CFPs! Submitting talks to conferences

Show Notes

Some Links
Why speak at a conference?
  • Share your hard-won learnings
  • Meet other people
  • Grow an audience
  • Build your talent brand to hire people
What makes a conference worth speaking at?

Do you need to be very senior to speak at a conference?
  • No!
Picking a topic
  • What are you interested in?
  • What are you excited about?
  • What do you know a lot about?
Components of a CFP
  • Abstract
  • Description
  • Outlines
Usually a blind selection process

Other Tips

Full Transcripts

CJ: Welcome back to Build and Learn. My name is CJ.

Colin: And I'm Colin, and today we are talking about submitting talks to conferences and maybe a little bit of what happens once you get your talk accepted.

CJ: Awesome. So I, we've both spoken a lot. I don't know, like I feel like both you and I have kind of like gone in. We've done talks at a lot of different places. But mostly meetups. I think both you and I have like shared the stage at several meetups in Reno for sure. But yeah, like you recently spoke at Rails conf. I'm excited to dig into that. But before we get into Rails Conf and submitting talks to conferences. I watched yesterday, I watched the Laracon online conference. Which it was like a 10 hour video basically on YouTube. And when I started watching it, they, they didn't have the chapters in the description, so I was like kind of just scrolling through and watching as much as I could. And gosh, Laravel has some really cool stuff that Rails just does not have, or does not have like, first class support for. So yeah, there was a bunch of really cool stuff.

Colin: That's interesting. So is that how they, did they have a in person version or was it just online?

CJ: It was all online this time, as far as I can tell. Yeah. Have you played with Laville at all?

Colin: I have not, My only PHP experience is WordPress and I think I need to fix that because I've heard really good things about it. . So I think it's, I'll have to check out that video and maybe zoom through some to some of the interesting parts.

CJ: Well, there's a really great thing that they announced during the like keynote that Taylor gave, and that is this Laravel bootcamp. So at, there is like a, a guide that you can walk through. And you basically rebuild Twitter and chirps and stuff, but it uses inertia js, which apparently has support for both Rails and Laravel. and it's kind of hot wirey , where you basically kind of like render something on the back end with the inertia library and then you can pick it up on the front end. But the bootcamp it takes like an hour and a half or so to run through it, and you go from scratch to kind of like knowing how to do basic crud with laville. So yeah, it's fun. It's cool. It's, it's so wild to see how. They have builtin, they have this thing called Mail Hog that will like intercept mail that's going out. And you don't have to use a gem for that. They also have tooling for all of these event notification things, not just email. They've got like builtin Yeah, builtin pubsub builtin tooling for authentication with Laravel Breeze. And so yeah, it's, it's, it's fun to play around with and just see, you know, where Laravels got cooler stuff than rails. Where Rails really shines. Cause there's definitely some developer experience things that Rails has that that Laville is missing out on still. But yeah, it's kind of fun to compare and contrast.

Colin: That's cool. Yeah, this is gonna be a little bit weird cuz this episode's not gonna come out for weeks. But this weekend is also a rails hackathon around like kind of hot wire focused themes. So I'm thinking about just kind of hacking on something, not necessarily competing as much as just I haven't touched anything hot wire or. Turbo frames or any of that kind of stuff. So it sounds cool, but I haven't even touched that before I even start looking at things like inertia and I love how a lot of the stuff that's happening in the development world is going back to like just html, you know, on the wire, which is great. So,

CJ: Totally. Yeah. Yeah, like the, I think. , That hackathon was like Rails, hackathon or something.

Colin: Yeah, it's So they'll probably, I think Chris from Go Rails set this up for potentially having future hackathons, but you know, maybe we'll talk about it in a future episode, how it went. I've got a few ideas for things to kind of tinker with just as learning exercise, and we'll see how that.

CJ: Cool. Yeah. It looks like at the very bottom of that landing page too, you can sign up to get notified about future hackathons. So,

Colin: Yeah.

