I made a trip to Las Vegas last week for “Hacker Summer Camp” to see people, present on a panel, and learn what I could from others presenting. There were the 3 usual conferences out there this year with Bsides Las Vegas & BlackHat starting off the week & DEF CON running through the weekend. I was only attending Bsides & DEF CON but issues arose and I was only able to attend Bsides.
At Bsides I was scheduled to present on a panel in the Underground track with my friends @jack_daniel, @mckeay, and @joshcorman and two new people I hadn’t met yet @p0lr_ and @thesuggmeister about stress and burnout. We chose to present in the underground track which doesn’t allow recording or digital devices because we wanted to have a candid discussion where no one was afraid to speak their mind about their job, personal life, etc. The talk went well and there were a lot of people who I feel connected with the topic. One person mentioned that they feel that it should have been recorded so people could take advantage of our experiences and we explained the reason for the decision. All in all I think it was a great talk but we definitely could have used more time than the hour.
I was able to get checked into DEF CON, get my ridiculously huge badge (a 45 RPM vinyl record) and visit the venue but being it was Thursday and there were only two tracks open, trying to get into one was really difficult with the amount of people there. I was able to connect with a few friends and coworkers during the day and catch a bit of the “Mission SE Impossible” at the SE village. All in all the larger venue should be a great thing but walking through the smokey casino at Bally’s from the Paris for a non-smoker is going to be a bit of a pain in the future. I wasn’t able to stay after Thursday though because around 5:30am Vegas time Friday morning I got a text that my sister was back in the ICU because of her cancer. I quickly changed my flight & hopped a cab to the airport. Leaving early wasn’t my plan but being by my sister’s side was definitely the right choice. I heard from some friends that they had a great time and my good friend & coworker @J_Fox was the winner of the SECTF and a DEF CON Black Badge!
Not sure if I’ll be making the trip next year but it allows me to see so many friends and network with so many people, so it’s always a possibility. I didn’t get to see nearly enough of the people I had on my list this year so we’ll see if I can catch them somewhere else during the year. Next up on the list is Source Conference Dublin! Anyone making that trip?