I love BSides events. It's the simplest idea that has a tremendous impact on the information security. A lot of work goes into each BSides event and there are over 200 of them worldwide. I've been to two this year already in Huntsville and Indianapolis. It was my first time attending each of those conferences (one of the perks of moving to Nashville). I had an outstanding time at both. I was afforded the opportunity to speak and make some new connections with people in the industry. I will be attending Nashville next weekend and speaking at two more next month. Detroit and Knoxville.
What I love about BSides is that each one is unique. Huntsville is in rocket city. It is one of the simplest and well run conferences you can go to. The area is a lot like Augusta. Not much around, but a lot of really smart people. Indianapolis is similar in nature and a quite possibly the most laid back. It's located at a culinary school and I ate pastries all day. Nashville feeds its attendees with catered (YES CATERED!) barbecue from Martin's BBQ. I'd put the lunch up against any conference anywhere. I will be heading to Detroit next month for that BSides which coincides with Converge Detroit. I've bailed on the organizers two years in a row due to life changing events. Not this year, though! Flight and hotel are booked.
Knoxville is another new conference for me this year. It's already turning out to be quite the unique experience for me. I am speaking at the event. Which is a bit of an outlier for me. I've submitted to three different conferences in Tennessee and BSides Knoxville is the only one that accepted my submission. It's fulfilling that dream and my dream to have a walk up song.
I'm a big baseball fan. My dream of coming out to a walk up song in professional baseball died a long time ago. In my adulthood, I've thought about what walk up song I would choose if I were given the opportunity. That day has arrived! Along with my presentation acceptance email were instructions on sending in my preferred walk up song. I only get 20 seconds, but that's all I need.
I started thinking about all my favorite songs. There were too many to make a choice from. I decided to take to Twitter to ask for suggestions. I got some really great responses. I also took the question to ColaSec a security user group in Columbia, SC. My talk is on kick starting an application security program, so I took the question to the development team I work with. I got some really weird and interesting response. I had about 20 potential songs, so I made a survey. From there I picked the top three and created a Twitter poll.
If you have Twitter I'd love for you to vote and share. I like all three songs in the poll, so I will absolutely use the poll winner for my walk up song. If you're going to BSides Knoxville I would highly recommend planning your schedule. It helps the organizers place talks in rooms and time slots. From talking to several organizers of security conferences scheduling is one of the most frustrating things. This will make scheduling easier for the organizers of Knoxville. They're putting on an awesome conference at a ridiculously good price. It's the least you can do.
If Knoxville is in your plans May 5, 2017, hit me up on Twitter and let me know you're attending. Or walk up and say "Hi!" (I don't Twitter at conferences anymore). I'm really excited for the conference and hope to see you there.