First Timer's Guide to Hacker Summer Camp 2024

New to Hacker Summer Camp? This guide helps first-timers navigate events like Black Hat USA, DEF CON, BSidesLV, and The Diana Initiative in Las Vegas.

TL;DR - New to Hacker Summer Camp? This guide helps first-timers navigate major events like Black Hat USA, DEF CON, BSidesLV, and The Diana Initiative. Get tips on planning, scheduling, and maximizing your experience in Las Vegas.

Attending Hacker Summer Camp for the first time can be both exciting and overwhelming. With a multitude of events like Black Hat USA, DEF CON, BSidesLV, and The Diana Initiative, it’s essential to plan ahead to make the most of your experience. This guide provides insights and tips for first-time attendees, helping you navigate the major events, optimize your schedule, and get the most out of your time in Las Vegas.

Major Events at Hacker Summer Camp 2024

Black Hat USA

Black Hat USA is renowned for its high-profile keynotes and in-depth workshops. As a first-timer, prioritize attending keynote sessions where industry leaders discuss the latest trends and challenges in cybersecurity. The workshops offer hands-on experience, allowing you to dive deep into specific topics. Networking opportunities abound, with plenty of chances to meet professionals and vendors.


DEF CON is a hacker's paradise, featuring a variety of villages, talks, and Capture The Flag (CTF) competitions. Villages such as Lockpicking and AI provide specialized hands-on experiences. Attend talks to gain insights into the latest cybersecurity issues and participate in CTF competitions to test and showcase your skills. DEF CON is also a fantastic place to network with peers and industry experts.


BSidesLV offers a more intimate setting compared to Black Hat and DEF CON. SkyTalks, a unique feature of BSidesLV, presents off-the-record, candid sessions that provide deep insights into cybersecurity. The workshops are interactive, focusing on practical skills. Engage with the community and take advantage of networking opportunities to connect with fellow attendees and experts.

The Diana Initiative

The Diana Initiative focuses on promoting diversity and inclusion within the cybersecurity field. Attend inspirational keynotes and practical workshops designed to empower underrepresented groups. This event offers a supportive environment for building connections with like-minded professionals and advancing your career.

Hacker Summer Camp Happy Hour

Preparing for Hacker Summer Camp

Research the Events

Visit the official websites of each event to familiarize yourself with the schedules and session descriptions. Identify sessions and workshops that align with your interests and goals. This preparation will help you make informed decisions about which events to attend.

Plan Your Schedule

Use the official event apps or websites to create a personalized schedule. While it’s important to prioritize must-attend sessions, remain flexible to accommodate spontaneous opportunities. Allow time for networking and exploring vendor booths.

Book Accommodations and Travel

Reserve your hotel early to secure a convenient location. Staying at a venue hotel can save travel time and provide additional networking opportunities. Plan your travel to arrive a day early to acclimate and settle in before the events begin.

Tips for First-Time Attendees

Navigating the Venues

Familiarize yourself with the venue layouts to avoid getting lost. Arrive early to sessions to secure good seating and take advantage of quieter times to explore vendor booths.

Essential Items to Bring

Pack comfortable clothing and shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Bring a backpack with essentials like a notebook, pens, water bottle, and business cards for networking.

Maximizing Networking Opportunities

Engage with speakers and attendees during and after sessions. Attend social events and mixers to build connections. Don’t be shy about introducing yourself and starting conversations.

Attending Hacker Summer Camp for the first time can be an enriching experience if you prepare well. Plan your schedule, engage actively in sessions and workshops, and make the most of networking opportunities. With the right approach, you’ll gain valuable knowledge, skills, and connections.


Q: What should I prioritize at Hacker Summer Camp?
A: Focus on keynotes, hands-on workshops, and networking opportunities. These offer the most value in terms of learning and professional growth.
Q: How do I navigate between different events?
A: Use event apps and maps provided by the organizers. Plan your routes and allow extra time for transitions.
Q: What’s the best way to network at these events?
A: Attend social events, participate in discussions during sessions, and don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to speakers and fellow attendees.
Q: What should I pack for the trip?
A: Comfortable clothing, a backpack with essentials, business cards, and a water bottle are must-haves.
Q: How can I get the most out of workshops?
A: Engage actively, ask questions, and participate in hands-on activities. Take notes and follow up with speakers if you have further questions.

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