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Introducing… The Dogfooding Chronicles

MickJ 1
Mick Johnson
Manager, Okta on Okta

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Here at Okta, our goal and mantra is to securely connect the right people to the right technologies at the right time. “Dogfooding” our product (our definition below), is a key element in obtaining this goal, and the team that gets it done is the Okta on Okta team. In the coming months, The Dogfooding Chronicles will give you a glimpse inside Okta’s internal IT team, and hopefully give you insights into your own Okta implementations—ideas can be found here!

Examples? We’ll share our strategy for lifecycle management automation, best practices with your Okta tenant, contextualizing IT with Device Trust, and let you in on what worked, what didn’t, issues we ran into and, most importantly, how we overcame them.

We’re Okta on Okta

The Okta on Okta team is a part of the Okta IT department. We work closely with our Product Management and Engineering teams, providing feedback on the quality and effectiveness of our products and features. We also partner with other internal IT teams, ensuring that our product works as intended, and always driving new ideas for improvement. The Okta on Okta program was formed to help with the continuous improvement and iteration of the platform.

How Okta does dogfooding

So, how do we define dogfooding? While more than one definition exists, we define it as using a product internally—creating a continuous feedback loop—validating use cases and resolving bugs before our product is launched.

Some say the term comes from a 1976 Alpo dog food commercial starring Lorne Greene. By feeding Alpo to his own dog in the commercial, Greene was saying the quality of Alpo is so high, he was willing to feed it to his own 14-year old pup. We’re guessing Microsoft’s Paul Maritz saw the commercial...

Real-world concepts of dogfooding are abundant. Beer brewers regularly taste test their own beer, not only because beer brewers are enthusiastic about drinking beer, but because it’s a necessary step to make a consistent, delicious beer. To make a quality product, the tech world requires the same commitment. Dogfooding your product sends the message that a company stands behind what it makes.

Where we’re going

The aim of this on-going series is to show you the tips, tricks and lessons learned from our Okta on Okta program that can boost the effectiveness of your own Okta implementations and integrations. Internally, we make sure that our use cases are validated, that success criteria is understood, develop test plans, and give constructive feedback. We’ll explore how we do this through deep dives into our hire-to-retire process and existing features. Here are a few teasers:

Okta’s Lifecycle Management products are continually evolving. We’ll explain the many ways our IT team uses them.

Workday as a Master was implemented to automate the onboarding and offboarding of Okta employees. We’ll tell you how to make the most of this best-of-breed option.

Group Rules are liberally used to automate the assignment of our birthright applications based on Okta profile attributes. We’ll explain why you should use them too.

Automation has always been the key to Okta’s growth and scalability. The practice has allowed us to scale and grow, but manual tasks in our onboarding and offboarding process still plague our IT department—we’ll take you along as we continue to boost this efficiency.

Okta Hooks was only recently released, but is already a core function of the Okta Identity Cloud. Hooks has unlocked a world of potential when it comes to our automation, and is allowing our IT team to be creative and innovative when solving for some of these manual hire-to-retire tasks. We’ll share these innovations with you.

Not a customer yet? Read on.

For those still considering Okta as their Identity Management solution, we want to demonstrate why you should choose Okta, clarify the benefits of the platform and, most importantly, illustrate how it can save the sanity of your IT team. Okta IT is a moving target, continuously looking for ways to improve productivity for our teams and automate wherever possible.

Looking for more details now? Check out our Lifecycle Management page. And stay tuned for the next post in our series!

MickJ 1
Mick Johnson
Manager, Okta on Okta

Mick Johnson is an IT Manager at Okta, responsible for the configuration and management of the Okta internal tenant and their new-hire onboarding experience, as well as dogfooding beta programs with the Product and Engineering teams. Mick originally joined Okta on the IT Engineering team, where he oversaw the network infrastructure and office build outs. Prior to working at Okta, Mick worked in IT at Cisco Meraki.