Call for Speakers

Call for Speakers is closed. Submissions are no longer possible. Sorry.
finished 239 days ago

DevOps Days Buffalo 2023

event starts

27 Sep 2023

event ends

28 Sep 2023


Seneca One Buffalo, New York, United States

Who We Are

DevOps Days Buffalo is back for our fifth year! This year we'll be returning to Seneca One in late September.

Who You Are

Someone who has industry relevant domain knowledge they’d like to share. That sentence might feel vague, but that is intentionally so: you could know about Kubernetes (many do), or Lisp (fewer do), or a different topic that is still in the broader space of development, IT, operations, security, and so on.

Want to attend instead? Buy tickets here.

finished 358 days ago
Call for Speakers
Call opens at 12:00 AM

20 Apr 2023

Call closes at 11:59 PM

31 May 2023

Call closes in Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-04:00) timezone.
Closing time in your timezone () is .

What We’re Looking For (Speakers)

Talk Formats

DevOps Days Buffalo is a single track conference. We’re interested in talks with two different formats:

  • 30 min talks, including one keynote per day.
  • 5 min lightning talks
  • We will not be enforcing the 20 sec, auto advance, ignite format
  • We will cut you off after 5 min precisely, though.
  • Note that slide transitions add time to the presentation

Presentations will be in person, COVID allowing. We do not need pre-recordings at this time, but that may be subject to change if there are changes in Department of Health recommendations as we approach September.

Topics: The Mother Sauces of IT

We’re looking for the story tellers. If you have written your first line of code, survived your first or hundredth on-call, integrated a service, had to hire or be hired, then that can include you! We are interested in a wide variety of topics relevant to the core job functions within IT as an industry. As a result, there are a few broad categories that we’re interested in. We’ve included some ideas for each, but please don’t take these as the only topic titles that we’re interested in! If you think your topic is a good fit even if it’s not directly listed, please submit - we’d love to take a look!

Topics: Functioning in the IT Industry

These are the talks that are related to the human element of our jobs. Some examples include:

  • Ethics - e.g. designing ethical software, ethics in data science, understanding the implications of what we build, etc.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - e.g. how to reduce bias, how to increase anti-racism in tech, job titles, etc.
  • Technical management - e.g. managing up, inter-team communication, self empowerment and/or getting support, etc.
  • Challenges of regulated industry - e.g. how regulation and/or legal requirements impact technical decisions

Topics: The IT Topics Themselves

For lack of a better way to phrase it, this is the “technical” part of the job. The skills that are needed for code, architecture, everything related, and so forth. Some examples include:

  • Horror Stories - e.g. ever been on-call and are allowed to talk about it? Near misses or good saves?
  • Security - this is too broad a topic for examples, but as a goal what we’d like to have is at least a couple of talks that introduce what InfoSec engineers wished their non-InfoSec counterparts knew to work with them better.
  • Continuous integration and continuous delivery
  • Containerization
  • Issues related to large scale, Big Data (and other Big ${N}).
  • Cost optimization of cloud
  • Incident management
  • Automation
  • Monitoring, alerting, and observability
  • Systems reliability, redundancy, failover, backup & recovery, data loss, etc.
  • Microservices
  • Storage, caching, best ways to optimize
  • Infrastructure as code

Basically: the only thing we’re not looking for is vendor pitches. So please: no vendor pitches.

Behind The Scenes on Talk Selection

Sometimes you have an idea that you’re really excited about, but aren’t sure how to put it to words so you can get everyone else as excited as you are. That’s ok! Happens to us all, no matter how many presentations we’ve given. That doesn’t mean the ideas aren’t awesome, or that you’re not a great presenter or an effective communicator! It’s just part of the human experience. To help, we want to share a bit about how we’re reviewing the talks, so that you know what we’re looking for and what we consider beyond just “a talk about ${technology or tool}”.

First, let’s start with how we do our selection process. We do two passes, the first pass is the abstract and title only and then the second pass includes speaker names and details. In our first pass we’re mainly looking at the talks themselves and what’s being included in each talk, and then in the second pass we’re starting to try to figure out which talks go well with each other, who has good storytelling, as well as to select for a diverse speaker group.

When we’re looking at the content in the first pass, we also need to understand a bit about who the intended audience is for the talk and what their takeaways should be. To help us, please make sure to include:

  • A clear indication of level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, or all audiences)
  • What you want people to take away from your talk
  • If your talk is about solving a problem that is for a specific scale (startup, enterprise, somewhere in between) or for a specific industry (regulated in general, finance, health, aviation, etc.) please make sure to call that out too!
  • It also helps if your talk is about an uncommon use case or tech stack. For example, we might need to choose between several kubernetes talks, but there are fewer talks about Perl or ham radio.

Beyond the content itself, we also are trying to gauge the presentation - that means storytelling! We want talks that spark deeper thought and hopefully constructive conversations in Open Spaces and after the conference. Your storytelling ability is something you can highlight while you’re writing your short description and abstract - just be careful not to get so caught up in the story that you lose clarity so we can still tell the what, who, etc. To help, here are a couple of blog posts that speakers at technical conferences have written about what they’ve found successful, and unsuccessful, in their talk submissions and day-of presentations:

For speaker backgrounds, we also try to have a balance between speakers that are local and remote/visiting, new and established, as well as speakers who are in groups that are underrepresented in technology. If you feel comfortable disclosing, please let us know if any of these apply to you in the Additional Information sections of your submission. Please do not include any identifying information in the Notes section, as that will show with the title and abstract when we do with our first pass.

Just to say it loud and clear: we’re really excited for your talk! We are looking forward to showing and bringing a lot of expertise to the Buffalo DevOps community and want as many people to be a part of it that can! Bring us your thoughts, stories, code, and your whole self!

event fee

free for speakers