OK ... I'm not really going in person, but doesn't it count if I just watch the WWDC videos?
I really did go to a conference last week and you know what? it was pretty fun! I'm going to another one in three weeks (Viva Las Vegas Baby!). Look me up if you're there.
You must be asking ... WHY?
Last week I was invited to the GalaxZ16 (a customer community focused conference by local company Zenoss). The venue was right across the street from where we live in Austin. So I woke up early (for me) and walked across the street to catch the CEO talk and two keynotes. They were all pretty good. I especially liked Brian Kelly (Chief Security Officer at Rackspace). There is a lot of change in the IT space, especially as the proliferation of all things with IP addresses explodes (IoT). Fixed perimeters just won't cut it anymore. Security is misunderstood by most and Kelly (with the help of dozens of others) has published a free ebook that describes the problem (& solutions) in a high level format geared toward C-level executives and Board of Directors. It's worth a look and you can get it here.
A few of the notes I wrote down included:
- 5 million events recorded at customer. Only 28 deemed important to monitor. (Zenoss is a monitoring company)
- Better together. Zenoss believes in a best of breed partner ecosystem & customers forever.
- Cloud actually provides a way to INCREASE security.
- Despite challenges, security is the reason you will move to cloud.
- Complexity is the enemy of security.
- Take the appliances out behind the shed and shoot them.
- There is no perimeter with IoT like there is with hierarchical architecture.
- Going back to distributed model. SDN, SDP.
- All of this should move back to semiconductor from the appliance.
- Only 60,000 CISSPs exist (and gainfully employed). There are 50,000 additional openings.
- 92% of companies using cloud based services are happy using them and will expand cloud usage.
- Lack of Resources/Expertise is #1 Cloud Challenge. Security is #2.
- ... followed by Compliance, Managing Multiple Cloud Services, Cost, Private Cloud Complexity, Governance, Performance.
I liked the keynotes so much that I returned for a couple sessions in the afternoon and then met up with an old friend for happy hour. Learned a few new things, met a few new people, met some old friends and I have a new book to read. All in a space where I can learn more. Inspiration comes from the intersection of different spaces (and people) in new ways. I came away with a few things to think about.
In three weeks I'll make a brief appearance at Infocomm. This one will be more in the wheelhouse of what I've done for the past decade. I'll certainly see old friends. Will I see anything new? I'm optimistic, but I haven't heard about anything groundbreaking yet. But as I consider the next act, I need to see if there is something there. The gap year is over in 4 months so the search needs to start now to see what's next. Remember it's "Hell Yeah, or No". In the spirit of "Hell Yeah", I've told my wife to go ahead and book out 2017 as a hedge. I know she'll do an awesome job!
Conferences. They are one way to start to find the next thing. Fortunately you can access a lot of conference content through streaming, but you miss the human touch. That's missing a lot.
There are some wickedly weird conferences out there. A couple of my favs are SxSWi, WDS, PopTech, Entrepreneurs’ Un-Convention ... and of course my small conference in Breckenridge, CO this summer (email me if interested).