I have previously written about the Wireless Adjuster (WA) Class by Devin Akin, who is an industry expert, especially for Wi-Fi knowledge. 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 could not write because of some work travel. Much has been said about this class and so many people who have attended these classes have shared some excellent points of view. I will keep mine just short.
I 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, @chadteal, @ericsweber, @adriangranados. I sat next to @ericsweber who is a CWNT and provides CWNP training. Behind me was the brain behind Wi-Fi Explorer @adriangranados. So there was lots of brainpower in the room.
This is very important and we tend to not think about it; in a class like this you are not only gaining knowledge from the trainer but also from other seasons experts 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 using 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 (IEs).
We discussed usage of different tools, such as WLANPi, MetaGeek DBx. 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 labs. I have a very much hands-on learning style and I enjoy any hands-on learning experience. Hands-on lab experience involved reading the question/scenario and then using the tools to find the issue (s). If you like hands-on lab work, this can certainly be a treat for your brain.
We also discussed different levels of this course to increase knowledge of Field Technicians and Field Engineers specifically who install Wi-Fi for ISPs such as ATT, Comcast, Verizon, and even SMB Admins. 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, think of 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 WLAN, such as low data rates, 80 MHz channels, all 2.4 GHz radios on.
What does a Wireless Adjuster do?
In simple 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; they give you a code and tell you few things that the code is pointing towards. They don’t actually start taking apart your car/engine in order to give you a diagnosis or use high end tools.
Goal is to learn and get proficient in using Wireless Scanning tools such as Wi-Fi Explorer and WinFi, WLANP 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 use 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 had a different delivery method in the future for lab questions because of some functional limitations.
- I learned some new tips and tricks to check Wi-Fi health and perform troubleshooting.
- I am happy that the course progress and looking forward to seeing its evolution.
- Looking forward to seeing the actual testing engine for the actual certification.
- Last, I would love to see the 3rd level of this course with additional challenges, tools, and knowledge.