Jake Worth

My RubyConf 2020 Abstract

October 10, 20202 min read

  • ruby

This Fall, I learned that I’ve been selected as a waitlisted speaker to RubyConf 2020.

What’s the waitlist? Conference organizers have to plan for people cancelling their speaking slots last minute due to sickness, travel, or other issues. So, they ask a few people who submitted CFPs to be on the waitlist. Waitlisted speakers can be called at any time to fill-in and give their talk at the conference (you also get a free ticket).

I was waitlisted at RailsConf 2017, and ended up being asked with about 30 days notice to give my talk at the conference. Promotion does happen. If you accept a spot on the waitlist, you have to prepare a talk, and so that’s what I’m currently doing.

I’ve tried to be transparent and inspirational about my speaking process on this blog, and so in that spirit, and in case this talk never sees the light of day, here’s the title and abstract I submitted for consideration to RubyConf 2020.


“How Building a Guitar Made Me a Better Programmer”


“This Spring, in the middle of a pandemic, I built an electric guitar. I chose the project to keep my mind and hands busy, and I learned something: programming and guitar-building have a lot in common.

In this talk, I’ll narrate the build, from unboxing to first strums. I’ll share the lessons I learned over months, and how they echoed hard-won insights I’ve accumulated over almost ten years of writing code.

Programmers of every experience level will leave this talk reflecting on the professional value of their hobbies and inspired to build their guitar, whatever that means to them.”


All my CFP’s include a detailed outline about what I’d like to talk about. I’m not including that here because it has already changed a lot! I recommend anyone submitting to a conference think about taking this extra step. Conference organizers are looking for great talks that are also low-risk, and sharing a detailed plan with the selection committee shows you’ll actually follow through if asked to speak.

I hope to deliver this talk, and either way, see you at RubyConf 2020.

Blog of Jake Worth, software engineer in Maine.

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