Register for SeaGL 2017
October 6th and 7th, 2017

News

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Brian Raiter
September 21, 2017

Brain Raiter gives his talk titled, “Introduction to the Godot Game Engine” on Friday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: Hello, world: I’m Brian. I’ve been a professional programmer for most of my adult life, and a recreational programmer for even longer.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: I’m going to give a whirlwind introduction to Godot, a very cool free-software game engine. By the end of the talk you’ll be ready to fire up Godot yourself and start using it to build your own game.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: This is my fifth time attending SeaGL. Talks cover a wide range of topics, given by all kinds of people and all kinds of Linux users. I especially appreciate SeaGL’s commitment to free software and inclusiveness.

Q: What’s the first computer game you ever played?

A: Mainframe “Star Trek”, on an IBM S/36 where my father worked.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Adam Monsen
September 21, 2017

Adam Monsen gives his talk titled, “Automatic Chicken Door HOWTO (No it will not hurt a chicken)” on Friday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I’m a Seattle-native FLOSS fanatic and VP of Engineering at C-SATS. I co-founded and help organize SeaGL. My blog is at http://adammonsen.com.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: Inspiration to do your own fun, rewarding hardware project. Knowledge of which parts will be easy and which parts will be challenging. This is my first Raspberry Pi project.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: I’ve been to every SeaGL so far. I heart heart heart SeaGL because we focus on inclusion and education of everyone about FLOSS.

Q: Would I rather have a frontal lobotomy or a bottle in front of me?

A: What the heck… I guess I’d go for the bottle. Wait, for you, or me? And bottle of what?

Lightning Talk CFP now OPEN!
September 18, 2017

Come present a lightning talk at SeaGL!

Are you attending SeaGL this year (you really should)? Are you passionate enough about something to talk about it for five minutes (of course you are)? Then you should propose a lightning talk!

This year the SeaGL lightning talks will take place during the conference party the evening of October 7th. We’re looking for eight amusing and informative talks for that segment of the party entertainment.

Propose a lightning talk now!

About lightning talks

Lighting talks are five minute talks. You may use as many (or as few) slides as you wish.

SeaGL’s attendees are fascinating and well-rounded individuals with a lot of different interests. Therefore SeaGL lightning talks may be on any topic whatsoever. There’s no need to stick to technical matters.

There are three criteria for a SeaGL lightning talk:

  1. The topic is interesting to the SeaGL audience.
  2. You can present it in five minutes.
  3. The presentation does not violate the code of conduct.

That’s it! Pretty easy, really.

Propose a lightning talk now

Topic ideas

Lightning talks can be about anything which you think would hold the interest of the audience for a max of five minutes. For instance:

  • How not to crash your drone
  • What’s the deal with international paper sizes?
  • Your car is a computer which you can hack
  • A travelogue of your trip touring Thai Buddhist temples
  • An introduction to lactobacillus fermentation
  • Mending for geeks: how to save your favorite clothes
  • What the heck is this thing?! Bizarre tools of yesteryear
  • Lost language: Modem AT Commands
  • So you want to buy a house: What to expect
  • How to mingle at parties and events

Technical talks, funny talks, WTF talks… If you can make it interesting, then we’d love a proposal about it.

Propose a lightning talk now

Target dates

  • CFP Opens: Monday, September 18
  • CFP Closes: Sunday, September 24
  • Speaker Notifications: Friday, September 29
  • Lightning Talks: Saturday, October 7, during the evening conference party

Propose a lightning talk now

Talk selection criteria

The main SeaGL program had nine reviewers and a well-documented list of selection criteria.

The lightning talk selection criteria are going to be considerably more casual. The speaker committee will vote on proposals, then the final decisions and schedule will be made by the program chair. It’s going to be a fairly laid back process, keeping with the fun but informative nature of lightning talks themselves.

Proposal and public speaking resources

Never presented at a conference or meetup before? Presented but still not feeling confident? It’s OK, even the most experienced conference presenters aren’t necessarily confident at this stuff.

A lightning talk can be a great way to dip your toe into conference speaking. It’s quick (so the pain of public speaking is over quickly). It’s short (so you don’t have to spend days crafting your talk). It’s fun (you can talk about anything which interests you).

The Public_Speaking repository has collected a lot of resources to help you level up in your conference presenting.

Pay particular attention to the Proposing talks section of this page. Follow these tips and your talk proposals will stand a better chance of being selected.

PLEASE NOTE: Whether your talk is accepted or not often doesn’t have as much to do with how great your proposal is as it does with how many speaking slots the conference has available and the balance of the program the organisers need to craft. It’s nothing personal: we just don’t have enough time to accept all the great lightning talk proposals we receive.

Don’t let that stop you from proposing! You can’t win a race you don’t even run, so click here to propose a lightning talk.

