Submitting Sessions for SQLBits

Great! Thank you so much for taking the time to help make SQLBits 2023 a success! We are delighted that you are interested in submitting sessions for SQLBits 2023! We are again using Sessionize to manage our call for papers.

Please read the following text carefully to ensure that your session has the best chance of being selected. You can also find more information in the Speaker Terms & Conditions.

Good luck.

We are accepting Training Day sessions in person and General Sessions that can be presented in-person or virtually.

Session type

The first decision is the type of session that you are submitting as this will decide which call for papers page to use, or perhaps you'll use both -

Full day training sessions

Full day training sessions will be selected by the committee and a small group of selected community members. There are many questions on this form, and we will require them all to be completed for a session to be considered.

Please set out a suitable amount of time to carefully fill out this form and if you have any questions please email speakers@sqlbits.com.

Submit a full day training session

General session

General Sessions will be selected per theme, by a team of people lead by a Content Owner. This is the least difficult method to manage the hundreds of submissions that we will get. The content owners will tend the submissions whilst call for papers is open, maybe providing feedback to speakers. Once the call for papers has closed, the selection team will rate the sessions blind. This means that they do not have knowledge of the speaker. The Content Owners will then use these ratings to build a set of sessions for the theme and the committee will have a final validation.

It is important to place your session in the correct theme, please read the theme descriptions below and if you have any doubts or questions, please reach out to the Content Owners using this form.

Content Owners are volunteers and will respond as their schedule allows so we recommend not leaving questions to the last minute!

Submit a general session

All Inclusive

As we have described in our blog posts Diversity, Equality and Inclusion and Our accelerated approach to diversity and inclusion at SQLBits at SQLBits we are always looking to make improvements in the inclusivity, equality and diversity of the entire event. As part of this, we are measuring our speaker diversity. Last year over 30% of sessions had at least one diverse speaker which was an increase from 2021 and for 2023 we wish to increase that even further.

The call for speakers form has a section where you can list any requirements that you may need a conference to enable for you to be able to present (such as a wheelchair ramp or a stool as an example) and we will do everything we can to accommodate. Please feel free to contact us at speakers@sqlbits.com for any questions about this.

New To SQLBits Speakers

We aim to provide as much support as is possible for all speakers and for speakers new to SQLBits a little more as Ben explains here

Safety

SQLBits is committed to providing an inclusive, welcoming and harassment free environment for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. You can find our Code of Conduct here.

The call for speakers form will ask that you acknowledge reading the Code of Conduct and if you have previously violated a Code of Conduct at another event. A violation of a Code of Conduct will lead to the deactivation of your speaker submission or should this happen after session selection is announced, in the withdrawal of your session from our event.

Content Themes and Owners

Please find below the content themes and owners -

Non-Technical

SQLBits is about data, but it’s also about the people who work with data. The non-technical track is for sessions that focus more on the people side of things. We’re looking for engaging sessions about career development, diversity and inclusion, communication skills, mental health, and other vital topics. Not everyone works with Spark or with SQL or with Power BI – but we’re all people. If you have tips, tricks, ideas, or best practices for the people who work with data, this is the track for you.

Content owners - Matthew Roche, Lauren Faber

DataOps & Automation

DevOps is a well-known term in IT for years now. DataOps is very similar in its orientation, but it focuses on the data side of things. When you are working in a living, developing IT environment (and anything but is the huge exception), you will have to face questions like -

  • How do I transport my schema changes for new features?
  • How can I ensure that new developments are not breaking existing functionality, or changing existing data?
  • How can I make sure, bug fixes are included properly in the development branch?
  • How can I test my data and ensure its quality?

Those questions should sound familiar to the standard questions you see from a DevOps project. You must ask the same questions about the data in your landscape! This is as relevant for your OLTP systems as it is for your analytical applications.

The one thing you want to avoid is, that you are losing, or corrupting your data. Because data is an asset. A very valuable asset!

So, the topics we are looking for in this stream are deployment strategies, deployment automation and data testing. But we have overlaps to other tracks like Development (e.g., testing) and Administration (Backup, Monitoring). This stream is closing the gap between those two streams, Helping Development to release its outcome in a safe way, and allowing Administration to stay functional by either allowing the existing procedures to continue, or by outlining the necessary changes.

