J Wolfgang Goerlich's thoughts on Information Security
InfoWorld 2012 Technology Leadership Awards

By wolfgang. 25 June 2012 17:00

InfoWorld recognized my team's efforts this month with a Technology Leadership Award. This was largely based on the strides we have made since consolidating the application development team with my network operations team. You can view the piece here and on my press page.

I was not contacted for the piece and was rather surprised to see it come across in my news feeds. It is important to add a bit of context to the story, I think.

First, as with any overnight success, the story was years in the making. I met my firm's Director back in 1998 when I was a project manager at a VAR. It was clear then that they were years ahead of the competition. That advantage never waivered. Under the Director's guidance, the technology remained on the leading edge year after year. I joined the firm in 2005 and inherited a well-tuned infrastructure with excellent business and vendor relations. This award truly is the continuation of more than a decade of technological leadership.

Second, information systems is a team sport. I am fortunate to have a fantastic team with deep technical skills and broad business skills. The article talks about my role in leading the DevOps ("one team, one system") and private cloud ("not a cloud in the sky") initiatives. Both initiatives were developed with a great deal of input from the team. Both were executed successfully in large part due to the team's prowess. Frankly, leadership is not that hard when you are surrounded by awesome people.

I appreciate InfoWorld recognizing our efforts over the past two years. The Technology Leadership award is reflective of the people I work with. The award reflects their skills, passions, and commitment to the team's success. Here's to teamwork!

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Team management

BSides Detroit 12 by MiSec

By wolfgang. 4 June 2012 18:10

What a difference a year and a community make. I attended the first BSides Detroit last year and it was in stark contrast to Source Boston. I thought perhaps that was the nature of the local conferences. Then GrrCON opened my eyes to what was possible. I began to think of how we could raise the quality of BSides Detroit 12 to match events like Source and GrrCON. And I was invited to volunteer and ready to help organize the next event. Game on.

BSides Detroit 12 was every bit the event we set out to make it. 2 days, 2 tracks, 4 workshops, 32 speakers, all set to educate and engage some three hundred participants. The event was held in the GM Renaissance Center. We had climate controls, working audio/video, an evening reception, and we were every bit a full destination conference.

Being an organizer puts me in a tough spot. I typically write up a conference by calling out a few talks that I felt captured the gestalt of an event. How do I do that after spending six months podcasting with all the speakers? How do I feature some and leave others off, knowing each of the presenters as I do?

I tried a tack of thanking people who made this event. We had four organizers including myself, dozens of volunteers, sponsors, and many others who made this possible. My first few drafts resembled an Oscars Awards speech gone awry. While the tack does not work, the effort produced the real insight.

The #misec community is the main difference between last year and BSides Detroit 12. The podcast leading up to the event was organized by #misec regulars Chris J and Justin. Many of the talks were tested and tuned at #misec meet-ups. The three keynote speakers were all invites from #misec regulars, too, come to think of it. #misec led to some fantastic collaboration with GrrCON and BSides Chicago. And while some jokingly called this #misecon, we were out volunteering in force. This was our moment.

What difference does a community make? It makes for an event that is qualitatively and quantitatively better by any measure. It makes me awed and grateful for everyone's efforts. It also makes me very hopeful for the future.

Wolfgang


BSides Detroit 12 Event Coverage

Detroit Hackers Fly Under Radar. "After spending a little time at BSides, I’m thinking that, not only could Arne Duncan use Payne’s counsel, but there are probably a number of non-IT fields that could benefit from a hacker’s ethos and insight."

Bsides Detroit - the day after (part 1) and the day after (part 2) by Keith Dixon (Tazdrumm3r). "Over all, Bsides was incredible and the organizers should be proud of what they accomplished. I know, I’m definitely going next year and can’t wait!"

BSides Detroit 2012 Wrap Up by Matt Johnson (mwjcomputing). "I had the honor to organize the #misec dinner the Thursday night before BSides Detroit. ... I decided to volunteer this year. Being friends with a few of the organizers, I only felt like it was appropriate. After this weekend, I think I am insane." Note Matt also has a great group photo of #misec guys threatening to hug me.

Be Inspired By Local Cons by Elizabeth Martin. "Each and every opportunity I have to interact with the many walks of life in the InfoSec community I am inspired to do more, collaborate more, listen more, contribute more, help more, etc."

BSidesDetroit - ConBlu, first try at presenting, by Scott Thomas (Secureholio). "I loved the venue, it was well laid out, there was quite a bit to do in the conference center itself, as well as having the hotel right there. The different tracks in different rooms made it easy to have hallway-con, as well as two tracks, a teaching area, and a lock-pick village. I really loved the set-up and the Detroit team did a great job with putting it together."

BSides Detroit 12 Sponsors

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