Jared Williams profile picture

Jared Williams

Software Engineer I

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Over the three short days I spent in the Nevada desert, I had the chance to learn about everything from PLC hacking, to which Vegas buffet is best, and I’m sure I missed a lot in between. So, with DEF CON 26 in the books, I’ve taken the chance to reflect on three ways to make the most of DEF CON 27.

  1. Don’t get distracted

DEF CON runs on the inviting Vegas Strip, surrounded by a thousand attractions, all vying for attention. However, if you can put those distractions aside for seven hours each day, you will benefit from what DEF CON has to offer. Next year I will be sure to save getting lost in Casino malls and browsing buffets to sometime after DEF CON has closed for the night and leave myself more time to soak up what DEF CON has to teach.

  1. Make time to go to talks

With myriad villages, workshops, and vendors at DEF CON, it’s hard to make time to go to talks. Nevertheless, these 30 to 60-minute talks were some of the most interesting times I spent in Las Vegas. For this reason, next year, I plan to schedule my activities around the talks. This way, I can be sure I don’t miss any talks, and can still visit the other events that last all day.

  1. Focus on one village

Packet hacking, Lockpicking, Social Engineering, Vote Hacking, whatever a hacker might want, DEF CON has a village for it. This year I spent the weekend seeing them all, but I wish I hadn’t. Each village has a lot to teach, but only if you spend the time to learn it. As such, next year I want to spend my time focusing on just one, or possibly two villages that interest me most.

DEF CON 26 was a whirlwind of lessons and a great way to spend a weekend, but I know there is much that I missed. I hope that with these few guidelines in place, I will stay focused, hear every talk I want, improve my hacking skills and make the most of DEF CON 27.