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Meet Our Fall 2020 Featured Knowledge Partner: Geoffrey Carman

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2020-10-13 11_10_14-Geoffrey Carman - Micro Focus Community - 1675212.jpgCongratulations to our Fall 2020 Featured Knowledge Partner, Geoffrey Carman, Senior Area Master - Identity-Access Management (SAM-I-AM)!

Our next featured member is Geoffrey Carman, aka geoffc in the Micro Focus Community. Geoff has been working with Micro Focus products starting with the tail end of Netware 3.12, all Netware versions up to OES, and into Identity Manager (IDM), Access Manager (NAM), Identity Governance (IDG). His primary focuses these days are on IDM and IDG. As our Fall 2020 featured Partner, Geoff gives insight into his expertise and experience with us and our community.

(Answers have been edited for length and clarity.)

Tell us about yourself and your experience with Micro Focus.

I have been working with IDM for about 15 years and have become a very prolific writer on the topic. I have written two books, Definitive Guide to NetIQ Identity Manager Tokens and IDM Validator: The Missing Manual, on the topics with a third underway as a beginner’s guide to IDM. 

I have written 450+ long-form articles (2000+ words) on Novell, NetIQ, Microfocus, and IDM topics. Often when I talk to people in Support, they mention articles I wrote they use with clients regularly. One conversation with Support was funny; the tech said midway through that he just realized who I was. Every article he could find internal at NetIQ on this issue had the same author: me! 

I maintain a page that shows all my articles here, sorted by topics, which makes it easier to find relevant articles. A couple of them are even linked in the documentation.

In my day job, I am a consultant working on IAM projects with Computer Integrated Services LLC and if you have any projects in this space, feel free to reach out.

Where do you get inspiration for your articles and contributions?

When I work on a new driver, I always look for some interesting detail that is not covered in the documentation, and thus I get material to write about. I do not say this as a critique of the documentation team, rather I am fulfilling a different kind of documentation role. The doc team must write the base details of how the product works. They do not get the luxury of discussing how to use it or testing the subtle, interesting tricks possible. I like to provide the WHY to do something versus the HOW to do something. Both are needed, both are hard, and as much as I wish there was time for the doc team to do it, they cannot always do so.

While looking for topics to write about, I came up with the idea for several series of articles. The first was reviewing drivers, policy by policy, rule by rule to explain what they do, and more importantly the WHY. I enjoyed walking through drivers and wrote 75 articles dissecting 16 different ones.

The second series is Error Codes of Driver X. When I work on a project, I collect error messages into a file with a quick note of the cause and fix. When I have enough content, I write an article with all those errors and more explanations. This is another task that I realized would not be possible to put in the documentation, so I took it upon myself to try. I encourage everyone to do this since Google is the great equalizer and we can all search the same way to find help when needed.

What do you hope to contribute to the community with your articles and product testing?

I may seem altruistic but I use my collection as much as anyone else since I will often hit an issue, know I have seen it before, and quickly check my archives to find the answer. My colleagues will often ask me a question to which I answer with an article link. We know when they have matured as IDM specialists when I ask them a question and they respond with a link to one of my articles I forgot I wrote.

Along the way, I enjoyed posting in the older forums (NNTP, I miss you!) and have made over 11,000 posts over the years.  I know I have about one million words published between articles and books (I have no clue how many words I have in forum posts, no way to estimate). My boss makes fun of me since I wear out laptop keyboards and they must pay for them. I was invited to join the KP program 11 years ago and have been a member ever since.

What else can you tell us about yourself and your activities outside the community?

In addition to all that and my day job at CIS, I also run my own IDM User Group where we have had 30 sessions on interesting IDM sessions. "Interesting" is defined by my interest, but if there is a topic you would like to see discussed let me know, and I will see if it interests me and if I can arrange it.  There about 150 people subscribed, representing over 8 million IDM user licenses. All are recorded and available if you message me personally with your vertical (i.e. education, manufacturing, consulting) and approximate license count. For example, I know there are details about Packaging in Designer that only exist in my IDM User Group session about it and have never been documented anywhere else.

Outside of work, I am an avid biker, runner, and swimmer and have completed 38 marathons and 5 Ironman distance triathlons (slowly). I have swum across all three rivers surrounding Manhattan (I am contemplating the 28-mile swim around the Island for the future but that may a bit much). I have a plan to swim across all five Great Lakes, as they all have corners. I do not recommend swimming across the wide part (looking at you, Marilyn Bell!). 

I have defined a species of Sweat Bee (Halictus Poei) since my degree is actually in Evolutionary Genetics.

About the Program

The Micro Focus Community recently launched our Featured Knowledge Partner Program. Each month, we highlight a Knowledge Partner and their outstanding contributions to the Community, their background, and their experiences with Micro Focus products.

The Knowledge Partners Program is a combination of customers, partners, and enthusiasts who deliver the best, most up-to-date, real-world experiences and expertise to the community that even we at Micro Focus cannot always match. We are thrilled to be able to recognize these community members who provide exceptional value and contributions to us and our customers via the Program through this new initiative.

Want to learn more? Visit here for more information on the Community Knowledge Partner Program.

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