Lightning talk proposal help and feedback

Want to propose a talk but would like feedback on your idea, proposal wording, talk title or just on how to deal with nerves? The speaker committee will do everything possible to help you be successful with your proposal and presenatation. There are two ways to ask for help:

  1. Join us in the #seagl IRC channel on Freenode IRC. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with IRC. Just click here for the webchat, choose a nickname, and you’re good to go!
  2. Email us at speakers AT seagl D0T org. We’ll do our best to get back to you within a day.

We stand ready to assist, so please don’t hesitate to ask us for help!

Code of Conduct

All staff, speakers, and attendees of SeaGL must agree and adhere to the Code of Conduct for the safety and enjoyment of all organizers, volunteers, speakers, and attendees. We ask that all prospective speakers review and confirm their willingness to abide by the Code of Conduct terms and expectations when interacting within SeaGL community spaces.

What are you waiting for? Propose a lightning talk now!

Travel Information
September 15, 2017

SeaGL 2017 will run on the 6th and 7th of October at Seattle Central College. It’s a great location very close to transportation links.

We’ll also be hosting a reception after the conference on Saturday evening at the Silver Cloud, just a 7 minute walk away.

The address is: 1701 Broadway Seattle, WA 98122
Parking

Street parking is available on many streets near the college at 2.50 an hour with a two hour max limit. There is a parking garage on Harvard and Pine, accessed via Harvard avenue. You can check up to date availability and further information via their Parkme.com website.

Directions

From Seattle Westlake Center - In addition to driving, travel by walking, bus and tram are available.

From Everett, Washington - In addition to driving, travel by plane, train and bus are available.

From Portland, Oregon - In addition to driving, travel by plane, train and bus are available.

From Vancouver, BC - In addition to driving, travel by plane, train and bus are available.

Accommodation

There are several hotels within walking distance of the college such as Hilton and Silver Cloud Hotel as well as a multitude of Airbnb listings.

Attractions

There is a lot to see and do in Seattle. The most visited sites include the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the Experience Music Project Museum.

Volunteers Are Our Favorite
September 15, 2017

Volunteer with SeaGL this Year!

We’d love to have you! SeaGL is an all-volunteer conference, which means it’s very easy to become part of the action.

We’re looking for folks to sign up to be room monitors. Maybe you’ll meet your idol? Duties include:

  • Introduce the speaker
  • Be on hand in case they need anything
  • Possibly help with the mic or the projector
  • Make sure your session finishes on time

We’re also looking for general day-of volunteers. Full of (hopefully) mild surprises and you’ll meet some nice people. Duties include:

  • Greet people at the registration desk
  • Help with signage before the event
  • Help with tidying up at the end of each day
  • Carrying cables or fruit from one place to another

We also have some easy opportunities to help promote SeaGL; bringing flyers to a meet-up, coffee shop or another local nerdy event.

Interested? Just email us! participate@seagl.org or visit us on IRC at Freenode in #seagl.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Heidi Waterhouse
September 12, 2017

Heidi Waterhouse gives her talk titled, “Verbose mode: an exploration of programming languages and craft” on Friday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I’ve been in technology for a long time, longer than I’ve been knitting and sewing my own clothes, but I’m always fascinated by understanding the implicit knowledge we expect people to have. Sometimes that manifests as “From root” and sometimes as “CO 200 sts”. I spent almost all of my career as a technical writer, but now I’m trying a new thing as a developer advocate. It’s interesting being able to pull culture and change, instead of starting everything off trying to persuade people to listen to me.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: I think a lot of people think of crafting as soft and creative, a long way from the blinking cursor of code and administration. I want to point out that learning new things follows many of the same patterns, and that there is nothing magical about learning technology. I am also planning pictures of adorable sheep.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: This is the first time I get to go! I was supposed to come last year, but I hurt myself the week before I was supposed to fly out, so you got to hear from @kopasetic instead! Pro-tip: if you are falling in your garage, the bikes will not save your nor break your fall.

Q: What’s your favorite sculpture in the Olympic Sculpture Park?

A: Wake, by Richard Serra. I was working in downtown Seattle when the park opened, and I love this piece for its vastness and rust and ambiguity.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: E. Dunham
September 12, 2017

E. Dunham gives her talk titled, “How To Learn Rust” on Friday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I’m the DevOps engineer for Mozilla Research, which is a jack-of-all-trades sort of role that always keeps me busy and learning new things. I telecommute from the middle of nowhere in Oregon, where I enjoy gardening and attempting to keep bees. I got into this whole FOSS thing years ago as a student at the OSU Open Source Lab, and have been active in various communities ever since.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: Without tipping my hand?! I’ll tip the heck out of my hand, because I know how tough it is to choose which talk to attend in a given time slot at a conference like SeaGL. My talk “How to learn Rust” is basically 2 talks in one: First, I outline the dozen core categories of learning technique that my peers and mentors told me about when I asked them for their tips on learning new languages. Then I show you the resources available to learn Rust through each of those methods. Whether or not you’re into Rust, this talk will give you a checklist of things to try when you feel stuck or lost studying a programming language.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: I’ve been to several SeaGLs, and accidentally found myself in a variety of organizational roles through the years. The part of a tech conference that gets advertised is the talks – the keynotes and the various lectures in the program. But if it was just about listening to talks all day, you could do that with YouTube from the comfort of your own couch. What makes a conference worth showing up to in person is what we call the hallway track – it’s all the humans with interesting experiences and ideas who are there to share them. The value of going to a talk in person rather than just watching a video of it after the fact is that you get to engage with the presenter, both through asking questions and through the expressions and body language that tell them what parts the audience is enjoying most so they can talk more about those areas. And as you’re leaving a talk, you have an instant conversation topic with the speaker and everyone else who attended, so it’s easy to make a lot of new friends.

