Write your conference bio

So about 4 years, I found myself in need of writing a biography for speaking at a conference. I reached out to dev.to for ideas.

Since then, I have spoken at a couple more conference and have found myself tweaking that bio along the way. Just like talk descriptions, it always feels like there is room for improvement. You change. Your talk changes. Why shouldn’t you make sure that is reflected in your bios?

So here was a sample format that I started with (take from a comment on dev.to)

{Name} is from {City, State} where he/she works as an {Title} at {Company}. He/She has {#} years of experience with {Technology Name} with a focus on {Technology Focus}. In his/her spare time, {Name} enjoys {Personal Interest #1} and {Personal Interest #2}.


And that did get me one of my first bios:
Christine is from Omaha, Nebraska where she works as a full stack Ruby on Rails engineer at Flywheel, WordPress hosting for creatives. She has 12 years experience as a Java software engineer with a focus on APIs and micro-services and took the plunge into Ruby just this May. In her spare time she is an avid long form reader, lover of all true-crime podcasts and is attempting to work through the primary Ashtanga yoga series.

Now my bio looks a bit like this:
Christine is a lifetime learner from Omaha, NE (in the middle of the USA), where she likes to read too much and eats food that probably took too long to prepare. Professionally she’s helping solve problems on the Identity team at WP Engine. She loves working with Ruby, showing people that long Git commits are impressive, and helping write secure, easy-to-read software that powers authorization and authentication at her company.

What changed from that time?
Well, the company I was at in 2018 was acquired. I have moved around teams 3-4 times and been to many more conferences.
To me, what you want to get out of a bio is, who is this person, and why should I listen to them? And it wouldn’t be wrong to see a bit of that person’s personality. I love whimsy and positivity and have tons of other interests that have nothing to do with why I do it for my career. My career is not my life. I want my bio to show that.

So let me introduce an updated conference bio template:

{Name} is from {Current Location} who enjoys {Personal Passion 1}, {Personal Passion 2}, and {Personal Passion 3} . {They/She/Him} professionally {verb ex. teach, code, design, architect, build…} {tech stack} at {company} and are passionate about {Technology/Professional focus} and have been involved in the field for {#} years. {the Last sentence ties back to your talk experience, ex. I talk about MFA, so I mention that I am involved with it professionally.}

Christine’s 2022 Technical Conference Speaker BIO Template

What do you think? Does this get you what you want to know about your conference speakers?

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