Keith Casey currently serves on the Platform Team at Okta working on Identity and Authentication APIs. Previously, he served as an early Developer Evangelist at Twilio and before that worked on the Ultimate Geek Question at the Library of Congress. His underlying goal is to get good technology into the hands of good people to do great things. In his spare time, he helps build and support the Austin tech community, blogs at CaseySoftware.com and is fascinated by monkeys. He is also a co-author of “A Practical Approach to API Design” from Leanpub.
Some more background
I received my Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. While I was there, I took a couple computer science courses, decided I was terrible at it and swore to never write software again. So no surprise, when I graduated, I promptly got a job doing software development. Doh.
In that first job, I worked for a consulting company at the Library of Congress. Our goal was to answer the Ultimate Geek Question of “How much data is in the Library of Congress?” In short: a LOT. For a longer answer: In 2001, we determined that if the staff digitized 50TB per day, they would be able to keep pace with the content created. That would not take into account the 200+ years of backlog. And remember this was in 2001 before iTunes, YouTube, Flickr, and all social media.. even blogging was rare at the time. As of this writing, they’re still using standards I wrote for audio and video metadata.
So basically, no one knows how much data is in the Library of Congress.
Regardless, we were working with amazing pieces of history like audio recordings from reporters on the beach at D-Day, personal letters from the US Civil War, and even Steamboat Willie. We built what we believe to be the first Web Service in the US Federal government. Then I spent the next couple years working for a variety of government agencies and projects.. still doing a ton of software development.
Somewhere along the way, I got heavily involved in the open source community and started my consultancy CaseySoftware. On the open source side, I served on the dotProject team for a few years and co-founded Web2Project and have led that project since 2007. With CaseySoftware, I grew it to eight people doing work for everyone from various DC non-profits to a major news network to television shows to professional sports teams.
I wound down most of the consulting when I joined Twilio as a Developer Evangelist in early 2011. I was based in Austin but covered everywhere from Miami to Montreal to Seattle to Los Angeles and everywhere in between. For 2.5 years I served doing things like technical support, organizing & attending hackathons, writing docs & blog posts, testing internal products, speaking at 15+ conferences each year, and acting as a sherpa to help and guide customers whenever I could. My unique contribution was serving as an evangelist who “got” sales engineering and planned accordingly. Throughout this, we grew from 25 to around 250 employees.
If you want to learn more about that, check out my post Developer Evangelism: The Whole Story.
After leaving there, I partnered with James Higginbotham and started writing “A Practical Approach to API Design” which covers aspects of API design ranging from noun/verb combinations to versioning to authentication and authorization. In addition, we developed courses to teach API design to various Fortune 500 companies and I’ve written training courses for Lynda.com on both API Design and Design Patterns in PHP.
My next step was to Clarify.io (Techstars London, 2013) which has blended a bunch of the above. Fundamentally, Clarify wraps the amazing power of audio and video science and machine learning behind a simple API. In some cases, we’re working to make legitimate pieces of history available to everyone. In other cases, we’re letting media companies and call centers analyze and understand the information they’re already collecting.
Most recently, I joined Okta to work on Identity and Authentication APIs at scale.I believe that most security challenges we face can’t be solved until this fundamental piece is solved well on a global scale. My specific product is API Access Management which is effectively OAuth as a Service because while our applications are getting more and more secure, security is too-often an afterthought in APIs.
Somewhere along the line, I started serving as a mentor with Techstars Austin. So far I’ve worked with Testlio, Cloud66, Lawnstarter, CarServ, PermitZone, CardIsle (Techstars Cloud), Prospectify, Skillpop, and a few others.
At the end of the day, my job has been the same through all this:
Get great tools and technologies into smart people’s hands to do amazing things.
Do not contact me about job opportunities. I’m not interested.
Occasionally, I do side consulting but only a handful of projects a year.