I boarded the plane, nervous like opening the door for a first date. I was heading to Las Vegas for a familiar yet all-new conference, BSides.
It has been six years since my first introduction to the “highly critical” security guru’s I was warned about at my first security conference. The same ones who broke the first of many molds during that trip with immediate and warm welcomes. But what was then a conference being held at a vacation rental home was now at a rather large hotel and many of the same concerns about the stereo types triggered emotions of anxiety.
An invitation to dinner was extended by a member of the BSides team and I accepted, thankful I wouldn’t be spending the first night alone in my hotel room to wonder about the day that followed. My flight was late, and so was I as I walked into a full banquet hall but that didn't stop the outburst of a warm welcome. Before I knew it hot food and a needed drink were in hand.
Time flew as I an old friend showed me around the conference floor so I could be familiar with everything in the morning, wait -- it was morning, well after some sleep.
"Trust at the core of everything (security folks) do and in spite of their sometimes rebellious reputation; they operate through networking like nothing I’ve ever seen before."
I wrote those words following my first Bsides and they are ever true of the crowd. Though many more in number (growing to over 2500 attendees) the character of the group remained unchanged.
Many conferences make the short list I attend in a year but none will ever take the place of this dear gathering of the smartest community I know and the fantastic time I always have at B-Sides Las Vegas. My arrival in Portland was bittersweet, happy to be home but instantly wanting to see all my new-old friends again soon.