How to attend CPX

How To Attend CPX

Once again I attended CPX and came away euphoric.  WHY? Because I finally figured out how to attend CPX.

Attending CPX is like going to your doctor with some weird symptoms and not asking questions. You assume the person in the white coat knows it all and will magically figure out all your illnesses, give you the blue pills and go home. Of course you will go home and continue to be sick and you will blame it on the doctor.

CheckPoint is based in Israel whose educational culture is based on the British system of schooling. You sit and listen and absorb the great knowledge handed down to you….and don’t ask questions. At CPX, if you choose to just sit and impassively listen to sales lectures you should not come. The presentations are mostly sanitized standardized sales rah-rahs you hear from your local reps so you can get the slides at home.

That’s what I did at CPX 2011 and I was  disappointed. But you know what? This year I figured out it was my fault and not CheckPoint’s. Their culture is different.  They really want to be helpful and share information but they lean heavily on the Internal to External rule. They have a subtle stealth rule probably because Israel is only 26 miles wide and could be crushed in a day and so security is huge in the Israeli psyche. Also the language barrier makes it harder for some of the techies to carry on a dialogue in a public venue so they may be shy or nervous. But they really do want to share, keep that in mind.

The meat of the conference is the tech labs, and 1-on-1’s. This is where you will get your monies worth and much much more. And this is how….

This is the CPX secret sauce I learned from a good friend. Before you go to CPX survey your customers, peers, etc  about the issues they are having.  At the bar, at lunch, in the elevator, smoking a cig, ask people “Hi hows it going? Where are you from? What do you do? Hey do you see these problems too?? Do you have similar issues? HEY! Do you want to go get some answers???” With this list and your posse’ you go on an attack. CP has a 1-on-1 booth staffed by two lovely people that will setup interviews to answer your questions. Unfortunately they might not really know who to direct you to, but they will get you started.  If you can’t schedule a 1-1, then in the hallway just ask CP people “Who knows about XXXX and where is SO AND SO” and they will hunt them down for you.

Once you get a 1-on-1 you start asking your questions not once but 5 times to as many people you can. Why? Because the first 4 people probably don’t know but want to be helpful. Ask each CP person “Who would know the REAL answer???”, and then go hunt them down.  Even in the hallway or bar if you run into a CP person ask them your list of questions and who would know the right answer. After a while you will get the name of a person that will appear several times. THAT”s the person that knows the answer!!!!

Feel free to vent frustration but make sure you remain positive and constructive.  They really want to know where the problems are. Try to get details on HOW the system works so you can help them fix the problem knowing system internals. Ask them what can YOU do to make their job easier…. Like running test cases, setting problem up in VMware, prioritizing new functionality, baking them a cake. Whatever. Makes good dialogue.

The results are amazing and so much worth your time. You will find you will be building relationships with really good people that have personal commitments to their company, their cool technology and their nation…..and more importantly resolving your issues. You can get the inside unsanitized scoop on what’s coming down the pike. I even was able to vent a bit about their licensing (sorry about that Ofer), and come away feeling refreshed and euphoric. We even had some sessions where we just laughed ourselves silly like schoolgirls.

You obviously will need to put yourself out there but after the first couple sessions it almost becomes a hunting game. Remember YOU have to choose to pursue how much you want to get out of CPX. If you choose NOT to actively pursue truth and justice, then stay home. Leaves more time for me to get answers at my sessions.

So we are signing up for 2013 CPX in Washington DC April 24-26 (I think).  Anyone that wants to be in the Dreez posse’ let me know!

CHOOSE your CPX future.

Dreez

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Comments

  • Yuri  On November 30, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Nice blog with good potential , the pun on Israel Isreal goes unappreciated though …
    Yuri

    • dreezman  On November 30, 2012 at 5:43 am

      Oh geez, if I offended I beg for forgiveness. I’m not sure what part offended as pun, but open to hearing my mistakes. My main goal was to point out that there is a big gap (culture, language, personalities, intellectual), and it is the attendees responsibility to take initiative to close that gap. And if you do, you will be greatly rewarded with some great friendships which I enjoy today.

      Thanks for your feedback and pointing out my mistakes.
      dreez

    • dreezman  On December 2, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      If Dreez could spell, I bet more people would read his log. Sorry…corrected.

  • cheap polo ralph lauren  On March 30, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I needed to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly loved every
    bit of it. I’ve got you book marked to look at new things you post…

Trackbacks

  • By 2013 CPX Questions | DreezSecurityBlog on March 8, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    […] I’m heading out to 2013 CPX in DC this year again. If you ever read my posts from 2012 How to Attend CPX  and CPX review, the conference is mostly rah-rah but the true value is getting to The […]

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blog.lachmann.org

Michael Endrizzi's - St. Paul MN - CheckPoint blog on topics related to Check Point products and security in general.

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