Well, I really really enjoyed going to RSA. As I foresaw, more than the event itself I really appreciated the chance of meeting with very smart people: the Concordia and the OSIS events were truly exceptional in this sense. Axel captured some of that spirit here. Just to mention a few notable encounters:
- I spent some quality time with Pat Patterson, mainly discussing the book. I really really appreciated his honesty and his feedback, he truly read the book with attention and his remarks were always on point: we'll make sure to incorporate them in the next revision of the book, and in fact some of the points he rose are so important that I may blog about them for clarifying. I just loved the chance of seeing things through his eyes, discussing mainly with colleagues carries the risk of falling in groupthink and I feel this was very beneficial for me. Unfortunately we didn't have more occasions of sharing our views, but I hope there will be other chances soon. Thanks Pat!
- I finally met the famous Pamela Dingle 🙂 Pam is great, her passion on those matters unparalleled. She gave a great presentation on the IdM, despite it was in the earliest slot the day after the Ping party (great party BTW, thanks Andre'). We had various discussions during the RSA week. For what I can tell she has a clear predisposition to the interface & interactive aspect, while I concentrate more on the protocol angle: that makes us very good conversation buddies 😉
- Vijay from FuGen showed me a great Concordia demo... in Italian! That surely caught me off balance 🙂
- At the identity gang dinner I was sitting with Ben Laurie, Dale Olds, Bob Blakely, Pam, Caleb and Nigel. We didn't discuss identity at all, but it was great nonetheless. Talking with smart people is a pleasure; it was quite some time I didn't have such a broad scope conversation. Two days later Dale gave a presentation about his experience with Bandit and OSIS which I really enjoyed.
- I spent some time discussing R-STSes and PPID generation strategies with a very nice guy from Oracle: I think he was Ramana, but I don't remember for sure. I'll check it, apologies!
- I had the chance of shaking hands with Paul Trevithick, Drummond Reed and Ashish Jain. I also had a very pleasant exchange with a guy from CA, but I can't remember his name 🙁 shame on me
- Through the week I spent some time with Christian Paquin. He really does not match with the stereotype of the cryptographer, he's a very open & pleasant guy. In fact, he was very patient and after some brainstorming with Mike he took the time to walk me through the details (though not the GORY details) of U-Prove. And you know what, that's revolutionary: it's really going to rock the boat.
- I've seen a very good presentation from a Sun architect, Yvonne Wilson, and we had a brief chat. I hope there will be more occasions to exchange ideas, I truly admired her no-nonsense and lucid approach to architecture.
- And of course I really enjoyed the chance to hang out with my buddies Caleb, Nigel, Mike, Donovan, Sam, Jan, Chuck... the funniest episode happened with Caleb and Nigel. We went to a restaurant which required 30 mins for seating us: I voted for leaving, they voted for waiting. I waited, yes, but for the subsequent 30 mins I went in 'English strike": that is to say, I spoke to them exclusively in Italian even if they don't understand a word of it 🙂 it was hilarious, until we discovered that the waitress spoke Italian too...
and I'm failing to mention quite a lot of people, both because I am horrible with names and because in some case I had very little chance to talk.
I would not be honest if I would not mention two things that really made me super happy: the many praises for the book and for the Channel9 video on WS-Trust. It's true that I am very recognizable (hey, that's got to be the euphemism of the quarter), but I really really didn't expect people to stop me at sessions or in the aisles to tell me nice things... the biggest satisfaction came when a number of identirati told Caleb and me that they are glad we wrote the book, and that very often they answer to identity questions by referencing parts of the text. Needless to say, those identirati work on non-Microsoft platforms... this is fantastic validation that we obtained one of the goals we had in mind for the book.
I can only hope that Catalyst will be in the same style!