Over the last week or so, I’ve had more than one person ask me where Gluecon’s CFP (call for papers) was. I kind of blew it off at first because, frankly, 1) we’ve *never* had a lack of submissions, 2) the whole thing is personally curated by me and 3) people seem to naturally find us via twitter, word of mouth, etc.

That all changed for me when one commenter said that, looking at the site, she felt like Gluecon was more of an “in” club, than a conference, and that she wasn’t sure she was welcome. Ouch.

If there’s *one* thing that I’ve always felt to be true about Gluecon, it was that everyone is welcome (inclusivity is very, very important to us). Gluecon is a community (and communities, by definition, have boundaries), but it’s an open and welcoming community (wanna join? please do). Needless to say, I took that comment very seriously.

So, for the sake of clarity – some points about our submission process for gluecon speakers:

1. Submitting is easy — just email me (enorlin AT mac.com). Usually a session title and a couple of paragraph description is all I need, but if you have links to past presentations, videos, etc, that is very helpful as well (especially the videos: it allows me see how you are on stage).

2. Our stated goal with Gluecon is to be “the most” technical conference out there when it comes to cloud/mobile/big data and APIs. Not the second most, and not sort of technical…..the most technical; the kind of conference that has engineers jumping for joy. So, when you submit, please aim for technical presentations (think code on the screen).

3. The agenda is a fungible thing. I get a lot of questions (mostly from PR firms) like, “how long are the sessions?” To which my answer usually is, “how long does it need to be?” I *will* shift the structure of the agenda to best accommodate the presentations that come in….15 minutes? 30? 60? 4 hours? I work with speakers to find what works.

4. If you want to increase your chances of being accepted, don’t delegate your submission to a PR firm (sorry, it’s true). Not that PR firms can’t be part of the process, but if I can’t interact directly with the speaker (and some PR firms really don’t want you to interact with the speaker), then the chances of going on stage drop — a LOT.

5. There is no “deadline.” This one throws some people. I work the agenda every couple of weeks at first, and then every week (in the march/april timeframe), and then I finalize it (roughly a month out). I purposefully leave space until the end, so that the agenda is addressing current topics, not what was “hot” 5 months ago. It’s a rolling deadline. We fill it when we fill it. Submit away.

6. We want diversity. My number one priority is great content. But I love when that great content can come from, say, an awesome female developer. The truth of the matter is that most submissions come from men. I’d love to put more women on stage, and I do spend time reaching out to female developers (and other groups of diversity), but eventually, I run out of time. So, *please*, know that we want as diverse a speaker group as we can get….and submit away.

7. Don’t ask for a phone call to discuss. I wish I could do this with everyone. I can’t (time is too sparse). Submit via email and if we need to hop on the phone, I’ll ask.

8. “What’s the process?” Yea, in case it’s not overwhelmingly clear by now, it’s little ole me. That said, recommendations carry huge weight. Esther Dyson emailed me 2 years ago and said, “this is Tim, he should present” — that means something. Think of submitting like you would pitching a VC…which is to say, use your network and connections.

I think that’s about it. I look forward to hearing from a bunch of you.

I’ll be publishing our first draft agenda in a week or so, but confirmed sessions include things like:

“Software Refined Networking – The Path To Hell Is Paved With Good Abstraction”
“Cloud Native Applications: What Changed”
“Building a distributed data platform with Node.js, Storm, Kafka, and ZeroMQ”
“Oh my God! They killed SAML! An Introduction to the Emerging JSON-Based Identity and Security Protocols”
“Developing polyglot persistence applications”
“Dark Architecture and How to Forklift Upgrade Your Infrastructure with Zero Downtime”
“Building using Netflix’s Open Source Architecture”
“Distributed Systems Anti-Patterns: Ways People Fail (And How Not To)”
“Creating Sustainable Documentation with Jekyll”
“Node.js is for APIs”

And if you’re not planning on speaking, but do want to attend the most technical, developer-focused event around the topics of cloud computing, mobile development, big data and APIs this year, you can register here.