David, now that we've talked about networking backgrounds and some important essentials. Where would you start the journey to actually learn Wi-Fi?
Fifteen years ago, I had just been laid-off from my job in the circuit board industry and was looking for work. I went to a Comdex convention in Atlanta and noticed that vendors such as Cisco, Proxim, Orinoco, Symbol and others were shouting about new 802.11 wireless networking technology. The term “Wi-Fi” had not yet been coined.
There are numerous reasons to start with the CWNP Program, but number one on the list is vendor-neutrality. The certifications are not about how to configure an Aerohive access point or Cisco controllers. The certifications are about 802.11 technology with a real-world focus on administration, security, design and troubleshooting.
A lot of WLAN vendors also try and put their SEs and other key personnel through the courses. Aerohive, Aruba, Motorola, Ruckus, Xirrus, SpectraLink, Fluke Networks and many more have numerous certified employees. As far as I know, Cisco does not publically acknowledge the CWNP Program, however, they have umpteen CWNP certified employees. How do I know this? Well I trained quite a few of them prior to coming to Aerohive five years ago
I'm looking at learning more in depth about WiFi. CWNP is in the top of the source without any doubt because of excellent material and vendor neutrality. I can also recommend excellent Matthew Gast books from O'Reilly. But that's pretty much all (of course it is already a lot to work on). I'd gladly here more recommendations.
I moved to a larger utilities company last year. They have a rather large network, including WAN, LAN, and two data centers. They also have wireless everywhere including separate SSIDs for corporate and guest using multiple controllers and thousands of APs. If I went on-call, I was expected to be able to troubleshoot everything at least at a basic level. So I read the CWTS book using my Safari account in April and passed the exam. I just bought the new CWNA book in September and am working through that in my spare time. The information I have learned from both of these books has been invaluable and also sparked an interest I didn't know I had.