Pittsburgh TechFest Storytellers 2019 is Saturday, June 8, 2019 at Nova Place in Pittsburgh’s historic North Side.
New venue. New food. More hallway time (and space!) to catch up with old friends and colleagues. While we’re keeping PTF’s tradition of being a polyglot, cross-functional conference — this year, we want our speakers to captivate the audience with a story — an actual narrative of your experiences.
In other words, we want to hear about a problem you had and the journey you and your team took to try and resolve it successfully. We want talks that are a call to action - that provoke us to change the way we approach our craft — to change how we approach ourselves and each other.
Come to TechFest this year to hear the stories. Meet friends old and new and tell your story.
This year, we are not looking for Intro 101 presentations on [insert language, platform, and/or process], devoid of any business or social context. While those types of presentations are valuable, we believe the best types of talks are the ones that marry technical details with a story. For example, how did a new language, framework, and/or process change the way you approach your craft? Tell us about the awesome way your team hired for diversity. What was it like becoming the CTO of your company? How did you transition from a QA engineer to a software engineer (or vice versa!)? Tell us about a time when a deployment went horribly wrong. Or about the dumbest application of “agile” or scrum you’ve ever experienced. How has your startup’s tech stack evolved over time?
Below are some guidelines on the type of talks we’re looking for:
- We welcome a wide range of topics and presenters with varying levels of experience. First time speaker? PTF is a strong supporter of first time speakers!
- PTF will proudly continue its non-denominational tradition. Any topic related to software development (or the process by which software is built) is welcome.
- Warning: we will not accept “pure” technical talks. In other words, if you want your talk to be about something technical, you need to tell us how you applied that technology in the context of a specific problem or situation.
- Instead of slaving over a slide deck that outlines the technical basics of a language that, frankly, we can all learn about on YouTube or Udemy, spend your time framing your talk in the form of a story, with an actual arc. For instance, introduce the problem, describe the struggle, and titillate us with the journey to resolution. Stories of failure can be equally interesting.
- If you think you can get away with telling your story without a slide deck, then don’t make one! If you need a four-piece band to accompany your point, then definitely do that.
- The best stories make you laugh. Groan. Cry. They make us think about what we’d do if we were in your shoes. Engage us. Captivate us so that we think about your story later on — days, weeks, months from now.
- All presentation slots will be 45 minutes. Aim for 30-35 minutes of actual speaking time and 10-15 minutes Q&A.