Save the date: On September 28th, DevOps World 2022 kicks off in Orlando, Florida.
This year's theme is DevOps Remix. The dynamic nature of orchestrating trillions of lines of code across diverse ecosystems while simultaneously managing multiple releases per day has changed the rhythm of DevOps. The tempo is faster, the bass deeper, and the treble higher.
The verse and chorus now incorporate software supply chain security and progressive delivery, value stream management and AIOps—new movements that require a rethinking of how DevOps can drive better customer experiences and business outcomes. Done right, it's melodious and almost magical. Done wrong, it's a cacophony of digital sound and fury.
We're remixing the future of software delivery, but we need your help. As we gather again in person, you can contribute your expertise to the collective good by submitting to the DevOps World 2022 call for papers (CFP). With the CFP closing on May 25, now's your time to join the DevOps community chorus.
Not sure how to get started? CloudBees had the opportunity to sit down with Don Brown, co-founder and CTO of Sleuth, to talk about his experience presenting at multiple DevOps conferences over the years and his perspective on what it takes to create and deliver a great presentation.
Cultivating the DevOps community
Brown puts it simply: "I attribute success in my career directly to public speaking."
By consistently presenting at technology conferences, Brown was able to establish himself as an expert in the public sphere. "I'll be on a call with a prospective customer," he says, "and they'll say, 'I saw you online.' It's great if you're a consultant to advertise your services and expertise." It's also what led Brown to meet Sleuth co-founder Michael Knighten.
He also highlights the role of community in the technology space. "We tend to focus on the tech, but don't realize how important it is to connect with people in a public space," says Brown. "If you want to take your conference attendance to the next level, speaking causes you to invest your time and energy to interact with people at a different frequency."
Consider the call for papers
So, what should you talk about? This is the big question for many potential presenters. Although they have a wealth of DevOps knowledge, they're not sure how best to align that expertise with conference goals.
Brown has a simple recommendation: "Go to the CFP and see what they list out. See what the conference owners are trying to get out of it. Look for a win-win situation that speaks to the target audience, then pair that with what's trending in the industry."
Consider the CFP for DevOps World 2022. Some of the key topics listed include progressive delivery, securing the software supply chain, value stream management, and the emergence of XOps. By using one of these topics as a jumping-off point, prospective speakers can align their papers with conference goals while simultaneously bringing their own expertise to bear.
3 tips to capture your audience
Still, it's not enough to have great material—you also have to capture the audience's attention and keep them engaged. With decades of public speaking experience under his belt, Brown offers three pieces of presenting advice.
1. Share, don't tell
"The distinguishing form factor between good and bad speakers is that bad speakers say, 'I want to tell you something.' Good speakers say, 'What do you want to learn?'" By understanding your audience and sharing information they find useful, you have a much better chance of keeping them engaged.
2. Speak the same language
"You have to speak the same language as your audience," says Brown. In practice, this means that a presentation to C-suite members will look and sound different than a presentation on the same topic to IT professionals. Executives often want the big picture and actionable items, whereas tech practitioners don't mind digging into the details.
3. Spur audience action
Action is your ultimate goal. For your talk, you need to figure out what you want the audience to do—and how you're going to get them from point A to point B. Maybe you want them to implement a new process or change their perspective. In Brown's 2021 presentation, his goal was to get the audience to focus on the people that made their DevOps possible, rather than the tools that enable DevOps deployments.
Help shape the future of software delivery
Although the idea of creating and delivering your own session may be daunting, it's a great way to build connections, establish yourself as an industry expert, and make your mark on the future of software delivery. With the right approach—considering the priorities of the CFP, sharing your own expertise, and engaging with the audience to drive action—DevOps World 2022 could be the start of your speaking career.
Check out the call for papers before May 25 and bring your expertise up on stage at DevOps World 2022.