CJ: Nice. Yeah. Turbo, like turbo and stimulus and like all of the hot wire stuff. Has been really interesting. I definitely don't feel super, super comfortable with it yet. And I know there's a lot more to it, but it definitely is, seems pretty powerful. So

Colin: Where might you learn more about those things? CJ

CJ: yeah, stimulus or, I mean, I don't know if you wanna watch my YouTube channel about me stumbling through this, but

Colin: Well, I was kind of, kind of setting you up there for media conference you might go to, or if someone gives a nice talk on it might be a good way to, to jump in there.

CJ: Oh yeah. Well, I mean, so there, I think there's probably lots of talks about stimulus and hot water , but yeah, if you want to come to Ruby Comp in Houston in November, that is gonna be that'll be really fun. There's actually a couple different versions of Ruby Comp happening. There's a Ruby Comp Mini that's mid-November, and then there's a Ruby Comp. Like the, I dunno, the bigger one is happening end of November, which like surprisingly, I got a talk accepted to . So yeah, super, super pumps to go talk about how we generate client libraries at Stripe specifically like the Ruby Client Library, but others I think I, I did like a super short lightning talk at one of the dev reno meetups about this.

Colin: You did and you kind of melted everybody's brain. So I am very excited to see the video of this talk when it comes out. Why then, let's just to jump into the topic, like why are you looking to talk about that at Ruby Conf and maybe what are the general reasons that someone might want to speak at a conference?

CJ: So, yeah, that's a, I mean, for me, It's, there's like a whole bunch of different reasons. For my job, it's important that I go and speak at conferences. As a developer advocate, we want to make sure that people are aware of Stripe, and so as part of that, I can go and speak at conferences. I'm also just really, really excited about the tooling that we have for SDK generation and because it's this private internal thing that we use. It's not open source and it's not public. It's really hard for me to go and like scream about it from the rooftops and like tell people about it without being able to go speak about it in public. So it's a thing that I'm really excited about and. I think it's also like a tool that we've learned a lot of lessons from that hopefully the community can pick up and learn from. And then there's like also selfish reasons, right? Like, I want, I, I want people to like come and watch my YouTube channel and like, know about the stuff that I'm putting out. And so yeah, like growing an audience, but what were some of the reasons that you did your talk at Rail?

Colin: Yeah, so I think for me it's a lot of just sharing like what I've learned. So I think we'll talk about it a little bit more, but you don't necessarily have to be like a super senior or expert in your field to do one of these talks. It's more of like, Hey, we had this problem. This is how we fixed it. Hopefully, you know, whoever washes that talk will now, you know, be able to, to learn from that. And so you know, sharing hard one learnings and then, yeah, like I think similarly meeting other people, I would say like if you're intimidated by introducing yourself to people, getting up on stage and giving a talk is going to make people know that like, CJ's giving a talk on this thing. If you didn't know CJ before, now you know cj, right? And so people might come ask you questions afterwards and it's just a good, like jumping off. At the same time, if it's your first conference experience, probably just go and see how it is and watch the talks and, and figure out like if this is something you'd wanna do. But yeah, I think like it's pretty rewarding to get up and be able to share something that you've been working on, especially if it's something you've been thinking about for a long time. Like, you know, the SDK generation for you for. I've been dabbling in integrations and APIs for so long, and I feel like it's all like trapped in my head and I needed to get it out. And, you know, there's only so much I get to talk about it at work. So, you know, maybe it's, you know, being able to have other people listen to me and, and learn something from it because it's, you know, 10 plus years of APIs that we can hopefully share that with other people. And you know what's really cool too now is that there are getting more and more niche conferences for this thing. There's like open API spec conferences where we can geek out on the spec itself instead of like more high level stuff all the way down to SaaS and MicroConf and language specific or framework specific conferences. So I think those are all pretty exciting to, to check.

CJ: Totally. Totally. Yeah, I think so. Yeah, we definitely have similar. Overlap in terms of why we wanna speak at conferences. I think one other reason that I've heard is that if you're a super small startup and you're looking to hire people, then I've often seen CTOs go and give talks to help build the brand around or like build like yeah, the talent, the engineering talent brand, so that then people are like, Oh whoa, that's super cool. I wanna go work for that person. Cuz they're doing really interesting work.

