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Syscan 2012 was an amazing adventure and technically stimulating. Not only were the presentations top-notch but the people were friendly and the food was great. Syscan is not a large conference by most standards (about 150-200 people), but provides a more intimate atmosphere that I personally enjoy more. The attendees get to interact with the speakers and the speakers get to interact with the attendees, creating a more open atmosphere for dialog about various topics. 

 

With all the bickering and FUD in computer security today it’s easy to completely remove yourself from the conference circuit. Syscan reminds me why I started attending conferences in the first place. Obviously content is the most important, but the ability to enjoy oneself and meet new interesting people comes in at a close second (some might say first). Getting to talk to, what I consider, some of the top researchers in the field is motivating to say the least. While we all work on similar projects, we also compete in certain ways. Motivation is easily generated by seeing new research and discussing potential projects.

 

This great atmosphere doesn’t happen by accident. Thomas Lim and crew ensure that everything goes right. Thomas is not only a friend, but grand facilitator and runs one of the best conferences on the planet. He and his staff realize that providing interesting topics is only part of the battle. As a conference organizer, you need to ensure that people are interacting, which is what these conferences are all about. It is all too easy to post to Twitter and send out emails to the Daily Dave without having to meet people, but the real challenge is communicating in real life (editor’s note: nerds!).  Thomas is always active ensuring that people are having a good time, giving introductions and keeping the conference going at a steady pace throughout the day. Great job everyone!

 

This was the second Syscan at which I talked, and had even more fun than the first time around. I’d just like to thank Thomas and all the organizers for having me and I hope to have new material to speak on next year. I’d highly recommend attending to anyone who wants to have an adventure while getting immersed in the most cutting edge security research available today.

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