WLW 018 – Words of Advice

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Words of Advice

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Lately, I’ve had many inquiries from clients and students about how to best prepare to work in our Wireless LAN industry. Many of these have been one-on-one conversations, and I’ve felt myself repeating the same advice. So this week’s Wireless LAN Weekly Episode will be a new style. Just me offering some advice on working in our industry.

This is a new style and format, I encourage your feedback and comments.


The 3×5 Card
4 years of undergraduate university education with a major in Business Finance on a single card.

After university, I went and worked for many years, then returned to another two years of business school working on a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree… I added some more to to back of the card.


Ten years of working with Wireless LANs leads now onto the index card for Wireless LAN Professionals.

These are not meant to be cryptic, it’s just I’ve found short little notes like this kind remind me of much larger concepts. By the way — these are in no particular order, other than the order these ideas popped in my mind.

Lets go over each of these items one at a time, and discuss the reasons for each short note.

Below are some links to sites that might be helpful in your path to becoming a Wireless LAN Professional.

I’ve also posted links on the Wireless LAN Professionals web site with Twitter, Blogs, White Papers, etc. that also have much more information for you on your journey.


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22 thoughts on “WLW 018 – Words of Advice

  1. Keith great podcast yet again. I think you hit on many points that I've learned over the years of working in IT. Especially don't stop learning. One of the reasons I love IT is there is always something new to learn.

    • I think this is why many of us stay in IT. Always something new to keep the 'ol noggin thinking. (hmmm, maybe there is a correlation between Alzheimers and IT… oh, there is my ADD kicking in again)

  2. Keith great podcast yet again. I think you hit on many points that I've learned over the years of working in IT. Especially don't stop learning. One of the reasons I love IT is there is always something new to learn.

    • I think this is why many of us stay in IT. Always something new to keep the 'ol noggin thinking. (hmmm, maybe there is a correlation between Alzheimers and IT… oh, there is my ADD kicking in again)

  3. When you get your index card of notes from your education – share it with us. I'm interested to see what your university experience distilled.

    • Here's my list Keith. I did a 4 year Bachelors degree (computer science) in India. I graduated about 1.6 years back.

      1) Procrastination kills – Don't ever postpone stuff. That'll catch up with you and mess with your schedule/head later on.

      2) Do stuff you don't essentially love, to get to do something you love later – The indian education system ( Bachelors ) is really bad and you learn a lot and don't focus on anything at all. But i should have just put my head down and finished that, because good grades would have lead to better opportunities later in life.

      3) Experience matters – Don't disregard experience. Knowledge+experience is a package which is deadly. Respect and learn from people who're experienced in the field of your choice. That does not mean you need to address him/her Sir/Ma'am (That's what the british taught us to call them and we still unfortunately use 'em here )

      4) Groups are usually upto no good – Young people tend to form groups and stick with them all the time. IMO this is not good as you need to meet new people, get involved and interested in what they have to say,etc. I learned to like/appreciate people more because i didn't have a set of friends i ALWAYS used to hang out with.

      5) Don't compare – There will always be a “whiz” kid in class. I used to beat myself up comparing my intelligence level to him. Towards the end of the bachelors , i figured that i'm good at stuff he's not and vice-versa. Although this is a hard thing to do, try not compare.

      For the last 1.5 years, i've been working/studying full time. Here's what i've picked up since then.

      1) Ask why 5 times – Try and dig deep and get as many answers. Never be ashamed of 2 things – Asking for more food , Asking doubts

      2) Ego's the worst thing since WZC – As keith rightly pointed out, we're not right all the time. So as a famous indian drummer once told me “Lose the ego and let the flame inside you burn brighter . With a heavy ego, your hands won't move fast”

      3) Don't ever force yourself – This works for me. I need to enjoy my studies. If i'm not feeling like studying , i just take the day off. The moment i force myself to cram this in, it becomes more like studying for my bachelors exam, which i did not like.

      4) Get on twitter. – The 2nd best thing thats ever happened to me. First being the GF.:)

      5) LAB , LAB and LAB more

      (one last thing)

      6) If people tell you to rest and take-it-easy, plug in some earplugs and work harder :)

      Sorry for the long comment :) I gave this my best shot.

  4. When you get your index card of notes from your education – share it with us. I'm interested to see what your university experience distilled.

    • Here's my list Keith. I did a 4 year Bachelors degree (computer science) in India. I graduated about 1.6 years back.

      1) Procrastination kills – Don't ever postpone stuff. That'll catch up with you and mess with your schedule/head later on.

      2) Do stuff you don't essentially love, to get to do something you love later – The indian education system ( Bachelors ) is really bad and you learn a lot and don't focus on anything at all. But i should have just put my head down and finished that, because good grades would have lead to better opportunities later in life.

      3) Experience matters – Don't disregard experience. Knowledge+experience is a package which is deadly. Respect and learn from people who're experienced in the field of your choice. That does not mean you need to address him/her Sir/Ma'am (That's what the british taught us to call them and we still unfortunately use 'em here )

      4) Groups are usually upto no good – Young people tend to form groups and stick with them all the time. IMO this is not good as you need to meet new people, get involved and interested in what they have to say,etc. I learned to like/appreciate people more because i didn't have a set of friends i ALWAYS used to hang out with.

      5) Don't compare – There will always be a “whiz” kid in class. I used to beat myself up comparing my intelligence level to him. Towards the end of the bachelors , i figured that i'm good at stuff he's not and vice-versa. Although this is a hard thing to do, try not compare.

      For the last 1.5 years, i've been working/studying full time. Here's what i've picked up since then.

