How many cons do you go to?

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    • #5265

      It looks like I’m going to be missing Defcon for the third year in a row (once again because of time/money constraints).

      How many conferences do you get to go to per year?

      I need to use vacation time and pay out of pocket to attend these. Does anyone have an employer who ships them out to these things?

      Which ones are your favorites?

    • #33387

      I’m fortunate to have a yearly budget of about 7k where I am so I have a choice, go to conferences or learn something new. I stopped the “cons” years ago when they were invaded by companies and lesser knowledgeable attendees. It used to be you went to learn, have fun, associate with friends, have a few beers, etc., now its “let’s go have beers and act like retards”

      *cons* to me can’t take the place of Usenix, LISA, Blackhat Briefings, Networkers. Sure they’re fun, but as I said, I have a choice, spend on something I can carry over with me in life (knowledge, experience) or spend on beers, parties. If I were 15 years younger, cons would be the move again however, from a professional standpoint, I’d pick LISA, Usenix any day

    • #33388

      I agree and disagree.  Most of the larger cons are whatever you make of them.  There is plenty of excellent content and you have two choices: 1) Drink until you’re stupid or 2) Attend talks, and then party some after hours.  If you look at the big “Cons” like BlackHat, Defcon, CanSec, SecTor, ShmooCon, Hope,  etc then most of them have pretty good content.  There is a whole set of additional conferences coming up which seems to have great content at a much lower price and that is the “B-Sides” movement.  They have done a number of them this year, most have been streamed over the net so you don’t have to “be there” but the people who are there seem to be more of the people who are into learning and social networking instead of folks who are looking for a great party. 

      All in all, I go to probably 3-5 a year some of which work pays for, some of which I pay for, but I try not to miss BH/Defcon/Bsides-Vegas and ShmooCon since they are both typically very educational and a lot of fun.

    • #33389

      I’ve never been to a con, though it would be fun to go.  I get reimbursed for training if it’s directly related to my work tasks, which isn’t that often.  Conventions would not fall under ‘training’ per se, again, unless it is directly related to upcoming projects or something like that.

      And I am also limited on time/money (money especially).

    • #33390

      I have been to DefCon last year and I am going back this year too! I pay everything from my own pocket, but I like the fact that these kind of conferences show you stuff you wouldn’t know about.

      To me, it is an holiday. I get to sit down for a few days and listen at lectures instead of reading, reading and reading. I don’t go there for beer or party (although a little beer is always refreshing in a desert!), I take them seriously and try to get the most out of each presentations.

      Conferences always slightly change my mind on some topics, so to me, pay yourself and go!!! ;D

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