Interview with a Wiki Ninja, FIM Expert, and Microsoft Partner – Wim Beck


This interview has been in the works for many months! I’m finally proud to have our interview with…

Wim Beck's avatar

Here are his profile stats:

  • Authored 12 Wiki Articles
  • 95 Wiki Edits

Here are some of Wim’s Wiki articles:

 

Let’s get to the interview!

 

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—-Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?

I am Wim Beck, 28 years old. I live in Antwerp, Belgium. After graduating in 2011 as a Master of Computer Science with focus on security, I started working as a security consultant for IS4U, part of the Cronos group. I started out studying FIM on which I spent most of my time. The last year I added ADFS and Azure deployments to the list of technologies I work with on a weekly basis. Over time I also familiarized myself with identity and access management solutions from other vendors such as ForgeRock OpenAM, IBM Security Directory Integrator, and WSO2 Identity Server. In my free time I love to play soccer, like to travel and watch TV series and movies.

Wim_CoteDAzur

Image: In Cote d’Azur, France

 

—-What are your big projects right now?

While working on my day to day identity management projects for a variety of enterprise customers I’ve gathered a lot of useful PowerShell scripts and snippets. Some scripts are often copied to new projects and then adapted to my needs. I am now in the process of compiling al these scripts into PowerShell modules to save myself, and hopefully some other people, a lot of time and trouble. By creating reusable functions and logically grouping them in modules I hope to create a library that can be used on all my future projects. When I have some time, I am also going to take a look at the Lithnet PowerShell module (https://github.com/lithnet/resourcemanagement-powershell) to see how this can be integrated or merged into my own modules. Next step would be to browse through the FIM scriptbox for functions that are not yet covered by the library. I would really like to obtain a single PowerShell library as a one-stop shop for FIM related PowerShell functions, because at the moment all these incredibly useful pieces of information are shattered around the internet. The start of my project is posted on GitHub: https://github.com/wim-beck/IS4U-FIM-Powershell. I will be writing about some of the functions in the PowerShell library in the future.

 

—-What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job?

I use TechNet Wiki on a daily basis for different purposes. I turn to TechNet for answers when I am troubleshooting an error I haven’t seen before and when researching something new I start by reading some articles on the topic. Because I learned so much and the content on TechNet Wiki is so rich on information, I like to give back by contributing articles that will hopefully be useful to someone else.

Wim_CostaRica

Image: On a bridge in Costa Rica

 

—-In what other sites and communities do you contribute your technical knowledge?

All my articles start from a real life experience. That is why these are published first on the IS4U blog http://blog.is4u.be. I copy them over for personal reference to my personal blog https://www.wimbeck.be, and of course TechNet wiki. All source code, whether mentioned in an article or not, is uploaded to the GitHub repository https://www.github.com/wim-beck. When I get a quiet moment, I like to browse through the TechNet forum to see if I can answer some questions.

 

—-What are your favorite Wiki articles you’ve contributed?

One of my favorites is the article about OCSP PowerShell configuration. I had to develop a PowerShell script to configure and manage an OCSP responder. When I was searching for more information, I found a question of someone who was trying to do something similar. By the time I finished my script, no one had published an answer. So I did. That was the first time I realized I had something to contribute. And it felt better then I could have imagined. Another favorite article of mine is the one about the FIM scheduler. I am very proud of this article, because it is about something I developed from scratch. On my first FIM project, I needed a quick way to start a sequence of management agents. I started by using some PowerShell snippets I found online, but there was no easy way to separate the run configuration from the PowerShell script. So I started developing something to make this easier. The result of this effort was a very simple executable that read an XML configuration file and triggered some actions via WMI. The XML configuration file could contain multiple configurations, and via a command line argument you could indicate which configuration needed to be run. Later on, I refactored this solution so it could be installed as a Windows service. At the moment, the service also listens to a specific trigger to allow “on demand” synchronizations and there is a GUI for editing the configuration files because editing them can be error prone.

Wim_Ski

Image: On vacation, skiing

 

—-What could we do differently on TechNet Wiki?

It would be nice to have upvotes on articles, like you have on forum posts, to see how many people found your article helpful. As an author I would see this as valuable feedback. As a reader, it would be valuable information as well. More votes means that it helped more people so the content must be really good. As a consequence, authors would also receive more points on their Technet profile. As someone who spends more time writing articles then browsing the forums, this would increase my credibility on the forums when I do answer a question.

 

—-Who has impressed you in the Wiki community, and why?

I’m impressed by all people who spend a lot of time answering questions on the forum, because I know how time consuming it is, Peter Geelen and Carol Wapshere aka Miss Miis in particular. Once you start working with FIM, you come across their names a lot! I also admire all people who invest in TechNet Wiki one way or another. The judges for the TechNet guru awards for example take time each month to review submissions and provide feedback. I am sure that this reward system is time consuming, but it also motivates a lot of people (including me) to contribute the best content they possibly can, which results in a better TechNet wiki.

 

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Please join me in thanking Wim for all his contributions!

Jump on in! The Wiki is warm.

– Ninja Ed

Comments (7)

  1. Great interview, Thanks ED. +1 for wim on his idea of ratings.

  2. Nice Interview Wim, thank you Ninja Ed for sharing with us 🙂

  3. SYEDSHANU says:

    Nice to meet you Wim Beck.Thank you for sharing with us ED Price

  4. pituach says:

    Great to meet you Wim 🙂
    Thanks for sharing the interview Ed

  5. My pleasure everyone. This one was a long time coming!

  6. Good to know about you and your wiki journey Win Beck.

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