Why DerbyCon Was a Success

By Michael Farnum ·

A new hacker con took place last weekend. It was called DerbyCon, and it was held in Louisville, Kentucky. As DerbyCon’s website states, this was not “just another security conference.” It was honestly the best hacker con I have ever attended. Here are some reasons why.

Reason 1 - Quality  The presentations were really really good. Yes, some of the talks had been given at Black Hat or DEF CON, but read the next reasons to see why this wasn’t a big deal.

Reasons 2 and 3 - Affordability and Accessibility  I will bet there were a bunch of people attending DerbyCon that couldn’t make it to Vegas for Black Hat or DEF CON because of cost, time, etc. DerbyCon took many of the best of the Black Hat and DEF CON talks, put them smack dab in the middle of the country, did it over a weekend, and made it more affordable.

Reason 4 – Organizers This was NOT a corporate con. Yes, there were sponsors (Accuvant was one of them). But, it was put together by people in the industry that have street cred and know what hacking is about. That attracted speakers with the same level of cred, which almost automatically meant a successful conference!

Reason 5 – Badges Who knew that something so simple could be so unbelievably awesome? That level of detail and thought into something so many take for granted just shows how much love and effort went into this show.

Reason 6 - Supporting a good cause DerbyCon raised more than $11,000 for Hackers for Charity. If you don’t know about this organization, please check it out.

I will most definitely be back next year. Thanks to everyone who put it together!