Most engineers carry around a set of tools and applications to help them with their jobs. Most of my choices are because I have found something that helps me do that faster and more efficeinctly, though as with many things an understanding of how they work and the information they present you with is essential to getting the most from them.
Currently I find the following are my wireless weapons of choice:
MetaGeek WiSPY DBX & Chanalyser Pro – Awesome and highly cost effective USB spectrum analyser, every engineer should have one!
Ekahau Site Survey – I use this for doing both predictive and active / passive surveying, first proper survey software I had access to and have just stuck with it.
Fluke Networks AirCheck – Always seems to be in my rucksack, quick and handy for testing connectivity and general information gathering.
AirPcap NX WireShark & Cascade Pilot – Protocol analysis, for when you want to get down to the nitty gritty stuff!
MetaGeek EyePA – Protocol visualisation, I’m still learning how to best use this but I love it so far.
Other miscellaneous tools that I find myself using regularly include:
WiFi Scanner (OS X)
Omnigraffle (OS X)
Fluke LinkRunner AT
zTerm (OS X)