Colin: Yeah, I would argue that's the case even for Stripe, right? Like when I see Shopify or Stripe or certain companies talk about how they things work inside, you know, even if it's not a public gem or a public service, some people are, you know, you'll be like, I wanna work with stuff like that, right? Like, I wanna work with people like that. And so it can really help with that. I know we did that pretty early on at Orbit. We had some orbiters speak at conferences. I think we had some people at Sin City, Ruby and Ruby. And yeah, it definitely gets the company out there as.

CJ: So how did you pick the topic of build versus buy and Yeah, like how did you narrow in on.

Colin: Yeah, so this is an interesting one. So if you're looking at applying to a conference, they will normally announce a cfp, so a call for proposals. And in that they typically will list a bunch of themes. And so I think most people will pick a topic that they care about and then they'll shop it around to conferences. I went the other way around and I took the themes and I developed a talk for the themes. So you can do both, right? Like you have this SDK generation talk. You can go figure out which conference has a theme that fits that, and then apply. Or you can apply for like the miscellaneous track or you know, maybe go find an API or SDK conference, right? That would make the most sense for it. But the challenge with that is now you're gonna be up against a bunch of API SDK generation talks. And so for me, I, you know, my build versus buy talk was more specifically I was trying to do build versus buy on rails. And why rails is like specifically helpful for going the build route. And. There was a theme at Rails Conf this year on switching , like switching costs or switching from A to B or migrations, things like that. And it didn't end up being in that track, but that's kind of how I pitched it. And I'm actually not sure technically what track it ended up in, but. I've found that it's helpful to go backwards from there, especially if you're not sure what to talk about.

CJ: Hmm. . Totally. Yeah. I think. Build versus buy is like a really valuable, it's like it's valuable no matter what language or ecosystem you're in. And so it was, I like that you, Yeah, put a spin on it that was like rail specific too. And were able to speak to the tools that you were using inside of Rails that helped you with your decision. So that was cool.

Colin: Ruby Conf have like a list of themes?

CJ: they did. I don't remember what they were.

Colin: But you already had a sense of like what you wanted to talk about or like, I'm sure you have a list of potential talks.

CJ: Yeah, so that's what I was gonna mention was that for for a lot of folks that I know, they will build several different talks. Maybe they'll have like three talks that they go and give, and they're gonna give those for the next 18 months, and then they will craft CFPs. That will sort of just be like a small bend on the like, or like a different take or a different angle on the talks that they've already got canned and so swyx. So yeah, if you find swyx on Twitter, he's got a whole process where he'll like really quickly submit to just tons and tons of conferences by this. But yeah, I, I've had this idea in the back of my head about talking about these, this SDK generation stuff. And so I've actually submitted a similar talk to like go conference, like Gopher Con and it didn't get picked up. And I've, in fact, I've like submitted this same talk to like a bunch of conferences and no, it was never picked up by any of them. So I was excited when it was finally picked up by by Ruby Con. And yeah. So here were the different themes hidden Gems giving back with Ruby. Bringing your backgrounds with you off the beaten path and navigating systems change. And I think I tried to categorize this one as like off the beaten path because it is like a weird thing that we're doing. So

Colin: Nice. Well, and I would say you, you also don't have to do a talk that's super technical, like especially if you want to get your feet wet with your first talk. And you, I, I'm gonna just say like if there's a lot of imposter syndrome that comes up when submitting a talk, when writing a talk. At Rails Conf, there were a lot of really great talks about developer happiness, wellness, productivity, the kind of quote unquote, I wouldn't like soft skills, but they're like, Just as important, Right? That makes us an engineer, right? It's thinking about what we're doing when we're not coding. taking care of our tools and, and all of that. And then you have on the other side of the spectrum, you know folks who are doing like literal ruby archeology Will Link, will link to, to Schwad's talk in, in here as well on that, where it's like he's trying to replicate what Ruby and Rails looked like back in 2011 on a, you know, a digital ocean server, running the same versions of everything back then and seeing what, what was there. It's like that doesn't have to be what your first talk. Right. If there's something that you're really interested in, something you're excited about, or maybe that you uniquely just know a lot about, maybe you went super deep on something that was really meant to just be a paragraph in some docs somewhere, but you know way more than that, then that's like a great place to start looking for your topic. Typically when you submit, what kinds of things do you have to submit for your talk to be considered?

