Last week I had the pleasure if attending NDC {London} again as a speaker. The NDC conferences are such an amazing experience and they are run by the awesome people at programutvikling. This is my 2nd time speaking at NDC {London} and like last year where I spoke about Cryptography, I was keeping the security theme going by talking at Social Engineering and Human Hacking.  I was fortunate enough to spend the entire in London for this conference, which included the 2 workshop days before  the main conference.

The reason I wanted to attend the workshop days is because I would like to plan a workshop, so I wanted to sit in part of one to see how they are run. Troy Hunt was kind enough to let me sit in his Hack Yourself First Workshop. I learnt a lot here, not only about security, but the mechanics of running a workshop, including the introduction, pacing, slides, and style etc. This was very useful and I am now ready to plan a workshop of my own.

Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017
Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017

During the first 2 days in London I got to spend a little downtime walking around London with Lars Klint. This was quite relaxing as we caught a train to Tower Gateway and then walked from the Tower of London down the Southbank, through Trafalgar Square and around other parts of London. We easily did 18km that day. My feet were killing me, but was great fun. It was the first time Lars had been to these areas, and for me, I hadn’t walked around those parts of London since I was a kid.

Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017
Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017

After the first few days in London, It was time for the conference to start. NDC {London} is a 3 day conference consisting of speakers from all over the world, talking on a very diverse range of subjects from modern software development practices, through to personal development talks.

For me it was a great way to catch up with old friends, as there were over 25 Pluralsight authors speaking at the conference, so these conferences are a great way to catch up with people. Apart from meeting up with old friends, these conferences are a great way to meet new people, both speakers and attendees alike. Every time I go to a conference I end up extending my circle of incredibly smart and intelligent people. This is definitely one of the plus points apart from the great content.

Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017
Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017

NDC is a great place to see both experienced speakers and new speakers a like. In fact NDC London is the first conference I every spoke at last year, so it will always hold a special place for me as it really kick started my speaking career, so I am very grateful to them for giving me the chance. This even allowed me the opportunity to speak at NDC Oslo last year which was an amazing experience. Oslo is a fantastic city, and getting to speak in a huge arena was pretty awesome.

Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017
Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017

Apart from my own talk, I saw loads of great speakers myself. The hardest part of a conference is deciding who to see. At any one time, there will be at least 2 or 3 people speaking at the same time that I want to see. These are tough decisions, but at least the talks are filmed so I can go back and watch the others later.

A big deciding factor on who I see is whether I want to try and learn from that speakers presentation style. This is as important to me as the talks themselves.  Notable speakers for me were Troy Hunt, Lars Klint, Bill Wagner, Louise Elliot and Mark Rendall.

Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017
Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017

My talk on Hacking Humans, Social Engineering and How to Protect Your Self From It, was on the Thursday afternoon. I had a full room of around 70 people which was nice and the audience seemed very receptive to the talk. This was a brand new talk for me, so it was the first time I had done it, but I was happy with the result and the audience seemed to enjoy it. Whilst the talk tried to convey a very serious message, I also wanted to try and make it light hearted and funny in places. Trying to use humour is always a tough act, as you can easily over do it, but the audience seemed to laugh in the right places, so that was good. After the talk I had a lot of people come up to ask questions, and also at the conference party I had people asking me about social engineering, which is a great sign as it means it clearly struck a chord with people.

My other main commitment at NDC London was to record a live Play by Play Pluralsight course in front of a film crew. I have already blogged about this, but the experience was fantastic as it is something I have never done. I was quite nervous going into it, but once I had seen what was involved I was more relaxed and I think the result will be great. This course should be out in the next few months once all the footage has been edited down.

Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017
Stephen Haunts at NDC {London} 2017

I would definitely say my week at NDC {London} has been a great success. I met loads of cool people, caught up with old friends and learnt lots from some fantastic talks. I am also very grateful for my company Buying Butler allowing me to attend these conferences on work time. Whilst I was there I was representing our company and spreading the work about what we do. I very much hope to return to NDC London and also NDC Oslo this year. Fingers Crossed….

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