for WAPs to be able to find a WLAN Controller and setting up Group Policy for Windows machines to auto enrol to an SSID (Tom Carpenter from CWNP had literally posted it the day I needed it which was useful).
Books are always a necessity! I definitely prefer to have mine in physical format over Kindle as I’ve gone through and tagged pages with pretty coloured tabs and notes which I can sort of do on a Kindle but it really isn’t the same for looking up a reference quickly. So far the CWNP books have easily proved the most useful as they focus so much more on the fundamentals of RF and the nitty gritty details of modulation and encoding which Cisco doesn’t go into unless you pay lots of $$ for one of their courses or you have a generous employer! Buying books off Amazon in Australia is horrifyingly expensive so I reduce the costs a little by purchasing them used and new as that can shave up to $20 off the price sometimes which will pay for about half the shipping over here.. sigh.
CBT Nuggets provide a solid base for any topic with which to work from but I always see these as just the first step/phase in revision as they often don’t contain enough information to pass an exam. Either that or my attention span isn’t too great when watching them so I then reinforce that knowledge with a good tome or two and then onto practice exams. Nuggets can be expensive however and fortunately for me I currently work for a company that provides access to all the Nuggets. Sadly the CBT Nuggets don’t go beyond CCNA Wireless for the Cisco track but it does have several CWNP sets (CWTS, CWNA, CWSP) which will be more than enough to start you off. To me the theory covered in CWNA is equivalent to CCNP level material and being more in depth on the actual fundamentals of Wireless is arguably way more important to tackle before looking into vendor specific stuff.