Content owners - Gabi Muenster, Rui Romano

Data Loading Patterns & Techniques

Integration, Data Loading, ETL, ELT – Success has many fathers!

We are looking for a broad selection on techniques and patterns on getting data from A to B. It could be (but not limited to) updating data from a source system to a classic data warehouse, streams of data into a pipeline, batch updates using Python in a Notebook or getting data into a data lakehouse.

As in any project, there are some considerations you need to make, before entering - Will your content/presentation answer some or all of the following questions

  • Is there a price tag associated with implementing your proposed solution?
  • What kind of performance should the audience expect?
  • Are there any caveats to your demonstrated technique?
  • Is the proposed solution based on new or well tested principles?
  • What problems does the technique/solution solve?

If you think you can demonstrate one or more of the above listed angles on loading data, we really need to hear your story.

Content owners - Luke Moloney, Jens Vestergaard

NoSQL/NewSQL

The NoSQL theme is open to all non-relational database topics on any platform.

It can be challenging for anyone with relational database experience to appreciate non-relational databases, so we are looking for presentations that can explain NoSQL technology well to audiences who have relational database backgrounds as well as some deep dives for those that already gathered a lot of experience around NoSQL.

Some of the topics we are looking for are -

  • When to use non-relational over relational
  • Migrating from Relational Databases to NoSQL Databases
  • NoSQL Data Modelling
  • Types, differences, and benefits of different NoSQL servers
  • Analysis & Reporting in NoSQL databases
  • Using NoSQL for IoT solutions
  • What it takes to be a NoSQL DBA
  • NoSQL functionalities in Relational Databases

Content owner - Hasan Savran

Data Science and Machine Learning

We are looking for sessions on everything related to Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and MLOps. We would love a range of topics from introductory topics on how to use a technology, language, framework, or package, to advanced talks on how to build neural networks from scratch, how to deploy real-time models at scale, or how to deal with exotic patterns in your data.

We are expecting sessions about real-world data science use cases, batch and real-time machine learning, building models in a particular a technology, language, framework, or package, such as Azure Machine Learning/Synapse/Databricks etc, tips & techniques for model preparation, exploratory data analysis, the mathematics of machine learning, model deployment processes, feature stores, AutoML, MLOps, deep learning, artificial intelligence, cognitive services and bots.

There is a lot of crossover with other key tools, if your session relates to visualisation or exploring data in a tool such as Power BI, it fits in with the Data Visualisation theme.

Content owner - Terry McCann

Big Data & Data Engineering

Big data changes the way companies leverage data to make better business decisions and achieve more. With this track we would like the SQLBits audience to hear & learn from worst & best practices and new insights you found that you thought would have been impossible 10 years ago. Do you have a great story to share about your Big Data journey and talk about high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety of information that you turned into meaningful insights and better decision making and/or process automation? Then we would love to hear!

Mining the combination of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data collected by organizations is a typical task of Big Data engineers. Are you gathering, preparing and ingesting Big Data? Do you prepare, create data extraction processes and data pipelines to automate data from a wide variety of internal and public source systems? We would love to hear about your journey about the possibilities beyond traditional structured ETL of data.

Content owner - Henk Van der Valk

No code and low code

The Low Code/No Code track is focused on development platforms that allow enterprise and citizen developers, who may not have technical or programming expertise, to quickly and efficiently build mobile or web apps using a user-friendly graphical interface (GUI). These platforms simplify the app development process by using “drag and drop” functionalities, relieving developers from having to write the code line by line. The difference between low-code and no-code dev platforms lies on how much coding knowledge the user needs. Low code platforms require some basic coding skills, while no code platforms do not require programming knowledge at all.

For this track, we are especially interested in topics that involve using low code/no code tools for data related applications. Did you use Power Apps/Salesforce/Zoho to streamline a data collection process? To enhance your reporting capabilities? We want to hear from you!

Areas to cover are -

  • Power Platform – PowerApps
  • Power Automate
  • Mendix
  • OutSystems
  • Salesforce
  • ServiceNow
  • Appian
  • Zoho
  • etc

Excludes DevOps and automation and Azure Data Factory.

