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.

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.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

As companies recognize the need for accessible software on the web, conference speakers like Adrián are finding more opportunities to spread the word. After speaking at local several meetups, Adrián started applying to conferences and has now been a speaker at 4 international gatherings. One of my favorite parts about speaking is the same as Adrián’s: meeting people from around the world.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

It’s no surprise that many tech conference speakers are also involved or helping organize local meetup groups. My guest this week - JC Hiatt - actually runs three of them, and this year he organized his first conference. In addition, JC works as a software engineer and is on track to speak at several conferences in the upcoming year. JC has some great tips for speakers - from both an organizer’s and speaker’s perspective.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

At 23 years old, most software developers are just happy landing their first job, but for Tae’lur, that wasn’t enough. A self-taught developer and technical writer, Tae’lur has used her gift for breaking down complex topics to inspire and teach other aspiring developers across the world. Just two years ago, she was working at a minimum wage fast-food job, and now she’s been accepted to speak at 8 tech conferences about topics ranging from her journey to VR development in React. Not many stories out there are as inspiring at Tae’lur’s, so read on and hear what she’s learned along the way.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Many technical leads that I’ve spoken to don’t realize how much knowledge they have that others do not. It’s easy when you spend every day working with caching in Ruby, for example, to forget that most devs never get the chance to do what you do. Like Molly, many speakers realize that their unique knowledge is worth sharing, and start getting on stage. In this interview, we talked about Molly’s journey and some of her advice for new speakers.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

I find that a lot of speakers are passionate about the topics they espouse, but not many have as important a topic as Eva PenzeyMoog. I had never thought about the role technology plays in domestic violence until hearing about Eva’s work, and Eva has made it her mission to make sure everyone knows about this problem. Her journey into public speaking grew out of her desire to improve the world around her and promote “designing for inclusive safety,” so I hope you’ll be inspired by her story and get involved in something you’re passionate about as well.

Note: If you want to support Eva’s work, she has a Patreon page which will help her speak at more conferences and events.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

I love reading stories about speakers who went from sweaty, nervous messes to confident, capable speakers, and Rizwan’s is one such story. Of course, transformations like this don’t happen overnight, so don’t worry if speaking takes time and doesn’t come naturally to you. As Rizwan shows, sticking with it, and improving over time can help anyone get on stage.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Like many speakers I’ve interviewed, Mike Miles understands that working in technology is about much more than just writing code. While he has done plenty of that, Mike started speaking to raise his confidence and force himself to learn something new. Now, in addition to speaking at dozens of conferences, Mike hosts a podcast called Developing Up, which covers a wide range of non-technical topics for software developers. We spoke about some of the advantages of public speaking for your career on the show, but in this interview, Mike goes into some of his tips and the opportunities that speaking has afforded him as well.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

While Bailey has been practicing public speaking her whole life, she was drawn to speak at tech conferences after seeing so many design and development teams struggle to put their message online. One thing I love about speaking is getting to attend conferences and hear other talks - especially from subject-matter experts who are truly passionate about their craft. Bailey is one of those passionate people, and I’m excited to bring you her story here today.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Like many technology professionals, Gant Laborde didn’t instantly take to speaking. It took time, hard work, and lots of practice for Gant to get comfortable in front of a crowd, but fortunately he stuck with it. He’s now spoken at over 50 conferences, and made himself an integral part of the tech conference community. Keep reading to learn more about how Gant got started, what he recommends for new speakers, and some of the influencers that inspired him to continue his journey.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Tejas Kumar has dealt with haemophilia his whole life, but despite his disease preventing him from completing a traditional computer science education, he’s used his self-taught knowledge and communication skills to achieve success as a developer. Now, as a tech conference speaker, he’s giving back to other developers by passing on what he knows. Looking through Tejas’ social profiles, you’ll see that he doesn’t take himself too seriously, but his informal, casual tone is part of what makes him a unique and interesting speaker.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

I was fortunate enough to meet Matt in real life at Midwest PHP, 2019 as he was giving one of the keynotes there. I think our first conversation was awkward nods in the hotel gym way too early before the conference, but once that was over, we got to talk throughout the conference.

In addition to speaking, Matt is an active open source maintainer, and has been giving back to the PHP community in various ways for the past several years. He also speaks on behalf of OSMI - a great organization that helps raise awareness of mental health issues in the tech community - so I’m excited to present his journey into speaking and tips for those who are new to it.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

I find the most interesting people are those who are passionate and devoted to a cause. Drishti is both of those things. Besides being a computer engineer and speaker, Drishti runs a non-profit in India that has already impacted 10 cities, and gotten Drishti attention in her state.

While this would be impressive enough, Drishti also uses her talent for public speaking to inspire and help others learn more about technology - something that many speakers can likely identify with. I’m thrilled to bring you Drishti’s story today, and hope it inspires you to get out and do some good in the world!

