Yup…I’m that guy. The “I like my SCA, MCA’ed” guy. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one that lives on the “single channel architecture” island. It took quite some time to actually admit to my wifi peers that I used and liked Meru wireless. I am, however, vendor neutral. I LOVE all wifi! More on that later…
As this is my first venture into blogging, I guess I should introduce myself even though 90% of you who are reading this know me through the wifi community. My name is Mitch Dickey. I am originally from Wisconsin (the whole badger thing), but have lived in Virginia since 1993. I started into the IT industry after I graduated from Bridgewater College (VA) in 2003. I scored my first job with the school district that I had graduated from four years previous. I had participated in the cooperative education program while in high school and completed an internship prior to my graduation from college with that district. Having established many good relationships before I was hired allowed me to be blessed with a job upon my graduation. After a few years I decided to set some goals for myself as I was getting bored turning screwdrivers and babysitting servers (no offense to those who do these critical jobs, it just wasn’t for me anymore). I decided to get into networking but more specifically Cisco networking. I attended classes, read, studied, purchased older equipment to lab with, and watched training videos, etc, all on my own time. It took a couple of years (you know…just married, kids, buying a house) to get to my first goal but I attained my CCENT. I began to search for other opportunities that would allow me to grow and achieve my next goal, becoming a Network Engineer. I was able to find a position in 2011 that would allow me to take that next step and grow even more. Shortly after taking a position with a VAR, I was asked what my interests where and we both decided that the wifi route would be beneficial for both of us. I completed my CCNA and started down the wifi path. I have always been interested in RF in general but when I was given the opportunity to take CWNA training, I fell in love. Since that CWNA class back in 2012, I cannot get enough wifi! Although the VAR I worked for primarily sold Meru, I tried to get my hands on as much wifi equipment as I could. Shortly thereafter I took the CWNA exam and passed. While working at the VAR, I was responsible for other aspects of IT so I was not able to completely focus 100% on wireless. On my own time, again, I began studying for the CCNA-W. I purchased some used equipment and set it up at my house. I was able to prepare with the limited resources I had and I passed the CCNA-W exam! I was accomplishing my goals at a very quick pace! It was now time to start working towards my next goal; becoming a Network Engineer in an enterprise class environment. I wasn’t really looking but an opportunity presented itself in 2014. Not only was it at a K12 (where I loved working previously), but it was a Senior Network Engineering position at a very large K12 where I would be responsible for just the network, primarily wifi! I was back working with a team and on the equipment I love. Perfect! I started with LCPS in 2014. I completed my CWAP last year and am currently working on my CCNP-SWITCH. I have my eyes set on the CWNE.
A little about my day to day right now. We currently maintain just under 100 sites with just over 5500 access points. At peak usage during the day we typically average 48,000 wireless devices. A recent report showed that we touched 113,000 unique devices in a 24 hour period. We are very proud of what we are achieving and the group of guys I work with are awesome.
This seems like a weird spot to do this, especially since this is my first post but I want to take the time to thank people in the wifi community that have helped me get to where I am today. Whether it was with knowledge, tools, gear, etc, without you it would have been very hard to get here. The wifi community is awesome because it re-invests in itself.
Shout out to Keith Parsons, Sam Clements, Devin Akin, Eddie Forero, Zaib Kaleem, the fine people at MetaGeek (especially Joel Crane), Lee Badman, just to name a few. There are many others so please forgive me if I forgot to mention you….THANK YOU!
Oh…and thanks to Henry Stukenborg at that “fruit company” for the subject for my first entry. It was meant to be a name for the blog itself, but I had to stick with the badger theme.
Well, I guess this means I will have to start writing on a regular basis. I know you guys have been wanting me to write for a while. Most of what I will likely write about will be stuff that you already know but I am just going to share what is on my mind…mostly wifi, with a mix of life here and there.
PS: I am still tweaking the layout of the blog. If you see something that needs adjustment please let me know.