Jeff's Open Road


    Code Trip


    Las Vegas, NV



“It’s tough, but you need to be a generalist and you need to be a specialist—you need to be able to see the big picture so that you don’t put all of your energy into last year’s technology.”


Engineering Technology


Hard Work Hobbies & Pastimes Risk Success Fulfillment Inspiration Experience Perseverance Transitions Exploration Passion Education Conflict Culture Individualism Talent


Working with Others


advice, being involved, career, combining interests, commercial, commitment, competition, compromise, computer science, creative, cyber security, different direction, empowerment, excitement, hacking, helping others, jobs, qualifications, resume, time


  • He was a criminal justice major in college who always wanted to become an FBI agent and catch “bad guys.”
  • Unfortunately, when he graduated, the federal agencies weren’t hiring anyone, so he decided to focus on his other interest: computers.
  • Simultaneously, the internet boom started taking off, and he was hired by Ernst & Young as an information security consultant.
  • While at Ernst & Young, he started the DEF CON and Black Hat conferences as a side project; at that point, computer security was still considered a hobby to a small community of people.
  • He’s since completed 23 DEF CONs, and the culture has completely changed—now the whole world is watching and interested in security.
  • Says that around DEF CON 3, the conference got too big for him to see everything; now he has to network and ask people, “What’d you experience?”
  • He praises the “freewheeling and fun” atmosphere still found within the hacking community; advises road-trippers to network and collaborate with fellow hackers to build new technology.
  • Says that the ever-changing tech landscape ensures his job security, but also keeps him on his toes trying to keep up; he has to be careful to avoid burnout.

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