January is always a good time to reflect on the previous year, and make a note of things you want to achieve, or improve upon in the year to come. Whilst most New Year’s Resolutions tend to focus on our personal lives we can also benefit from setting a few professional ones too.
With that in mind we’ve identified some things that wireless professionals should consider doing in 2018 if they aren’t already. Most of these are easy enough to start, but remember that the tricky bit is keeping them going!
1. Get involved with the wireless community on Twitter
Social media can have a marmite effect, whilst some people embrace it with open arms others avoid it at all costs. However using Twitter for professional networking and knowledge sharing is extremely worthwhile. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just people posting a minute-by-minute account of their day.
In my recent blog I listed 16 wireless people on Twitter that you should start following, however the wireless community on Twitter is broad and growing every day. Being part of this community gives you access to free help and advice from peers that have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt.
The best thing is that it’s never too late to join the party either. Once you have an account you can ease yourself into the whole experience by reading what others have to say, then when you feel ready you can start asking questions, and adding your own thoughts. You might just be surprised how much you get from the whole experience!
2. Start reading wireless blogs
Blogs from peers in the wireless community are a great free learning resource. They often cut through sales and marketing spiel and talk about how things are best deployed in the real world, based upon their own experiences. There are a plethora of free tools, templates and how-to guides just waiting to be discovered.
If you prefer to listen than read, or do a lot of driving for work, then why not listen to a wireless podcast in the car?
3. Start writing a wireless blog
They always say you “get out what you put in” and that’s true here too. It can be a daunting prospect to publish your thoughts for other people to read and critique. However blogging has many great benefits, chiefly it will help improve your writing and thinking skills, boost your confidence, and strengthen your relationships within the wireless community.
Struggling for ideas? Tell people about how you got into wireless, what you wished you knew when you started your career, classic mistakes to avoid etc. Remember, there are people less-experienced than you are, and your blog might just help inspire them.
4. Attend a wireless conference
Conferences are a great place to learn about industry trends and detailed technical information, because you can interact in a way that webinars just can’t quite replicate. It’s also a great opportunity to make new connections that will benefit your career.
We held Wi-Fi Design Day in conjunction with Ekahau last year and will be repeating the event again in 2018. Make sure you register for updates so you get to the front of the queue for tickets when they become available. Oh, it’s also completely free to attend.
If you are after a “deep dive” teaching and training conference then we recommend you look at the wirelessLAN Professionals Conference. The three day event is held at least twice a year (once in Europe and once in the US) but they are planning to have more events in additional regions soon.
5. Watch vendor webinars
There are some great vendor webinars which are definitely worth a watch. Of particular note are the webinars from Ekahau which cover a broad range of wireless topics and regularly feature industry guest speakers. Check out the Ekahau webinar calendar on their website to see what’s coming up, and watch recordings of previous webinars on the Ekahau YouTube channel.
6. Get Ekahau certified
So this one only applies if you are using Ekahau Site Survey obviously (I mean why wouldn’t you be?!). The four day Ekahau Certified Survey Engineer course gets rave reviews from delegates and for good reason. Keith Parsons and the team of trainers at WLAN Professionals have put together a fantastic syllabus, and their industry experience is second to none.
7. Get a CWNP certification
Whether you’re just starting out in your wireless career or you’re looking for a way to step up to the next level, a CWNP certification can help you unlock new opportunities. There are six official CWNP certifications to choose from, starting at entry-level and going all the way to expert. Each tests your knowledge of WLANs, RF technologies, troubleshooting strategies, network security and design and Enterprise Wi-Fi applications.