This was a wonderful opportunity to talk to some fascinating people; people tasked with helping us create the future talent of our industry.

It was also the fourth talk at the fourth conference of the week, so things were getting a little weird. Regardless, I always enjoy this and I’m having fun!

About the 2019 New Directions in IT Education Conference

This is an annual conference attended by “educators and industry experts”, sponsored by the Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence.

According to the conference website:

Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence, invites industry professionals, employers, and Minnesota State faculty members to convene at our annual free IT conference that takes place in May.  Explore emerging employer needs, identify specific implications for student learning outcomes, and map out actions that individual faculty and departments can implement, and identify comprehensive innovations to be developed collaboratively.

A really cool opportunity to speak and collaborate! I was here for two reasons:

  1. Deliver a keynote talk
  2. Participate on a panel of experts

I was with some experts, but I’ll apply that word loosely to myself. The full conference schedule is here.

Keynote Plan A

If you know me, you know that I wing it a lot. This makes me very hard to manage, and it can get frustrating for people who work with me. It’s just how I roll.

I prepared my talk for this conference four (maybe five) days ahead of time. That’s crazy good for me! My talk was/is titled “Seven Facts About Unicorns”. I put a lot of work into the presentation and I was excited to give the talk (at the time I wrote it).

Keynote Plan B

There wouldn’t be a need for Plan B if I had just stuck with Plan A, but what fun would that be? Driving on the way to the venue, I changed my mind. I didn’t want to talk about unicorns anymore. I even said to myself in the truck, “Seriously Evan?! Don’t do it.” Thankfully, I was 45 minutes ahead of schedule, so I pulled off at a local coffee shop to create a new presentation.

Some people (I/me) never learn.

I grabbed a cup of coffee, tore my laptop out of my bag, and begin pounding away on the keyboard. What would I talk about though? Hmm. Got it! I will cover the first 38 of 100 truths about information security. I started the #100DaysofTruth series 38 days ago, at the time of the talk (at the time of this writing, I’m on day 50). I felt like hitting some hard truth with the educators in the audience. So, that’s what I did. The title of Plan B was “38 of the 100 Truths About Information Security”.

Whipped the slides together, and away we went!

The talk went extremely well. The audience was engaged, and there were some great questions afterwards. We’ll save the unicorn talk for another day. 😉

Here’s a copy of the presentation if you want to look at it or use it.

Want to see the Seven Facts About Unicorns talk? What’s it worth to you? Just kidding, here it is. I still might deliver this talk someday.

Panel of Experts

This was cool! I just got to sit there and answer questions. Not all the questions, but only the ones where the other two panelists didn’t answer. I suppose I also added a few things here and there to their answers, but the other panelists were dead on I think. You know how you have to add something once in a while to make people think 1) you’re still paying attention and 2) you’re smart and stuff? I did some of that.

It was an honor to sit on the panel with Ryan Manship from RedTeam Security and Sahar Ismail from Legacy Armour

Overall, it was an awesome conference and a great way to end a crazy week.