For the last few years, my employer has been working on a project for system-wide — dare I say “enterprise”? — identity and access management. As I have more than a casual interest in digital identity and identity management, I’ve been watching the project out of the corner of my eye. For the past year or so it’s been increasingly clear that progress is being made and they will release something valuable to the organization and ultimately to our students. One of the important activities this year is to hire staff to work on the project. They posted positions, and a few weeks ago I joined the team.

So what will I be doing? According to the position description, my first responsibility “is to be the senior IAM technical security engineer involved in the design, development, and implementation of MnSCU’s enterprise, multi-campus IAM system.” I will also have “primary responsibility for the daily support of MnSCU’s enterprise IAM system – including the development, QA, and production environments.”

Holy frell, what have I taken on?

If you look at an org chart — which does not show the exceptional people from other groups that participate in the project team — I’ll be the developer on a team consisting of an architect, a business analyst, and a developer. But on such a small team, being a developer means more than just writing code. I need a broad and deep grasp of everything we do, from requirements through to the hardware. It also means day-to-day support of our software and a rapidly growing user base.

It means I’m really damn busy.

After years of being underchallenged, I am at last facing a serious challenge, trying to make sense of all the work that’s been done — in the past year especially — while still trying to contribute in a meaningful way. I am being pushed, and to be honest, I feel a wee bit overwhelmed. Every now and then the scale of what we’re trying to do hits me, and the feeling that I am up to my eyeballs in work is replaced by the sense that I am so far underwater it’s not even funny.

I’m loving it. And I’m hoping that my coworkers won’t strangle me too soon.