When you want hackers to show up and do hacky things you might want to sandbox your ish, right? So, we're going to think on it and handle the demand for registration with a clever system. We don't want to end up with unreasonable lines our title page should read: "def con hacking Con, home of LineCon". Lining up DC101, one of the places that i am also proud to see the growth is with def con 101, again. I am proud to have dc101 fully integrated into the review board process for its second year. The talks we selected are in demand, evident by the lines that have steadily grown every year. Def con 101 started 8 years ago at def con 17, under the leadership of Highwiz, as a panel to familiarize new attendees with con and our culture. It has since grown and become a pillar in our content lineup, from "just one panel" to an Official def con track held for four days.
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The classrooms won't ever hold 1000 students, but I think that works well for the student/teacher ratio and fosters an intimate essay learning environment. I love that we started doing workshops, because it allows everyone to have a answers chance to attend a workshop or hear from a instructor they normally may find to be out of their reach. Training on "X" from Professor X would cost you two days time and 4,000 at a professional infosec conference, and still might be a bit too in-depth for your level. However, at def con, professor X gives you just the right amount of awesome in a four hour workshop format, for free. There is no wrong choice, both are going to be great options, each would be unique and an asset to anyone lucky to attend. That said, def cons workshops are a bit more reachable to those hackers starting out. There are many a hacker colloquialism to convey the sentiment that information wants to be shared. Im thankful for our new workshop lead, tottenkoph, and her team of goons for helping us build our workshops success. The demand for these classes is insane, one of the challenges we're facing with this additional super in-demand option is handling registration. As you all likely know, the def con badge registration process is anonymous and cash only by design. Def con avoids collecting any personally identifiable information on attendees, thankfully the results is that def con cannot be compelled to disclose any pii.
I am thankful when we can do anything to get hackers and their knowledge a wider reach. This is just another thing that def con is doing to preserve and share the knowledge as much as possible. Considering Workshops, in some cases the content that crosses our path, should be a workshop instead. Some of the cfps this year were encouraged to refocus their content to a 4hr block for a workshop. Luckily several submitters agreed, and in the end we had wonderful feedback from them and their students. We will be doing workshop submissions again for DC25, instructing a workshop comes with the same speaker benefits honorarium. Teaching has shredder the potential to help many people learn from you and break into a subject that you know best.
(Just make sure you communicate with us about it). I like to encourage people to participate, attend, and speak in the villages too. There is a lot to see and do in the villages and they have high caliber talks, some of the content def con wouldve accepted if we had the room. Def con has no control as to who speaks in the villages, but I do try to forward a few submissions their way from time to time. Its a shame not everyone can be on the main stage but there are more than enough reasons why the villages are a great alternative option. Over the past two years we have tried to provide more promotion to the villages. If you didnt know, we are trying to record as many of the village talks as we can schedule. This means that if you speak in one of the villages your talk may likely be recorded and available on the official recordings and dvds.
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We work really hard in wallpapers the final round to make sure all writers the last minute submissions have all been voted on (Reminder: Please submit early). We then pick the best out of the remaining talks with as little overlap as possible, we want a good reflection of what our attendees expect from a typical def con talk. Sometimes even after making hard cuts on excess content, we still have too many talks in the list. This means we have to cut talks that are perfectly acceptable, many with all yes votes, even solid work that should be presented. Any conference out there will testify that hitting send on the rejection letters is certainly in the top 5 of worst things you have to do when organizing a conference. The bigger you are, the more you send. One of the challenges we face as we keep getting bigger is trying to find a place for those talks that don't make that cut.
This year I created an extensive list of alternative speaking opportunities and promoted them, because i want it known that you don't have to choose all or nothing. Just because a talk wasn't accepted to "the main stage" does not mean that it's not worthy of being presented. This year there were 13 separate villages at def con where speaking opportunities were actively being solicited, not including DemoLabs or Workshops! There were probably more options if you looked "outside" of the conference as well to conferences like black hat or BsidesLV. If you submit to more than one stage in Vegas, it's likely going to be entirely fine with us, we don't have unreasonably strict content embargoes.
