Published on 8 April 2016 by

We're looking forward to a fantastic PuppetConf 2016 in sunny San Diego, California! The call for papers is now open, and closes 2 May, which will be here before you know it. Not sure if you should submit a talk? Need a little motivation? We talked to a few speakers from PuppetConf 2015 and asked them to share their take on the experience.

Rob Reynolds, Chocolatey and Puppet: Managing Your Windows Software Since 2011

Speaking at PuppetConf is IMHO better than just attending PuppetConf. Although attending PuppetConf is great, speaking is more of an experience. It’s sharing interesting things that you are doing with Puppet, and/or interesting technologies you are working on. You would be surprised how many folks love to hear the story of how Puppet and automation have shaped you and/or your company for the better. Taking complex concepts and explaining them in a way that is easy to digest makes for great talks. It’s a joy to see folks get something out of what you have to share. That’s not something you can get simply by attending PuppetConf.

I’ve spoken at PuppetConf three times. My most treasured memories of PuppetConf are from hallway conversations with people who’ve shared their experiences surrounding things I’ve presented on and technologies I’ve worked on. Every year I see the conference get better and I keep thinking, “There is no way they can top this next year.” And every year they do! Although the venues are fantastic, it’s really the people who come and the folks who speak that make this conference what it is.

Gareth Rushgrove, Provisioning Infrastructure with Puppet

Speaking at PuppetConf is a great way to share what you've been doing with Puppet. Personally, I always like the talks that show how people use tools in an unexpected way, or introduce new ideas to the community. But there are always lots of people who are new to Puppet too, so talks on doing the basics really well always get good feedback. Just remember, if you’re reading this, that you’re probably more of an expert than you think.

Lizzi Lindboe (with Jeremy Adams), Puppet Enterprise API Roundup: Node Classification, RBAC, Activity Service, Tools, and More!

My favorite thing about speaking at PuppetConf was that several people found me afterward to tell me that my talk had helped them. I had worried that my topic wouldn’t be useful, but it turned out many attendees wanted to utilize the tools I was talking about and just didn’t know how. There’s nothing like hearing you helped make a tough problem easier. This talk was also my first time speaking at a tech conference, and I’m glad I got to do that in such a supportive community. I learned a lot at the conference and I met a lot of great, kind people.

We hope you’ll join the many fantastic Puppet community members who are submitting talk proposals for PuppetConf 2016. Beginner, intermediate and advanced talks are all needed. And if your talk isn’t accepted, you’ll still get a 50 percent discount on your conference ticket just for applying. We also encourage reshaping submissions into blog posts, podcasts, and talks for Puppet Camp, Puppet User Groups and more. Learn more about submitting and submit your talk today — but hurry, because the deadline is 2 May.

One more thing: We offer travel scholarships to accepted speakers who are part of a group that's underrepresented in tech. You'll see an area of the form where we ask you to identify yourself and let us know if you'd need a travel scholarship to attend. PuppetConf 2016 will be a success because of our amazing community of speakers. Bring your experience and best practices, and empower attendees with the know-how they need to move their careers and organizations to the next level. See you in San Diego!

Kara Sowles is senior community manager at Puppet.

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