Jealousy is an ugly trait
I don’t do site surveys anymore. My back thanks me for it. My airline status doesn’t. As a manufacturer SE though, I see them every day. Why? I ask for them! I don’t step and click and click and step anymore. Been there, done that (do people still say that?). It’s just not part of my job anymore. That said, I miss the hell out of them and try to see as many as possible.
Best in the biz
My employer’s partner community is top notch. Best of the best. They have engineers I would hire in a New York minute if I was an IT Director again. They have the tools (I’m coveting your Ekahau SideKick….you know who you are). They have the services teams. They have the person-hours to justifiably bill a customer to do a thorough survey. In my patch especially, I have some absolutely rock solid partner engineers to work with. I trust that they are going to be extremely high-quality and thorough surveys.
My customers are all enterprise level WiFi commandos. They have teams that breathe wireless, drink L2, and see radio waves. They can tell when a warp core is misaligned by the hum of the nacelles. They have the certs, the experience, and the feel for their environment to be able to provide enterprise service levels.
you get it, they rock, SO why do I review surveys?
Surveying is a skill and muscle that you need to work in order to keep strong. Building and walking through reports is as well. It’s a constantly changing science and a subjective art. If you gave three WiFi surveyors a CAD, you could get seven designs. There is not (as yet) an industry standard survey methodology. There are best practices, there are individual methodologies and there are amazing training opportunities from CWNP, the survey software creators, and even the manufacturers. There is no A-Z survey standard that a governing body prescribes though. So the variety is incredible. Seeing as many surveys as possible, done by as many people as possible, just keeps filling my bag of tricks with more ideas. I didn’t walk and click, but I get to see those walks and clicks.
it’s all about the community
Those are the selfish reasons. Now let’s talk about the business reasons and how the selfish reasons help everyone.
If you take all of the above and you whip it together you get cream of the crop surveys. I get a fantastic view into the minds of my betters. I then get to add that cream to my customer’s and partner’s coffee. With such a wide view, I get to share all those lessons and philosophies and be a clearinghouse of data. I get to say “you know my buddy at XYZ partner found that there is a new lead lined sheetrock product on the market that eats signal” or “this is great, but my customer at the Widget Factory found that those same handhelds have crap antennas and super low power, so we want to scrunch the APs in a bit tighter than we may have thought”.
So, we sit down and go through them together. The customer, the partner, and me. In the end, it helps the products I hawk work better. It helps my customers achieve their business objectives. It helps me hone skills. Most importantly though, it allows me to spread knowledge that may not otherwise have a conduit, helping to better everyone’s designs.