Friday & Saturday, August 14 & 15, 2020 in Pittsburgh

Heartifacts’ Call for Proposals

  • The Heartifacts CFP opened on Friday, February 28, 2020
  • It closes on Saturday, April 18, 2020 11:59pm Eastern
  • Head to our submission page if you’re ready to submit!

About Heartifacts’ CFP

Heartifacts is a special conference for software professionals that focuses on mental health, community building, and career management.

Attendance is limited to approximately 150 humans in order to enable intimate conversations about our successes, failures, and where we are on our journey to being what we want to be.

Join us Friday & Saturday, August 14 & 15, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA at David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Our event will have one track that everyone will attend. There are approximately seven talks each day for two days.

All speakers must agree to abide the Code & Supply Conduct Policy and sign a speaking agreement after acceptance.


Presentation logistics and guidelines

  • Presentations should not exceed 30 minutes in length. A few minutes over is OK, but 40 minutes will delay our schedule.
  • Do NOT include time for questions and answers. Instead, we will encourage the attendees to spend the 30 minutes after the session to discuss what they learned and what is on their mind. *
  • Presentations must be delivered in English.
  • Presentations may be recorded. You are permitted and encouraged to record yourself.

CFP and abstract guidelines

  • You may submit multiple proposals, but only one per person may be accepted and presented due to the limited number of session slots available.
  • Abstracts must be written in English for the review process.
  • Abstracts should be thorough and let us know your goals and what the audience will take away from your talk.
  • Abstracts should be free of typos and sloppy formatting.
  • Because Heartifacts reflects on mental health and the people side of tech, we encourage research around those topics, but also personal stories related to these topics.
  • While your sessions and stories may be specific to your job title, talks should be generally applicable to anyone in the software industry, e.g developers, DevOps, managers, designers, QA, etc.
  • If you add a talk proposal, you can review and edit it until you mark it as final or until the CFP closes on Saturday, April 18, 2020 11:59pm Eastern.
  • We highly encourage people of all job experience levels and all speaking experience levels to submit!

* Aside from leaving reflection time at Heartifacts, we’ve found Q&A sessions don’t usually offer good questions that everyone would want to hear, and we would like our speakers to be approachable. By taking out Q&A time and encouraging post-talk discussion, it helps offer better engagement with speakers and attendees.

Selection Process

When you submit a proposal to Heartifacts, we will use a blind (anonymous) review process on at least the first round and then review with all information on the subsequent rounds.

  1. We will review all talks with the speaker information removed. This ensures we look fairly at each talk and its content and not at the person submitting.
  2. Any talks passing the first round will be reviewed by the committee again with speaker information visible to try to make sure we don’t accept more than one talk.
  3. Any talks passing the second round will be sent to one or more rounds with the Organizing Team for final selections. We will try to make a good balance of talks by topic, field, diversity, etc.
  4. We will notify all submitters of their talk status by May 4, 2020.
  5. For the speakers of the talks we accept, we’ll need an acceptance answer by May 11, 2020.
  6. We will notify all submitters if there are any delays in this process.

Remember: If we don’t take your talk, it’s not necessarily because it’s a bad talk, we just don’t have the room for all the great submissions we receive or it wasn’t a right fit for our particular conference. You should keep submitting them to other events, including future Code & Supply events!

What You Get for Speaking

As a speaker at Heartifacts, you’ll receive the following perks:

  • A free admission ticket for you
  • An honorarium*
  • Free dinner at our speaker dinner event the evening before the first day of the conference
  • Exclusive speaker gift
  • Hanging out with therapy dogs
  • If you’re a newer speaker, we offer mentoring and review sessions. (See the next section)

* Those receiving the honorarium may have tax obligations. C&S must collect an IRS form W-9 for any speaker paid more than $600 by check within a one year period. For speakers who are not U.S. citizens, the nature of the service or work performed, the type of visa held, and the country of residence all affect whether or not our organization can pay a foreign national individual or entity and what the taxation may be on a payment. Before entering into an agreement with a foreign national guest, speaker, or entity, C&S will determine whether or not it is legal to pay the individual or entity, the potential tax implications, and proper documentation. Such spakers may be required to complete an IRS form W-8BEN.

Speaker Honorariums and Scholarships

While Heartifacts features an increased speaker honorarium, due to its size, we are not able to guarantee travel assistance for speakers. The honorarium will also be split if there is a copresenter.

If you may not be able to afford travel, yourself or through an employer, apply for a scholarship through C&S’ non-profit sibling Code & Supply Scholarship Fund. CSSF is a separate organization that awards scholarships to folks who are unemployed, underemployed, members of underrepresented groups in technology careers, and students traveling to Pittsburgh for conferences and highly prioritizes covering all or a part of speakers’ travel expenses. Apply now or after receiving an acceptance notification. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis or in batches, depending on available funds.

Mentoring Help

We know not everyone has an amazing stage presence, and that people have great ideas but not sure how to mold them into a talk. Or maybe you have an idea and just don’t think of yourself as a speaker. We’d love to help!

We are happy to offer some mentoring before or after you submit:

  • We can brainstorm new ideas with you and find out what great topics you are hiding and haven’t discovered yet
  • We can help you take your idea and get it into abstract submittable form
  • We can advise you along the way on how to write notes out for your talk and make slides from it
  • We can rehearse your talk with you
  • We can hook you up with other speakers that’d be happy to share their knowledge as well.

Join us for one of our scheduled open sessions, or send us a message at

Open Mentoring Sessions

The open mentoring sessions are an online meeting that will let anyone get advice or ask questions about the CFP process or about their abstracts. The sessions will be for 1 hour on these dates below. Each call will include at least one Heartifacts organizer and we’ll try to include at least another experienced public speaker. The mentors will not be involved in the first round of the reviewing process.

All times are in Eastern Time.

Date Web/App Link
Wed, Mar 11, 2020, 1pm
Mon, Mar 16, 2020, 4pm
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 8pm


We’d love to hear from a variety of topics. Some ideas to get you started are:

  • Why building more intuitive user experiences can build up your product communities
  • Creating better communication in organizations and what tools improve it
  • How to create or run an effective remote team
  • How to have good allyship for underrepresented people in your team/company
  • How to build a better company culture
  • Discussions about ethics in tech
  • Discussions on better interviewing, hiring, and compensation
  • Managing your work/life balance, family, and health
  • Stories of career successes and failures
  • Ethics and sustainability across an engineering organization (ethical and sustainable on-calls, hiring, employee retention, sales)
  • How neurotypical and neuraldiverse people can work and communicate effectively with each other
  • How to add the “human” back into “human resources”
  • How to handle complicated work situations (ex: don’t mesh with culture, don’t agree with direction of department, etc.)
  • How to keep the humanity of your remote team
  • How to support coworkers going through health or personal issues
  • The things you should look for while interviewing for a job
  • The things you should do while hiring for an open position
  • What are things that have made your software communities successful? (Or what did you learn from things that were not successful?)
  • Ways to know when it’s right (or not right) to keep climbing the corporate ladder
  • Understanding complex compensation, i.e. equity compensation, retirement accounts, etc.
  • How you, your family, your company, etc. is managing or managed the COVID-19 crisis


We’re happy to answer any questions you have. Please email us at and we’ll reply as soon as we can.

Ready to Submit?

Head on over to our submission page to get started!