The Identity group where I’m working now is going to be launching some stuff soon, and I want to go out and talk to the world about it. I’m looking for input on good developer-focused meetings and conferences that I should be at to talk and, more important, listen.
Subject Matter · At the moment, here’s what I believe:
The username/password dance sucks and doesn’t scale, particularly on mobile.
People putting up apps and sites regard identity — getting people signed up & signed in — purely as a tax; something they gotta do, but unrelated to what they care about.
Most developers don’t understand identity standards like OAuth, or the related crypto and signing technologies, don’t want to learn them, and shouldn’t have to.
If you can get new arrivals signed up quicker with less work, that’s a good thing.
If you can get people you know signed in quicker, ideally with one click, that’s a good thing.
People are paranoid and really don’t want to be in the headlines for next week’s embarrassing password leak.
People don’t want to think about privacy and tracking and transparency, but the risk of not doing so (just) exceeds the pain.
People like the notion of outsourcing the icky identity work, but are nervous about putting all their eggs in the Facebook’s or Google’s or Yahoo’s or whoever’s basket.
On the other hand, having a cluster of Sign in with... buttons on your landing page dilutes your brand and feels like watching NASCAR on TV.
So, those are the problems I want to talk about. And I want to hear whether what we’re doing sounds sensible, and what the other problems are that we haven’t been smart enough to spot or address.
What Kind of Events · There’s a whole “Identity Ecosystem” subculture out there, check out Identity Commons and the IIW meetings. These people have been doing the thinking behind the technology that I’m now working with, and I’m grateful to them.
But I want to go where the app builders are, not the Identity wonks. My heart is with the Web-centric/startup/open-source cultures, but Enterprise developers hold up half the sky and I need to talk with them too.
Basically, I’m looking for the kind of event where code samples are expected.
What I Can Offer · Organizing something for developers? I bet they’re worried about identity. Maybe they’re not terribly interested in it, but they know it’s an ugly problem that’s not going away, and I bet they’d want to hear where the technology’s going.
I’ll drop an identity-session proposal into the CFP of events that look interesting. But hey, if you’re also interested in an uptempo Google-looks-at-life or Internet-stress-points session, or fire-’em-up keynote, I can do those too. Lots of people think I’m entertaining; it’s mostly because I get super-energized when I’m hanging with my tribe.
And hey, I don’t have to talk. If there’s something that’s really can’t-miss, I’ll just go. Anyhow, most good events have BOFs and unconferences and so on.
Concretely · I’m already signed up to talk at Devoxx; giving a Googley keynote and an identity session. It’s exactly what I’m looking for; thousands of developers, every kind of them.
But my 2013 calendar is open. I’m thinking I gotta hit some Web-centric events like Railsconf and the PHP-oriented meetings but, to be honest, I’m a bit out of touch with what’s good, after two years of tight Android focus and doing mostly Google events.
I look at Lanyrd and I feel like my head’s going to explode. I mean, wow.
Ping Me · If you know of an event that you think needs an Identity injection I’d love to hear from you. You can comment on this piece, but I’ve also asked for input over on G+, and it’s a way better place for free-form discussion; if a few suggestions get a lot of +1’s from people I respect, I’ll take that seriously.