CJ: Yeah, so everywhere is a little bit different. But the, the main, the main piece of this is called an abstract, and I think usually this is also what. Ends up in sort of like the the schedule or the pamphlet or whatever that goes out to attendees and also is what sort of attracts people to attend the conference in the first place. And so your abstract is like a short, it's not tweet length, but it's, it's a short. Description of what someone would get out of the talk when they come to it. And usually that's like where a lot of folks focus their efforts when they're trying to craft one of these submissions. But you might also have more detailed descriptions and more detailed outlines that would cover, like, okay, here's an actual, like, bulleted list of all the topics I'm gonna cover with like, an estimate of how long each one's gonna take and the, you know, what attendees can expect. No, after watching the talk and oftentimes they're usually like anonymized too. So they ask like, please don't, you know, add any information that would identify you or your company or whatever as part of the submission details. And then they'll be like another section that's like, what is your, your bio, your like speaker bio, where then you can say like, Oh, you know, here's why I'm qualified to to give this talk.

Colin: Yeah. Yeah. Even in that blind selection, you know, they'll usually ask like, what's your speaking experience? And I don't think that they're necessarily looking for you to be a pro speaker. They just want to know like how much help you might need. Cuz some conferences are really good at giving you support through this process. Like with Rails Conf, I was invited to a Slack channel with the other speakers. People, you know, would have conversations in there about, you know, Slide questions format, right? There's all these little technical things that you gotta get down. Is there gonna be a monitor to see your slides on? Is are you gonna have a remote to click through? Do you need to bring those things yourself if you rely on those things? So like there is a little bit of support there. But even in that, like how much experience do you have, you don't necessarily wanna disclose who you are, which I actually think allows more new speakers to get into into the, the market, the business, the whatever, , right? Like more people to get into the circuit, the speaker circuit, because. It can be obvious, like you said, someone shops around the same, talk to all these conferences. You might see the same kinds of names popping up at, at, at conferences everywhere. And when they do a blind selection, they're picking based on the topic, not by by the person. And they're definitely, like, I've run events, they're definitely thinking about what's gonna get people to buy a ticket to this conference in addition to some rounding out of themes and like beginner, intermediate, advance type themes as well, so that you can. Folks new to Rails, going to Rails Comp, having talks that they can feel really comfortable in. And then maybe you've got those intermediate and advanced ones where they, they'll go and they now see like what they can kind of reach for or, or grow towards.

CJ: Yeah, totally. I think the The fact that it's blind and like, no, actually, just knowing that the abstract is going to be used in order to sort of sell tickets, that also is a good motivation for you to be like, Okay, how can I make this abstract really interesting and like exciting instead of being like, You know how to do for loops in Ruby or something like that. You can make it really fancy, like spin yourself around on a, you know, like on a Ferris wheel and like, let's go for a trip to learn about how to loop through the universe with blah, blah, blah. It's like, you really, really gotta, it's like a sales pitch, right? Like for people to come,

Colin: That's a very ruby specific or ruby rails. I feel like that a lot of the talks have a lot of fun in their either titles or their abstracts. I'm blanking on who, who I can think of, but there was like a, how GitHub builds GitHub using GitHub talk. This was like in 2011 or something that was just like, that one stands out to me. I think like some tips here for writing that abstract is I would check out a website called It's where anyone can submit their abstracts and their descriptions and then they note whether or not it was accepted or not. And then that way it's a little bit of. There's a bias, like confirmation bias in that like, this is what I did and it got accepted. So it doesn't necessarily mean that's gonna work for you, but what I did, I read through a bunch of speaker lines, kind of got a sense of like what a lot of the accepted ones kind of do. Like the description on the outline needs to follow an arc, a story, like a beginning, middle, and end. And remember, you only have a certain amount of time for your talk. So if it's a 30 minute talk, you can't shove every single thing into it. And you need to think about what your takeaways are gonna be. And then I would watch past talks from the conference that you're applying to just to see like. again, the topic content, but like what do a lot of the talks feel like and try to go backwards from there. So taking the theme, the past talks, the speaker lines, and then like those components of the cfp, and you're making a sales pitch for yourself at that point.

