How You Can Help Bring New Speakers and New Ideas to Scala eXchange 2016

The Scala eXchange 2016 conference is taking place in December, in London. The call for papers is open. We know you’re going to hear from some great established speakers, but we also want to make sure new voices are heard. New speakers increase the diversity of experiences, ideas, approaches, and interests. We can all benefit from that.

In this post, we’ll tell you how we’re helping new speakers. We need your help too.

Help for new speakers

Underscore is offering to help new speakers to submit a talk idea. We call it “shepherding talk proposals”, and this is the third year we’ve done it.

Why do we do this? Well, some people don’t submit talks to conferences because they can’t think of something to say or don’t think their ideas are interesting or don’t think they belong “up there” talking or aren’t “the expert” on a subject.

We want to fix that, by providing advice and feedback. The aim is to give you a fair chance when you submit an idea.

What’s involved

“Call for Papers” is a terrible name for this. No-one is being asked to write a few thousand words as a “paper”. It’s really asking you to submit a title and an summary of a talk you might like to give. It’s three or four paragraphs.

We can help by…

  • listening to your idea, and giving you feedback;
  • reviewing your abstract (“CFP submission”, “talk proposal”) before you submit it; and
  • answering any questions you might have about talking at a conference.

There is no charge for any of this, in case you’re wondering.

In the end your talk submission is read along-side all the other abstracts from potential speakers. You’re not getting to skip any steps in the process. Ultimately there’s a Scala eXchange programme committee that picks a set of talks for a rounded and interesting conference.

What can you talk about?

The conference asks for talks across a wide range of topics. Here’s a list of ideas from the call for papers:

  • DevOps and Tooling (Deployment, Monitoring, etc)
  • Data Science/ Big Data (Spark, Machine Learning, etc)
  • Distributed Systems (Streams, Actors, ES, CQRS,etc )
  • Experience Reports (Adoption, Post Mortems, etc)
  • Scala and The Web (Microservices, Scala JS, etc)
  • Introductory Guide To..
  • Software Craftsmanship (Best Practices, Testing, etc)
  • Systems Architecture/ Design (of Existing Systems, Best Practices etc)
  • Open Source Projects
  • Types/Implicits/ Typelevel Programming


  • Others

You Should Talk

If you are a new speakers go ahead a contact us. Say hi, mention what you’re interested in, and one of us will get in touch. If it’s not for you, you’re not committed to anything.

To hear from new speakers, have a look at Danielle Ashley’s guest post. There are also comments from new speakers in 2014.

There will be additional help later in the year around writing a presentation and delivering it. But the first steps are having a talk proposal.

Encourage Others to Talk

You probably know people who could be presenting their work or an idea or their experiences. Someone in the office? Someone you follow on twitter?

Please give them the encouragement to talk. Point them at this post, and we can take it from there when they apply.

How to Apply

You need to send us an email. You need to do it before August 14th. The sooner the better.

Like what you're reading?

Join our newsletter


We encourage discussion of our blog posts on our Gitter channel. Please review our Community Guidelines before posting there. We encourage discussion in good faith, but do not allow combative, exclusionary, or harassing behaviour. If you have any questions, contact us!