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Kara Luton’s path from ballerina to public relations to software engineer may be unusual, but with more software developers coming from non-traditional backgrounds, it’s not as surprising as it used to be. What’s impressive to me is how quickly Kara has embraced her new career and been able to help others by giving talks at conferences and meetups. As Kara points out in this week’s Speaker’s Story, speaking is a great way to bolster your career and encourage others in the field.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

As a freelance developer, it can be hard to justify the time and energy required to speak at conferences, but for George Mandis, the experience is well worth it. Like many speakers, George is an experienced software developer who’s passionate about mentoring and teaching newcomers to the field. In this week’s interview, hear more about how speaking at over 20 conferences so far has helped take George’s career to the next level.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

This week, I interviewed Rhia Dixon, a relatively new conference speaker who’s been accepted to speak at 6 conferences in her first year on the stage! While new to speaking at conferences, Rhia obviously has a gift for communication, and sometimes beginners are actually the best people to take advice from. Read on to hear Rhia’s fresh approach to tech conference speaking and some of the fantastic women in tech who have inspired her.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Like many conference speakers, John got his start speaking at local meetups. Over time, he got more comfortable in front of a crowd, and has now spoken at over 20 technology conferences on a variety of topics. Now it’s become part of the way he helps his company, Comcast, make an impact on the technology community.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Jaime and I shared the stage once at The Lead Dev, and since then I’ve gotten to know Jaime a bit more on Twitter and by following his podcast, More Than Just Code. Jaime has spoken at a lot of conferences, but like many of us, he’s applied at an order of magnitude more. Read on to learn more about his process and some of his suggestions for new speakers.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Jason’s story is very similar to my own when it comes to speaking, but he’s been at it quite a bit longer. Now, he’s built a name for himself in the Ruby community as one of the top people in testing, and has spoken internationally at events of all sizes. I’ve dealt with the problem of testing legacy systems before, so I enjoyed Jason’s talk on the issue. Read on to learn more about Jason’s experience and advice for fellow speakers.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Keanan Koppenhaver and I met through the Chicago PHP Usergroup last year, and since we’ve been fortunate enough to share the stage at Midwest PHP, and share a meal in the airport on the way home. Speaking is always a good chance to meet other people, but it’s also a fast way to learn new skills. I’ve seen several of Keanan’s talks including one about Alexa and another about serverless functions in PHP. Keanan also has an entrepreneurial spirit, which I appreciate, so it was great to learn more about his experience speaking.

CFP Land Data Sources & Sharing

UpdatesDataWebsite

Last week, I added a couple new sources that more than tripled the number of conference CFPs listed on our site. Unfortunately, I made an assumption that any publicly available API would be okay to integrate with, and one of the new sources got a little bothered about my cross-posting their listings. In order to increase transparency, I’m going to show you where I get all the data for this site, and outline my policy on sharing this data.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

I was probably a year into speaking at conferences before I heard about “developer relations” (also called “DevRel”). It’s a relatively new field that blends software development and marketing, so many conference speakers get into DevRel (and vice-versa). This week’s featured speaker, Alex Lakatos runs a great newsletter for developer relations professionals called Developer Avocados 🥑 Weekly. In addition to that, he has a fantastic story about how he accidentally fell into speaking, so read on to learn more about Alex and his tips for technical speakers.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Joe and I are both from Chicago, so we’ve known each other for a few years. One thing I really admire about Joe is his eagerness to help new developers find their way in our industry. While we didn’t talk about it in this interview, he runs Chicago Apprenticeships, a site dedicated to helping bootcamp graduates find their first development job.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

After being reluctant (and admittedly nervous) to get on stage as a speaker, Nicola was finally convinced that her experience was worth sharing. Her story is inspiring, because as Nicola points out, there aren’t a ton of speakers like her (Australian, female designers) out there.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Like many people who get into public speaking, Chris Holland has a strong drive to help other engineers perform at their best. When I first met Chris, he was speaking on application security at a regional PHP conference. One thing that comes across here (and if you meet Chris in person) is his passion for helping other engineers learn about topics that can be challenging to tackle.

This week, I released three new features to newsletter subscribers that should improve your experience with CFP Land: Category Preferences, 🔔 New tags, and Perks.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

Laura is currently the Chief Product Officer at Modern Teacher, an edtech startup based in Chicago, IL. She was recently featured as a “Woman on Top in Tech” by Asian Entrepreneur magazine, and has been involved in public speaking for many years. In this interview, we cover how she got into speaking at tech conferences, her advice for new speakers, and some of the ways speaking has benefited her professionally.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

This week, I’m thrilled to bring you the story of Geshan Manandhar, a native of Nepal who now lives in Australia. One of the things I love about speaking at conferences is the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, so reading Geshan’s experience as a speaker on multiple continents was inspiring.

Technology conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. At CFP Land, we highlight different speakers every week in our Speaker’s Story blog posts.

When I started CFP Land last year, it was to help other speakers like me find out about new opportunities. In the past few months the project has struck a chord and hundreds of speakers have followed @cfp_land on Twitter or subscribed to the weekly email.

TL;DR: Back in 2017, I made a personal goal to get accepted to speak at 4 conferences. I made it 🎉 and used the experience to launch CFP Land, a free tool to help conference speakers keep up with CFPs (Calls for Proposals) 📣

Tips for New Conference Speakers

TipsNew Speakers

Not sure where to start? New to public speaking? Want to know more about the CFP process for technology conferences? You’ve come to the right place.

Here are some tips and resources compiled from experienced speakers and writers.

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.