CJ: Yeah, totally. I think the other, there's a bunch of other resources too for reviewing CFPs and. I think for all, I like submitted tons and tons of talk submissions and like almost all of them were rejected or denied. And so like, I was like, what am I doing wrong? Like, why is no one, why is no one picking this up? And I think there's a lot of reasons for that. But I would say, I think this talk that was accepted, part of the reason why I was accepted was that I had a lot of people look at it with me and give me feedback and help me like craft it and.

Colin: Yeah,

CJ: It was definitely like when I was on my own, I was missing certain things. So in the same way that you might have someone review a resume before you send it in to apply to a job, you, it's, it can be helpful to have other people look at your stuff and make sure that it looks nice and tight before you send it out. And along those lines, wnb.rb they have like a pretty amazing crew of people who will review your talks. So if you're part of. Group, they've got like slack channels and everything to help review each other's talk proposals. So did you, did you have anyone look at yours before you submitted to Rails Comp?

Colin: Yeah, we have like a little informal process of like, I'll share in our Slack like, hey, the CFP is open if anyone wants to submit. And so then like a few of us pulled together some, some CFPs and we, What I think I did first was I like had really, really short like one-liners and I was like, Which one of these things would you go to? And then whichever one they voted on most was the one that I focused on writing out. And then just did a Google Doc on that and then had people comment on that. And I think that definitely helped. Cuz my original talk idea was a little bit more, it was like how developers develop themselves or something like that. It was like a little bit too, It was good talk I thought, but like more for like a developer wellness conference than a, Than like it wasn't Rails specific. Right. So that one would've been a little bit harder. Then, then something that had rails in it. But yeah. So when you do that, do you just do a Google Doc or is it one of these other tools?

CJ: Yeah, Google Doc and then ask people for comments. We actually do this also with like all of our other content. And in the previous episode of Build and Learn here, if you go back to Build and, maybe slash 10 we talk about doing or like creating content for developers. And so this is actually like another form of content for developers is giving some talk. Like, or, or like, yeah. Submitting to a conference and then also giving the talk. And so yeah, for a lot of, or for all of the other formats of content that we create for developers, we also have the whole team kind of jump in and try to share feedback. And it's, it's really interesting because, Everyone on the team has a unique perspective and a lot of unique experience that they can bring and be like, Oh, hey, have you heard of this library that's related to this talk that you're giving? Or have you seen this weird, funny meme about it? Or yeah. So that's, it's, it's a really valuable workflow and we actually use Google Docs for people to come and comment on the content, and then we use Jira and inside of Jira. For each piece of content, if someone reviews it and gives you feedback, they mark themselves as reviewers and we reward. And yeah, like people will get credit for all of the things that they've reviewed also, not just the stuff that they've created. So there's people on the team who just give tons and tons of feedback and review and edit and help people

Colin: takes a lot of work.

CJ: Totally,

Colin: It's like reviewing poll requests,

CJ: Exactly, exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it's like kind of the same weight that we would give to someone for reviewing a pr. They can instead review a talk.

Colin: Nice. Yeah, so episode nine, so build and, you can check that out. Does is creating other developer content, does that, have you found that it's helped you in this process of applying to, to talks like you're already writing scripts for YouTube videos and things like that, so like, When it comes time, and we can always do another episode on like, okay, your talk has been accepted. Now what do you do? But like, has it helped you in writing the CFP or you know, because most of these are blind selection. I assume that like, you know, being known on the Stripe Docs videos is probably not necessarily getting you through here. As, as you mentioned, you've been denied plenty of times, but like, has that helped?

