7 minute read · September 17, 2020

Subsurface™ LIVE Winter 2021 Call for Papers Is Now Open

Louise Westoby

Louise Westoby · Head of Product & Partner Marketing, Dremio

Subsurface LIVE is where data architects and engineers come together to explore the trends, strategies and technologies driving cloud data lake use cases and architectures. Subsurface LIVE Winter 2021 is scheduled for January 27-28, 2021. We look forward to you joining us to dive deep beneath the surface of the data lake. The event is virtual, 100% LIVE and open to everyone, everywhere — free of charge.

Of course, a conference is only as good as the quality of its content. That’s where you come in! We’ve opened the call for speakers (CFS) and we’re looking for members of the cloud data lake community to share their experience and expertise.

The CFS closes November 6, 2020, but we highly encourage you to provide the details of your proposed session before then in order to give the CFS Review Committee plenty of time to review your submission.

Why Should You Submit a Paper?

Speaking at an event like Subsurface can be great for your career, the community, and your company. Here’s why:

It’s Great for Your Career

There’s no doubt that being good at public speaking — especially when it comes to clearly articulating technical topics — is great for your career. Demonstrating your presentation skills will help you build your personal brand by setting you apart from others in your company and in the industry. It means you can deliver sales presentations, lead influential talks and engage audiences at group events.

It’s Great for the Data Lake Community and Open Source Projects

A key indicator of community health is the quality and quantity of its collective knowledge. By sharing your expertise and experiences with your peers, you will only make the cloud data lake community stronger, as well as the communities surrounding projects such as Apache Arrow, Apache Iceberg, Apache Spark and other open source projects. A stronger community means higher-quality and more innovative contributions, content and collaboration. That’s a win-win for everyone.

It’s Great for Your Company

Presenting at industry conferences like Subsurface is a fantastic way to promote your company and the great work your team is doing. It’s also useful for recruiting top talent as it provides a mechanism to showcase the innovative ways your company is leveraging cloud data lake technologies to potential recruits.

Of course, you’ll also receive some awesome swag, courtesy of Dremio and the other Subsurface sponsors.

What Makes a Session Compelling?

There are two types of talks we’re considering for Subsurface Winter 2021:

  1. Technical sessions that are rich with examples, code and/or demos which help the audience understand complex concepts or demonstrate how to use them
  2. Use case talks that provide scenarios the audience can use to solve similar challenges in their own organizations

At Subsurface Summer 2020 we received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the quality of the content and the speakers. We had a good mix of technical and use case sessions as well as some great talks on the practical applications of open source technology. Here are some examples:

What Are Common Traits of Accepted Submissions?

They Tell a Story

Sessions that rate well in attendee surveys tell a story and what the presenter learned along the way. And not every topic is groundbreaking. Lessons learned on a day-to-day basis are also valuable to others in the community.

The Audience Is Clearly Defined

The best abstracts clearly identify their target audience and how the session is applicable to them. For example, approximately 50% of the attendees at Subsurface 2020 were data architects and engineers. What kind of topics would appeal to them?

Be clear in your submission about who you are targeting. Think of what that attendee might want to hear about and adjust your abstract accordingly.

Sufficient Detail Is Included in the Abstract

The CFS Review Committee has the task of reading every submission and identifying the best talks. They require enough detail to determine whether the proposed session is a good fit for the conference. You don’t need to write a book, but some specifics on what the talk is about and the value the attendees will get from it goes a long way.

The Topic Is Clearly Defined

When you’ve been involved in a large project, it’s easy to want to talk about all the details that made it successful. These are 30-minute talks, so narrowing the focus to a few points will really elevate the quality of your submission and your talk. The conference attendees will want to know the fine details. Diagrams and code snippets are always welcome.

The Proposed Session Isn’t a Sales Pitch

There is one thing a CFS Review Committee avoids when reviewing submissions — the dreaded sales pitch. Subsurface is an industry event, so these types of presentations detract from the integrity of the event and are rarely well-received by conference attendees.

There are plenty of ways to give a presentation about projects and technologies without focusing on company-specific efforts. Think of ways to make it interesting for attendees while sharing your experiences, educating the community about an issue or generating interest in a project.

What Should You Speak About?

If you’re still a bit stumped on what to speak about, here are some potential topics to get you started:

  • Cloud data lake use cases
  • Data lake architecture
  • Apache Arrow and Arrow Flight
  • Apache Iceberg
  • Apache Spark
  • Table formats
  • BI on the data lake
  • Data science and the data lake
  • Data ingestion and ETL/ELT on a data lake
  • Working with time series/IoT data on a data lake

Next Steps

The call for speakers for Subsurface Winter 2021 is open, and we will be accepting submissions until November 6. We understand that getting that paper submitted can be daunting. So, if you need help or just want to talk about your idea, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].

Submit your CFS proposal for Subsurface Winter 2021 today!

Ready to Get Started?

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