The Extracurricular - Call for Speakers with Adam Rutland

The Extracurricular - Call for Speakers with Adam Rutland

The Extracurricular - Call for Speakers with Adam Rutland

Brett M. Nelson - Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Official Call for Speaker Announcement

The Extracurricular: Call for Speakers

The Extracurricular ( is a learning event for Salesforce developers and architects interested in advanced and interesting uses of Salesforce and other technologies. It is a community-built mini-event hosted inside TDX at Moscone West. Designed to be conversational, speakers will present real-world projects they have been involved in and be interviewed live by a panel of experts. There is a heavy Q&A portion so that attendees can develop a better understanding of what challenging problems were tackled and how they were solved by each speaker.

There are two types of presentations at The Extracurricular: "main talks" and "quick talks". Main talks are the core of the event (described in more detail below). Quick talks (also described below) are an opportunity to show off some work you've done and share it with your peers. Most of our quick talk speakers in the past have been first-time public speakers and we love that.

A "main talk" speaker for The Extracurricular is expected to be a capable, advanced developer or architect with practical experience building complex things on the Salesforce platform. In addition to technical ability a speaker should be skilled in public speaking and explaining technical topics to an audience. Presentations will be heavy on demo and context-setting, with minimal to no slides. Think of this as presenting a case study to a live audience. Choose one real-world project (not just a single technology, feature or idea, but an actual thing that you built that had complexity to it), and have a conversation about it with the audience. The format will be that each speaker is given a significant chunk of time (25 minutes or so) to present their case study, followed by around 50 minutes of Q&A. The Q&A begins with questions from a panel (the idea being that experts chatting with experts will produce a compelling and technical conversation), and then opens up for questions from the attendees.

Also, as part of the event we will be having people give quick and simple demos of "cool technology things". The topic is deliberately broad and vague. You'll have 5 minutes to demo something you've worked on or been involved with that you think other people would enjoy hearing about. No slides. Possible examples: show a clever snippet of code, or some slice of an app you're quite proud of, or a technical challenge you got stuck on and overcame. There will be no Q&A portion to these talks, just a quick demo and explanation and then done.

Submission form for Main talks (5 slots):
Submission form for Quick talks (10 slots):

Submission deadline: April 1

Speakers will be given a conference pass for TDX.


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Brett Nelson 0:00
So I'm Brett with And I'm joined today by Adam Rutland and we are going to talk about The Extracurricular and the speaker submission process because I want to help spread the word about giving speaker submit talks to The Extracurricular. I guess one thing we should explain before we get there though is what The Extracurricular is.

It's a portion of trailhead dx that is dedicated to developers. It's organized by the community and speaker submissions are currently open. And they will be until April 1. I will have links below in the notes if there are two types of talks.

There's a long form that is more focused on you present a topic and then there's a panelist of q&a and then there's an open general q&a section

There is a short five minute talk, which is a demo slides are not encouraged, code is encouraged.

So that would make this more unique and more developer friendly. Since most developer topics can't be covered by one person getting up on stage and talking from a slide deck. So

Adam, thank you for joining me today.

Adam Rutland 1:23
Thanks for having me.

Brett Nelson 1:25
And last year, you talked about upserting.

what was your talking about last year?

Adam Rutland 1:32
Upserting records in Apex dynamically. So it's something that I've worked on a bit at the company I work at, which is an ETL tool. So doing dynamic kind of clicks, not code base tools in Salesforce. So dynamic upset, it was something that I've encountered a lot.

Brett Nelson 1:50
Awesome. I'm sorry, what is the company you work?

Adam Rutland 1:53
I work for an ISP called velocity, we make industry specific CRM on top of Salesforce. com

Brett Nelson 2:00
And now for the speaker process selection process last year.

So I'm assuming since you spoke at something like that has such far reaching connections as TrailheaDX, you must have years and years of presentation experience.

Adam Rutland 2:17
So this is actually my very first time speaking at a conference in any way. And so this kind of five minute presentation was actually perfect in that regard. Because I was very nervous to go up in front of several hundred people who are out there, you know, watching and it was an interesting experience.

Brett Nelson 2:36
That's awesome. It's great to hear that they're open to having people without experience present. As far as the actual selection process.

Was it like you've had to submit like 30 different ideas and then sacrifice things to pagan gods or how did that go?

Adam Rutland 2:54
So I think the nice thing about doing a five minute presentation is that you can kind of prepare rough draft of a five minute presentation fairly easily. So it was a good, you know, I took a couple ideas that I had and presented them and then clarified one of them more than presented it and was able to get it accepted by, you know, just doing a rough draft version of it. I was given some great feedback and able to improve it for the actual presentation as well.

Brett Nelson 3:20
Oh, awesome. Now, how many slides that you present or have to prepare?

Adam Rutland 3:28
So I prepared basically zero slides though, I did write a bit of code and kind of walk through some codes. A little bit program

Brett Nelson 3:36
Sounds like the perfect presentation to me, but

Adam Rutland 3:38
Right, yeah, and a lot more comfortable. I showed some Sublime IDE instead of showing PowerPoint.

Brett Nelson 3:46
Oh, and then let's see.

Okay, and you did a five minute talk. Did you hang around for the longer main talks?

Adam Rutland 3:57
Yes. I watched all three.

Brett Nelson 3:58
How were they?

Adam Rutland 4:00
We're great it was a really interesting to see a nice long presentation of a real technical topic. I've been to a lot of Dreamforces and the all the TrailheaDX is and it was a lot different to see this as opposed to kind of a more sales oriented presentation. And it was great that it was the community since all the other TrailheaDX presentations are all from Salesforce itself.

Brett Nelson 4:24
Awesome. Well, thank Is there anything you'd like to add?

Adam Rutland 4:29
No, I would just encourage anyone who's interested in trying speaking to give it a shot because it was a great experience for me.

Brett Nelson 4:37
Awesome. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me about your experience speaking at The Extracurricular in 2018.

Adam Rutland 4:46
Thank you.