WiFi Rockstar Winner – Where Is He Now?
Last year we announced our “The Next WiFi Rockstar” contest hoping to give back to the community and provide someone with a chance to get the tools/hardware needed to learn about wireless. Recently I checked back in with the winner to see how contest prizes has helped him on his journey.
Nearly a year ago, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, and noticed something that intrigued me: The Next WiFi Rockstar Contest from the gents at the No Strings Attached Show. The point of the contest was to give the winner a leg up on learning about Wi-Fi by providing hardware and software for a home lab, and material for pursuing certifications. I followed the link, read about the contest, thought it sounded like fun, and put together a video. You can see my submission here.
Thanks to the generous show hosts and contest sponsors, I now have experience with cloud-based and controller-based Wi-Fi gear. I’ve gained valuable experience in troubleshooting using both packet capture and spectrum analysis tools. I’ve utilized valuable testing tools to determine if a problem really is a wireless issue, or an underlying network issue. I’ve achieved two certifications (CWNA and CWAP) from CWNP, and am about to begin studying for my third (CWSP). I’ve spent a lot of time doing site surveys and optimizing the WLANs at my day job, and learning when and where to use patch antennas rather than internal omnis. In short, I’ve learned a ton about Wi-Fi.
I’ve also taken inspiration from numerous WLAN professionals on Twitter and started a blog. I try to post monthly, but haven’t always been able to. I’ll be posting more with my CWSP studies and in the new year, once I get my lab set up in our new home. I hope to have a post about my first from-scratch design up sometime in November. Outside of studying, Twitter and blogs have been my main source of Wi-Fi knowledge. I’m also planning on attending the Wireless LAN Professionals Conference (#WLPC) in Phoenix next year, and am thinking about doing a presentation on Wi-Fi at a conference for K-12 IT personnel from around Manitoba.
Being chosen as the winner of this contest has changed my career path and probably my life. Assembling this amount of lab gear, software, and test equipment costs as much as a small car. One thing about the Wi-Fi community is certain: it’s full of givers. From helpful tweets to recording and sharing presentations, WLAN pros love to help each other out. Everyone seems to remember how they got started in Wi-Fi, and I certainly will too.
We are glad that Steve has been able to find value in contest bundle and we look forward to congratulating him on his CWSP, CWDP, and hopefully finally his CWNE in the next few years! Keep up the great work Steve!
I’ve also been asked by a few folks if we plan on doing this again, the good news is yes! I hope to launch the next search in the summer of 2016 so stay tuned for more information!