This past weekend, May 13-15, the 2016 HackMiami Conference was held. This was the fourth time for this annual conference. Been to every one and this was my second time speaking.
A change for this year is they have a new venue: Miami Beach Deauville Beach Resort. They had some problems with the past location, so hopefully there were no issues this year and they will be back there next year.
John McAfee returned as the first day's keynote. While I think everyone knows he is running for President, this was not a political speech, but more of a philosophical one. While some was a repeat of what he said last year, he had some interesting things to say, and there was a brief Q&A afterwards.
This year's general theme was a return to the start of the hacker/cracker culture. There were several good talks this year.
As in the past, Friday they had several all-day training sessions. The Conference kicked off on Saturday with 2 tracks of speakers. They also had a large room with a "capture the flag" game, along with a "lockpick village" and some other things going on. They had a few sponsors with tables, but not too many (not as many as past years). Sunday had one track. None of the extra stuff was going on that day. There was a party Saturday, but wasn't there. Maybe others can post about it in the comments.
I heard attendance was great. They ran out of badges, which is a good thing (more people showing up then expected). Love to know how many registered, as well as how many came from outside the tricounty area, as well as outside of Florida.
I spoke on Security Certifications. This was an update of a presentation I gave 2 years ago to the South Florida ISSA chapter. I looked at how certs work (prep, testings, maintaining, etc), the main 5 groups with security certs (CompTIA, ISC(2), ISACA, EC-Council and SANS) and some of the smaller groups with certs (PMI, CSA, DRI, Offensive, etc). I spent some time on which ones people should look to pursue. I had a good number in attendance, so I hope everyone got out of it what they were looking for. There are some points I didn't go into, and would like feedback if people think these should be included in the future should I do this one again. Do people want more info on the application process you need to do for some certs (ISC(2) and ISACA require these)? Do people want more info on how you maintain certs with maintenance fees and CPEs? Let me know in the comments below.
Where there issues? A few, which I hope are resolved for future conferences. On the conference side, I was disappointed that the XL t-shirts were gone by the time I got there. (hopefully I can get one when they order more). I heard a lot of little guys got XL t-shirts. Hey, if you can wear L, wear L. Leave the XLs to those of us who can't wear L. I also recommended they do better advertising, with postcards or fliers at least starting with ITPalooza in December.
On the hotel side, the issues I had was things like parking. I did self-park, and was directed to the reception desk to get the ticket, but when I got there, was directed outside. What a waste of time! There were no signs in the lobby to direct me to where the conference was. And the A/C conked out so the rooms were a little hot. I hope the hotel does better on these next year.
Next time it will be their 5th Conference. I hope they will work on doing something special. (hear some talk already about one idea, but won't share at this point). I expect this will be again in May of 2017. Hopefully sometime this Fall they will have the actual date. Look forward to it. I have ideas for 2-3 talks I plan on for 2017. I may offer 1 or 2 of them for next year's conference.