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Update: Haroon's talk "Why ZaCon" at the con provides more of an overview. Including some aspects I didn't consider.
Our first South Africa fledgling unconference-like security conference, ZaCon, takes place this Saturday (21 Nov). Our intention was to have something which fits in the gap between corporate conferences like the ITWeb security summit and academic conferences like ISSA. The former is huge and can afford to bring over some of the big names, but also has plenty of "paid for" opinions and a sometimes less meaty content. The latter is peer-reviewed and requires more than a slide deck and a grin to present at, but also sometimes values theory over pragmatism and places a large burden on people already holding down a job.
And so ZaCon was born, a security conference both "for security geeks by security geeks" and open to new entrants to the industry. It's on a Saturday, on purpose, you don't get a free day off work. It's also non-aligned, giving speakers the freedom to say what they want, how they want, and also preventing us from having to push agendas in return for money, or people attending so they can be seen in the right places.
None of this is a middle finger to ITWeb, ISSA, vendors, security companies etc. It serves to outline what we felt was a need, and how we plan on meeting it. We will continue to contribute and support the other conferences, and most of us work for security companies anyway.
The CFP had a great response, we've managed to secure a killer venue (directions) thanks to the University of Johannesburg and their Academy for Information Technology, we're getting more coverage than we deserve from DiscussIT, should have full video/audio+slides to distribute afterwards and even have free wifi courtesy of IS AlwaysOn Hotspots.
All in all, apart from the expected teething problems, I'm expecting an awesome day of security geekery. If that interests you, then details are available at the site. Please remember to RSVP to rsvp-@-zacon-org-za if you'll be attending. If you can't make it, follow the zacon09 twitter feed (or #zacon hashtag) for coverage and I'll see if I can get a liveblog or two in. We're hoping to publish full Defcon-style video of each talk too.