Content owners - Ian Pike, Mara Pereira

Data Security & Governance

The Data Security & Governance theme is open to all sessions related to securing and governing your data solution that helps organizations to -

  • Gain visibility into data assets across the organization
  • Enable access to your data, security, and risk solutions
  • Safeguard and manage sensitive data across clouds, apps, and endpoints
  • Manage end-to-end data risks and regulatory compliance
  • Empower your organization to govern, protect, and manage data

To summarize the theme, if you have a session related to one of these topics, feel free to submit that session -

  • Protect sensitive data across clouds, apps, and devices
  • Identify data risks and manage regulatory compliance requirements
  • Get started with regulatory compliance, like GDPR and CCPA
  • Create an up-to-date map of your entire data estate that includes data classification and end-to-end lineage
  • Identify where sensitive data is stored in your estate
  • Create a secure environment for data consumers to find valuable data
  • Generate insights about how your data is stored and used

Content owner - Jan Pieter Posthuma

Data visualization and Modelling

In the data modelling and visualisation track, we are looking for all talks that are concerned with the preparation of data for use by reporting tools or the visualisation of that data.

Speakers could look at topics that include -

  • How to connect to and ingest data to make it easier to build models off
  • How to model data to improve performance, correctness or usability
  • Build performant, error-free calculations
  • Visualising data
  • Development, administration and governance topics surrounding data modelling and visualisation

We would expect to see topics that could include the following technologies -

  • Power BI
  • Tableau
  • R, ggplot2
  • Python, pandas, Matplotlib

Content owners - Michael Johnson, Angela Henry

Operational databases / Database Administration

We are looking for sessions that explore all areas of database administration. This is a wide area and could cover anything related to managing the systems that store data. Think CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability)!

Speakers could explore topics relating to managing on-premise SQL Servers, up to and including configuring and monitoring cloud based Databases such as Azure SQL.

We are expecting sessions about monitoring, maintenance, backups, performance, no doubt indexes and statistics but also hopefully Query Store, and sessions about managing super big busy databases, or keeping track of a sprawling estate with a huge number of databases, or exploring new features in SQL Server 2022 and of course tips for our accidental DBAs.

The possibilities are endless with this theme, but keep in mind that some topics may be better suited in other themes such as the Architecture and Infrastructure theme for sessions around deployment and architectural decision making.

Content owners - Rob Sewell, Jess Pomfret

Architecture & Infrastructure

This theme is about everything that lies underneath a data platform offering or engine. This is the place for the high-level overviews as well as the brain melting deep-dives.

Topics that will fit into this theme may included

  • Demonstrate deployment solutions such as Bicep, Terraform
  • Explain the benefits and drawbacks of different infrastructure choices, maybe storage, networking, on-prem or in cloud or hybrid decisions
  • Provide overviews of vendor platform offerings
  • Provide high-level methods for managing distributed or hybrid environments

We expect that sessions will include keywords such as Sizing, Virtual Machine, Storage, Networking, hybrid or PaaS.

Content owners - Ben Weissman, Heini Ilmarinen

Developer

The Development track is for professional developers (current and aspiring) intent on developing custom applications and software solutions on the data platform. Sessions in the Developer track will cover topics such as accessing data with popular libraries and frameworks such as SqlClient, ADO.NET, ADOMDCLIENT and the Entity Framework. This track will also contain sessions covering topics such as DevOps, optimizing performance, developing middleware and scaling through the user of Container apps. The Developer track will also provide sessions covering advanced topics with Power BI including the development of custom visuals and custom connectors and developing commercial customer-facing applications with Power BI embedding.

The session in the Developer track will include these topics

  • Data Access APIs (e.g. SqlClient, ADO.NET and ADOMDCLIENT)
  • Entity Framework
  • DevOps and ADO Pipelines
  • Optimizing performance and scaling
  • Programming with the Power BI REST API and TOM
  • Building Solutions with Power BI embedding
  • Developing Custom Visuals
  • Creating visualizations using D3.js
  • Developing Custom Connectors

Content owner - Ted Pattison

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