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GOTO Chicago 2020 is coming up in just a few weeks, so I’m featuring some of the wonderful lineup of speakers that I’ll hopefully get to meet in person. Today, I’m happy to bring you Avdi Grimm, a Ruby developer and professional paired programmer who will be giving a talk on programming and philosophy (I love these kind of talks).

In this interview, Avdi shares some of his thoughts on how code is used as a model for life and the benefits he’s seen from 10 years of public speaking.

In preparation for GOTO Chicago 2020, I am talking to some of the conference’s speakers about how they got into speaking and what their advice is for new speakers. This week, I’m featuring my interview with Denise Yu, a Senior Software Engineer at GitHub who has found speaking to be a great springboard for her career in tech.

Like many speakers I’ve talked to over the past year, Denise comes from a nontraditional background, and is deeply passionate about helping other speakers get their starts. She also included some great recommendations for other speakers to watch, so be sure to look for that section towards the end.

This year, I’ll be attending GOTO Chicago, so leading up to the event, I wanted to highlight some of the speakers who will be presenting. I was really excited to hear from Bruce Lawson because HTML is such a core piece of technology for the web, but so many of us take it for granted. As a member of the W3C’s HTML5.3 specification team and writer on the topic, I knew Bruce would make for an interesting speaker to feature here.

Read on to hear about Bruce’s wide-ranging experience from music to acting to accessibility, and some of his tips for new speakers.

I launched CFP Land Pro back in 2019. After gathering feedback from hundreds of technology conference speakers, I realized that like me, many of them struggled to find and keep up with which CFPs were available and which ones they had applied to. Additionally, I wanted to find a way to make sure CFP Land was self-sustaining, so CFP Land Pro was born.

If you’re considering a Pro Membership, read on to learn more about everything that’s included. Don’t hesitate to email me if you have questions about how CFP Land can help you be a more successful speaker.

Last year, I heard about a new conference called Developer First specifically for technology leaders. There are not a ton of conferences that focus on the people and leadership side of technology, so I was really excited to apply, and even more honored to be selected for their first year. I also wanted to get to know the conference’s organizer a little better, so I reached out to Kate Wardin about doing an interview for CFP Land.

Kate strikes me as one of those people who is a natural leader, but like many speakers, she started off terrified of getting up in front of an audience. Read on to hear her speaker’s story and her tips for new speakers.

I really enjoy getting to meet speakers all over the world. There’s something unifying about knowing that technologists from every corner of the globe can meet together to offer their tips and thoughts to others, and Vincenzo mentioned a similar appreciation in his interview here. As a speaker, he’s gotten to travel across the world to give talks on a variety of topics. Vincenzo’s approach to coming up with new talk ideas is also really interesting.

As I’ve been getting into speaking, I’ve been keeping an eye out for interesting podcasts on the topic, and Tanay’s was one of the many good ones I found. Every episode, he interviews someone working in Developer Relations or who speaks or organizes conferences to learn from them and help pass on their knowledge. It’s a lot like the interviews I do here on CFP Land!

So, I’m very excited to bring you Tanay’s speaker story today. His experience moving from casual speaker, to professional Developer Advocate is a great example of how speaking at tech conferences can truly change the course of your career. He was also kind enough to include a link to his first conference talk ever so you can see how far he’s come.

If you’re not happy and fulfilled in your work, you should try to change it, and that’s exactly how Nicolas Fränkel started his career as a Developer Advocate. While many tech conference speakers do it for their own personal development, some are specifically hired to speak, travel, and be a face for the community. That’s what Nicolas does now, but like all speakers, it’s taken a journey to get there. In today’s Speaker Story, we hear how Nicolas got started as well as some of his tips for new conference speakers.

Itai Yaffe has seen a lot of changes in technology in his career. His first experience public speaking was talking about mainframes with a group of soldiers, and now he speaks regularly about cutting edge technology used in big data applications. Itai is in a great spot to speak on these topics too - his employer Nielsen has some truly large-scale data needs, which I imagine make for some interesting engineering problems.

That said, the parts about speaking he enjoys most are the conversations and opportunities to learn from others. Read on to hear more about how Itai got into speaking and some of his tips for people considering giving their first talk.

I first saw Anjuan speak at The Lead Dev in Austin, TX. I really love when technology speakers draw parallels to events and characters outside of our industry, so his talk on leadership lessons learned through the underground railroad was right up my alley. Anjuan is a prolific and talented speaker who’s spoken at over 50 conferences across the world, so I’m very excited to bring his story to you here today. In this interview, Anjuan outlines some of the topics he’s passionate about and lessons he’s learned on his speaker’s journey.

Never Miss a CFP Again

If you're a tech conference speaker, this newsletter is for you. Get upcoming conference calls for proposals delivered to your inbox every week.