Like many, I am counting the sleeps until Hacker Summer Camp happens this year in Vegas. I am more excited for this than my kids ever were for sleep away camp! Cons are where we reconnect with each other and do some major facetime irl. As someone special has told me, each year it becomes more about attending to see our people than to learn the things.
This year, I am volunteering at 3 events, speaking at 3 events, and trying to see all the events lol! (alas not Blackhat since I can’t pay my way there and am not a speaker). Most of all, I’ll be helping host an event for the second year. The Diana Initiative is a two day conference where we celebrate diversity, women in InfoSec, and help attendees pursue a career in information security and technology. The conference is all-inclusive, because we want everyone to learn to work better together. If you want to attend please do – be sure to register online because we won’t be able to accept walk-ins.
Our theme this year is “Hacker Family: Our Diversity Unifies Us” which resonates with me the more I get to know our community. I think of our hacker family dinners – because as many of us will attest, this community has become our family. Each of us brings something unique to the table, and when we share that knowledge and experience, there is a feast of learning and growth. I didn’t get here without some help and support along the way, and this is how I get to repay that and pay it forward. We build our future by nurturing and growing the next generation and those to come.
This year we have expanded our talks to two speaking tracks, featuring technical as well as non-technical so that our attendees can show all they know! The submissions were outstanding and I give huge congratulations to everyone – our list of talks is fantastic! Exploits, imposter syndrome, IoT, CFPs, python and cryptography to name some of the topics covered. Here is our Diana Initiative Schedule so you can see the list of talent.
But wait – there’s more. We are thrilled to announce we are featuring four incredible keynote speakers:
Thursday 9:45 am Shannon Morse @snubbs “Personal Branding as an Infosec Influencer – Building a Career from Scratch”. Shannon is Hak5’s host, producer and lead editor, and and actively promotes security and women in tech.
Thursday 5:00 pm Elizabeth Wharton @LawyerLiz “The Skirt Shoots, Scores and Soars”. Liz actively speaks on IoT, drone, and aviation cyber security issues, as well as hosting the Lawyer Liz podcast.
Friday 9:45 am Keirsten Brager @KeirstenBrager “Seconomics: How to Earn More Money and Influence in the Next 5 Years”. Keirsten is well respected as an author and speaker promoting strategies for success and helping to change the game.
Friday 6:00 pm Amanda Berlin @InfoSystir “Hackers, Hugs and Drugs – Mental Health in Infosec”. Amanda is well known for her involvement in the community, on the Braking Down Security podcast, and for her book with Lee Brotherston, “The Defensive Security Handbook”.
Support and goodwill from the community has been more than we could wish for. Huge thanks to Risky Business Podcast host Patrick Gray and sponsors Signal Sciences, Remediant and Bugcrowd who are hosting a special mentorship cocktail hour from 6-7 pm at Alexxa’s Bar @ Paris on the Las Vegas Strip Tuesday, August 7th. They have invited Diana Initiative attendees along with Risky Business listeners who identify as women; registration details are on the Diana Initiative registration form.
Once again, Lockpick Extreme has offered to host our Lockpick Village, which was a tremendous success last year. This year, they will also be offering a lock pinning workshop, which you must pre-register for on our online form.
We want to help attendees follow their passion for infosec and build their careers so we’ll be holding a Career Fair with resume workshops, mock interviews and the opportunity for professional headshots. Some of the most talented and experienced folks in infosec will be giving their time in individual sessions to help our attendees who have registered online.
And this is Summer Camp so yes, it will be all fun and games for a little while. We are hosting a Quiet Party on Thursday night and a Loud Party on Friday night, with board games, challenges and opportunities to meet people and talk about our diverse interests in a relaxed, comfortable setting.
It takes a village. I am moved beyond words by the support, encouragement and caring expressed by our volunteers and sponsors – this would not be happening without you. Each of you is making a real difference, and helping us to build something that goes far beyond a two-day event. That is why we chose the word “initiative” – to embody the spirit of a movement, and represent change and progress as ongoing. And I am honoured to be part of this dedicated, talented team who have put their whole hearts and countless hours into doing the multitude of things required to bring our event to life. We are here because we share a belief in what we do, and we answered a call to help make things better.
Let’s make this happen again! Can’t wait to see you in Vegas!