Call for Presenters

Aaron Turner CascadiaJS 2019 speaker


CFP submissions are 2-minute videos.

Conference talks are 25 minutes long.

CFP closes on July 19, 2021 August 2, 2021.

Talks will be done remotely via Zoom.

We provide support and mentorship for new speakers.

Who we are looking for

This CFP is open to both experienced speakers and folks who have never given a big conference talk. The criteria we will use for evaluating submissions will be the same, and no added weight will be awarded to folks just because they've spoken before. Some of the best talks given at past CascadiaJS events have come from folks giving their first conference talk.

We are also looking for stories from folks who belong to underrepresented groups (URMs) in our industry. Seattle (and the Pacific Northwest) has a bad reputation for being pretty homogenous, and we want to create an environment for all kinds of speakers, from all kinds of backgrounds, because we believe that makes a difference in shifting the inclusivity of our industry forward.

EVERY DEVELOPER HAS A STORY: about how they got into this industry, how their team solved a problem, how they used the open web to create an amazing experience. We hope that you’ll tell us about yours!

What kind of talks we look for

There are a few kinds of talks that we're NOT looking for:

  • Product pitches (How to use product X)
  • Intro talks (Getting started with framework Y)
  • Negative talks (All the things I hate about Z)
  • Comparing frameworks (Why I think E is better than F)

We look for talks that tell a story -- it can address issues that developers struggle with, break down and explain complicated topics, and cover new ground in web technology. But it should be a personal story, your story. For example, feel free to submit a talk about your experiences with Svelte. But it should go well beyond what a developer can find on the Svelte "getting started" page and should cover things you learned, things that surprised you, and why you think other folks should consider it for their projects.

If you're looking for inspiration, please check-out some topic suggestions below in our CFP FAQ.

What we take care of

If we accept your proposal to speak, the following items are taken care of by us:

Full access to all aspects of the conference & activities including our in-person events.

A high-quality webcam & microphone sent to you if you don't have one.

A few surprises!

How to submit a proposal

First, make sure you're available to speak at the conference. It will be held on November 3-4, 2021.

Talk submissions are done as 2 minute videos. Your goal here is not to produce a perfectly executed mini-talk, it is to describe your talk idea informally. What's the topic? How do you want to approach it? Why is it interesting?

We won't make the videos public, so no need to worry about random Internet people seeing them. But we feel this is a good opportunity to start building a comfort level with talking about your idea in front of an audience.

Below are a couple of submissions from two of our 2020 speakers. These videos are not meant to be templates, they're just here to illustrate a few goals: be clear about your topic, share some context for why you care, and please be yourself!

If you're still hesitant about the video, here's a suggestion. Forget recording for now. Stand up, in a place where no one can hear you, and describe your talk idea out loud. When you're done, start over and do it again, ten times in a row. With a two-minute limit, ten tries only take about 20 minutes. After your tenth try, you may feel much more confident.

Once you’ve recorded your 2-minute video, just upload it to a public but obfuscated place. Some suggestions: Youtube (mark as unlisted), Dropbox, S3, your own web host.

Note for ASL speakers

If you would like to deliver your talk using ASL, we are here to support you! Once your proposal has been accepted, we will work with you to figure out the best way to make sure your talk is delivered appropriately to folks in our audience who don't understand ASL.

For the purposes of the CFP, please record the 2-minute video using ASL and include an attached transcript. Our Talk Review Committee will use both the video and the transcript to evaluate your proposal.

We’re here to help!

There are a million reasons why you might not think you’re qualified or capable of giving a talk, let alone at CascadiaJS. We are here to prove you wrong. If all you have is a gut feeling that you have something important to share with people, we are here to help you hone your idea and craft a great submission. We are happy to connect you with experienced speakers to help prepare your submission. Just join our Slack and head over to the #CFP channel.

If you are a new speaker, once your talk has been accepted we will commit to working with you to give an awesome talk. This includes reviewing and advising on slides and helping you practice giving your talk. We can hook you up with local groups or set up a stage for you and a bunch of friends in advance, so you can practice in front of a friendly crowd. Again, whatever else you might need, we’re here to help.

The selection process

  • 7/19 - The CFP closes
  • 7/26 - First round of review complete
  • 8/02 - Final round of review complete
  • 8/06 - We email CFP submitters


Q: Are there any specific topics I should consider?

Below are a few topics that we think are interesting, but it’s more about you and the story you want to tell.

  • Hardware (hacking, IoT)
  • Art (visuals, music, interactive)
  • Intelligent software (AI, ML)
  • APIs (GraphQL, REST, HTTP protocol fun)
  • Decentralized Web (IPFS, dat, etc)
  • Building more inclusive technical communities and a healthier industry
  • Going beyond touch & text (AR, VR, voice)
  • New additions to the Web Platform (Payment Request API, etc)
  • Accessibility
  • Performance
  • Devops (Serverless, Containers, etc)
  • Developer Ethics
  • Security, Privacy and Trust