Should I Submit to Speak at RedisConf2020?

It’s that time of year again! We’re ramping up for RedisConf2020, and our goal is to provide a platform for the most interesting and useful Redis talks from around the globe. To make sure we host the best conference possible, we’re inviting the global Redis community to engage in our Call for Papers (CFP) process. 

How to submit your idea

If you’ve never replied to a CFP before, the process can seem intimidating, but it’s really quite easy. Simply log in to our RedisConf20 CFP form and fill out the required information by February 15, 2020. That’s all there is to it. 

To help you submit your proposal as quickly and easily as possible, here’s some background on the fields you need to fill out:

  • Session title is how we will list your session in our program. Try to be descriptive and clever and think about how to attract potential attendees scanning through session descriptions.
  • The description box is where you write a couple of paragraphs laying out what you want to talk about. This is important—even a great session that isn’t described well may not get selected. You want to describe your proposal as clearly and completely as possible: A sentence or two is probably not enough for our reviewers to understand its full value. On the other hand, if you write us a book it can be hard for the reviewers to identify the key messages in your talk.
  • The session format is where we gather the information needed to properly put your talk in a room with the right layout and A/V technology. You can choose either Session or Session with Demo—the only difference is that demo sessions will have a stage area set up for your laptop wired to do live demonstrations.
  • Picking your track is just as easy. You can choose from:
    • Architecture: Redis as an ingredient in a larger system of other moving parts.
    • Business: The value Redis can bring to your business.
    • Development: Writing software with Redis. 
    • Operations: Talks about how you run Redis.
  • The level of the talk helps conference goers self-select the talks that best align with their own Redis maturity. You have three choices:
    1. Introduction: Talks aimed at those who are new to Redis.
    2. Intermediate: Talks for people who have used Redis a little bit, but maybe not very deeply.
    3. Advanced: Hard-core talks for people deeply involved in Redis.

That’s it for the hard stuff—the rest of the fields are basic questions around sharing and travel. Just don’t sleep on the Notes section—that’s where you can tell the selection committee anything that doesn’t neatly fit into the above questions. 

Finally, you’ll need to include your biography and a photo of yourself (a good selfie will do but a professional headshot is better). The bio should describe yourself, on a personal level as well as on a technical level. A good conference bio should include the following in a single paragraph:

  1. Who you are professionally: Name, title, company/project, etc.
  2. Why you are important: Please share a little bit about your professional and educational background, and why attendees should pay attention to what you have to say. 
  3. Something fun that personalizes you: Where you live, interesting hobbies, family, pets, and so on.

Hit the Submit Session button and you’re one step closer to being a speaker at RedisConf2020!

How we select speakers

Once we receive the entries, a committee reviews and evaluates which proposals will work best for the conference. Much of this effort is about weeding out duplicates or near duplicates (we don’t need two talks on the same subject, but sometimes we even play matchmaker and help presenters collaborate with each other). Then we look at the technical aspects of the proposals—is this really a Redis talk? (Every year we have to reject a number of interesting but very general proposals that don’t have much to do with Redis.)

As the list gets narrowed down we have to make some really tough decisions. This is where we review each proposal technically—for example, if a proposal talks about best practices, we’ll eliminate talks that use deprecated libraries or tools. We also tend to decline talks that apply only to a small technical niche. It might be cool that you are doing something really specific, but we want the talk to attract an audience, too. 

At the end, we fill three buckets:

  1. Declined
  2. Waitlisted
  3. Accepted

Waitlisted talks are good enough to be in the conference, but we don’t have room at the time of the decision. Note that at a conference the size of RedisConf, there are always a few changes as we go along, so a waitlisted talk still has a real chance of eventually being selected for the event.

What makes a great RedisConf submission?

Submit an idea or experience you think other Redis users would get value from—it doesn’t have to be a big, groundbreaking idea. Indeed, something that might be mundane to you could be a life-changing insight to someone else, especially Redis beginners. We love to hear about novel uses of Redis, innovations that helped you, and complete narratives of how Redis impacts your day-to-day life.

For inspiration, watch these videos of standout talks from previous RedisConf events:


Uli Hitzel talks about Bambleweeny, a Redis HTTP interface with OAuth

Processing Real Time Volcano Seismic Measurements Through Redis by David Chaves and Elzbieta Malinowski

Shrif Nada, from LiveRamp and his talk “Beyond PFCount: Tiny Big Data Counting Engine”

Internet Archive’s Jim Nelson speaking on “Work Stealing For Fun And Profit”


Redis Fault Injection by Khalid Lafi

Fail Safe Starvation Free Durable Priority Queues in Redis from Jesse Willett

Ajay Kemparaj from Adobe talking about Leveraging Redis to Serve and Secure Billions of API Requests

So, should I submit to RedisConf2020?

Short answer: Yes! 

Odds are if you’re reading this blog post and you’re already a Redis user you have something valuable to say. We enthusiastically welcome first-time speakers, experienced speakers, small-business Redis users, web-scale Redis users, and everyone in between as well as, of course, presenters of all genders and all backgrounds. What are you waiting for? Go to the RedisConf2020 CFP form today—before time runs out!

Featured image by Kane Reinholdtsen, Unsplash