CJ: so I think it is, it's helped a little bit. For the past couple years I've focused a lot on video. And I was maybe writing an intro script, outro script, and sometimes I would write a script, but most of the time I was just kind of riffing or, you know, to use a bulleted outline and go through and just build stuff. The thing that I've, I think has helped the most is this year I've been super intentional about trying to improve my writing and like doing more articles and blog posts and even like tweeting more and you know, doing shorter form LinkedIn posts and things. I read this book, and if you haven't seen, I would, I like super highly recommend this. It's called On Writing Well, and we can link to it in the show notes, but it is really, really excellent in terms of being concise, getting your point across, and it, it has a lot of tips and tricks for basically just non-fiction writing. So

Colin: This is different than Stephen King's on writing.

CJ: Yes. Different.

Colin: Okay. also highly recommended. Well, maybe a little bit more fictional based, I think.

CJ: Yeah, this one is from Williams as Zinser Zinser.

Colin: Nice. All right. Yeah, we'll include a link to that. Awesome. Well, yeah, as you mentioned, like, you know, you've submitted a lot of talks. They haven't all been accepted. I think that experience was a little bit harrowing for me. It's like I literally did the whole like get feedback from my, you know, colleagues, from friends, and then I just decided I wasn't gonna submit and.

CJ: Oh really?

Colin: Yeah, like at the 11th hour, I like, I think I got an email or a tweet that was like, submissions close in an hour. And what's cool on the real CFP thing is they show you a graph of submissions over time which is like kind of daunting as well, where it's like, okay, no one's really submitted yet. And I'm like, Oh, this is easy. No one's hardly submitted. And by the admit, by the deadline, like you, everyone is crafting and perfecting their pitch. Everyone just is submitting at the last. And so I was like, you know, like, you know, getting that rejection and when we say denied or rejected all these things, like it can feel a little bit harsh even though they don't know who you are and all of that. And so I was like, You know what? I don't think this is a good enough talk and I just wasn't gonna submit it. And I think it was like literally the, the, within the last hour, I was just like, You know what? I'll push the button. Worst they can do is say no. And then you just wait. Once you submit, you wait and eventually you'll get an email whether or not it was accepted or rejected.

CJ: Yeah. It's funny to look at the chart now. There it's just like, you know, little, little, like some people are obviously like procrastinators. As soon as the CFP opens, they submit, and then there's a couple throughout, and then a giant spike like in the last day, right before submissions closed. So okay, so you, you were considering not submitting, Was that, do you think it was like a imposter syndrome thing or like you weren't super pumped about the actual talk?

Colin: No, I was definitely excited about the talk, but it, it was kind of, I will say as much as we just said, like watch a bunch of talks, check out speaker line, like the more you do that, you start to think like, am I this person? Like, am I as good to be on this list of speakers and things like that. So it was a little bit of imposter syndrome. You know, I knew that I could talk about the content. The problem was that like the CFP doesn't capture, you know, not being identified as to who you are or like your experience and all that kind of stuff. It's really easy to see. Are they gonna fully understand what I'm pitching here anonymously? Because it wasn't the full talk. It's like a bulleted list at best. That I think was, I, I'd actually should go back and see what, how different the talk turned out from the outline. But the abstract was pretty close. That was what ended up in the, in the. The website, like you mentioned. So that didn't really change. But yeah, it was just probably nerves and imposter syndrome. This was like, like you said, we've done a bunch of talks at meetups. Meetups feel pretty low stakes, so like, if you want to get practice at this, like take your talk to a meetup and get feedback on it there. I didn't do that with this one, but I've. Lots of meetup talks lots of ignite talks, which are like very, like stand upy and like off the cuff type of talks. And and then this one, and I, you know, submitted it the last minute thinking there's nothing, no way this is gonna get approved. And it actually got accepted. And so this was my, my first CFP submission, which I think is not gonna be what most people experience, like your first one.

CJ: It's

Colin: Probably is not gonna get approved. But yeah, it was a good experience for me.

CJ: Yeah. I, I was, I mean, I enjoyed the talk and I I thought you were. Like more than qualified to give that exact content. And I thought it was really good. So if you are listening and you haven't seen it, you can, I think you can go online right? To YouTube. Is

Colin: Yeah, we

CJ: they up on YouTube?

