By John McCormack, Writer, InCommon
Grady Bailey, senior software engineer and team lead, University of Texas at Austin (UT), and Jeremiah Haywood, lead identity and access management administrator, Illinois State University (ISU), both want members of the research and higher education identity and access management (IAM) community to forge some meaningful bonds at InCommon BaseCAMP 2023 (July 10–14, 2023).
“It’s a jumping off point for joining a larger community of like-minded people,” Grady said. “It’s not just about the technical learning, but you also can forge relationships with other IAM professionals.”
Jeremiah agrees that relationship building is really the number one benefit associated with both speaking at and attending the five-day virtual event. “What I enjoy the most is the opportunity to connect with a diverse audience, including fellow professionals, students, and industry experts,” Jeremiah said. “Sharing this knowledge helps foster collaboration and empowers others to make informed decisions regarding their IAM approach.”
Establishing Lasting Connections
Grady and Jeremiah hope that attendees will simultaneously make connections and learn how to overcome common IAM challenges during their Case Study Showcase session, which they will present on Friday, July 14, from 12:15 to 1:05 p.m. ET.
During this session, Grady will speak about UT’s experience with the Collaboration Success Program (CSP), and Jeremiah will delve into how the program has helped at ISU.
Fun Facts About GradyWhat You Like Most About Your Job: I get to solve interesting problems every single day, and by solving those problems, I’m helping a ton of people.
Favorite Song: Covers of video game music
“We are going to present our experiences associated with being part of the InCommon CSP and walk through our process of implementing some of the tools from the InCommon Trusted Access Platform,” Grady said. During the presentation, Grady will address how CSP is helping the university modernize various aspects of its IAM infrastructure. More specifically, he will discuss ISU’s implementation of Shibboleth.
Similarly, Jeremiah will use the session to discuss ISU’s IAM modernization journey. “The session will cover the process we took to evaluate different identity managers and how we landed on midPoint,” Jeremiah noted, “and we will cover our experiences with midPoint and the community that supports it.”
Making the Most of Collaboration
While both presenters look to share technical “lessons learned,” they are ultimately hoping that attendees will walk away from the session with a better understanding of why collaboration is so important.
“These tools are incredibly flexible, and you can make them work for you, but they’re also powerful and that means you can run into trouble with them. But you’ve got a whole community backing you. You’re not just stuck with your one lifeline being some paid support contract [which is common with some commercial and subscription offerings],” Grady emphasized.
Indeed, by coming together, IAM professionals at all levels in their careers can jointly address challenges.
Fun Facts About JeremiahWhat You Like Most About Your Job: The aspects I like most about my job are the continuous learning, problem solving, and collaboration. Information technology is ever-changing, and higher education brings its unique challenges to IAM. Being able to work on creative solutions with my peers keeps my work engaging and interesting.
Favorite Song or Book: Behave by Robert M. Sapolsky
Best Advice About IAM You Ever Received (& from whom): IAM is about getting the right access to the right people at the right time (Dan Taube, CISO, Illinois State University).
“We have all the same problems at our institutions. It’s usually just a matter of scale. UT Austin is huge. But we have all the same problems as a small private liberal arts college somewhere in the Northeast. It’s just on a different scale. But we can share solutions and our understanding of the paths forward … so we can approach these challenges in a more collaborative way than private industry.”
Jeremiah agreed that all can benefit from the shared experience: “There are undoubtedly other universities that are on the same journey as us. Providing real-life examples of challenges, thought processes, and implementations makes it much easier for others to navigate similar paths in the future.”
Meet Grady, Jeremiah, and 20+ other speakers at InCommon BaseCAMP 2023!