You are not alone…

By Keith Parsons, Contributor
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Some of us as practitioners of Wireless LANs sometimes feel a bit isolated. Many who work in this industry have added the Wi-Fi bits on top of an already saturated workload doing other IT projects. Other focus solely on wireless, but because of consulting or VAR work end up moving from project to project. Always working with different teams on a weekly basis.

It is conferences like Aruba's that allow us to feel connected and realize we are really part of a larger community.

You are not alone…

Much of the time we are in our own world talking about RSSI's, dB's, SNR's and antenna patterns and feel like those around us don't really understand even the base language of WLAN's. Yet that is the world we have to live with in order to design, install, validate and troubleshoot the Wireless LAN's people have come to rely on for their main access to our networks.

At Atmosphere 2015 we had a chance to rub shoulders with others who have the same issues, deal with the same type of problems, and speak the same vocabulary we do.

The sessions allowed you to sit and learn from others who have been through the same troubles, and have found at least some new solutions. It was comforting to hear those you respect talk about working through some of the exact same issues and share both their frustrations and success techniques.

You are not alone…

Yep – we might be a geeky, nerdy bunch of Wi-Fi folks – but it felt good to laugh at the same jokes, and share some of the same experiences with others have been through the same troubles.

Solutions abound at such conferences. Perhaps it was the 3-D printed survey-on-a-stick mounting head to use with a painter's pole – or the specific CLI command to drop slow beacon rates. Sitting through a variety of sessions by others who share the same craft is terribly gratifying.

You are not alone….

And yet you are alone after you return from the conference – the good feelings, and learning you enjoyed during the couple of days in Vegas will pass and you'll be back to working the hard work of delivering great Wi-Fi.

Here are a couple of things you can do to stay engaged with your community.

  1. Review the slides of the sessions you were in, as well as learn from the slides from sessions you didn't have time for. Take notes of the parts you want to remember.
  2. Give feedback to the Atmosphere administration, asking for more video recordings of sessions next year. This is a great way to have the knowledge of the various presenters shared with the entire community.
  3. Start your own blog. Yes, you! You can start your own blog cheaply and with just a little effort. Use this as a place to document your own learning – write down your notes and things that work for you. The future you will be amazed at how much you'll access your own blog entries in the future.
  4. Get involved with Twitter. There is a huge community of like-minded folks who care about Wi-Fi as much as you do. And they are very willing to help. You just have to get involved.
  5. Sign up for Atmosphere 2016– save the dates (March 6-11, 2016), let your family and boss know this is something that is good for your career and your self personally – make sure to take steps now to be ready to repeat the #ATM15 experience next year.

I'll be there – and I hope to meet you there next year as well.

Send me a link to your blog – I'd really like to read it! @keith.r.parsons