Thursday, February 15, 2007

Career move just a few days away...

Changing jobs is no small feat when you are leaving on good terms. My last day is tomorrow 2/16/07 and I've spent the last 2 weeks wrapping up the architecture phase of the Identity Management project here, trying to transfer knowledge, files, company owned gadgets, etc... to the people that need them. This is certainly a big job when you have accumulated 10 years of data and what not. Just updating everyone I know with my new contact information is a big job. I think I've worked 8:00am until Midnight for the last 2 weeks straight. I did take some time off this past Saturday to take the kids sledding though.

Some time ago I committed myself (no, not to an asylum) to Identity and Access Management. I took this plunge about 1.5 years ago when our organization wanted to build an enterprise LDAP which included the aggregation of identities from over 100 customer organizations each with slightly different technologies and standards for maintaining their user accounts. This was a big jump for me because I has spent the prior 7 or 8 years dedicated to Domino and a few before that to Novell. But this sounded like a great challenge so I started with Tivoli Directory Integrator (truly remarkable product in my opinion) to build assembly lines to connect to Novell, Active Directory, and Domino Directory servers pulling user accounts into Tivoli Directory Server. But, I said, "What about the users' passwords?". We can easily pull all these identities into an enterprise LDAP just fine, but we will ultimately be talking about over 200,000 users. How will we maintain a password policy? How will we convey to these users what their original name and password is and prompt them to change it after their first login? That's a job for Tivoli Identity Manager. Now to take a step back, why would we build this enterprise LDAP in the first place? WebSphere Portal and any portal delivered applications is the answer. So the primary driver for building the LDAP was to allow all of these users to login and access applications we intend to roll out. Early on we knew that TIM and TAM would be required so when we finally purchased that software and started to install and play around with it, a few things became clear to me:

1.) I had a lot more to learn about the Tivoli software
2.) This project was going to be a long and hard one

Both of these things spell challenge to me and I really love a challenge. So I committed to learning all I can about TIM, TAM, TDS, and the various ways to deal with Identity Management.. But to become an expert in this field will require something more than I can get by staying here in this job. As much as I loved my current position, it's going to take a different type of job for me to really learn this stuff. Alas, I am leaving my role in K-12 education and joining IBM Premium Business Partner Strategic Computer Solutions, Inc. out of Syracuse, NY. With this new position, I'll be on an accelerated pace of learning and I'll be exposed to more experts in the field than if I stayed here. I anticipate the change to be a positive career move which should enable me to make a difference in many more ways down the road. I'm psyched about the new opportunity and look forward to adding value to the Tivoli brand and of course the SCS team.

So, I'm working on moving this blog so that I can continue posting my experiences with the Tivoli Security software along the way. Hopefully my postings will somehow help someone else who has to go through the same learning curve I am going through. And since there aren't really any bloggers out there for TIM and TAM, hey it's something new to talk about. OK, not exactly as exciting as Notes and Domino, but middleware is not all that glamorous. So what.

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