RailsConf 2011 Call For Proposals
11:59pm 02/17/2011 EST.
RailsConf 2011 will be held May 16-19, 2011 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD — and Ruby Central and O’Reilly Media are now accepting proposals for conference sessions and tutorials. Proposals are due at 11:59pm EST February 17, 2011.
Bring us your hardcore technical know-how!
Proposals should focus on helping attendees by teaching from experience. Any Rails-related topic can be proposed. We’re specifically looking for a large number of advanced-level proposals. With so many excellent books and online resources available, we think the RailsConf audience would benefit from a larger helping of hardcore technical topics, particularly around design or coding techniques, testing tools, and deployment techniques.
If you’re a:
- Rails hacker
- Web developer
- Rails system administrator
- or other interested, qualified practitioner with insights and stories you’d like to share with almost 2000 other Rails developers and IT professionals, tell us about it!
Most importantly, be sure to show code! The best presentations are the ones that focus on real examples.
Some specific areas we’d like to see represented are:
- Time-saving developer productivity tips, tricks, and tools
- Patterns and best practices for developing maintainable Rails applications
- Rails Internals
- Complex domain modeling
- Rails development case studies, including application rewrites and organizational bootstrapping
- Making Rails
- Heterogeneous systems integration
- Real-world deployment and scaling
- Making the most out of new Rails features
- Gem and Plugin highlights
- Extending Rails
- Migrating to Rails 3
- Dealing with legacy code
Please be clear about the experience and knowledge level of the audience that you are targeting: novice, intermediate, or expert. While the majority of the program will focus on intermediate- and expert-level content, we expect to include some introductory material as well.
Tips for writing a good proposal for a good talk
Help us understand why your presentation is the right one for RailsConf:
- Keep the audience in mind: they’re technical, professional, and already pretty smart
- Clearly identify the level of the talk: is it for beginners to the topic, or for gurus? What knowledge should people have when they come to the presentation?
- Give it a simple and straightforward title or name: fancy and clever titles or descriptions make it harder for people (committee and attendees) to figure out what you’re really talking about
- Limit the scope of the talk: in 50 minutes, you won’t be able to cover everything about Widget Framework X. Instead, pick a useful aspect, or a particular technique, or walk through a simple program
- Pages of code are unreadable: mere mortals can deal with code a line at a time. Sometimes three lines at a time. A full page of code can’t be read when it’s projected, and it can’t be comprehended by the audience
- Explain why people will want to attend: is the framework gaining traction? Is the app critical to modern systems? Will they learn how to deploy it, program it, or just what it is?
- Let us know in your proposal notes whether you can give all the talks you submitted proposals for
- Be authentic! Your peers need original presentation ideas that focus real-world scenarios, relevant examples, and knowledge transfer
- Include as much detail about the planned presentation as possible. The more we know about what you plan to present and why it matters, the better. The longer the talk you’re proposing, the more detail you should provide
- If you are proposing a panel, tell us who else would be on it
- If you feel this is something that hasn’t been covered at RailsConf before, let us know
- Be sure to let us know if you are going to have a release
- Keep it free of marketing and sales
- Context is important. If your presentation is about something truly ground-breaking, earth-shattering, and new, it will be helpful to the reviewers if you describe it in terms of things that attendees might already know of
- Warmed-over talks from some conference circuit are less likely to be appealing. The conference has a limited number of slots, and if attendees can see the same talk somewhere else, why should they come see you at this one? If you speak at a lot of events, be sure to note why this presentation is different
- Don’t assume that your company’s name buys you cred. If you’re talking about something important that you have specific knowledge of because of what your company does, spell that out in the description
- Present something relevant. If you’re presenting a new way to do something that others have been doing for a decade or more, you need an angle on it that’s fresh or an explanation for why it’s important now. The hot things are hot, the cold things are cold, but there are interesting problems in almost everything. One of your challenges as a proposer is to demonstrate that you understand that attendees might need an extra reason to pay attention to something that they might otherwise think of as “settled”
- Avoid taking a scatter-shot approach to proposals if you submit more than one or two. Be focused, have something important to say on a worthwhile topic, and sell the topic (not just yourself)
- Does your presentation have the participation of a woman, person of color, or member of another group often underrepresented at tech conferences? Diversity is one of the factors we seriously consider when reviewing proposals as we seek to broaden our speaker roster.
- If you’re a PR person, improve the proposal’s chances of being accepted by working closely with the presenter(s) to write a jargon-free proposal that contains clear value for attendees.
Here are some other resources that may help you write your proposal:
Please note that we’ll be reviewing and accepting proposals for RailsConf on a rolling basis starting in January. Notifications in regards to all proposal submissions will be sent by early March.
- Registration Opens – January 2011
- Call for Participation Closes – February 17, 2011
- All proposers notified – Early March 2011
Submit your proposal – Proposals are due February 17, 2011