I’m writing this post the day after BsidesSATX and it’s almost like the day after Christmas. BsidesSATX is the conference I look forward to all year because I get to see all of my Infosec family. BsidesSATX 2014 was the first conference I ever attended, back before I even knew what an operating system was, they were the White Rabbit to my Alice, showing me the way into Wonderland (the tech world).
This year I decided to kick things off with what is quickly becoming a Jupiter Broadcasting tradition of breaking bread as a family near the time of the event. For Bsides we held a precon Hacker Family Dinner where 25 of us came together to share stories, precon speaking jitters and, of course, some salsa and guacamole!
I want to take a moment and say a very special thank you to @JediMamoth for, without asking for any recognition, stepping up and sponsoring the whole event. I say sponsoring because I don’t know the correct term for it, but he snuck away paid the bill and just whispered to me what he had done as he headed out the door. Even though I know you did not do it for the recognition, thank you @JediMamoth for your support in building our community.
Saturday morning the conference kicked off nice and early with the sad news that the conference badges had been held up in customs. Now If you have not been to a Bsides before you might not understand what a big deal this really is! You see these are not your traditional paper badges, BSides conferences really tend to step up their game when it comes to their badges. Can’timagine what that might look like? I encourage you to jump on Twitter and look up W3BGUY’s proto type badge photo also spend some time looking at the tag #badgelife.
They did however, know how to offer some southern comfort to ease our pain. As BSidesSATX is hosted at ST. Mary’s University, they opened the school cafeteria and offered a full hot breakfast to every attendee.
Normally I am not a breakfast person however, I knew this conference was going to take its toll on me. I was lucky enough to mentor two of the speakers, as well as having my own talk accepted. Oh and I also brought my son to the conference, allowing him to have his first conference experience as an attendee to be the same one as myself. It was going to be a full day!
I started my day off by listening to C00per talk about creating a prototype for an Open Source implantable computer. I know the idea of implanting hardware into your body makes many people uncomfortable however, the more time I spend listening to C00per speak the more I am opening up to the idea of getting a small implant that I could use as the key to my car sounds like an adventure I might be willing to take.
Once this talk was over I had to resist the urge to go and explore, as by this time the Villages had opened! The Villages this year included 3-D Printing Village, Malware Village, Mental Health Village, Lockpicking Village and even a Podcasting Village!
However there was work to be done and the next speaker was Linux Academy’s very own Brandon Bruce presenting “How to Train Your Customers- Changing the Course of Support.” This was an interesting presentation digging in to the different types of customers that Support encounters and how best to handle them. I enjoyed watching the audiences faces as they began to relate to each type of customer, from the “SITE SLOW” Captain Caveman to the “LET ME TALK TO YOUR MANAGER” Karen.
Now, I’ll save you from the play by play of my day but there is one last moment I want to share and that’s the proud mom moment of having my son invade Malware Village as a dinosaur. What can I say Hackers like to have fun! It was a proud moment, right up until he ran into the wall.
As the morning sessions completed we descended once more on the school cafeteria for a hot lunch and some cold ice cream treats!
A special thanks to Duncan McAllynn for sponsoring an ice cream social for the past two years,helping provide an alternative to an alcohol-filled socialization event!
That is not to say the event was a dry one, once the conference was over many of us dawned our best apparel for the after party!
Special thanks to RadioTeacher for the use of his photos.