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History of the Pacific Hackers movement.

In late 2016, Rod Soto, the Co-Founder of the Pacific Hackers Association (PHA), brought the idea of a hands-on security meetup, "HackTheValley," where people can meet, learn, and share ideas. He then changed the name to "Pacific Hackers Meetup." The popularity struck the meetup, that he decided to create the "Pacific Hacker Conference." The first conference took place in 2018, and it was a success. For the second edition, he brought Marco Palacios, Co-Founder, and Vice-President of the Pacific Hackers Association, to help organize the event. The 2019 conference was even more successful than the first edition, and everything went well until the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the world. The 2020 and 2021 editions were canceled for obvious reasons, but this was not the end for the Pacific Hackers movement. They returned in 2022 during the pandemic, and to their surprise, the community stayed strong, continued following them and gain new followers.


After many years of helping people get jobs and providing accessible training, conference access, and workshops, a close friend suggested embarking on a new journey to reach out to broader audiences by creating a non-profit organization. Then on August 1, 2021 Rod and Marco took the challenge and launched the non-profit organization "Pacific Hackers Association." Pacific Hackers Association was part of the Dark Arts Village at RSA and won a Capture-The-Flag competition at DEFCON 30.


What is Pacific Hackers Association (PHA)?

Pacific Hackers Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps everyone, with a particular focus on Veterans and underserved communities. PHA provides support such as cyber-mentors, scholarships, training, conference access, exam vouchers, and workshops. The mission is to diversify the cyber security industry with creative and innovative programs designed to help people get the proper training and be placed in the security industry.


Pacific Hacker Association (PHA) Events.

Pacific Hackers Association wants to host more events that will enable individuals to expand the spectrum of conversation beyond the confines of traditional media and expand their careers. 


Events such as Pacific Hacker Meetup allow individuals to drive the event, shape the media, and, most importantly, encourage participation. These events are low-cost, community-organized events put on by local individuals with the expressed goal of enabling a platform for information dissemination. 


Pacific Hackers Conference is an 'unconference' that follows an 'open spaces' format. This varies from structured presentations to smaller break-out groups, but both provide a direct connection between the speakers and the audience. 


PHA facts 

  • Hundreds of people attended the meetup and conference

  • Always community-organized, volunteer-driven 

  • The focus is on expanding the spectrum of conversation 

  • Provides a voice to the next big thing 


Stay up to date! 

Information about past, current, and future Pacific Hackers events is available through | | |

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