Keith Parsons | How to become an Expert and Known Authority | TBS 01

The Basement Series premiered in May 2021, a new channel for engineers to search for technology trends, wireless innovation, futurism and digital transformation. The TBS debut episode featured our very own, Keith Parsons, as their special guest. Keith talked about education and how to become a certified expert in the industry. This blog post summarizes the interview. You can watch the full episode below.

Wi-Fi Certification: Where do you start?

In getting certification, there are two significant branching paths to look at. The first is that every vendor you are using has its own certification track for training and exams. Vendor certifications are crucial as they provide an in-depth study of how to make the gear work. The second path is about an overall understanding of how things work. Generic certifications, such as the CWNP, play a crucial role in providing the training to be an expert in the wireless field. These are all about the whole industry instead of one specific vendor. Both certifications are keys to building a successful wireless career. You need generic knowledge to understand how all of 802.11 itself works. And in addition, you’re going to have to work and master different pieces of gear.

Becoming a Wi-Fi Expert: What do you do next?

To further your wireless career, communicate and engage with the community. Because even if you are the most certified person in the industry, it would be difficult to move forward if people don’t know you. One way to get yourself known is by writing a blog: if you want to be a professional, you need to write and share your ideas. Otherwise, you’ll just be a technician the whole time. Blogs also serve as our memory. You face a problem or a technical question, research about it and put the answers in a blog. So the next time you deal with the same issues, you have your blog to refer to. The same way other people can direct to your post for solutions. Blogs are good for you, good for your career, and good for the community.

Wi-Fi Tools: Which should you get?

WLAN Pi

The WLAN Pi is a small tool that packs a lot of features. It is an iPerf 2 and iPerf 3 server, a Zap server, a DHCP server. It can be plugged into an iPad, and it becomes a Wi-Fi client suitable for testing.  The WLAN Pi can also be used as a remote sensor for the Wi-Fi Explorer. 

PoE Tester

This pocket-sized device will help you know if there’s PoE or if there is if it is the right kind. 

Analiti

Analiti is a mobile device app that allows you to drill down the beacon, find out what an AP is doing, what’s its RSN element, and more!

AirCheck 

NetAlly’s AirCheck combines a PoE and Ethernet tester’s functionality. It works both wired and wireless. It is a spectrum analyzer and collects information about the AP in a matter of three seconds!

EKAHAU Sidekick

The Sidekick is compatible with all devices, be it Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS. It is an excellent spectrum analyzer, scanning 2, 4, to 5GB channels in two seconds. 

NanoStations

Ubiquity’s NanoStations hook up to a WISP, and a pair can decrease your Wi-Fi latency. It works as an AP to a client, where the client end can show you the MCS and QAM change. 

Wi-Fi Explorer Pro

The Wi-Fi Explorer Pro can attach to spectrum analyzers, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and WLAN Pi. You can watch Keith’s in-depth walkthrough of Wi-Fi Explorer Pro back in WLPC Phoenix 2020 here   On the road to becoming an expert and known authority, you need to understand the protocol’s basics and an in-depth on gears and vendors. Understanding how Wi-Fi works and having the right tools will help you succeed as WLAN professional. It’s the physics of Wi-Fi!