So I was asked to speak at Partners in Business Information Technology Conference at Utah State University. I was honored to be the closing Keynote speaker. I had an amazing time and met some wonderful people. This trip was amazing.
On my flight out I was met by the Conference Coordinator, Brandon Layne. We hit it right off and had a grand time just riding in the car to-from Salt Lake City airport. Talking all kinds of IT stuff and geek culture. Went to dinner at a local’s place that had some good barbecue, and I crashed at the University Inn.
Sunday, I went and found Cafe Ibis in town, what an amazing place. The coffee was awesome and the atmosphere was great. Met some great people there asking about my stickers on my lappy 😉 and talked about hacking and NASA in general. Brandon came back and picked me up and we had another 1.5 hour trip to the airport to chat some more on geeky stuff. Picked up Pat and made our way back to Logan where I caught up with my friend Dr. Nicole Velazquez. We had lunch with her and then went back to her new place and hung out with her husband… we closed the evening watching The Matrix over good scotch.
Next day I got to speak on the local NPR affiliate Access Utah program with David Thaw on computer security. That was a great time and we got some fun phone calls to answer. The conversations were good and our host was awesome. After that, David and I went and visited the Utah University IT Sec Department and got to see some neat tools they use to monitor their network. We also had some good discussion about phishing and management. They gave me access to the tools, so I am gonna take a look at em when I get home. I then got to meet and hangout with my Student Host, Russ. He was a great guy and we had some awesome discussion about life, computers, tc.. We closed the day with a really nice dinner sponsored by the university and then Dave, Pat and I sat round my room talking about stuff.
Tuesday we had a fantastic time at the conference. The opening keynote was about 3D printing and well presented. Pat and David’s talks were both great and well received. At lunch we had a security panel and got to debate all sorts of interesting stuff, from Password vaults to what Students should do as they approach graduation to get into IT Security. I spent some time ‘judging’ some great business IT proposals and got to talk to some students who had really interesting ideas in the areas of business information management and even cloud-based authentication. At the end of the day, I got to give my ‘Hacking your Mind and Emotions’ talk. It’s one of my favorite and was well received by everyone there. To close the day, we had a thank-you dinner, and I got to sit with students and talk to them about security and life in general.
I am on the way home now and fondly remembering my experience. Utah was surprising in how amazingly nice everyone was and how much I enjoyed the discussions. I will always remember all the really cool people I got to meet: Brandon, Tim, Russ, Kristen and even Taylor who was the young lady at the hotel who told me where to get some really neat things to take back home ( I got cheese!! ).
My thanks to everyone at Utah State and the Business school for the wonderful time!