If youre interested in reviewing talks, send us your cover letter and resume, tell us why you want to join the crazy.) The review board is transparent together, we hold each other accountable, we ensure quality and unbiased reviews in a censor free environment. Some subjects are debated and fought over and it's always great to see the victor get a talk selected. We have an accomplished review team, and because theyre so talented, they also have "real jobs". We try to manage time and free up their cycles by providing support. 3n_ion and i act as the point of contact for the submitters and the review board, and having this proxy keeps things on task and flowing.
The reviewers have to tackle hundreds of talks, all in their spare cycles, usually forgoing sleep. The board will review the supporting materials, endless white papers, slides, and have feedback or questions on them. (Its very time consuming but worth.) This single point of contact is something that has proven to work well for. We contact submitters for more info, detailed outlines, or clarifications on content, so that the trains keep moving on time. Narrowing the focus, we love it when we get more personalized feedback and it leads to suggestions on other submission options. Sometimes the board will suggest the submitter consider other time formats, slight changes in content, or when applicable other submission venues like "This would fit in well at the.
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Next year is sure to provide its own unique growth challenges. We have a very hard-working and diverse team that review the talks. It's not like i tried to do it, but Im proud that the. Cfp reviewers represent the hackers at our con. Our review board has varying degrees of skills, different specialties, personalities, and wear many hats. We all work word well together to try to make sure that the fields of topics are well represented. The review board is busy for months, some reviewers log in every day/night and the entire cfp process can occupy 6 months out of the year. During our "surge" which is usually from April to july, we put in several hours a night and for some, cfp has become a part time job.
However, i am proud to say that def con was the first conference to make feedback a priority for their submissions and speakers. The Process Now, we have more than doubled the amount of submissions we have received in the past ten years. This year with almost 600 decisions to make between speeches and workshops, feedback was a challenging task to manage. We have gone from "just a handful" of guest reviewers to 25 consistent reviewers with varying degrees of specialty and expertise. The feedback they produce ranges from the monosyllabic to shakespearian. 3n_ion ) and I work hard to compile and provide that feedback for the submitters, It's not chicken scratch on the back of a paper any more. We are getting larger, the submissions are increasing, the coordination is getting more complex. Trying to find a place to house all the cats is a daunting task, albeit rewarding. "Victims of Success" essay is the mantra of 2016, we're having to deal with growing pains and finding scalable processes as everything keeps expanding year after year.
person i knew to reply back with a reason why a talk was rejected. Id never heard of any other conference doing it before and to this day few can really tackle the large task its become. When I became the Speaker liaison for BH/dc, i began prioritizing more communication, feedback, and I took the time out of respect for the speakers. I made it my goal to try to help people where i could. I always try to provide a kind and thoughtful rejection letter with personalized feedback, but it is also something that is very hard to scale the larger your cfp becomes. Feedback is something I think is very important to growth and success. We respect the hard work and courage of the submitters, i dont know a con organizer that doesnt.
Recently, ive had a few requests to give a talk on the def con cfp process. Although Im not sure how I feel about doing a full-on speech, a speakers corner post seemed appropriate middle ground. I am elated with the successes of def con 24, and I can't help but brag and reflect on where we are and how far we've come. How it was, when I first started helping with the cfp process over a decade ago, i worked with a unique and small group of people. The dark tangent dead Addict directed us to do our best to process the few hundred submissions we received. In those days we printed out cfps on reams book of paper, we'd pass them around the muggy seattle office and write our reflections on the back pages in our best chicken scratch. Before the Black hat Submission system, our small group would email cfps to "guest reviewers but the bulk fell on the eyes of just a handful of people. We'd be in the office with papers strewn on the floor, put into rows and sorted piles that occupied the lions share of walking space.
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