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  • Volunteering For DEFCON 17

    I am interested in volunteering for DEFCON 17. Who do I need to contact ?
    GEOcoder

  • #2
    Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

    Originally posted by GeoCoder View Post
    I am interested in volunteering for DEFCON 17. Who do I need to contact ?
    It really depends on what type of volunteerism you're looking to do?

    Are you talking about DefCon itself, one of the many contests, some specific event?

    The devil's in the details....
    And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

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    • #3
      Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

      No matter what event, contest, or area you would like to volunteer, there are generally 4 components that describe the ideal candidate:

      1) Trust: Do people in charge of the section of interest trust you? Frequently, members of a DCG may host an event or contest, and they will know each other. This is only one example -- trust through direct experience.
      2) Reliable: This is really part of trust, as they would trust you to do what you say you will do.
      3) Appropriate Skill: Do you have a skill that is desired? Maybe you are good with hardware, or locks and can donate time at the Hardware Hacking Village, or the Lockpicking village.
      4) Social Compatibility: Will you bring drama or friction to the group and create more work?

      The best ways to get started are to see if your DCG or someone you know at Defcon who is established can vouch for you and comment on what you bring them.

      Another way is to see if there is interest in some new contest or event and request to run that contest or event. Then you can determine who you trust to not ruin your contest/event and how you accept volunteers.
      Last edited by TheCotMan; January 5th, 2009, 08:31.
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      • #4
        Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

        i don't trust myself.

        And I'm hardly reliable.

        Maybe I should fire myself?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

          Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
          Another way is to see if there is interest in some new contest or event and request to run that contest or event. Then you can determine who you trust to not ruin your contest/event and how you accept volunteers.
          Originally posted by LosT View Post
          i don't trust myself.

          And I'm hardly reliable.

          Maybe I should fire myself?
          Since you run your own contest, you always have that option, but I have a question:

          Do you reliably not trust yourself? ]:>

          Also, perhaps your skill and social availability are enough to compensate for your lack of self trust or reliability.

          Speaking of reliability... Pho?
          Heh-heh.

          Maybe reliability has a scope specific to the contest or event.
          Last edited by TheCotMan; January 17th, 2009, 12:59.
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          • #6
            Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

            Ya, saying 'I want to help at DEFCON' is a bit like saying 'I want to work at IBM'. Thats well and good, but specifically, what do you want to do? If I wanted to work at IBM as a network architect but ended up in the cafeteria, I'd be less than pleased. Is there a particular function or maybe event/contest that you have your eye on?

            I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

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            • #7
              Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

              Originally posted by noid View Post
              Ya, saying 'I want to help at DEFCON' is a bit like saying 'I want to work at IBM'. Thats well and good, but specifically, what do you want to do? If I wanted to work at IBM as a network architect but ended up in the cafeteria, I'd be less than pleased. Is there a particular function or maybe event/contest that you have your eye on?
              I hear the best job is to be in charge of, "Defcon Weights and Measures." Who is running that this year? Are applications being accepted?

              Also, it looks like this user hasn't logged back into the forums since they posted their question.
              tiny font: _. ___ _... ___ _.. _.__ .._ ... . ... __ ___ ._. ... . _._. ___ _.. . ._ _. _.__ __ ___ ._. .

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              • #8
                Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

                Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                Also, it looks like this user hasn't logged back into the forums since they posted their question.
                One must always take the required 22% DefCon flake factor into account.
                perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

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                • #9
                  Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

                  You could always list the jobs available.

                  First choice for me would be pre-con/post con technical setup and take down.
                  Teaching soldering at the hardware village.
                  Working the door or registration counter.
                  Hosting the TCP/IP drinking game.
                  Johnny on the spot, MIA speaker finder, keeping speakers sober..
                  Not beneath getting coffee, clean up..

                  Stuff like that.

                  Just trying to support the con. At least you know where to find me.

                  xor
                  Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

                    Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                    I hear the best job is to be in charge of, "Defcon Weights and Measures." Who is running that this year? Are applications being accepted?

                    Also, it looks like this user hasn't logged back into the forums since they posted their question.
                    I hear the easiest job is head vendor goon. It's well known that the other vendor goons do all the work and the head one just phones it in.

                    Originally posted by xor View Post
                    You could always list the jobs available.