      1) Ask why 5 times – Try and dig deep and get as many answers. Never be ashamed of 2 things – Asking for more food , Asking doubts

      2) Ego's the worst thing since WZC – As keith rightly pointed out, we're not right all the time. So as a famous indian drummer once told me “Lose the ego and let the flame inside you burn brighter . With a heavy ego, your hands won't move fast”

      3) Don't ever force yourself – This works for me. I need to enjoy my studies. If i'm not feeling like studying , i just take the day off. The moment i force myself to cram this in, it becomes more like studying for my bachelors exam, which i did not like.

      4) Get on twitter. – The 2nd best thing thats ever happened to me. First being the GF.:)

      5) LAB , LAB and LAB more

      (one last thing)

      6) If people tell you to rest and take-it-easy, plug in some earplugs and work harder :)

      Sorry for the long comment :) I gave this my best shot.

  5. Keith, thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge and personal experiences. Your podcast on words of advice, helped me reaffirm my beliefs and foundation on learning about Wireless, being a Wireless LAN Professional and becoming a Wireless subject matter expert.

    I was first exposed to the Wireless LAN's in 2003, when I was a Tier II TSE supporting the 2WIRE modem for residential and business customers. From then on I decided to focus my energy on Wireless. A lot has changed since then, but the one thing that hasn't is the Fundamentals of Wireless, which you hit right on the nose. It was no more then 2 weeks ago, that I had brought that up in an interview and needless to say they were very impressed with my experience, knowledge and work ethics. My point is, this all goes back to the basics, the fundamentals of the subject matter. Study it, like Dave Ramsey would say ” with Gazelle Intensity”.

    Keith, I plan on visiting your site as often as possible to learn, grow and share. If there's one thing that I can share about my college day's; I had an IT Professor who once told me, “what ever you specialize in, make sure you become an expert in troubleshooting”. I look back now and I can truly appreciate his advice.

    Thanks and much appreciated.

    By the way, Pam (AirMagnet) lead me to you.

    • Rich,

      Thanks for the comments. I like the 'Gazelle Intensity' – sometimes that's what it takes to focus and get the job accomplished. There is lots and lots of resources here on the Wireless LAN Professionals site, just for people like you to access to help you on your journey.

      Thanks for sharing a bit with us here. We look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

      Keith

  6. Keith, thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge and personal experiences. Your podcast on words of advice, helped me reaffirm my beliefs and foundation on learning about Wireless, being a Wireless LAN Professional and becoming a Wireless subject matter expert.

    I was first exposed to the Wireless LAN's in 2003, when I was a Tier II TSE supporting the 2WIRE modem for residential and business customers. From then on I decided to focus my energy on Wireless. A lot has changed since then, but the one thing that hasn't is the Fundamentals of Wireless, which you hit right on the nose. It was no more then 2 weeks ago, that I had brought that up in an interview and needless to say they were very impressed with my experience, knowledge and work ethics. My point is, this all goes back to the basics, the fundamentals of the subject matter. Study it, like Dave Ramsey would say ” with Gazelle Intensity”.

    Keith, I plan on visiting your site as often as possible to learn, grow and share. If there's one thing that I can share about my college day's; I had an IT Professor who once told me, “what ever you specialize in, make sure you become an expert in troubleshooting”. I look back now and I can truly appreciate his advice.

    Thanks and much appreciated.

    By the way, Pam (AirMagnet) lead me to you.

    • Rich,

      Thanks for the comments. I like the 'Gazelle Intensity' – sometimes that's what it takes to focus and get the job accomplished. There is lots and lots of resources here on the Wireless LAN Professionals site, just for people like you to access to help you on your journey.

      Thanks for sharing a bit with us here. We look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

      Keith

  7. Hi Keith,
    I just adored this podcast. As I am definitely NOT a WLAN user, expert of any kind, I should have little interest in the podcast but your words “Words of Advice” had me intrigued. I listened to the whole podcast because you spoke from the heart (and brute experience), and that's what people want – honesty, integrity, and personal experience.
    You are a fine Coach in your own right :) and a learned, knowledgeable and humerous trainer. Thank you for sharing your insights, tips and “cards”
    MY only memory from University was my mother saying to me – go there and have fun while learning”. I had lots of fun and learned a bit. Most of my learning has been life learning which I believe counts for a lot (we only realise through maturity that certificates only matter to those not confident of their abilities – and I have plenty to show also :)
    Keep the podcasts coming, they are great!

    • Elaine,

      Thanks for your comments. I never planned on sharing so much. It was more just a preface to the Learning Cards for Wireless LANs, but I’m glad you liked how it turned out. Thanks for all your help with the podcasts.

  8. Hi Keith,
    I just adored this podcast. As I am definitely NOT a WLAN user, expert of any kind, I should have little interest in the podcast but your words “Words of Advice” had me intrigued. I listened to the whole podcast because you spoke from the heart (and brute experience), and that's what people want – honesty, integrity, and personal experience.
    You are a fine Coach in your own right :) and a learned, knowledgeable and humerous trainer. Thank you for sharing your insights, tips and “cards”
    MY only memory from University was my mother saying to me – go there and have fun while learning”. I had lots of fun and learned a bit. Most of my learning has been life learning which I believe counts for a lot (we only realise through maturity that certificates only matter to those not confident of their abilities – and I have plenty to show also :)
    Keep the podcasts coming, they are great!

    • Elaine,

      Thanks for your comments. I never planned on sharing so much. It was more just a preface to the Learning Cards for Wireless LANs, but I’m glad you liked how it turned out. Thanks for all your help with the podcasts.