DockerCon: What Makes a Successful CFP Submission

The DockerCon 2022 Call for Papers is now open! DockerCon is one of the largest developer events in the world, with over 80,000 developers registering for each of the last two events. At the core of DockerCon is the chance for members of the community to share their tips, tricks, best practices and real-world experiences with one another. With the opening of the CFP, I also want to share some insights and suggestions to help you create a submission set up for success.

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First: it helps to know your audience. At DockerCon, we draw attendees from all over the world with a range of experiences from newbie to guru. In general, however, the majority of the developers who attend DockerCon fall into these three categories:

  • New developers, who are just getting started with containerization, using Docker, and building cloud native applications. Sessions introducing Docker, ones that put Docker into context of popular programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, Go, .NET and Java, and that help a developer get up and running are quite popular. In these cases, sharing the details you wish you knew when you were getting started make for outstanding sessions and are some of our most viewed content.
  • Experienced developers, who use Docker but are looking for ways to get their applications built faster and grow their capabilities (both in terms of features as well as individual skills). Proposals for sessions that share best practices, case studies from real-world development experience, as well as ways to incorporate automation, scalability and security within a development inner loop. These all meet the needs of developers with more experience.
  • Expert developers, who are digging into the command line, building Docker Images from scratch, and contributing to OSS projects. These developers are attracted to the “black belt” sessions that dive into the internals of the Docker Engine, extensibility and integration into other tools such as CI/CD, repositories, and CSPs. Examples that show how hard problems are solved, how the Docker Engine works, digging into OSS projects, and showing how you can “run with scissors” make for compelling content on cutting-edge topics.

Next, it’s important to connect with developers in a natural and accessible way. What did you learn from your project? What surprised you? What do you wish you knew before you started your last project? These kinds of experiences are incredibly valuable, and help your peers move quickly and successfully by learning from your lessons. Mistakes can be the best teacher, don’t shy away from sharing these and what they taught you.

Finally, think of your session at DockerCon as the beginning of someone’s learning journey. I want you to create materials that help accelerate a developer’s application of lessons learned in their own projects. Sessions should have materials that help a developer take what they’ve learned and apply it quickly in their own app. As you write your sample code, think how you can package it for use by your attendees: create an awesome-compose example, a Docker Dev Environment, a GitHub repo with the sample code, or other ways to take your code and deliver it in a way to jump start a developer learning journey. We are prioritizing selection of sessions with these assets included in the talk, but more importantly, it will create a better experience for your audience.

I can’t wait to see what great ideas you have for this year’s DockerCon. The deadline is March 3rd, If you have any questions, comments or just want to connect. You can reach me in our Community Slack or on twitter at @pmckee.


Join us for DockerCon2022 on Tuesday, May 10. DockerCon is a free, one day virtual event that is a unique experience for developers and development teams who are building the next generation of modern applications. If you want to learn about how to go from code to cloud fast and how to solve your development challenges, DockerCon 2022 offers engaging live content to help you build, share and run your applications. Register today at


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