I've worked in IT since the year 2000. Since that time, I’ve met many hundreds of engineers, designers, installers, managers, and of course, many thousands of students in my courses and teaching on-site for large companies.
I’ve made a few observations over the years. One of the most important is that people tend to skip over the basics and jump into what they wanted to learn, such as firewalls, voice, server support, or whatever. I’ve also noticed that people tend to avoid stuff they perceive as hard, such as IPv6 addressing. It’s just human nature, I’m guessing.
The entire internet and your network runs on TCP/IP, and yet, many students and engineers have huge gaps in their understanding of this suite of protocols and services. They use it every day, all day long and yet don’t really understand what is going on under the hood of their network.
TCP/IP courses are actually pretty rare. Sure, it’s covered in part on CompTIA exams, such as A+ and Network+, but really only at a basic level. I guess you could pick up one of the classic TCP/IP manuals, such as Richard Stevens's TCP/IP Illustrated manual, but it can be pretty heavy reading.
One course seems to plug the gap, and in my opinion, is an absolute must have course no matter which route you choose to follow in your IT career. Here are 5 reasons why you need to get Wireshark certified:
- It’s hands on – not a huge amount of theory for this course. You start off by setting up preferences, and then you are right into analysing real traffic in real time.
- You get to understand how protocols work – when you see sessions established and then torn down, you can finally put theory into practice. Nothing is better than that.
- It’s relevant – have you ever had to troubleshoot network issues? Latency, poor performance, a failing network card, congestion? Can you name any other tool which will almost instantly give you evidence of what the issue is and where? Sure SNMP can help, but it won’t tell you what the issue is, just that there is one.
- You get recognition – how many Wireshark certified engineers have you met? Not many, I’m guessing. If you add that to your resume, I guarantee that employers will see that as a very desirable (read hireable) skill.
- Increased confidence – when I started out doing network support, I’d dread it when a customer asked for a sniffer to be added to the network to troubleshoot an issue. It was because I didn’t understand how to use them or interpret the data. Don’t let that happen to you.
With some effort, you could nail the Wireshark WCNA exam in around a month. It would be time very well spent.
If you want to get certified in Wireshark check out our WCNA training course.