                    First choice for me would be pre-con/post con technical setup and take down.
                    Teaching soldering at the hardware village.
                    Working the door or registration counter.
                    Hosting the TCP/IP drinking game.
                    Johnny on the spot, MIA speaker finder, keeping speakers sober..
                    Not beneath getting coffee, clean up..

                    Stuff like that.

                    Just trying to support the con. At least you know where to find me.

                    xor
                    I think the third post in this thread covers any "listing of jobs"... Specifically TheCotMan's first bullet point.

                    Have you talked to the people at the HHV about teaching soldering?
                    And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

                      Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
                      I hear the easiest job is head vendor goon. It's well known that the other vendor goons do all the work and the head one just phones it in.
                      Don't let the secret out man!
                      perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

                        Originally posted by xor View Post
                        You could always list the jobs available.
                        That would really be up to each person or people that are running something at Defcon. Because many of the items at Defcon are decentralized with separate leaders/organizers, it is difficult to provide such a list of available jobs. It is much easier to put the burden of finding which area to work, and then following up to become a volunteer on the volunteer. In addition to saving time and energy, it raises the bar for volunteers, and acts as a filter to help weed out people that lack the dedication that people running things would not want.

                        First choice for me would be pre-con/post con technical setup and take down.
                        Teaching soldering at the hardware village.
                        Working the door or registration counter.
                        Hosting the TCP/IP drinking game.
                        Johnny on the spot, MIA speaker finder, keeping speakers sober..
                        Not beneath getting coffee, clean up..

                        Stuff like that.

                        Just trying to support the con. At least you know where to find me.

                        xor
                        There was a plan from years ago partly as a joke and partly serious, where people willing to work at Defcon could sign up as "Monkey Butlers" and people with need for a Monkey Butler could then ask the Monkey Butler organizer for one. Kind of like a TempAgency or some-such. However, it never really took off.

                        It really is a difficult thing for both sides (people wanting to help and people looking for people to help.) When running a contest/event, you don't want to have secrets or answers from the contest to get leaked, and you don't want someone representing your contest/event (as a volunteer) which could get you kicked out of the hotel by association. (We've seen the hotel apply "guilt by association" before, this threat is real. You only have to be near trouble to risk being in a net that is cast very wide. Citation: Red Bull can.)

                        From what I have seen, most volunteers are accepted by organizers that have experience with the volunteers before being accepted. Maybe a few hours, or a few days, or maybe multiple Defcon. Additionally, volunteers did have to start somewhere, otherwise, Defcon wouldn't have been able to grow. So, someone had to make a decision to trust someone with little knowledge of the person.

                        The problem with volunteer selection is nearly identical to selection of someone to share a room with you in Las Vegas. Ideally, you would prefer to share it with someone you trust not to cause you trouble. How do you make a selection, and choose someone to be in your room while you are sleeping, and be with all your tech, clothes, wallet, and the things you brought with you to con?

                        People don't even need to volunteer in an official capacity to volunteer at Defcon. Heck, anyone could help someone in distress, or give directions to someone if they are lost. (Although, I don't think LoST needs any direction.) They could clean up a mess, or make themselves available in a space they want to volunteer, demonstrating they are willing to do anything asked of them.
                        Last edited by TheCotMan; January 18th, 2009, 10:28.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

                          Cot's comments remind me of the last Defcon. The swag & the badge pickup lines had merged. Being bit of a lone wolf and never liking to travel with the sheep; thought to myself that no way could the badge pickup line be as long as it was stretching around the hotel. So I got out of line and walked up to the counter and of course there were like 2 people waiting to get their badges. I offered to stand there and create 2 lines for the folks at Defcon after explaining to the counter folks what was going on. After their surprise at the line condition they just told me people would figure it out. Of course they never did. I helped some people out, their was a cute girl in crutches waiting for her badge who I informed of the situation and got her to the front of the line. After giving many men their a lecture about not being gentlemen. Just because it's Vegas & the 21st century does mean we don't have to have manners. Mom raised me better than that :-).

                          xor

                          I do admit I need to be more social next time. The first 2 Defcon's seemed overwhelming. The first one I wanted to do everything and quickly found out that was impossible. The second one I went the other way and just hung out in the Wireless Village. Though I did go to the TBBQ, and some of the parties. Hopefully 3rd time will be the trick and I'll be better able to balance technical desire with social interaction.

