A long time ago, in a retail store far, far away, I booked 3 days off work so I could do the annual InfoSecurity/BSidesLondon thing.
Then, far more recently, my parents dropped the bombshell that they were coming to stay at the same time (they live in the Outer Rim and don’t come back to Blighty very often).
On no thought I, my plans are scuppered.
But, good on them, they offered to take on the kid-watching duties and so, on Tuesday, I was able to endure the arduous experience of tubing it into Coruscant for another dose of cyber.
This year was to be different though.
There’s this guy I know. He’s passionate about security, lives it, dreams about where it may take him one day. But he’d never been to a conference/meet-up before.
He took some persuading (he lives a fair way out from London) but I finally got him to commit. And I’m glad I did.
I arrived at Olympia early (other commitments didn’t quite go to plan) but that was ok because I’d already decided that stand D260 was my number one priority.
After polishing my hands on the shiniest head in town and saying hello to Shan ‘secwaza’ Lee and Jenny ‘damn I missed your keynote’ Radcliffe I made my way to the Sophos booth to meet the Naked Security team.
It was good to see Chester who I’ve met before, and better still to finally meet our most excellent editor-in-chief Anna Brading, along with Mr Podcast himself, Paul Ducklin.
After a quick chat and the gift of a t-shirt so big I could fit in it twice (was that a hint Anna?), it was time to meet up with Stuart.
After much confusion over location I finally found him upstairs with his son.
Our initial conversation was so good (did I mention he has a huge passion for infosec?) that time slipped by at an alarming rate, meaning we failed to get into the one talk of the day that none of us wanted to miss – sorry Jen, sorry Stuart.
But hey, every cloud… and so we went in search of some of the big guns so I could fulfill my promise of introducing Stuart to the coolest, smartest, nicest people I know in this amazing industry.
And of course it just wouldn’t have been right to start with anyone but Mr Honan, a man I owe more than a few debts to. Still being a relative newbie myself, it was also an opportunity for me to put some names and shaken hands to Twitter handles and emails, and so it was a pleasure to finally meet Anthony M Freed, Thomas Fox-Brewster and Joe Pettit.
Winding our way downstairs, we bagged some schwag and then listened intently to the irrepressible Thom Langford as he talked about monkeys (more on that in another post coming later today) and testicles.
After butting in on an in-flow Javvad Malik, Stuart, his son, and I, went outside to catch up with Sarah Clarke.
Strangely, as we strolled toward the exit, I happened to mention to Stuart that there was one particular person I really would like him to meet and, lo and behold, there he was – Raj Samani.
Too bad he was on the phone.
Anyways, we finally caught up with Sarah and grabbed drinks and some rather delightful muffins in the press office. I managed a quick hello with John Leyden (I’m really looking forward to reading your article today dude) and I yet again spied Mirko Zorz (HelpNetSecurity) across the room (I’m going to get to say hello one of these days, surely?)
After much more chatting with Sarah and, later, with Raj, it was time for Stuart to go (you will be back, right? You will speak to to the young lady you didn’t get to meet re: next month, right?)
Sarah and I then caught up with Jen Jenny who I’m sure I was meant to be interviewing but didn’t (not a word ladies!) as well as Richard De Vere (more on him later) and others before heading off home/to local hotels.
On the way out there was a quick hello with Dan Raywood and a first hello with SC Magazine’s Doug Drinkwater (if I remember correctly he has a big day coming up soon – congrats!) and then a diversion to the Eskenzi chill out party.
Sarah and I didn’t hang around for long but we did catch up with the ever-ebullient Cindy Valladares and I think I made poor Iva Kousseva feel uncomfortable over an email faux pas.
Signal failures aside (the journey home took the best part of 3 hours) it was a great day.
Stuart’s a top man with a bright future.
I caught up with old friends, met several new people and thoroughly loved every conversation I got involved in.
And my daughter is now the coolest Jedi in town.