RailsConf 2020 May 05 - 07, 2020 https://railsconf.com
CFP open
CFP closes:
Feb 14, 2020 at 11:59pm CST
23 days left to submit your proposal

CFP Stats

60 proposals

Thank you for your interest in speaking at RailsConf 2020! This year’s conference will be from May 5-7 in Portland, Oregon. We're looking forward to seeing all of your proposals!

Please read these guidelines all the way through for the best chances of having your proposal selected. If you have questions or concerns about anything you see here, please don’t hesitate to email us at railsconf@rubycentral.org.

Important Dates

  1. This call for proposals (CFP) closes on February 14, 2020, 11:59pm PST. (Note: we always tack this deadline to the conference location’s timezone.) We will be doing "rolling acceptances," so submit early, and your talk may be accepted early!

  2. You will hear from us on or before March 4, 2020, 11:59pm PST. If you have not heard about the status of your submission after that time, please contact us. Thanks!

Important Baseline

All talks and speakers must comply wholly with our Anti-Harassment Policy (policy states 2019, but applies also to RailsConf 2020), which applies in all RailsConf-related communications as well as at the conference itself. Please review it before submitting your proposal, and email us at railsconf@rubycentral.org with any questions.

What We're Looking For

RailsConf is a three-day conference with up to seven sessions running concurrently. We will probably end up accepting around 80 proposals. Given that, we’re looking for technical and non-technical talks covering a broad range of topics in the Rails ecosystem. Our audience members are Ruby on Rails developers, QA folks, designers, former-developers-turned-managers, and many more, with experience levels ranging from beginner to veteran.

We want a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced-level material. Overall, we are looking for talks of interest to Rails developers, and we take a pretty broad view of what that means. If it’s interesting to you, chances are we’d love to see it. For a look at previous accepted talks, you can check out the 2019 RailsConf program.

In addition to our general program, we seek proposals for a number of more narrowly-focused tracks, which are narrative-driven blocks of 3-6 sessions presented sequentially in the same room. Specific topics vary from year to year and reflect the particular interests of this year’s Program Committee. Below, you can see the specific tracks we are looking for, with descriptions of what sort of content would fit in those tracks. If you have a great session idea for one or more of those tracks, please select that when you submit it; otherwise, opt to submit your proposal for contention in the general program. When the Program Committee is reviewing proposals, they reserve the right to “re-track” talks (or move them into the general program) as appropriate, but your selection while submitting does help us with our initial track sorting.

RailsConf fully embraces both new and experienced speakers. We place a strong value on featuring a diverse, creative line-up of speakers: ones from different backgrounds with a wealth of different experiences to share with our attendees.

Session Formats

When submitting a proposal, you'll need to select one of two formats.

The regular session format is for 40-minute lecture-style presentations (that time includes any Q&A you may want to do).

The workshop session format is an interactive format of at least 90 minutes in length. The focus of a workshop is on attendees learning practical skills through a mix of presentation material and hands-on exercises. Workshop topics mirror the program sessions from both general and individual tracks.

Speaker Benefits

If your session is selected for inclusion in our program, you receive:

  1. Free admission to the conference (for up to two speakers).
  2. A $500 USD travel reimbursement honorarium, sent to you post-RailsConf. Note: for sessions with more than one speaker, this honorarium is to be split among all participants, at the speakers' discretion
  3. The respect and adulation of your peers!
  4. The opportunity to be paired with a speaker mentor before the conference to help you with talk prep. Mentors are granted upon request, but highly recommended, especially for new speakers.

We reserve ticket space for folks whose talks are not accepted, so you can wait on buying a ticket until you hear about the status of your talk.

Inside the Review Process

We have a Program Committee made up of hardworking volunteers representing a variety of experience levels with Rails. Our first round of review is blind, meaning reviewers will not see your name or biographical information. They will see the title, description, pitch, and abstract. Please keep any potentially identifying information out of these fields.

During this first round, reviewers may have questions for you about your proposal. The CFP application allows two-way correspondence in comments without revealing your identity (though you'll know who's asking the question). You'll get an email and see a notification on the site if there are questions for you. Please reply promptly and consider adjustments, if requested.

Once every talk has at least four ratings, we move into the second round, where highly-rated talks are evaluated alongside their biographical information (speaking experience, relevant credentials, etc.) to come up with a balanced program. The Program Committee is heavily committed to selecting a diverse and well-qualified group of speakers.

Track Guidelines

Creative Communications

Talks in this track will focus on creative ways to answer the following: How do you bring colleagues up to speed on a piece of code or an entire system without launching into a lengthy monologue? Talks should delve into discussion of interesting alternative techniques used to convey dense, complicated information.

Everything ActiveSupport!

This track will feature talks on all the interesting ways to use ActiveSupport, including the gotchas and when to avoid them. Talks could focus on topics such as what's really going on inside these methods or interesting monkey patches in your projects that you think could be a part of ActiveSupport.

Exported Expertise

What non-tech experiences have given you an unexpected expertise in tech? This track will feature narratives about how exported expertises have helped in your tech journeys. Some examples are how working at a restaurant shaped your architectural understanding, or how caring for kids taught you to be a pull request star.

Identity & Permissions

Authorization is about a lot more than just ‘gem install devise’. Talks in this track can cover authorization topics including: an introduction to the fundamentals of identity & permissions, in-depth discussions about specific implementations, or delves into the security issues around authorization.

Memorable Post-Mortems

Talks in this track will feature your favorite post-mortem stories, especially ones where you and your team learned a lot. Talks should delve into what happened, how it changed what you did going forward, and what lessons it could teach other developers.

Mentoring for Seniors

Some devs have been in the industry for years (or even decades!) but have never had the chance or need to mentor anyone... until they did. Talks in this track will share advice on becoming a mentor, especially takeaways for anyone who is very senior at code but very junior at mentoring.

Rails at Scale

What are teams doing to grow Rails applications beyond the first few thousand users? Talks in this track will focus on dealing with the challenges of developing an application as the load, traffic, team and application size increase.

Talks should discuss the techniques, code patterns or work flows that emerged from those large applications, whether they ended up causing maintenance or performance headaches or resulted in improved productivity and throughput.

Rails Sans ActiveRecord

Not all Rails apps run with ActiveRecord. This track will discuss various ways of using Rails either without an ORM or with a different ORM as the data layer. Talks should touch on why you chose this setup, what it specifically looks like, and how it’s working for your team!

"Soft" Skills Are Hard!

So-called "soft" skills are actually quite difficult for many engineers, and yet, they are a vital part of a functional workplace. Things like communication, collaboration, organization, or any other "people" skills don't come naturally for many of us.

Talks in this track aim to educate about non-technical -- but nevertheless vital -- aspects of the job. Talks can include favorite management and/or leadership techniques, or simply just things you wish other programmers knew that would make any workplace better.

Thanks for submitting a proposal and good luck!