1 December 2018

The Summercon 2019 CFP is now officially open!

You can submit your proposals here but if you submit before Jan 15th, you can be eligible for a 2019 Summercon Grant. The grants are for $10,000 up front with the only condition being that you must present your research at Summercon in June 2019.

When making a submission, make sure under the "Is this submission for a 2019 grant?" section to select the option "Grant Eligible." The deadline for submission is Jan 15, 2019.


1 December 2018

We are delighted to announce the Summercon 2019 Speaker Selection Committee, chaired by Summercon alumnus Collin Mulliner. Collin has been a part of the Summercon family for years, and has presented on our stage three times (2012, 2013, 2015). He has been chairing the speaker selection process since Summercon 2018.

The full committee is:

  • Collin Mulliner, Chair
  • Nicole Becher
  • Sophia D'Antoine
  • Zach Lanier
  • Quiessence Phillips

Learn more about the people who make Summercon happen on the contact page.


1 December 2018

With the opening of the Summercon 2019 CFP, we thought we'd provide a few friendly tips for what we think makes a great Summercon presentation. These seven points represent the kinds of things that we are evaluating when we look at CFP proposals.

  1. Technical
  2. While we occasionally incorporate talks of a non-technical nature, almost every presentation that shows up at Summercon is deeply technical. They're not sales pitches, and they're not about righting social wrongs. So if you're planning on submitting a talk about why people should buy your company's particular security snake oil, or why your company has the best culture (and you can too!), consider carefully that we're not that kind of conference. Try somewhere else.
  3. Novel
  4. From time to time, in the interest of getting important content in front of the best audience in the world, we let people present something they've already shown at events of lesser stature. But we prefer totally new presentations instead of rehashed talks. New content has a better chance of getting shown on the Summercon stage.
  5. Irreverant
  6. While the presentations are technical, the way that successful presentations get their point across is through non-traditional means. This is not the place to read slides. One memorable presentation used an Android-shaped pinata as a prop. Another invited participation through an AA-meeting style format. The sky's the limit ( within the limits of our code of conduct, of course).
  7. Revels in the Journey
  8. If you like talking about the trials and tribulations of research, we are all ears. Even though your final results may be super polished and look effortless, everyone knows you had at least three major setbacks and went down two totally worthless paths before you arrived at a good solution. Share those. People love that, especially our speaker selection committee.
  9. Sticks it to The Man
  10. Despite all the sponsorships, corporate attendance, and more buttoned-up nature of Summercon (see our Code of Conduct, which is totally reasonable, by the way), we are still, at heart, a hacker conference. Challenge authority. Show you're not a patsy for The Man.
  11. Engages the Audience
  12. Summercon speakers are a special breed, because Summercon attendees are a special breed. Prepare to have people call out your mistakes, heckle if you're less than prepared, and generally push your buttons. But successful presentations channel this misplaced audience enthusiasm. We still fondly recall a choose-your-own-adventure presentation, where randomly selected audience members got to dictate the direction of the talk. Engage your audience, and they won't turn on you. (This can be good life advice, too.)
  13. Fits into the Allocated Time
  14. We cannot overstate this: fill the time, generally 45 minutes of speaking with 10 minutes of Q&A. Our speaker selection committee has been around the block, so if you're going to try to pretend that a six hour seminar fits into 55 minutes of speaking slot, it's probably not going to get selected.


18 November 2018

As promised at Summercon 2018, there is a totally new, totally exciting CFP process for Summercon. In the past, we've had no CFP, instead, electing to use our considerable contact lists to curate the best and brightest of information security and bring them to you. But we've had this gnawing feeling that we've been missing out on other really great content. So here we are, going back to a formal CFP.

Maybe you have an idea for something that you'd like to talk about, but you don't know if you've got what it takes to do it at Summercon. We've got a whole group of past speakers in the Summercon Alumni Network, who can help you work on your proposal, craft your talk to the unique needs of the Summercon audience, and practice your delivery.


22 June 2018

Our No CFP, where we curate the speakers without a general public plea for speakers, has served a valuable purpose, and we loved doing it. Through the relationships we already have, we have brought in some of the best speakers in the world. People who, for whatever reason, wouldn't have participated in a Summercon CFP in the past.

But times change. It's not enough to rely on our personal contact lists to find a full bench of speakers. We plan on using Summercon Alumni Network to help out. After 31 years of this chaos, it is a powerful vehicle for finding new and exciting research.

So watch this space. Summercon 2018 is the last year we'll be doing a No CFP. We'll be announcing changes soon about the speaker selection process. Exciting things are coming for 2019!