PyCascades 2020

Portland, OR February 08, 2020, February 09, 2020

CFP closed at  October 02, 2019 12:10 UTC

PyCascades is a new regional PyCon in the Pacific Northwest, celebrating the West Coast Python developer and user community. Our organizer team includes members of the Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland Python user groups.

February 8th and 9th, 2020 Portland, OR, USA

CFP Description

PyCascades 2020 will be held February 8th & 9th, 2020, and we’re proud to host more than 500 attendees and speakers from all around the world.

Considering speaking at PyCascades? Great! We’re looking forward to reading your proposal!

Never considered speaking at PyCascades? We think you should! We love proposals from:

  • People who’ve never spoken before (we’ve got mentors for you!)
  • People new to Python
  • People who use Python in their spare time
  • People who want to talk about something that isn’t specifically Python

What gets you excited? What cool art did you build? What’s something you wish someone had told you years ago? What interesting problem have you solved recently? Talks can be about anything that someone in the Python community would be interested in hearing about.

If you need financial assistance to speak or attend PyCascades we will be continuing our opportunity grants program this year. We’ll have more details soon but feel free to reach out to in the meantime.


  • CFP Opens: Wednesday, August 21st, 2019
  • CFP Closes: Tuesday, October 1st, 2019
  • Speaker Invitations Sent: Tuesday, October 21st, 2019

Submission Guidelines

Please read instructions completely. It will make it much easier for us to review all of the proposals and announce our selections as quickly as possible.

As you’re writing your proposal, keep in mind:

  • Talks will be 25 minutes long.
  • You do not need to allocate time for questions. PyCascades does not provide time for Q&A, though you are encouraged to stay near the stage during speaker changeover and answer questions individually.
  • By submitting a proposal, you agree to follow the PyCascades Code of Conduct.
    In particular, speakers should be conscious of the fact that they are in a professional context with audience members from many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate, and neither are language or imagery that denigrate or demean people based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, physical appearance, disability, or body size. We’d also ask that you also be mindful of jokes told at the expense of other languages, platforms, or tools. This is a conference for people who love Python, not people who hate Ruby/Windows/iOS/etc.
  • Talks do not need to be about Python but your talk is more likely to be selected if it has some relevance to the Python community. You can look at the list of talks from previous years (2018, 2019) to get a feel for the overall topics.
  • You can (and, in fact, are encouraged to!) submit as many talk proposals as you’d like, but keep in mind that only one talk per speaker will be accepted.


Please read this section thoroughly. Due to technical limitations our requirements here differ a bit from the PaperCall form fields- follow these descriptions instead. Follow these guidelines and if in doubt email or ask for clarification in the slack channel: #2020-cfp-mentorship.

Your proposal must include the following sections:

  • Title: This is what will be shown in the schedule.
  • Elevator Pitch: A short description of your talk. If your talk is accepted, the abstract will be published on the conference website. This is the place to tell people:
    • What you’ll be talking about.
    • What they’ll learn from your talk.
    • What background experience they should have to get the most out of your talk.
  • Description: an in-depth explanation of your talk, read only by reviewers. An outline of your talk along with a time breakdown is encouraged but not required. Please do not include any personally identifiable information in the description, as this will effectively de-anonymize the proposal.

  • Bio: The speaker profile (“Bio”) section will be hidden from the reviewers when they read through all the talks. After discussing the talks and narrowing down the selection, the profile section will be revealed and then the team will make a final decision. Please do not put any personally identifiable info in any other field!.

The following sections are optional:

  • Notes: This is where you would tell the reviewers anything they need to know about your talk that doesn’t fit in another section. Such as any additional equipment you might need, whether or not you’ve given this talk before, etc.

  • Tags: You can add a list of comma separated tags to give reviewers a quick overview of the topics you’ll be covering. There is a list of suggested tags for you to choose from and you can add your own. Tags are not required, but the reviewing team loves tags and we encourage using them.

First time speaking? First time submitting a talk proposal?

Great! We’re excited that we can host you!

Need some help turning your idea into a talk proposal? We have experienced mentors available who can help edit and provide feedback on your proposal. If your proposal is selected, the mentors can also help you put all of the finishing touches on your talk.

If you would like help from our mentors, there are several options:

  1. email and she will pick a mentor for you and give you their email address so you can discuss your proposal one on one.

  2. Join the PyCascades slack team and join the channel called #2020-cfp-mentorship

  3. Join in-person PyLadies brainstorming sessions.
    - PyLadies Seattle: September 12, 2019
    - PyLadies Vancouver: September 18, 2019


Mariatta Wijaya: Mariatta works as a Backend Engineer at Zapier. She is one of the founders of PyCascades, a Python Core Developer, and helps organize PyLadies. Mariatta has spoken at Python conferences across three continents. She’s prioritizing to mentor the underrepresented group in tech, especially women of color, as well as any first time speakers.

Chris Wilcox:Chris is a developer at Google in Seattle, WA, USA and works on the Google Cloud Platform Client Libraries team, focusing on dynamic languages and their users. Before joining Google, Chris has worked on compilers, cloud platforms, and developer tooling for Python, Node, and .NET developers. He brings a passion for enabling developers everywhere through better tools and libraries. In his spare time you can find Chris running or cycling nowhere in particular or riding his motorcycle.

Sev Leonard: Sev is a seasoned speaker, mentor, and Pythonista who enjoys helping folks work out their ideas. He is particularly good at helping to scope and refine proposals, editing, and presentation coaching. A resident of Portland and pastry enthusiast, he can also point you toward the cities best bakeries.

Katie McLaughlin: Katie has worn many different hats over the years. She is a Cloud Developer Advocate at Google, Director for both the Python and Django Software foundations. She has been a software developer for many languages, systems administrator for multiple operating systems, and speaker on many different topics. When she’s not changing the world, she enjoys making tapestries, cooking, and seeing just how well various application stacks

Brian Dorsey

Dustin Ingram

Tom Ballinger

Philip James

More resources

VM Brasseur has compiled a list of public speaking resources to help speakers write talk proposals, prepare, and give their talk: Public Speaking Resources

Allison Kaptur has compiled a list of PyCon talk proposals to help potential speakers see how to write a talk proposal that will get accepted: Example Proposals

Nina Zakharenko has written a comprehensive guide on how to propose, prepare, and give technical talks: Ultimate Guide to Memorable Tech Talks

Financial Aid info

If you need financial aid to help cover the cost of traveling to and attending PyCascades, please fill out the opportunity grant form when it becomes available.

Speaker Perks:

All speakers will be given a ticket to the conference and a PyCascades t-shirt.