Call for Proposals

Our CFP has now closed

The deadline has passed for the London 2020 CFP. We are currently in the process of reviewing the submissions and hand-picking the talks for this year’s programme. We will be releasing the speaker line-up at the end of February, so stay tuned!

If you are looking for other speaking opportunities at our events throughout the year, find out more here.

We’re delighted that you’re thinking of submitting a proposal to The Lead Developer London Call for Proposals. We hope the following guide helps you with your application. Before you submit, make sure to read the rest of this page so that you can understand more about our audience, what makes a successful submission, and about the kinds of topics that we cover.

The CFP deadline was 13 January. When you submit a talk, you’ll also have the opportunity to be considered for a Lead Dev Meetup.

Not sure what to expect? Watch our video to hear from recent speakers, including Nick Means, Pat Kua, Clare Sudbery and Whitney O'Banner about their Lead Dev speaking experience and their top recommendations for you!

What do we offer you?

If you’re selected as a speaker, we’ll provide:

  • A free ticket to the conference and an extra free ticket for a +1
  • VIP access to the following year's conference
  • A £500 honorarium
  • Economy travel expenses
  • 3 nights accommodation at the conference hotel
  • £100 miscellaneous expenses (e.g. travel, meals)
  • A special speakers' dinner before the conference
  • Optional public speaking training and help with your presentation
  • Travel and accommodation for a carer or interpreter, or access to local support

Why you?

Everyone has something to share – and we’d love The Lead Developer to be the conference where you choose to share it. We’re keen and committed to getting submissions from as broad, diverse and representative a range of potential speakers as we possibly can.

We have a Code of Conduct that we emphasise and are committed to, and our conference staff and volunteers are ready and trained to respond to any issues. Speaker travel and accommodation is funded, and we will book things and pay for them upfront to save you having to submit expenses afterwards if you prefer. We also offer an honorarium to thank you for your time. The night before the conference, we host a low-key speaker dinner so you can meet your fellow speakers and get to know the chair and organisers too. Post-conference, you’ll receive professional photos of yourself onstage, and we make videos of all the talks available for free online following the conference (take a look at some from last year's conference here), with speakers of course retaining copyright.

Who would you be speaking to?

Our audience consists of tech leads, lead developers, senior engineers, engineering managers, VPs of Engineering, and CTOs. Everyone in the room comes with technical knowledge but from a very broad range of technologies and industries.

The more junior end of the audience will be coaching and leading, whereas the more senior end could have been managing managers for several years. Some folks also attend when they have just been promoted, or when they are trying to figure out what skills they need to develop in order to progress into a tech lead role.

What are we looking for?

We programme each of our conferences around three main themes: Team, Tech & Tools. Our Team talks speak to anything related to leadership; Tools talks look at processes and ways of working; and Tech talks are designed to keep the audience current. Some more details on each of the themes can be found below.

Each of these themes responds to a different challenge that engineering leaders face, and a good submission will think practically about the benefit that the talk is providing. People want to be able to take something back to their day job, so try to build your talk with that in mind!

We have two types of talk slots – a ten-minute short talk, and a 30-minute full-length talk. If you’re able to flex your talk to fit either slot, please tell us, it really helps to have flexibility when we are programming the lineup.

We tend to have a lot more submissions for full-length talks, and so if you can do a great 10-minute talk you might have a better chance of being selected.

Breakdown of the themes

Some examples of topics around Team that interest us include:

  • Anything related to leadership
  • People management techniques
  • Creating inclusive environments
  • Attracting, recruiting and retaining great (diverse) talent
  • Team dynamics
  • Helping teams be most effective
  • Communication: interpersonal, inter-team, inter-org/dept/company
  • Helping people develop at all levels (including junior devs/interns/graduates, career paths, personal development for developers)
  • Creating and maintaining great cultures
  • Challenging issues (such as burnout, mental health and imposter syndrome)

The kinds of talks that work well for Tech include:

  • Overviews of new languages, frameworks and technologies
  • Trends and changes in the way things are being built and operated
  • Case studies or approaches for dealing with common problems, for example, rapid scaling, dealing with legacy or moving from one architectural approach to another

Bear in mind that though our audience is typically technical, folks come from all different kinds of organisations and specialisations – so, for instance, an overview of new approaches for building mobile apps might be appropriate, but a deep dive into Swift likely isn’t going to be super accessible for everyone in the audience.

For the Tools theme, we mean tools as well as processes and ways of working, including:

  • Agile and other modes of delivery
  • Tools you use to help your team be most productive/effective
  • Processes for doing support brilliantly, or how you keep on top of your backlog of bugs, or how out-of-hours on-calls are handled by your team, for instance
  • Ways of keeping current and helping people figure out how to stay up to date with an ever-changing industry
  • Approaches to personal development for tech leads themselves, or key skills for tech leads to develop

What if your talk idea doesn't fit exactly?

If you have a proposal or idea for a talk that doesn’t fit exactly into these themes, or works across more than one, please do submit it! We keep a slot or two available for “wildcards” – something that doesn’t necessarily exactly fit the description of the themes above, but we nevertheless feel would be interesting, inspiring or entertaining for our attendees. There is absolutely no harm in submitting something that might be a little left-field – we will consider it alongside all the other submissions.

Any questions?

If you’ve got any questions, feel free to reach out to Rob, our Content Producer, on [email protected]

We look forward to reading your submissions!

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