The CFP process for SymfonyCon and SymfonyLive events
All the Symfony conferences we organize are aimed at gathering the Symfony community together to enable every community member to meet each other, share best practices and learn tips and about new features. This all happens in a convivial atmosphere that feels like a big family reunion. The highlight, of course, is listening to high quality talks. The speaker line up is very important to us and we take great care to make sure the talks we select will be appreciated and useful for the majority of conference attendees.
The CFP criteria are available online and are the same for all the conferences: we're looking for the best Symfony-focused topics that are relevant to the community. We don't select speakers based on any racial, gender or physical criteria: all the talk proposals received are studied no matter who the speaker is. In fact, the only things that are important are the topic itself! If you are an experienced speaker, that's a plus but is not mandatory at all. Speakers get a free conference ticket, hotel and travel reimbursed, up to a reasonable max amount, defined per-conference.
Once the Call for Papers is closed we take the time to study each talk proposal received. Sometimes people send only a few words about their talk idea so we need to contact them to get more detailed information. Of course, we don't ask for the final slides, but we need at least some detailed information to understand the talk idea and see what the talk is going to be about. By the way, we definitely encourage you to submit several talks, so that we have more choices when building the program, and so that if a similar one is posted by a more experienced speaker (happens quite a lot on trendy topics), you have more chances to be selected.
Oh wait, I've been saying "we" from the beginning. Who is doing all of this? "We" is the "technical talk selection commitee" - composed of several people (except for the SymfonyLive conferences in Germany, where their technical committee is local):
- Fabien Potencier, Symfony project leader
- Nicolas Grekas, Symfony core team member and experienced speaker
- Me, Anne-Sophie Bachelard, conference organizer and speaker support
- 2 other members of the community who are replaced for each conference talk selection
Once we gathered all the information, we create our speaker selection and then send the confirmations to the selected speakers. The selection is purely based on the topic submitted to see if it fits to our Call for Papers criteria. After that, we publish the schedule online.
In recent days, it was brought to our attention that at this year's SymfonyLive San Francisco conference, no women will be speaking. That's true and this is not something we're happy about. We directly contacted several past SymfonyLive women speakers and women user groups to inform them about our CFP while it was still open. Unfortunately, for this conference, no women sent us any proposals. Being a woman myself, I hate to see this!
We are very proud of the women from the Symfony community. As years pass we are proud to count many more women. For example, at SymfonyCon conferences, the number of women attendees increased from 3% to 6% between 2015 and 2016 editions. For this year's edition we expect about 10% of women at the conference in Cluj!
We really wish to have more women speaking at our Symfony conferences. Are you a woman who uses Symfony? Please consider sending your talk proposals to SymfonyLive London, Cluj and Berlin!
In closing, I want to encourage everyone (regardless of gender) to submit your proposals in the future, even if you're not 100% sure about your idea. We'd love to hear from all of you!
Lastly, we live by our code of conduct. All Symfony events are dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, gender-reassignment, disability, physical appearance, race, religion or belief. We are dedicated to providing safety for everyone: speakers, participants and organizers included.
See you at a Symfony conference soon!