I have previously written about the Wireless Adjuster (WA) Class by Devin Akin, who is an industry expert especially when it comes to Wi-Fi knowledge. Want to talk about Wireless Standards in depth Devin is the guy. I was lucky to attend the very first Beta Wireless Adjuster (WA) class in Atlanta on January 20th and 21st, 2020. This write up is long overdue which I have not been able to write due to some work travel. Much has been said about this class and so many people who have attended this class have shared some excellent points of view. I will keep mine just short and brief.
I also really wanted to take some pictures however my brain got involved in the class enough that I did not even remember to take any pictures. My Wireless Adjuster (WA) class was full of seasoned Wi-Fi engineers from different fields. As a plus, we also had another industry expert in the class, @KeithRParsons. And I was pretty excited that I was able to finally meet him as well after all these years. I sat next to @ericsweber who is a CWNT and right behind me the brain behind Wi-Fi Explorer @adriangranados. So, in short, there was lots of brainpower in the room.
This is very important and we tend to not think about it because in a class like this you are not only gaining knowledge from the trainer but also from other people during discussions.
Devin gave an initial overview of the class, he discussed Wi-Fi Explorer and different settings within that software. I must admit I did not know all of them, I was probably utilizing Wi-Fi Explorer pro at around 30% until this class. As we were reviewing different settings within the software we also had some CWAP level discussions almost like a quick refresher on some things like MIMO, MU-MIMO, k/v/r, different Management Frames and Information Elements (IE’s).
Usage of different tools such as WLANPi, MetaGeek DBx was discussed. How can these be used to check the state of Wi-Fi, how can these aid in troubleshooting Wi-Fi?
On the second day, we had some great hands-on live labs which were my absolute favorite part. I have a very much hands-on learning style and I enjoy any hands-on learning experience. So going through some excellent live labs reading the question/scenario and then using the tools to find the issue(s) was an absolute treat for my brain.
Having different levels of this course was also discussed to also increase knowledge of Field Technicians and Field Engineers specifically who install Wi-Fi for ISP’s such as ATT, Comcast, Verizon, and even SMB Admins, etc. We all know the state of that Wi-Fi everything is a default which not only makes things worse for them but also others around them especially in a multi-tenant building. I recently surveyed a multi-tenant building where one floor was owned by a different company as well as a few other office suites. They had all the defaults on their network such as low data rates, 80 MHz channels, all 2.4 GHz radios on, etc.
What does a Wireless Adjuster do?
In layman’s terms a Wireless Adjuster just like the name suggests Adjusts/Fine Tunes Wi-Fi installation. Think about when your check engine light comes on, you take it to Autozone and they give you a code and tell you few things that the code is pointing to and what you need to do if you want that fixed. They don’t actually start taking apart your car/engine in order to give you a diagnoses or use high end tools.
So the concept is kind of along the same lines goal is to learn and get proficient in using Wireless Scanning tools such as Wi-Fi Explorer and WinFi, WLANPi etc to do some captures, spec an and figure out the issues. Not all situations require you to pull out Ekahau, Omnipeek and/or Airmagnet etc or perhaps you/your company does not have those tools available. In such cases armed with wireless knowledge and ability to utilize the wireless scanning tools is invaluable.
As of now, there are two levels for this course:
My final thoughts:
- I had a great class and hands-on experience.
- After discussion, Devin decided to have a different delivery method in the future for lab questions due to some functional limitations.
- I learned some new tips and tricks to check Wi-Fi health and perform troubleshooting.
- I am happy to see that the course progress and looking forward to seeing its evolution.
- Looking forward to seeing the actual testing engine for the actual certification.
- Lastly, I would love to see the 3rd level of this course with additional challenges, tools, and knowledge.