IT Admins can’t keep track of every tool and maintain its security for every employee of a large company. Lucky for them, they don’t have to. Learn why SSO and SCIM and other fun acronyms are a boon for employee security, and bulk actions make transitions a breeze.
6 Rules To Live By When You Work In An Office But Have Remote Team Members
“NYC isn’t for everybody, and the amount that someone wants to deal with street garbage in the summer has no bearing on their ability to be an excellent contributor to the product.”
I was quoted talking about street garbage in this article on the Trello blog. Click through to learn more, non-garbage-related tips for managing remote culture.
Coffee Talks: How To Brew Knowledge Share Culture In Your Company
It’s Friday afternoon: Do you know where your coworkers are?
If they’re Trello employees, since August 2016 the answer has likely been: at Coffee Talks. Coffee Talks (name inspired by MailChimp) are a Friday afternoon event where Trellists share their specialist knowledge about Trello the app or Trello the company with each other in the form of thirty minute to one hour presentations.
Read the rest on Trello’s blog
Case Study Video for Sprout Social
I was recently filmed and interviewed for a case study on how Trello uses Sprout Social. Video is now available! Enjoy the video and case study at read the rest at Sprout’s site.
Additionally, check out the video and insights from a social support round table Sprout put on last month. It was super fun participating.
Trello and Sprout Social: A Case Study
Video hopefully coming soon!
SAML 2.0 for the Quasi-Technical
I’ve recently begun the process of transitioning over to a role as a Technical Account Manager at Trello. What this means is—as with all “you’re the first person to do it” roles at startups—a little bit TBD, but for right now it involves being the point person for Single Sign On (SSO) implementation for our Enterprise customers. SSO allows our customers to set up their own login portal for all of the services that their employees use. That portal handles credentials, meaning that end users only have to remember one username and password combo (as well as providing an easier way to disable access to those services if someone leaves the company). It’s the business equivalent of using the “log in with Facebook/Google” option you’ll see on many websites.
SSO can be implemented with a few different protocols, because the internet is full of slightly-different wheels. I’m learning about Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), which has two versions: 1.1 and 2.0. The SAML protocol provides a standard for how to format XML passed between an Identity Provider (whatever a company is using to keep track of its users and their information) and the Service Provider (Trello, in this case). Trello’s SSO implementation is (currently) Identity Provider (IdP)-initiated SAML 2.0. This stands in contrast to Service Provider (SP)-initiated SAML, and the non-SAML alternatives.
As part of moving in to the new role, I wanted to read up on SAML and get a general sense of how the protocol actually works. This was to help reduce the number of times I needed to go to engineers for communication reasons—because I didn’t know what the user was talking about when they mentioned federation and they didn’t know which cert I meant when I asked for an SSO cert.
(For the record, the cert I needed in that particular instance was a Base64-encoded X.509 cert. Hat tip to Amanda Allison for teaching me to recognize base64-encoded strings by sight/the basics of “certs, what do” and to Barry Clark for telling me the “X.509” bit.)
Unfortunately, trying to educate myself about SSO—and SAML in particular—proved very difficult. The resources that exist are mostly targeted to two audiences: end users at large corporations who need to know a bit about how their particular SSO product works (too low-level and IdP-specific for me) and developers with an interest in cryptography who are actually building SAML integrations (impenetrably dense, and way higher-level than I needed).
Getting All Hands Support Off The Ground At Trello
When the Trello support team received news that the company was going on an all-hands retreat to Puerto Rico, we were psyched. (Who wouldn’t be?)
But right after that excitement, panic set in: how were we going to manage to answer support tickets during the retreat? We didn’t want to make the Support team work when others were having fun, but we couldn’t leave our customers hanging, either.
Our solution was to create an all-hands support training crash course. If employees passed, they earned the distinct privilege of helping out the Support team whilst on vacation! (And our eternal gratitude.)
Read the rest at SupportDriven
Thoughts on Going Un-Remote
My first job out of college was an on-site support gig in my hometown. I worked 2-10pm, which was an excellent shift for that season in my life, and allowed me to avoid rush hour traffic. Then I moved to my first-and-a-half job, for my previous employer’s sister company. This meant a pay bump, a move to 9-5, and a new location in the nicer of the company’s two buildings. After a year, I was burned out on the commute, on office culture, on waking up early. I moved on to my second-ish job: working remotely for my current company, which meant no commute and also no real need to wear pants or talk to humans all that regularly.
On the one hand, it was awesome. Stretchy pants and no makeup and waking up 10 minutes before work were all enjoyable for many months. On the other hand, after about a year, I realized that I was getting to the point where I was walking maybe 200 steps a day, and that not ever brushing my hair or talking to someone who wasn’t serving me coffee may not have made for the most dignified work day. Continue reading
Support Your Customers Better and Faster
I’m quoted in this article from Zapier about automating customer support:
“It’s important to automate as much support as you can,” says Trello support agent Emily Chapman. “Not in terms of responses, but in terms of autotagging, moving cases into appropriate folders or buckets, and reducing the amount of manual monitoring required.”
Let the robots do the work, y’all.
Read the rest on Zapier’s blog.