                          I actually like Shmoo for a good balance. I'm better one on one than in a group. Plus the coffee is better at Shmoocon(Starbucks) than at Defcon(though I haven't made it to Coffee Wars).

                          To answer Highwiz's question, you are right, no I haven't; see above comments. I think Thorn made those comments as well about socializing more, tech less. As painful(screams in agony, and channels Charleston Heston they can have my laptop when they pry it from my cold dead hands) as it mite be to leave the laptop in the hotel room. It also mite be good advice for newbies and the socially deprived.
                          Last edited by xor; January 18th, 2009, 10:14.
                          Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

                            "Will there be many monkey butlers?"

                            Yeah, try asking the HHV people something...(oh hey, wait that's me)- What was that about monkey butlers again?

                            Can I rant for just a bit here? It would also serve as a piece of advice for those wishing to help out with things:

                            1. Be sure you know what you are asking to do (see several posts above)-

                            2. Making suggestions is ok, but don't try to tell the people you are trying to help how to do what they are doing- it bugs me to no end when people say they want to help, and their version of helping is telling you how to change things. Weird Al once said that he's tired of people telling him what he should do parodies of. (on the flip side good suggestions are more than welcome and appreciated- I guess it comes down to attitude and manner of communicating- see Cot's posting above)-

                            3. Don't offer to help because you don't/can't/won't participate otherwise- this is advice to help you enjoy the conference- participate for a while before you help out, you may find that participation is much more fun than WORKING. I know lots of people who try to help but have never participated in anything...don't miss out on the fun of participation because you want to 'be a part of it' - those participating in things ARE the reason all of this happens in the first place...

                            Just thinking out loud...

                            1057

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                            • #15
                              Re: Volunteering For DEFCON 17

                              Originally posted by LosT View Post
                              [chop]
                              3. Don't offer to help because you don't/can't/won't participate otherwise- this is advice to help you enjoy the conference- participate for a while before you help out, you may find that participation is much more fun than WORKING. I know lots of people who try to help but have never participated in anything...don't miss out on the fun of participation because you want to 'be a part of it' - those participating in things ARE the reason all of this happens in the first place...
                              Let me draw attention to that line I set in bold again:
                              Originally posted by LosT View Post
                              you may find that participation is much more fun than WORKING.
                              This applies to me. I spend all year volunteering on the forums and elsewhere so that I can enjoy my time at Defcon. Do I put in many hours on the forums? Yep, but no different from the other mods. Additionally, some of the mods are goons and work at Defcon too. (Work-a-holics, All of you!) Me? I really enjoy having time to myself at Defcon, and not working. I can attend the Toxic BBQ and I don't need to get permission to go off-site. If someone I know at con is running a contest or event and wants to take off to go get lunch, I can choose to offer to watch their table while they are gone or not.

                              By not working at Defcon, I am free to do what I want when I want.

                              To additionally feed into what Lost and other people have stated, once you have been to Defcon a few times, you begin to realize that you've seen things that you enjoy. Certain talks repeat, and certain events repeat. Eventually, you may arrive at a point where you have seen a large part of what you've wanted to see at Defcon, and the number of talks you want to see shrinks. You find that your experience puts you in a position where you could be an asset and volunteering provides you with a totally new experience and way to spend your defcon, fully understanding what opportunities you are forfeiting.

                              Volunteering is great! It can be fun! If you have a strong drive, ambition, and passion in the area you want to volunteer, that excitement will attract other people that are excited and interested. This may allow you to meet other people that have interests similar to you.

                              However, volunteering in the scope and area warned by Lost and others above can be problematic. Volunteering to make a name for yourself, or have some sort of title associated with your name, and having no passion, dedication, or drive will be seen, transparently by many as a self-serving, selfish action, and may lead to being judged in that way. (This has happened in at least one contest in the past, where the volunteer promoted themselves, their sponsors, and the value they brought to Defcon more than the people in the contest, the techniques they used, and the contributions made by members. It is no longer at Defcon.)

                              Know why you are looking to volunteer. Volunteering with a purpose to make things better can make you a gem in the eyes of your peers. Volunteering for self-interest can put you and your intentions in the spotlight with unfavorable results.
                              Last edited by TheCotMan; January 18th, 2009, 12:37.
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