I think one of the important things to remember is that a book is simply a guide to help you on your journey towards a certification but it is not a dictionary of the exam if you will. As with anything you need the blueprint, hands on experience, and a guide towards learning a subject. You have the blueprint from the website here, hands on experience is what you are getting during your day to day work, and the guide is the book. Combining all of these items helps you gauge your level of understanding and helps you realize when you are ready to sit an exam. If someone were to simply read the book, whether it be Sybex or CWNP, and then go and pass the test do they know the topic? Not necessarily.
CCIE #31229 (Wireless), CWNE #152, CWNT
Yes, the book is just a guide, but it could be done well. I'm sorry to say, but this isn't. A professional technical editor would have gone a long way. There were multiple authors and someone should have gone through all the material and made sure it is in proper order, same level of detail, consistent style, proofread and so forth. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editing#Technical_editing)
In this book occasionally concepts were referred to, but they were introduced later. There was no cross reference to help, so I guess they were just oversights. A professional technical editor would have composed the index, too.
Technically the book is printed on coarser paper and lower quality print job than the Sybex books. The worst part is the illustrations. For some reason the line art diagrams have been converted to JPEGs before printing. That's why the minuscule print in the diagrams is illegible. You can see the smudge of JPEG compression in the sharp corners of the diagrams with a bare eye. I am talking about line art diagrams here. Screenshots are a different matter. They are always difficult in a book, especially if they are taken from a color screen, scaled down and printed in black and white. Most of them are illegible, therefore useless.
The lack of index is not to save paper. For some reason page two of each chapter has been left blank. Sometimes such design is used if the first page is always odd (that is, on the right side of the opening). However, the first pages of chapters are not aligned to odd pages, so it just looks weird and is wasting paper.
My guess is that someone has mistaken Microsoft Word for a typesetting program. Word is a word-processing program. Adobe InDesign, Quark XPress and Adobe FrameMaker are examples of typesetting programs. If you want a challenge, you can use TEX or LaTEX. Yes, Word can export the document as a PDF, which can be sent to the press, but that doesn't make Word a typesetting program. My guess is based on the layout of the book (i.e. overall looks) and the fact that the images were dithered instead of true half toning. Dithering works with laser printers, half toning works better with the printing process that uses wet ink.
Book publishing is a profession and Sybex is an example of professional publisher. Technical expertise in other matters doesn't translate directly to book publishing. Technical editors, proofreaders, typesetters and prepress professionals are needed to publish a good book. They are also available for hire if you want to bypass the publishing company.
I'm sorry for the long rant. I just finished reading the book. It was slow reading, partly for the technical content, but the problems above didn't make it any easier.
Perhaps the quality is due to a rush in book preparation - brought on by an exaggerated three year certification cycle.
I understand some of the rationale for a three year period but maybe everyone, CWNP included, would do better with a four year certificate instead of a three year one.
Just my two cents.
In my opinion the books should be changed to reflect changes in the wireless industry rather than on a fixed schedule. For instance, the ratification of .11ac should prompt CWNP to publish updated advice/guidance/training. This could be incorporated into an errata/addendum type download available for registered members with some proof of purchase. These white papers could be included in an updated ebook version of the guides relatively easily. Advice could also change with the changing use of wifi such as in large public venues, wireless only enterprises etc.
It would also allow those interested to contribute sub-sections based on their exposure to the changes. As I see it this would have the advantage of making the writing of the books a continuous process rather than something that is left to a small number of individuals with a short timeframe when they are already very sought after experts.
Some of the guides (and certifications) would need to change more frequently - the previous version of the security guide dealt a lot with WEP and VPNs with a chapter on the then emerging 802.1x based security features. The updates fixed these issues but too slowly. The design guide needs to reflect .11ac, high density etc There is a balance to be struck between having the guidance very current and disrupting the study that might be in progress with some people. I think it is exacerbated by the fact that there is no overlap between versions of the exams, I am currently studying for the analysis exam and under pressure to get completed before the new version comes out.
And while I am on a rant, the books could cater for the world audience - a lot of the information on regulatory bodies and channels is too U.S. centric.
My two cents (thats four cents we have so far)
Apparently there is a new publication in the pipe...
I feel like pre-ordering it, has anyone heard from the author commenting on this comming edition ?
This is odd, because the book has been available on Amazon's UK site for a month:
No, I haven't seen it. I waded through the "official" CWNP book. I have all the other Sybex books and I have been very happy with them (some errors in the CWAP, though). I am going to the CWDP exam next after reading the outdated Sybex book and Gast's 802.11ac Survival Guide.
Let's hope Sybex will keep updating their books.
benoitloriaux: easiest is to join twitter and ask @mistermultipath (David) or @802university (Bryan) or David Westcott or others:
Sybex books have a wealth of WiFi information.
How to connect to CWNEs?
Aw Shucks! How they manage to get it in England and we can't is kind of annoying. I really don't want to wait until the end of summer. I guess that at least gives me time to study a bunch of other security books in the meantime though.