Get an introduction to Identity and Access Management from Internet2

News & Updates July 10, 2020 Scott Woods

There’s a rare opportunity coming up the week after next: Internet2 is hosting their BaseCAMP introductory workshop online for the first time. 

This is an IAM (Identity and Access Management) workshop that’s geared toward beginners. It’s suitable for technical staff who are new to identity, but it’s also suitable for the managers of those staff. 

Why is it important for IT staff to learn about Identity and Access Management? 

Now more than ever, university IT departments need to eliminate waste and manual labor, and replace these areas with automation. Identity services are a great place to focus on, because they cut across all parts of the university—they’re relevant to every application in every department. This is still a rapidly developing field, so most software makes only very rudimentary use of these services. If you can replace manual provisioning and permissions management with modern identity services, you’re going to save a lot of IT labor across your entire organization.

Anecdotally, I also hear a number of university employers complain that it’s difficult to find and recruit people who have these skills. So learning about IAM from the best in the business is good for your career prospects, too.

Why go to the InCommon BaseCAMP workshop in particular? 

There are other learning resources out there for Identity and Access Management. But this event is the pinnacle of introductory workshops.

  • It’s by Internet2, the leading organization for Identity and Access Management in research and higher education. You will have the opportunity to learn from the people who actually had a hand in creating these tools and protocols.
  • It’s centered around the InCommon Federation. Traditional identity services connect applications with accounts and permissions within a university. The InCommon Federation is the one-of-a-kind means of transferring identity and trust between universities. This identity superpower is unique to the research and higher ed community. 
  • It introduces each of the four tools that make up the InCommon Trusted Access Platform (Shibboleth, Grouper, midPoint, and COManage). These tools are open source, and they were developed specifically by and for the research and education community. The open nature of the tools and the community mean that there is no ceiling—you can contribute at increasingly sophisticated levels over the course of your career. 

The InCommon community is truly the best technical community that I’ve found in my career. There is a culture of openness, welcoming, and a constant push towards innovation. There are lively Slack groups, email lists, and events. Everyone is encouraged to participate and contribute.

This is about as high-value / low-commitment as it gets

I love the M-F noon-4pm online format, because it’s compatible with the rest of your demands. You can sign up for this and not completely torpedo your productivity for the week. Focused bursts of daily material—with a good night’s sleep in between—is also much better for understanding and retention.

Finally, you’ll get to meet other people who are getting their start with identity from a broad range of other institutions. These relationships that span the industry can last for years. 

West Arete is sponsoring the event, and our entire team will be there too. It’s great background for all of us, and we love to see and contribute to where the community is going. 

Come join us!

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