On being busy, and career advancement

I've been a bit quiet on here lately, and it's mostly because I've been working hard on getting a few things sorted out career-wise. On the bright side, some of the new work I've (hopefully) picked up will lead to interesting posts! What incredibly exciting and not at all boring things have been getting sorted out, you ask?


I've been hard at work on getting our (IBM's) XACML implementation ready for the Burton Group's Interop at the Catalyst Conference. Open standards are something I think are extremely important to the industry as a whole, especially in security, and I hope to follow up with more posts on this later.

The lab was visited last week by Tony Nadalin, the Chief Security Architect for IBM. Tony was visiting Australia for the AusCERT2007 conference on the Gold Coast, and spent a lot of time going over current and future direction for IBM security. Seeing as I'm going to be in San Francisco for the XACML interop he asked me to help out with the Identity interop that's happening at the same time. Even if I'm just another technical guy helping out, it's something I'm really excited to be a part of.

Of course, this means a crash course in CardSpace, Higgins and OpenID... Kim Cameron's Identity Weblog has been a great place to start delving into some of the more complex issues around identity, once you get past the initial technical hurdles.

Tony also asked me to be the IBM Technical Representative on the OASIS XACML TC. XACML, or eXtensible Access Control Markup Language, is a standard language for representing authorization and entitlement policies. I've been involved with XACML internally at IBM since I started, and it's been my full-time job for the last year and a half now. To have a chance to contribute back to the community is something I'm really looking forward to. Hopefully my perspective as a software engineer will be useful!

That's about it. Well, the interesting stuff anyway. I won't bore you with details of extracting messages for translation, writing code to transform XML DOM objects to AXIOM objects, and fixing annoying XML serialization bugs that should have been caught long ago. My experience with using Apache Axis2 might be worth a post though - maybe even a developerWorks article if I could be bothered jumping through the hoops...

So it's been a week that could prove very constructive to my career. It's strange how sometimes everything seems to happen at once. As I said to a friend of mine, this has all come from a willingness to put up your hand and take on extra work. You never know where it might lead!

Edit: Removed some information that was close to the limits of IBM's blogging guidelines.

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