If you are in the world of computer security then there is a pretty good chance that you know what time of year it is. Yes, around this time every year is when the conferences start up. And in the world of computer security there are several different types of conferences that happen around the same time. There are very large security conferences, those of which bring people from around the world to visit. There are some conferences which are very formal compared to the loose attire that is usually encouraged at computer security conferences. And there are also very small computer security conferences happening. Conferences like these are more of a tight knit community of people who are very good at what they do.
The one thing that all of these different types of security conferences have in common is that they are a great place to socialize and they will all have interesting talks for you to listen to. The ability to socialize is very important (I wish I wasn’t a chronic introvert) when it comes to this community. For a lot of the people who are in the community, they were considered the outcast when they were younger and really had no-one to talk to (some things never change). Conferences like this bring these types of people together so that they can see that there are thousands of people with whom they can relate to.
The other part of the equation in which all of these conferences have in common, that they all have interesting talks for you to listen to, is very important as well. Talks like these can lead you to gaining very important information that you might have missed or simply just did not know about. While all of you might be in the overall field of computer security, you probably have a lot of different segments of computer security when it comes to the people who attend these talks.
If you want to be well rounded in the field of computer security then you must attend talks of people who are outside your field of expertise. For example, if you are in the field of reverse engineering win32 applications, then you might not be interested in hearing a talk on how to dissect a TCP network packet. But that should not be your mind state. You should go want to hear something that is new and useful and related in a parallel way to your field. For example, you might have to dissect an application that gets it information from over the internet. This means that you would have to be able to decipher the TCP/UDP packets it receives. If you ever have to do that, then attending that talk that you did not want to go to would have been very helpful.
And there are some people who do not want to attend certain talks because they feel as if they are already an expert in the field. What more could they possibly learn about it? There is still a lot that you can learn about it. A lot of the time, speakers will hold their interesting findings until it is time for their talk. That way they will have something that is interesting to talk about while they are on stage. If you do not attend because you feel as if you are too good for the talk then you will miss out on something amazing. You should never go to these conferences with the feeling that you already know everything (I always come away feeling I know nothing!). You are sure to be proven wrong.