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Speak, Share, and Inspire at NERD Summit 2020!

Call for Session Proposals

Are you knowledgeable or passionate about a topic you’d like to share at NERD Summit 2020? Would you like to gain public speaking experience in a supportive environment? How about inspiring folks new to the software development field, especially those who might feel under-represented?

Consider dedicating some part of your presentation to themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Also, we invite you to reach out to colleagues who might not otherwise present to encourage them to respond to the call for proposals: you can sometimes make a big difference with just a word or a nudge.

Check out ideas from each track and SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL HERE  (login or create user when you get there) for March 20-21 NERD Summit 2020!

Deadline for submissions: January 12, 2020, at 11:59pm

7 Session Tracks:

Design & User Experience

This year’s design track will focus on educating attendees by sharing innovative techniques in the world of branding, digital design, and UX/UI. With sessions and workshops led by local industry leaders, attendees will leave with a clearer understanding of the latest trends and best practices within design, including:

  • HTML/CSS for designers

  • Inclusive design/accessibility tips and best practices

  • The importance of pattern/component libraries and how to prepare them effectively

  • Collaboration with team leaders, clients, and developers

  • Designing (and troubleshooting) user experiences

  • Submit your own idea for a topic related to design

Project & Business Management

We’re looking for speakers with expertise in adding value to organizations "on time and on budget." If you juggle resources, deadlines and goals, we invite you to submit a proposal. Topics may include:

  • Methodologies (Agile, PMBOK, hybrid, etc)

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Women in IT

  • Team management

  • Emotional intelligence

  • PM tools (Slack, Jira, Wrike, Trello, Basecamp, Asana, LiquidPlanner, Zoho, spreadsheets)

  • And more! (We’re open to your ideas and interests)

DevOps

Dev Ops is about people working together to build, evolve, and run software systems. As we have more and more tools at our disposal that enable us to automate and monitor processes throughout the software development life cycle, the lines between software development and traditional systems administration have blurred. As part of NERD Summit's inaugural DevOps track, we'll be focusing on topics that will help you streamline your development workflows to improve your team's velocity and your product's reliability, so that you can deliver features faster, minimize downtime, and remove error prone manual steps.

The DevOps track will focus on topics like:

  • Release and testing automation

  • Containerization/Infrastructure as Code

  • Effective Test Strategies

  • Local Development Stacks

  • Microservice vs Monolith

  • Monitoring and Feedback Loops

Some tools we might be talking about this year:

  • Docker

  • Kubernetes

  • Terraform

  • [your favorite test framework]

  • [your favorite CI toolset]

  • [your favorite monitoring tool]

Backend Development

The Backend Development track focuses on the tools and techniques that power what happens behind the scenes in web applications. This might include APIs, libraries, databases, and performance. Backend developers build the application logic that processes requests from clients and returns relevant data, which often involves interacting with a datastore. Backend developers need to know about databases and about the systems that the application will run on - whether traditional servers, serverless, or containers.

Sessions in the backend development track might cover topics like:

  • Data storage
    SQL, relational databases, graph databases, data reliability / backups
  • Web application security
    Securing your data, OWASP, static analysis, authentication / authorization
  • Languages and frameworks
    Java, PHP/Laravel, .NET, Ruby/Rails, Python, JavaScript
    OOP, functional programming, styles and standards, package managers, unit and integration testing techniques
  • Development tips and techniques
    Leveraging and building open source libraries, using git, IDEs
  • Backend architectures
    Serverless, microservices, pub/sub, message queues, web servers / proxies
  • API design
    REST, SOAP, GraphQL
  • Techniques for improving performance
    Optimization, profiling, caching, search engines

Front End Development

The Web would be a boring place without front-end developers turning designers' creatives and back-end data into interactive and functional web pages and applications. The NERD Summit 2020 Front End Development track welcomes talks on a wide range of subjects and skill levels from beginners to advanced topics and beyond. From coding to culture to career--whatever you're passionate about related to front-end development and technology--we encourage everyone interested to submit a session proposal.

Some ideas for talks:

  • Trends and timely topics in 2020 and beyond: The future of front-end development
  • HTML5 Semantic Elements: Readability, Accessibility, SEO, etc.
  • Accessibility and SEO Best Practices
  • Mobile development best practices
  • Creating and working with component libraries or design systems.
  • JavaScript frameworks such as React.js, Vue.js and Angular
  • Languages and frameworks that compile to JavaScript such as ClojureScript, TypeScript,
  • Reason ML, or Elm.
  • Tooling libraries like Webpack, Gulp, Parcel, Rollup, Browserify
  • Contrast and compare module bundlers, build tools, task runners
  • Web Assembly
  • Working with GraphQL and other backend services
  • Client-side security: threats and prevention
  • Website load time and performance
  • JAMstack: JavaScript, APIs, Markup
  • Code documentation tools
  • Debugging with browser developer tools
  • Front-end testing
  • How to prepare for the technical interview and/or coding challenge
  • Submit your own topic to present.

Fun with Code

Did you deliver all your software features this week? Who cares! This track is all about having fun, finding inspiration, and sharing the magic of creating something new. We will celebrate the funny, the unexpected, and the beautiful. We welcome frivolous and inspiring proposals from everyone, including folks just getting started. Sample topics might include:

  • Approaches to generative art.

  • Minecraft mods that connect to the real world.

  • Teaching Alexa a new joke.

  • A live coding audio performance and tutorial.

  • Quines and code obfuscation.

  • An indie game developers journey.

  • Computational Poetry.

  • Engaging programming environments for children.

  • Tales from the demoscene.

Horizons 2020

“Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” - Wayne Gretzky
Where is our industry going? What will the next 10 years of our career and day to day life look like?  Horizons will be a track focused on current and upcoming technologies as well as your career options for today and down the road.

  • Augmented Reality
  • Robotic and the workforce
  • Blockchain
  • Bitcoin
  • AI (A-eye)
  • Machine Learning
  • Entering into a technical career
  • Growth in your existing career
  • Virtual Reality

Our Mission:

NERDs creates positive and supportive learning opportunities for people who work, or want to work in web and related technology. Too many smart, passionate people have been traditionally excluded from tech careers, and we're changing that. Read more about NERDs at nerd.ngo.

Submission deadline is January 12, 2020, at 11:59pm.


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NERD Summit 2020 is March 20-21 located at UMASS/Amherst.

Questions?

If you have questions where the answers might benefit others in the community, try our Questions area.

See and ask Questions here →
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More info

How long is a session?

Sessions are 45 minutes long. That length will be strictly enforced to allow adequate time for the next speaker to setup and for attendees to get to their next session.

We recommend 35 minutes of speaking, followed by a 10 minute Q&A period. Make sure to time your session! And leave some extra time (e.g. 5 minutes). An example of a well-planned session would be: 30 minutes of speaking + 5 minutes cushion + 10 minutes Q&A = 45 minutes.

Trainings

If you would like to do a longer session, such as a training, please contact us at: [email protected]

Travel

We do not currently have the budget to pay for travel or lodging expenses, so please keep that in mind if you live far away from Amherst, MA.

Past sessions are here: 

Nearly all presentations have been recorded and posted to YouTube.

Past sites and sessions have been archived in the table below.


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