Colin: We'll do some,

CJ: Yeah, we can link to it,

Colin: we'll link to it. But I appreciate that. Yeah, and I'm just saying like that is like, don't let that stop you. But also don't expect that your first one will be, Approved, right? Like I need to app apply to more to just get that little bit of exposure therapy to being rejected. But I've actually found it kind of difficult to find CFPs before they close. Have you found any good ways of doing that or finding CFPs in general?

CJ: yeah, there is a couple of newsletters. Receive about developer relations and like in the bottom they'll have a block with all the CFPs. And then there was also I wanna say CFP land. Yeah, is another like site where you can just go and search for upcoming proposals. So yeah, it's tough because sometimes a conference will be in nine months from now. Their CFP is open now for like a couple months, and then other times the conference will be happening next month and their CFP is just now opening right now. And so it kind of really depends on, I think, the maturity of the conference and you know, like how big the conference is and how much time they take to review conference, like talk submissions, et cetera, et cetera. So yeah, it can be, it can be kind of like, it'll, it'll creep up on you basically. Like if you wanted to go to. Like, let's see, so Rails Comp is in the end of, or Ruby Comp is in the end of November, and I think CFPs closed in August or something like mid August. So that'll give you like, kind of a sense for Ruby and Rails Comp, but in other yeah, in other language or framework communities, it's gonna be different. So,

Colin: Nice. Yeah, I had heard that there used to be a CFP email newsletter and it looks like CFP land might have taken that over. That's super useful. Mostly like you just said, knowing what is even out there, like there are some niche conferences that. You know, maybe you build up to as well. Like for me, jumping straight to Rails Comp also feels like the weirdest one. Like I feel like there's definitely smaller like, regional conferences that I could've like built that up. But again, they don't know who you are. So like submit, right? If you, if you don't submit, you're not gonna even be put in the running for it. So definitely do it. It helps you build that muscle, so I highly recommend it if you're trying to like get really good at a certain topic or even be known as being good in a certain topic. It's definitely good for that. And it'll definitely make you look good when, when you know, review cycles and things like that come around too.

CJ: Right. Yeah, I was thinking about that. Like going back to the top of the show. I. We bounce around a lot. , we don't like, say super focused, but going back to like why you would speak at a conference. Oh, if you're a CTO and you're trying to build your talent brand to hire people who are at the conference, another reason would be to get hired. Like, Oh, go demonstrate your skills so that people want to hire you. So if you, maybe you're a junior and you're Yeah. Like you're looking for, A job and you learn something and you wanna share that with people and it's gonna demonstrate your skills and you can like go give a talk about it at a meetup or go give a talk about it at a regional conference, and that'll be recorded and put online and that really helps improve your, your dev brand. And it kind of also like helps you skip certain interview stages because you're not going in as like a completely unknown quantity. The hiring manager has watched your talk about whatever concept that you've presented on before. Especially if you wanna get into developer advocacy. I've seen a lot of people asking like, Oh, how do I get into advocacy? How do I get into dev? It's like, well, you can kind of go and create content on your own and then that will speak for itself and

Colin: There's no gate keeping around that.

CJ: Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And when I, when we're interviewing or looking at candidates for advocacy positions, I definitely like will go and look at their Twitter. I'll go look at their previous talks. I'll go look at their YouTube channels, et cetera. And so, yeah, I mean, I don't know. That's, yeah, it could be a, a way that you get a job basically.

Colin: Totally. Yeah. There I've been listening to this podcast called Staff E, like for staff engineer type content. And then they have a whole website called staff, but they talk a lot. Like having a brag sheet, and this is like that thing where maybe it's not the actual resume, but it's the list of things that you use. Either make the case for a promotion or getting hired at a new company. Or maybe when you do give a talk and they ask for your bio, you now have things to pull from. So that can be super helpful. And honestly, like one line link to YouTube talk replaces like a whole paragraph on your resume. Like that is great. You can just link.

CJ: Yeah, totally. Totally. Cool.

Colin: Thanks for listening to Build and Learn.

CJ: In the next episode, we're gonna talk about getting hired, we're gonna talk about engineering levels, and we really want you to tune in if you're thinking about starting your next developer role.

Colin: As always, you can head over to build and to check out all the links and resources in the show notes. That's all for this episode folks. We'll see you next time.

CJ: bye friends.