My path to the CCNA Wireless certification

I recently earned the CCNA Wireless certification using the following materials:

  • David Hucaby’s CCNA Wireless 200-355 OCG deluxe edition
  • CWNA 5th edition study guide
  • Keith Barker’s CCNA Wireless path over on CBT Nuggets
  • Jerome Henry’s CCNA Wireless CCNA Wireless 200-355 video series
  • CCNA Wireless 200-355 WIFUND flash cards from neckercube.com
  • YouTube

I really enjoyed this certification path, both the official certification guide and the CWNA are great reads. The CWNA is an absolute unit of a book to get through, definitely requires another re-read, I’ve been using it as a reference tool for work it’s that good. The reason I chose to go down the CWNA route is because I heard so many good things about it from the ‘WLAN professionals’ and the ‘Clear to Send’ podcasts. Also, the CCNA book is now nearly 4 years old now. The CWNA 5th edition is about 6 months old (as of this post), so it covers a lot of technology that’s in use right now and whats to come. What I also like about the CWNA is that it’s vendor agnostic, it covers the fundamentals very well. It also has an awesome community around it! I highly recommend both these books. A big thank you to David Hucaby, David Walcott and David Coleman for producing this fine content. (What is it with Wireless technology authors and the name David, is it a prerequisite?)

Onto my Youtube rabbit hole adventures. The following is a list of videos that I genuinely found enlightening:

Electromagnetic Waves – with Sir Lawrence Bragg

Bob Richardson lectures on the propagation of electromagnetic radiation (1981)

Antenna Fundamentals made by the Film Board of Canada for the Royal Canadian Air Force

Electromagnetic waves. EM spectrum, energy, momentum. Electric field and magnetic field. Doppler shift. Polarization. By Professor Matt Anderson.

HAM Radio Basics- HAM 101

With hindsight I wish I discovered Jerome Henry’s CCNA Wireless video course earlier and the flash cards from neckercube.com. The reason being is that Jerome’s content is sublime, it also covers topics such as Cisco ISE and Prime. It’s very difficult getting information on these unless you work within in the industry.

Even though I’ve got access to the Cisco OCG through Safari books online it unfortunately doesn’t give you access to the practice exams. I purchased the deluxe edition for this reason. I also ended up using the epub format of the book instead of Safari’s online web application. It’s a lot easier to work with and way faster to navigate. The practice tests that come with the deluxe edition is worth the price of the ebook in my opinion. They definitely helped.

Typically I find it difficult judging how ready I am to sit any exam. I tend to go over the blueprints to get a feel of how well I know the material.  I find practice tests and flash cards really help to expose knowledge gaps. The little DIKTA questions that are typical of books are easy to memorise if you go through them enough, so it’s easy to convince yourself that you know the material, instead you just remembered the order of the answers! At least the online practice exams shuffle the answers.

Do you need physical equipment? For the CCNA Wireless, I would say no, but it definitely helps. For the CWNA it’s something I’m looking to invest in. Just out of curiosity I want to see for myself how much a leaky microwave affects the 2.4 GHz spectrum (my microwave is old), I want to see how certain materials attenuate the signal, do those marketing claims actually hold up and so on.

Next it’s the infamous CCNA Security exam. Once I’ve accomplished that I will then return to the Wireless realm to sit the CWNA exam. That should keep me busy for the next 2-3 months.

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