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29 January 2020

A day in the life of a ThirdSpace CIAM Consultant

Sian Nicholas

Thinking of embarking on a career as a CIAM developer or consultant? Find out what you’d be getting up to as part of the ThirdSpace team…

Our consultants are ThirdSpace’s frontline troops, working directly with clients to design and implement modern identity and security solutions, tailored to their needs.

I spoke with one of ThirdSpace’s senior consultants, Jamie Vaughan, to find out what a typical day looks like for him.

 

Hi Jamie, would you mind giving us an introduction to yourself and your role here at ThirdSpace?

Firstly, let me tell you what CIAM means in case you didn’t know, this stands for Customer Identity and Access Management, but we shorten it to CIAM.

Anyway, I’m Jamie and I’ve been with ThirdSpace for 6 years. My role is Technical Lead in CIAM, which includes development, as well as all things B2C and authentication.

Outside of work, I am an environmentalist, especially with plastics in the sea and wildlife. I also love spending as much time as possible scuba diving – this is a real passion of mine.

 

Thanks, Jamie. Can you tell us a little more about your responsibilities?

I’m the guy who makes sure everything works!

I started with the business as a Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM) consultant, having previously worked for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

Although I’m a MIM consultant, I have a strong authentication background.

When CIAM and B2C things started to happen, it was a natural progression for me, and I formed the practice with Marcus, who now heads it up.

I oversee the team’s development work from an architectural position, giving technical steers and making sure the team is heading in the right direction.

“The people are one of the best things about ThirdSpace – they are unique, very friendly and helpful, which makes it the great place it is!”

I also help clients outsource their consumer authentication. This means working with their development teams to map out user journeys and authentication requirements into Microsoft’s Azure AD B2C cloud.

What I like about Azure AD B2C is that it’s a very flexible solution. We develop the identity experience framework policies to enable those authentication journeys.

As Technical Lead, some of my time is dedicated to mentoring the team and setting expectations.

As a consultant within the team, I’m responsible for direct client engagement from the very beginning. I will go and meet clients to discover user journeys and piece together the best approach for them.

I will then turn those findings into user journeys and test the frameworks. Once those are complete, I will work to integrate them into applications. Continually working out the best and most efficient solution that provides the best service.

Sounds exciting! What does a typical day look like for you?

There isn’t really a typical day – it depends on what projects we have underway.

I will usually attend client workshops. This means I often wake up in a hotel, go to the client site and host a workshop event. I will begin with a round of introductions to understand who’s present and what their role and project interests are, so we know who we are talking to.

Then I will walk them through what CIAM is, what it can do for them and how it addresses their requirements or pain points. This is discussed with potential solutions to those problems, as well as what the user journey will be. After the detail is covered, I usually have lunch and a general chat to get to know them on a more personal level.

In the afternoon, I will provide more detail around the solution and what they want to see from the next steps. I will then put an action plan together of how best to progress.

“Our people make a real difference to the business and are at the heart of what we do.”

Outside of this meeting, I will look to work with the sales and projects team to build a proposal, if both sides feel it is best to go ahead. I will then work out the finer details of the solution and design.

If I am not needed at a client site, I will get up, take the dogs for a walk (I have a German Shepard and Chihuahua), then get ready for the day with plenty of coffee!

I walk up to my garden office and start by completing any administration tasks. I will then review projects and what other team members are working on.

I may run some tests and offer advice to colleagues. I will review solution designs, design documents from workshops, and ensure they are all completed. I may then support sales with any proposals and get stuck into some development work.

As you can see, there can be real variety in my day-to-day work.

 

Do you think there is anything that separates ThirdSpace from other places you’ve worked?

ThirdSpace is my first real employer as I previously contracted at JLR. I am pleased to say it has been a good experience. I really like the relaxed culture; it feels a little less formal than other places I know.

It’s also nice to get paid holidays as a permanent employee!

The people are one of the best things about ThirdSpace – they are unique, very friendly and helpful, which makes it the great place it is!

 

Fantastic! What advice would you give to someone considering working at ThirdSpace?

First and foremost, ThirdSpace is a place for people that have a “can do” attitude.

You have got to be flexible and adaptive because things can always change. We are a growing business, but, all in all, it’s an exciting place to be. Being the kind of person who is helpful and willing to receive help is also key.

Our people make a real difference to the business and are at the heart of what we do.

 

Sound good? Get in touch!

We are hiring for several roles across our offices in Oxford and Cwmbran as well as remote workers.

To find out more about our available roles and to see where you can help us succeed, why not send me an email, I’d love to hear from you.

Finally, be sure to follow us on social and keep up to date with all our latest news!

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Author
Sian Nicholas
HR Manager
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Eight-time winner of the Microsoft Partner of the Year Award for Identity Management, Enterprise Mobility, and Security and Compliance.

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