Community News

IdP Marathon: 2 days, 14 participants and a million of ideas

Have you ever wondered how one can bring theory and practice into the classroom and keep it fun, engaging and entertaining? We have a solution for you, and it is called a marathon.

Marathon is exactly what happened during the 2 days of installing, configuring and deploying the Shibboleth Identity Provider in Cyprus, and it proved to be a great success.

Marathon is a special type of learning experience where theory is integrated with practice through a series of hands-on tasks allowing participants to try and test everything they learn right there in the classroom. When we asked participants about their marathon experience, the said ‘it was great’ and that we should keep the format.

In addition to this learning format, there were also two other success factors in the mix that helped to enhance the success. I am speaking now about the trainers. The event was led and supported by IdP gurus of GÉANT Community, Marco Malavolti (GARR) and Geoffroy Arnoud (RENATER) who with their passion, enthusiasm and humor managed to turn the learning into pure fun and enjoyment.

According to the trainers, the best part of the event was to see the progress in skills development. Marco mentioned that ‘it was great to see fewer, and fewer, and fewer and fewer errors as the time went by’. Geoffroy was fascinated by the fact that how quickly such a heterogenous group was able to level itself out and find a common denominator for learning. There was so much motivation and eagerness to learn that it was nearly impossible to break for lunch or dinner. However, with the warm and generous welcome of the local host, Elena Mina (Cynet), the group managed to have a few (working) breaks enjoying the wonderful Cypriot treats.

Whilst the obvious outcome of the event is a trained group of professionals capable of deploying Shibboleth across Cypriot institutions, the not so obvious result is a capable community ready to build local federation and join eduGAIN. Good luck to them with that!

Resources from the marathon and further information on IdP installation are available here.