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ECSE Troubleshooting Certified x 2

by Michael Lester

Posted on at 02:00pm

Another supposedly quiet Christmas period, yet the training still continues.

Yes, that’s right, two Catalytic IT team members (Michael and David) attended Ekahau’s most recent addition to their training catalog, the ECSE: Troubleshooting class.  Unlike the previous classes we’ve attended, this was our first experience performing the training virtually. Thanks to @Ferney_Munoz for the picture.

We’ll admit, there was some apprehension at first – would the training be of a similar quality to in-person training?  Would we still get as much out of a session that wasn’t delivered face to face?  Turns out we needn’t have worried at all – the team at Dicker Data, and of course the exceptional Ekahau trainer Ferney Munoz made it their mission to ensure we had an experience that was compatible to, and in some ways superior to, the face to face experience we’d so enjoyed in our previous sessions.

First off, a little about the course.  The ECSE Troubleshooting is centred around the troubleshooting process – a logical way to break down & evaluate a problem and understand whether you’re dealing with a wireless problem (short answer: probably not). However as we know “everything” appears to an end user as either the wireless or the Internet, and so the course arms you with troubleshooting knowledge that goes beyond the realm of pure wireless, and reminds you of all of the various moving parts that go into a modern wireless connectivity experience.

Armed with a solid troubleshooting methodology, and some guidance on the sort of things that you should be looking for along the way, the course then takes you on a journey through a variety of tools that should be in the arsenal of any wireless professional.  Of course the Ekahau Pro software and the Sidekick feature prominently – however that’s not all that gets covered. We get reminded of the powerful suite of tools that Intuibits offers (AirTool, Wi-Fi Explorer), some exceptional open-source tools like Wireshark, Kismet and iPerf, and of course the Swiss-army-knife that is the WLAN-Pi.

There is some crossover with the ECSE:Design, however this is a welcome refresher and really sets the tone for the rest of the course. There is a great mixture of theory and practical, which is supported by the interactive nature of Ferney who manages to relate it all back to real-world examples, and keeps it enjoyable. While we’re talking about practical – the lab manual for the course was solid and easily replicated through the hardware that was shipped to our door. Yes there may be minor technical hiccups as attendees attempt to replicate exactly what is seen in the manual with their environment, however our presenter was adept at dealing with these hiccups and kept us on track very nicely.

The ECSE:Design would have to be one of the most practical wireless training sessions we’ve attended so far – and the beauty of it is that it has such a broad appeal. While few people spend substantial time designing wireless networks, most of us are asked to support and troubleshoot them on a regular basis. The proposed methodology, and the real-world tips & tricks on how to identify the cause of issues, are welcome and would benefit any network engineer (and particularly those with access to the powerful Ekahau toolset).

Last but not least – A further compliment to our trainer Ferney. We’ve been lucky enough to have worked with a variety of world-class international trainers over the last few years and Ferney was no exception. His style is engaging, he’s thought provoking, and yet he manages to maintain a sense of humour and a practicality about his approach that made the class thoroughly enjoyable. Ferney really seemed to be able to draw on the practical elements of wireless troubleshooting, while matching these up to the theory in a way that we both found particularly compelling. It was an absolute pleasure to spend the 4 days virtually with Ferney, and the other attendees throughout Asia Pacific to get down & dirty with WiFi.  

If you’re interested in a solid wireless troubleshooting course, Catalytic IT can offer tickets to the next Virtual training event in early 2021 – just reach out to us and we’ll get you sorted.