17 December 2010

This is a good problem, not a bad one

What options were available for hackers in the Baltimore/DC/NoVA region five years ago:  ShmooCon, Black Hat DC. Anything else?

Now in addition to ShmooCon and Black Hat DC, we have DojoSec and DojoCon, CharmSec, HacDC, Baltimore Node, Harford Hackerspace, Unallocated Space, Reverse Space, Tec Night at PonteTec... I'm sure I'm missing things too, and this doesn't include all the other infosec-related opportunities.

This is both the result of, and the source of tremendous growth in the hacker community in this region.

ShmooCon is widely recognized as one of the best hacker conferences. It sells out in <10 seconds both because of its reputation and because you have a region here that is chock-full of hackers doing really interesting, cool things.  The limitations on ShmooCon's size mean that it is a small bucket that cannot hope to capture all of the amazing infosec research being done in this region.  The fact that FireTalks take place, and B-Sides rumors immediately spring up are not a problem, they are an attempt at a solution.  The market is overflowing with great speakers and lots of people wanting to soak it all up, so these options are all but inevitable.  This is a good thing.

Can you schedule alternate options that do not largely conflict with the con itself, so as to provide more opportunities for both speakers and those who cannot get a ShmooCon ticket? I think so.  Inevitably there will be some overlap, but these are good problems we're dealing with, not bad ones.  B-Sides has never been about competition, but rather to "expand the spectrum of conversation beyond the traditional confines of space and time."  Considering we have an amazing con that simply cannot accommodate the demand, alternate options totally make sense.
Post a Comment