One year at USC

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One year ago today, February 15, 2006, was my first official day here at USC. If I recall correctly, I spent most of that day filling out HR paperwork and then leaving a little early to hunt for an apartment, but it marked the beginning nonetheless. I generally like to look back on my birthdays and think about what I’ve accomplished that year and what I want to do different the next, and this seems like an appropriate enough time to reflect on my work related stuff. So why the hell did I move out here to Los Angeles? What have I been doing these last 12 months?

  • setup new Shibboleth IdP at USC with updated version of Shibboleth and more important new policy. It’s been a rocky road, and will continue to be, since we’re running two different IdPs in parallel right now, but we’re slowly working on migrating everyone over to the new environment.
  • developed a number of small patches and extensions for Shibboleth to customize it how we wanted it to work, two of which were committed upstream (ARP Constraints and Deny Anonymous) and included in the Shibboleth IdP release as of version 1.3.1.
  • in October, was asked to join the core Shibboleth development team. That took a couple of months to work out the details with my management, but now a portion of my time at USC is spent helping to develop Shibboleth 2.0. My primary focus is the attribute resolver and the attribute release policy engine, which will be included in the IdP and the Java implementation of the SP.
  • we’ve made significant updates to the meta-directory processes at USC that populate our LDAP directory. I’m currently working on fully taking over the development of those processes so the previous developer can take more of an architectural role, which is what he’s really good at.
  • attended seven conferences across the US and Canada, giving a couple of sessions myself. I’m enjoying the conferences and seeing the cities, just not the actual act of traveling.
  • not directly work related, but I’m finally getting a little more serious about working on OpenID stuff. It’s mainly just small implementations at this point, but there’s been talk for a while about trying to achieve some interoperability between OpenID and SAML. We’re already trying to make Shibboleth work with Cardspace, so who really knows.

So this next year should see moving to our new offices (probably in the next few weeks), the deployment of a new guest system at USC, the release of Shibboleth 2.0, working on Shibboleth 2.1, and who knows what else. So for those of you back home that have wondered if I’m actually doing anything out here on the west coast, the answer is yes (though not as much as I’d like).