My five days of being a Con-Troller and trainee at Nullcon 2020

Priyam Singh
7 min readMar 20, 2020

!!!!!! Here we begin the journey of 5 days of an international NULLCON conference and training. How it begins, how it went on, how it ended on fabulous note…!!!! I think that you guys are excited as I am-

So beginning from the day I got the confirmation mail for being a volunteer of NULLCON 2020 on 29th Jan- “Hello Con-Trollers!! Congratulations for having grabbed your job as a Nullcon 2020 Con-Trollers!!”. Reading it I was on cloud nine. This time a new word for volunteers is Con-Trollers. Yeah, this word gives more responsibility, power, and affinity itself.

Before coming to Nullcon there was a scheduled meeting on hangouts where we were instructed about our duties by Hitesh Madhwani and Belinda Choong. Nullcon ensures that everything just goes flawlessly.

So, the preparation went on gradually for Nullcon 2020 and days came closer.

I saw the tweets of Sushil Singh and few others from Bharti Airtel who went to Goa from Gurgaon riding on a bullet which really shocked everyone and just created more excitement and enthusiasm.

And then that day came and I also landed at the Dabolim airport on 3rd March at 8 am. I just opened the phone and saw that I have got the Nullcon training pass for “Attacking and Auditing Docker Containers and Kubernetes Clusters — Abhisek Datta ” because I had applied for a free training pass. It was time to just control my happiness and reach the training center. So I booked a cab using GoaMiles and reached Chances Resort near Vainguinim Beach where the training was going to be organized.

Nullcon Training

I registered, collected my I-card and Swag T-shirt by Nullcon and entered the room full of learning vibes. Here I saw my trainer Abhisek Datta who gave me the instructions, resources in USB as I was a little late. On the first day of training, we covered the docker portion and then the next day we covered the Kubernetes and on the third day we covered the auditing part of both docker and Kubernetes in the first half and then played CTF. Everyone enjoyed the CTF and many of them were also awarded Swag T-shirts from Appsecco. The three days went really interesting, great learning and networking people, and having lunch together. Then on the last day, I came to know that among all corporates I was the only student. I felt so confident and fortunate to get this opportunity. Before leaving I collected my training certificate.

So, the last day I got over after training I ran to the Taj Hotel to collect my Con-Trollers T-shirts from Hitesh Madhwani which I had to wear the next day. Hitesh was very busy with the arrangement of the conference as he is one of the pillars of the conference management. There I also met Riyaz Walikar from Appsecco. I was just standing beside him. He said you are my student attending my class. I said no; I attended Abhisek Datta’s class. Then Shruthi Kamath introduced me that she is one who grabbed the last pass of training. He also gave me a Swag T-shirt from Appsecco. He was like how you have not got it. I smiled and was happy with my first interaction.

Day 1 Nullcon Conference

As I got the job of the host, I was just getting ready with all the schedules, the announcements, and other information, I was constantly getting up from Belinda Choong and Kirti Bhatia.

So finally I reached the Taj Hotel and Convention at 7:30 am in the yellow fanboy T-shirt. I was a little nervous but full of excitement. Then I met the enthusiastic Con-Trollers team which was ready to constantly work behind the scenes.

There were also precautionary hygiene measures taken by Nullcon because of the Coronavirus outbreak; they provided us with hand sanitizers and masks.

My first half slot was free so I attended the workshop — “Learn by Doing DevSecOps on AWS using Cloud-Native Services” by Akash Mahajan and Sunesh Govindaraj. As I have an interest in DevSecOps it was really useful for me. And in this workshop I first time saw Akash Mahajan, an inspiration for many.

Then in the break, I caught up with Nikhil Mittal from Payatu as I had to host the awaited event HackerHelp — “Find your mentor or be a mentor”. Nikhil is one with a dynamic personality. He was the moderator of the panel and due to his help, the whole event went very smoothly. Various queries were answered from the audience as well as online questions too were answered. Everyone enjoyed the HackerHelp session a lot. And later on, he also gave me a Hacker Help Swag T-shirt.

After Hackerhelp I hosted the session Hacker Q&A by Laurie Mercer and Nathaniel Wakelum. An outstanding event the people can’t stop themselves from laughing as the discussion was wonderful.

Then I also visited the most interesting room of Nullcon — The Darkroom: A place for anyone to refresh.

Then we gathered in Assembleia 2 for the closing note of Nullcon Conference Day 1.

After the conference I and all my new friends went to the beach which was just two minutes of walking distance and the sunset scene was just one of the breathtaking beauty.

Nullcon Networking Party

We had a post-conference party after day 1 at Cidade Goa Lawn — Here everyone enjoyed to the fullest, had dance, networking, and some of the best drinks.

I met my friends, the other Con-Trollers. Then we had some food there. I met Vandana Verma, a great leader. Then I met the Appsecco team and got introduced to the whole team. After that, we all danced together and enjoyed ourselves a lot. I even had the opportunity to have a conversation with Akash Mahajan walking along the beach.

One of the other most attractive things about the night party was the way Aseem Jakhar and Antriksh Shah dressed up which attracted everyone to take selfies with them.

The whole environment was filled with joy, happiness, songs, conversations with new friends and a lot more. In one word it was just marvelous.

A glance at some more moments of #Nullcon

Day 2 Nullcon Conference

Here comes again a new day, full of energy even after late-night sleep because of the outstanding Nullcon party. On the second day, I had a little busy schedule but the enthusiasm was on a high note catching up with first day friends and interaction with some new people.

So I began with hosting the CXO track in Assembleia 2 — firstly- Supply Chain Security in Critical Infrastructure Systems(Moderator — Cristofaro Mune) after that- Economics of Data breach and Attacks(Moderator — Bhaskar Medhi). All went well with a huge crowd and great learning. After this, we moved for lunch which was so well arranged and delicious.

After lunch, there was again a cool and awaited session that is- Hacker Horror stories. Yeahh..!! the whole room was occupied to every inch. Those who missed I think it’s their bad. From the audience also we got stories; I remember Riyaz Walikar’s story, none could stop themselves from laughing. The whole session was just remarkable.

In parallel to this there were many interesting activities organized by Nullcon like CTF’s and resume clinic handled by Sandeep Singh and many more research-driven technical talks, hands-on training sessions, exhibition and participation in diverse events that were exhilarating and people enjoyed.

After this, I got free time so I again visited the Darkroom to play VR games where I went the first day- the most amusing place of Nullcon- for this you had to find the way on your own. The whole setup was arranged by Ankit, Pratul and a few other people. There was also a board full of CD’s to comment about your experience at Nullcon. In the room, there were Star Wars statue’s kept matching with the vibes of the room.

So now comes the time for the closing keynote from Antriksh Shah, award distribution for the various activities held and Null global meet for new plans and a better community.

Here is the end of a successful event even though coronavirus can’t stop it from becoming successful — #NULLCON 2020.

*** Thank you for reading***

Your feedback is most welcome and do share your experience of NULLCON 2020