Well it’s football season in the US, that means Fall is here. It also means that we are coming up to conference season. No matter what segment of the IT market you live in, there are probably a slew of conferences both local and national/international vying for your attention and attendance. For the overwhelming majority of attendees, going to a conference means watching and listening to others speak on topics of interest. Maybe this is the year you should really up your game by speaking!
This was driven home for me last week when I was speaking with the IBM DevOps team. We were discussing how plans for IBM’s InterConnect 2016 conference were coming along. The call for speakers for this major event is open until September 25th. The IBM team was very pleased that the DevOps stream is tracking among the leading topics for submissions for InterConnect 2016.
That is really quite a feat when you consider the scope and scale of the event. InterConnect 2016 is IBM’s Premier Cloud and Mobile event, February 21-25 in Las Vegas, and is expected to draw over 20,000 attendees, delivering 2,500 sessions, workshops and labs in 10 major topic areas – including DevOps – and infinite networking opportunities. But it also speaks to both the popularity of DevOps in general and IBM’s focus on it in particular. In fact, the DevOps stream covers key DevOps adoption paths: Plan, Develop, Test, Release and Deploy, and Operate. There is a track specifically focused on transforming application delivery with DevOps, and another track called DevOps for Enterprise Systems that will focus on topics related to continuous delivery for two-speed IT including z Systems and Power Systems. There are other streams such as App Platform, Hybrid Cloud, Mobile and Security where DevOps topics will appear. Each track is packed with quality client success stories, technical deep dives, labs, meet-the-expert panels, interactive workshops and more. What’s nice is the sessions are tagged for interest for management and techies and for skill-level. There is a ton of content.
To find out more join me and 14 great DevOps leaders on the crowd chat DevOps: Code, Culture & Community on September 22, 2015 @ 1pm eastern time (60 minutes). You can visit https://www.crowdchat.net/ibminterconnect2016 to add to your calendar or follow along on Twitter #ibminterconnect2016.
So what does this mean to you? It means that there are still some great slots available to share your DevOps skills, lessons and experience with the world. Having spoken at numerous events over the years, I can tell you that participating as a speaker in an event brings a completely new level of learning and understanding. It is also a great way to meet your peers, other speakers and attendees and expand your own network.
What should you talk about? That is probably the biggest obstacle for many people submitting to speak. Randy Newell, Director, DevOps Marketing at IBM, commented to me,”highly-rated sessions are typically DevOps journeys told by peers – shared candidly, complete with the successes and the challenges around technology and culture. Transparency and passion, told from the front lines, go a long way.” I feel that you should speak about what you find interesting. If you find it interesting, chances are others will find it interesting as well. Also, when you are speaking about something interesting to you, your passion for the topic will shine through and others will feed from and join in your passion.
In a large show like this, the good news is that with all of the session slots available they have the ability to afford people to explore specific aspects of a subject that might not be available at a smaller event.
If IBM’s InterConnect is not the event that you choose to share your thoughts and ideas with the world, that is OK too. Pick another event and submit to speak there.
Of course speaking at conferences like InterConnect is a great career move, raising your stature and visibility among your peers. But beyond your own personal benefit, it really benefits the whole community. The best way for us to learn is to share our experiences and stimulate the discussion.
I realize that some of you reading this may still be hesitant to take the plunge and submit to speak. If that is your final decision, of course that is OK, too. You can still be an active participant in sessions by asking questions, joining the conversation. Don’t be a passive conference attendee. You get out of these conferences what you put into them.
As for me, I have two or three different speaking topics that I am submitting this week. Some are panels where I will be with key DevOps thought leaders and influencers who are also my colleagues to discuss key trends defining the future of DevOps. Panels are a great way to get your feet wet with speaking at events, btw.
So what are you going to do? Share your lessons learned, explore new frontiers, advance the state-of-the-art. Call for papers for IBM InterConnect 2016 is ending on September 25th. Don’t miss the opportunity to up your game by speaking at the biggest DevOps event of the year! Submit to speak at IBM InterConnect 2016 today. http://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/us/en/interconnect/