RSA Europe 2012 has come to an end. It will be a memorable conference because I got the chance to be part of a panel debating whether users should be given infosec awareness training or not. It was an enjoyable experience and I can update my profile to say I’ve spoken at RSA – does it get any cooler than that? Well, only if you’re Josh Corman, who seemed to be part of every other talk at RSA. Despite this, I didn’t get a chance to see any of his talks – how lame is that?
Well, that’s the life of an analyst. It’s the seedy underbelly of the analyst lifestyle that you don’t get to see behind the glitz and glamour. Well, there’s a reason analysts and members of the press get free passes to a lot of conferences, and I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that it isn’t to see all the talks. That’s not to say I didn’t get to see any talks – I went to the keynotes which were very well executed if a bit wrong on content. James Lyne gave an always entertaining and informative presentation while Brian Honan showed people how to hack senior management. I’m sure I saw other talks too – but after 3 days of buzzing around, speaking to a myriad of different people, everything ends up being a bit of a blur – if only there was some way to intelligently analyse all the big data in my cloudy memory.
Buzzword bingo aside – it’s great being able to speak with some people far more intelligent than myself (which is nearly everyone) and just bounce ideas around, get a better understanding and broaden your horizons.
Like any conference when it ends you half mixed feelings of relief that it’s over and you can get back to ‘normal’ life, where a part of you doesn’t want to say goodbye to all your friends who’ve come in from far and wide who’ve joined you on the roller coaster ride. The best thing though was that once it was all over I didn’t have to pack no bags or catch a flight, but rather simply got on my motorbike and rode home. Which got me thinking about the pros and cons of attending a conference in your hometown.
The biggest pro would have to be that you get to sleep in your own bed every night.
The con would have to be that you don’t get to discover a new city with strange people you met off twitter just because they claim they are a security person.
I guess the jury is still out on that one.