BCS SPA Software in Practice

Lead a session

SPA Software in Practice is about practitioners sharing experiences from any aspect of software development - technology, people and process - sharing their thoughts and knowledge, and learning together. It is about building a community of attendees that can learn and share new, interesting and thought provoking experiences from the broadest spectrum of their profession.


Sessions are 75 minutes, or 150 minutes with a break in the middle

All the sessions are interactive. We believe in the power of physically doing, be it through practice, thoughtful evaluation, discussion or games. In this way everyone can be an active participant and learn by doing. It helps give SPA Software in Practice it’s particular vibe.

What topics are we looking for?

We welcome a wide variety of perspectives on all aspects of software development - new ideas, old ideas rediscovered, creativity, the unexpected, reflection and fun. In the past we’ve had sessions on programming languages, tools, techniques, design, architecture, testing, coaching, team dynamics, pairing and organising a team’s work.

We’ve also had some great sessions on topics you might not expect at a software conference, like sketching, speed reading, and education. We really like sessions like this too - they give us more opportunities to think about and try out a wide range of things.

At SPA Software in Practice you can experiment and try something new, or bring a session you’ve perfected elsewhere - we value both. All submissions get feedback to help them improve, and accepted sessions will be assigned a shepherd to help with preparation so we’ll support you along the way.

You can get an idea of the sort of sessions that have run previously from the sample of some of the past sessions from the last four years’ conferences. We have selected them to give you some indication of the range of topics and how the application form has been completed by others.

But don’t be constrained by any of these ideas; maybe you’ve got something totally new to share. We’d like to hear it.

We’d love to see in your proposal how you’ll make your session interactive and get participants involved. You can get some ideas of ways to do that from our page of suggestions for improving interactivity or propose anything else you like.

Who do we want to hear from?

Anyone involved in the process of developing software, whatever your role - product manager, artist, developer, musician, business analyst, designer…

We particularly encourage speakers who are new to presenting at SPA Software in Practice. If you submit early, our feedback process will allow you to tune your proposal before the final review stage.

The submission and selection process

To submit your proposal, complete the Submit a proposal for a session form.

Your submission is completely anonymous right up until we have the draft programme - then we just check no-one has too many sessions in, or several at the same time.

The earlier you submit your proposal, the more chance you have of getting early feedback to help you improve your proposal. Submissions can be edited until the final deadline of 11:59 PM on 16th March 2020.

SPA is a collaborative endeavour, and once registered on the SPA website you can give feedback to other sessions and respond to people who have given feedback to your session.

For more detail take a look at the submission and selection process.

What we offer

We will help you make your session the best it can be, both through our feedback process prior to the submissions deadline and our shepherding process if your session is accepted. More detail on these stages is provided in the submission and selection process.

The first two named presenters of each accepted session receive a free ticket to SPA Software in Practice. If you have already purchased a ticket before the programme is announced, you will receive a full refund. We have set out the terms and conditions for our speakers. Please be sure to read before applying.

The conference is not run for profit but we do have some funds available to help cover travel and accommodation expenses for speakers whose employer will not cover their expenses. If this applies to you, please tick the travel assistance box when you submit your proposal and we’ll get in touch if your talk is selected. (Along with speakers’ names, this field won’t be visible to anyone during the review process.)

Important dates

The Call for Papers for SPA Software in Practice opened on the 13th January 2020.

The conference: - British Computer Society, London, UK.

Submissions deadline: 11:59 PM, 16th March 2020

Programme announced: End of April 2020

If you want to be notified when the important dates are coming up, please register at My SPA and select the option to receive communications by us.

If you’re uncertain about whether to submit your idea, or have other queries, please feel free to get in touch with us at [email protected] (Jason Ayers, Programme Chair, SPA Software in Practice 2020).