During the last weeks of 2015, the Evolveum team was partially “distributed” around the Europe. There were multiple conferences and similar public events and also two midPoint workshops led by me, in Switzerland and Germany. I used to lead a lot of trainings and workshops in Evolveum and also before, but the workshops are usually more challenging, especially when they are organized for the partners, not the end customers. The partners usually already have experience with different products and try to match the features during the courses. Their expectations are both specific to a project and also abstract – conceptual. MidPoint deployment workshop can be very effective way how to boost your midPoint knowledge in a couple of days.
This time the challenge was to take our standard MidPoint Customization and Deployment 1 training (5-day) and shrink it to four or three days, respectively, to make a midPoint deployment workshop. The trainings are usually delivered with a lot of prepared labs with step by step instructions, so people without (almost) any previous knowledge are able to see and test something in midPoint right away. This is not the case for workshops: usually the topics are selected and mutually agreed before the course, based on the needs of the partner and the labs must be prepared on-site, improvised, based on the course progress.
The partners usually know the environment where IDM system should be deployed, so they usually have a lot of practical questions and requirements. Sometimes you have a feeling you are doing technical part of pre-sales phase, or a very small proof of concept. The main goal is to show how midPoint works, how it can be usable for the partner, what are the basic concepts and (if possible) show some simplified scenarios for e.g. provisioning, synchronization, RBAC etc. with some standard resources (LDAP, database table or CSV file). After the course, people are usually able to continue improving their knowledge by configuring midPoint.
The trainings were very interesting. It’s really like “travel the world, meet interesting people and teach them midPoint“. Every time you encounter something new. I was (extremely positively) surprised that my students have already played with midPoint, so their questions were complex and deep. But the best experience is to see how the people react when they start to understand some of the complex concepts – I love that part – and start to discuss with their colleagues how to use them in their projects. Or when you hear them saying: “That’s exactly the same feature as X in product Y we’re trying to replace.”