Okay, potential DevCon 2012 speakers, it is time to submit your proposal. You have until May 19 to do it and that will be here before you know it, so don’t procrastinate.
Before you submit your proposal, keep a few things in mind…
DevCon 2012 will feature more types of sessions than ever before
In addition to traditional conference sessions and panel discussions, we will be adding Birds-of-a-Feather sessions and Lightning Talks. A Birds-of-a-Feather session is not a traditional talk, but rather a topic. Put two people together interested in the same topic and you’ve got birds-of-a-feather. If enough people are interested, we might do lunch tables divided by BoF topic.
Got something you want to tell the rest of us about, but that doesn’t warrant a full-blown presentation? A lightning talk is for you. We’ll make a decision on the time limit later, but it is likely going to be in the neighborhood of 5 to 10 minutes per presenter, strictly enforced. We may also decide to ban slides and demos.
Please do NOT submit a session proposal for Birds-of-a-Feather topics or for Lightning Talks. We will organize these much closer to (and even at) the event.
Give the Crowd What they Want
If you need some inspiration, I’ve created a forum topic where community members will hopefully suggest sessions they would like to see. If you can’t or don’t want to present, but you have an idea for a session, post a reply to that thread. And if you see a hot session idea that you know something about, jump on it!
Find a Niche
To give you an idea of the types of sessions we’re looking for, all sessions should be able to fit into one of several categories, which I’ll describe below. I don’t want to call these “tracks” just yet–they are more like “buckets” at this point. I want to make sure we have good coverage of all of these areas.
Mobile. Alfresco, to go. These sessions are about developing mobile applications on top of the Alfresco platform including the Alfresco iOS app, the Alfresco Android app, or custom mobile applications. Sessions in this category shouldn’t limit themselves to SDK-level discussions–they could also include examples of how mobile rollouts were improved by leveraging Alfresco technology.
Cloud. Got your head in the clouds? Share your experience running Alfresco on both private and public cloud infrastructure. How does infrastructure like Amazon EC2, S3, and VMWare affect your implementation? Alfresco will provide an in-depth look at Hybrid Cloud Synchronization. And we will unveil the latest news and share lessons learned around our own cloud-based platform.
Web Content Services. This category is for discussing Web Content Management solutions built on top of the Alfresco repository. Built a system that leverages Drupal, Crafter, Liferay, or Alfresco Web Quick Start? Give us the details. Have you taken advantage of Alfresco’s social publishing framework? What did you build? Why did you pick the front-end that you did? What would you do differently? Did you move off of an AVM-based solution? How did that go?
Getting Started with Alfresco. We’ve got a broad and sometimes complex platform. Sessions in this category flatten the learning curve for newcomers who want to learn how to set up an Alfresco development environment, what the Alfresco extension points are, which API to use, how to write web scripts, content modeling basics, and how to do basic configuration of the user interface. Attendees come to this talk to find out what their next steps should be. Experienced speakers share what they wish they would have known when they were starting out.
Core Repository. Front-end? Who cares. No one in this category, where it is all about the core repo. Whether it is understanding the details behind Alfresco’s core services, like actions, behaviors, transformers, metadata extractors, file protocols, and security, learning how to scale out the search engine using Solr, or evaluating strategies and tools for bulk content migration, talks in this category dive into what makes Alfresco, Alfresco.
Share Customization. Talks in this group help attendees understand how to trick out their Share installation with custom code. This is all about tips-and-tricks for learning how to take Share to the next level by leveraging Surf, YUI, and your creativity. Attendees will take away development approaches, debugging tools, and pointers to great examples.
Installation, Administration, & Tuning. Learn how to install Alfresco the Right Way. And once it is installed, understand tools, tips, and techniques that can keep the platform healthy and performing at its peak. Alfresco will share results from recent benchmarking exercises. And let’s not forget about upgrades.
Troubleshooting. What do you do when something inevitably goes wrong? Talks in this category provide attendees with useful advice for finding the source of their problems, answers to common problems, or tips on how to make it easier for others (like Alfresco Support) to lend a hand.
Case Studies. These talks are about lessons learned during Alfresco projects. They are typically non-technical, focusing instead on the business problem and how the project was executed to solve that business problem. Obviously, there may be some light technical discussion pertaining to technology trade-offs, selections, or high-level architecture. These talks might help those evaluating Alfresco or people looking to broaden the use of Alfresco in their organization.
Records Management, Imaging, & Archiving. Learn about the new features and functionality found in Alfresco Records Management 2.0. Discuss related technologies such as XAM and content storage policies. As Alfresco repositories get larger, what are valid approaches to things like archival?
Workflow, Process, & Productivity. Content and the people who create it don’t sit still. Alfresco’s embedded workflow engines facilitate business processes around content with the goal of improving productivity. This category features sessions on Activiti, rules engine integration, and how people can achieve greater productivity by leveraging Alfresco technology.
The Alfresco Community. We’ve got a global community that spans every industry, skill-level, and interest area. This category is for talks about our community. Typically a roundtable discussion format, attendees should come to these sessions prepared to share ideas on how to keep our community growing and moving in the right direction.
Consider DevCon’s diverse audience
In addition to the content of your talk, you should also consider who you are speaking to. DevCon is attended by a diverse group of individuals who play a variety of roles on Alfresco-related projects. As you put together your abstract, and later, your session content, it will help if you focus on your target audience. Are you talking to project managers? Technical Architects? Developers? What kind of developer? Knowing this will help you write better content and it will help attendees figure out if your session is a good match for what they are looking for.
Now Get To It
There is some fine print on the proposal form about how not everyone who proposes will get selected and some other stuff, but I think you get the picture. I’m looking forward to the very hard task of sorting through your ideas and programming another awesome conference for you.