The annual RSA conference in March is generally considered the largest vendor-centric security conference for technology professionals of the year. In an effort to show its understanding of those who have been afflicted by the recession, RSA is giving away 25 free attendance slots to the event held at San Francisco's Moscone Center to unemployed security professionals who have attended the conference in the past.
It's a great opportunity to network with peers, reconnect with old contacts and catch up on trends in security for 2010 and beyond.
"In the United States, 9.4 percent of the population is currently without a job -- with California being hit particularly hard at a rising 12.3 percent. Some of the most intelligent minds in the information security industry have found themselves among those without work," Sandra Toms LaPedis, area vice president and general manager for RSA Conference, said in a statement. "Security practitioners who have lost their jobs during these tough economic times remain valuable assets to this industry, so we're giving them an opportunity to attend the conference to stay abreast of the latest security threats and newest security innovations."
RSA is calling this a "scholarship" and has some requirements that you should know about (if you're thinking of trying to attain the free attendance). Here are the criteria:
"Must be an information security professional (practitioner, security architect or similar role);Must have attended the 2008 or 2009 RSA Conference as a full conference delegate;Complete a 1000-character explanation [of] "Why attending RSA Conference is valuable to me"; andComplete a 750-character biography to verify their role as security practitioners"
The deadline is Friday, Feb. 5, 2010, at 5 p.m. PST, and the 25 people will be chosen on Monday, Feb. 8. More info can be found here.