Who Should Attend

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Some people see the title “Hacker Con” and instantly think “That is not for me”, if that is you, before you switch off and move away, have a quick read of the rest of this post before you make your decision and it will hopefully help you to change your mind.

First, let’s define “Hacker”. The common definition of a hacker used by the media is of a criminal who breaks into computer systems to steal data or do damage however the original definition is a long way from this. Our definition of a hacker is someone who thinks outside the box and comes up with ways to get things or systems to do things they were not designed to do or to give them an advantage others would not look for. Shoppers who work out how to stack supermarket coupons in specific ways to get massive discounts are hackers. Drivers who work out the pattern of traffic light changes and are able to use it to shave time off their morning commute are hackers. The office worker who writes a macro to automate a job and reduce work time from hours to minutes is a hacker. All these people are looking at systems and finding ways to make the more efficient or to get more out of them than they were originally designed to give. If you do things like this, or would like to know how to, then you are a hacker.

Now, about the actual event, some things we are:

  • Family friendly – We have a kids track and cater for all ages from 6 upwards. It is amazing how having a bunch of kids in the venue reduces egos and softens the atmosphere.
  • Beginner friendly – As long as you are interested in learning new things, you will get something out of the event. Some bits will be advanced, some will be basic, some will be in the middle. Our speakers are also attendees so are usually around for the full day. If you want to know more about something you saw in a talk, find the speaker and ask them. They present because they want to pass on knowledge and often once you get them started on their specialist subject you can’t shut them up again.
  • Relaxed – We run the event to have fun and our aim is for everyone else to have the same amount of fun as we do.
  • Inclusive – Everyone is welcome, whoever, whatever, you are, come along. We are a very mixed community and as long as you abide by the “don’t be a jerk” mantra, you’ll fit in fine.
  • Approachable – Our crew are always available to help with any questions, problems, or issues you have and if they can’t help, they know how to call in people who can.

Some things we aren’t:

  • Hardcore techie – There will be some talks that are, but definitely not all of them.
  • Offensive tech only – We try to get a balance between offence, defence, management, human, and anything else that gets submitted that sounds interesting.
  • All about the talks – Yes, the talks are the main part of the event, but around the talks we have plenty of other stuff going on such as playing with model trains and battling mini robots. We also have award winning ice cream at lunch.

So, if you are still undecided, ask yourself, do you have an interest in learning fun new things in a relaxed, friendly community. If you do, then give us a try. The worse case, if you do come along and decide it really isn’t for you, then Sheffield is a great city with loads of other things to do including good food, art galleries and museums, plenty of shopping, and loads of green spaces, so you can always slip out and find other ways to enjoy your weekend.