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How to find CFPs for developer conferences

Phil Nash
Developer evangelist for Twilio and Authy. I write JavaScript and Ruby. Probably listening to ska punk right now. console.log('🍻');
Originally published at philna.sh on ・5 min read

So you’ve decided to speak at a developer conference? You have a story you want to share with your peers—how you built something, how you learned something new, how you became a better developer and how everyone else can too—but you need to find a stage on which to share this story.

There are hundreds of developer conferences out there, covering everything you could think of in our industry. Knowing they are there is nice, but finding out which are coming up and are have an open call for proposals (CFP) is the challenge. Over a number of years of submitting to many and getting accepted to a few conferences, I have researched a number of resources for finding CFPs and I want to share the current crop in this post.

Websites, mailing lists, Twitter accounts

Ideally all CFPs that were relevant to your interests or communities would be sent directly to you. Sadly that’s not how the world works. Instead, we are fortunate that a number of people and communities do the hard work to go out and find the available CFPs and aggregate them for us. The following list includes websites, mailing lists and Twitter accounts that share developer conferences and their CFPs. Mailing lists bring the CFPs to your inbox, Twitter accounts are great if you’re all over social media and the sites are always worth browsing.

Read on to discover how to find developer conference CFPs.

CFP Land

Probably the most comprehensive website and mailing list full of developer CFPs that I know today, CFP Land has a great list of conference CFPs that you can filter by category, region, date and whether they offer hotel, travel or a stipend for speakers. CFP Land also sends out a round up of CFPs weekly and you can sign up for the mailing list on the CFP Land home page.

As a bonus it also has a Twitter account, RSS feed and even a CFP API.

One thing to consider is that CFP Land offers a professional account. The basic website and the other services listed above list CFPs that are closing within 21 days. The professional account gives you earlier access to the CFPs seen on the public site as well as tools to save CFPs you’re interested in and reminders for when the deadlines are approaching. While I am not currently a customer and I can’t comment on how much more useful this is, it is something I have considered and mostly I appreciate the effort to make CFP Land sustainable for the future.

Tech Daily CFP

Tech Daily CFP is a Twitter account that retweets developer CFPs and a mailing list that gathers those retweets and mails a collection of them once a day.

It can be quite intense to receive emails once a day with CFPs, but it definitely feels like you’re not missing out on anything.

PaperCall

PaperCall is a site on which you can host your conference’s CFP, so naturally it has a list of currently open CFPs that is always worth perusing. PaperCall used to run the very comprehensive WeeklyCFP mailing list, but I haven’t heard from it for a while so I believe it’s defunct (which is certainly a reason to support CFP Land’s professional accounts).

Confs.tech

Confs.tech is a community sourced list of conferences. They also list live CFPs that you can filter by category and country. They tweet out all the new conferences added to the site and I just discovered you can sign up to their mailing list on their home page

SeeCFP

I came across SeeCFP on the day of writing this post, so I’m not very well acquainted with it yet. It has a list of CFPs stored in Airtable and a weekly mailing list you can sign up to on the home page. They also tweet out CFPs that are close to their deadlines.

Colloq

Colloq is more than just a list of CFPs, it's a social event platform. It lists loads of events, including events with open CFPs but also lets you publicly say you are attending, links to ticket sales and collects coverage of the event after it happens (check out Accessibility Club Summit 2019 for a good example of an event on Colloq).

Colloq is also a good example of an application that has been built with privacy and security at its heart (if only I could say that about more applications). Just read their blog post on how they keep user passwords secure to see the level of attention.

Tulula

Tulula lists events, particularly those with open CFPs and has a comprehensive filtering system to find the events that are important to you. It also includes a forum and Slack community so that you can meet and chat with others trying to improve their public speaking too.

Other lists of conferences

There are a bunch more sites or Twitter accounts that are less comprehensive or that I don’t necessarily use but came across as part of my research. Some are specific to languages or regions and any of them might be useful to browse once in a while.

Good luck!

Finding the right conference for your talk is a challenge and hopefully these resources can help you to discover a few more opportunities.

If I’ve missed a CFP resource, please let me know on Twitter.

Next up, watch out for my new mailing list sharing sites that list CFPs 😉.

Discussion (5)

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jankapunkt profile image
Jan Küster

Thanks a lot. How high are rejection rates? I never submitted although we invent a lot because I know the procedure from science conferences. It is so exhausting to invest so much just for being rejected.

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missamarakay profile image
Amara Graham

I think science and academic conferences have a much higher rejection rate in general. I think industry conferences have a much lighter touch for submitting proposals, although they are some like Grace Hopper Conference that have a much more involved process. Never hurts to look at what each conference is looking for in their proposal process!

Your personal rejection rate comes down to what conferences you apply to and what kind of content you are presenting. Some conferences have themes and the closer you try to pitch your content to the theme the higher your chance of getting accepted. But there are so many other factors too. Because of this I tend to not count a rate or ratio, but I'm very careful where I invest my time submitting. Would I go to the conference whether I'm accepted or not? Do I think its worth my time to submit the proposal?

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Phil Nash Author

Rejection rates vary by conference and their relative popularity (I believe JSConf Hawai'i had over 1000 proposals, because who wouldn't want a trip to Hawai'i?).

On the other hand it's my understanding that academic conferences require you to have written a full paper that you wish to present beforehand. Industry conferences have nothing like this sort of up front investment. Most of the time you can propose talks about work you have done, or even plan to do, and there's no need to write anything up beyond the proposal until you are accepted.

If you feel you have something to share with the community, I encourage you to give it a go!

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a142hr profile image
Svetlana Grinchenko

Those are all fantastic CFP resources!
Have you checked tulu.la/call-for-papers/?
394 CFPs are open today.

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philnash profile image
Phil Nash Author

I didn't know about that one! I will add it to the post, thank you.