My name is Aaron Parecki, and last week I joined Okta on the Developer Advocacy team.
I’ve been working with Okta since 2016 when we published the online version of my book, OAuth 2.0 Simplified, on oauth.com. In 2017, I worked with the team again on producing the print version, which we released at Okta’s conference in Las Vegas last fall.
In 2016, Okta was focused on the enterprise IT market, providing a much-needed single-sign-on service. However, I come from a developer-focused background, having previously founded a startup building developer tools for people making location-based apps. So in 2016, I was perfectly happy continuing to do contract work with Okta, never expecting that I would want to join the team full time.
In 2017, Okta acquired Stormpath, a company building an authentication and user management service that focused on developer experience. Throughout the process of publishing the print book that year, I worked with several people from the once-Stormpath-now-Okta team, and got to see the amazing changes they were pushing forward within Okta. Okta’s newly broadened developer experience team has taken their talent for creating great products for developers and incorporated that into Okta’s products at their core. Seeing that transformation from one year to the next was incredible, and is what drew me to this new role.
Who is Aaron?
I grew up writing GW-BASIC on a computer in my parents’ attic, making little text-based games and programs that would play music. I eventually discovered the web, and started reading every book I could find at the library about how to make web pages. Starting off with HTML and what little we had of CSS at the time, eventually picking up Perl and PHP, and learning how to administer a Linux server I ran in my closet. I quickly started picking up freelance work, making web pages for local businesses and eventually building more involved web apps and databases.
In 2008, I began carrying a GPS tracker with me at all times to keep a personal log of everywhere I’ve been down to a 1-second interval. Due to the highly personal nature of that kind of data, that project set me down a path of wanting to bring more and more of my online data under my own control. I began co-organizing IndieWebCamp, an annual conference where we help people use their websites to own their online data and online identities. The community has grown over the years, and we run events and meetups all over the world.
I’ve also edited several specs that allow people to use their own websites as a decentralized social network. Some of these specs have been brought in and standardized under the W3C, like Webmention for peer-to-peer comments, Micropub for posting to your site from other apps, and even an OAuth 2.0 extension IndieAuth that enables you to use your own website to sign in to apps online.
Looking Forward to the Future!
I’ve always enjoyed helping people understand OAuth and web identity concepts, whether that’s by writing books and blog posts, doing on-site trainings, or giving talks at conferences. I’m excited to be able to continue this at Okta!