Compared to other tech conferences in the area, SeaGL feels less like a job fair and more like a family get-together. It has a great venue, where all the rooms are reasonably close together so it’s hard to get lost and easy to maximize the time you spend interacting with other attendees.

Q: Is Rust the best programming language?

A: It depends on what problem you want to solve! There are some mistakes that it’s really easy to make in most systems programming languages, and Rust is carefully designed to make those mistakes difficult or impossible. If you have code in another language that’s working great, don’t scrap it just because something fashionable came along… But if you hit the wall on that language’s reliability and performance and the topic of rewriting part or all of your code comes up, Rust is worth serious consideration.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Carol Smith
September 12, 2017

Carol Smith gives her talk titled, “ You Can’t Launch a Spaceship if All You Hire Are Astronauts: Other Jobs in Technology” on Friday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I’m Carol, a Program Manager in the Open Source Programs Office at Microsoft. I just joined Microsoft a few months ago, but I’ve been involved with free software for many years. Before Microsoft at worked at GitHub for a year in education outreach. Before GitHub I worked at Google for over 10 years, and the last 6 of those years I managed Google Summer of Code, which is how I got involved in free software to begin with. Having been a PM for as long as I have, I’m personally and professionally passionate about identifying places where people who aren’t interested or able to be developers can still get involved in free software communities and projects.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: As I mentioned above, I’m quite passionate about identifying opportunities for folks to get involved in free software. I think our communities tend to emphasize developers and code and don’t talk quite as much about other skills sets and other jobs. I’ll be discussing many of the other avenues for getting involved in these projects as well as how that can translate into your work life and your career.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: It’s not my first time, and I’m quite happy to say that! I spoke at SeaGL last year and really, really enjoyed the atmosphere, the talks, and the community of attendees. I think SeaGL is an excellent grassroots conference, and I’m so happy to be returning this year to speak again. I’m looking forward to more great conversations and sharing of ideas.

Q: You recently moved to Washington, how has your experience with the FOSS community in the Pacific Northwest been?

A: Having lived in California my whole life, it’s quite a new group of people and events to get involved with. So far, I have been really impressed with the community out here.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Susan Harris
September 09, 2017

Susan Harris gives her talk titled, “The Rhythm of Patterns” on Saturday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: My name is Susan Harris and I’m a piano teacher and pianist. I began studying the piano in England, at the age of seven, later receiving a BA (Hons) music degree and then a Post Grad in Music Education from Reading University. For many years I taught in schools including orchestra and choir, as well as piano. I also regularly perform. I’m a member of a local chamber music trio, and I accompany other musicians, as well as performing with local orchestras. My website is: harrismusicnotes.com

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: You can expect Balinese Monkey Chants - seriously! I’m going to explain how our WET (Western European Traditional) music approach has to analyse what these performers do and how they do it. We’re going to look at the patterns and the rhythms… and then create and perform our own!

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: It’s my first visit and I’m excited. I’m going to meet so many people with new and fresh ideas. I’m also quite daunted - they’re all super intelligent too!

Q: Why do you think computer people would want to listen to a talk by a musician?

A: So many of the computer people I know are musicians too, and seem to be intrigued by the maths and patterns in music.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: James Cooper
September 09, 2017

James Cooper gives his talk titled, “Distributed Systems With Docker Swarm” on Friday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I’m a freelance software engineer based in Seattle. My current focus is infrastructure and devops automation and I have been using Docker in production systems for almost three years.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: The talk will be a very practical overview of how to use Docker Swarm to deploy and upgrade a system composed of multiple services. In particular I’ll explore how to deploy upgrades with zero downtime and how to use compose to declaratively express the containers Swarm should start in order to fully stand up a complete system.

A demo of the system will be provided along with a companion GitHub repository with all the code. My hope is that attendees will learn enough about Swarm from the talk to feel comfortable exploring the documentation in detail online later and possibly using it to deploy their own projects.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: I attended SeaGL two years ago and had a great time. I enjoyed the do-it-yourself spirit of the conference and found the talks were generally of very high quality. It was also a treat to see Richard Stallman talk in person. I’m excited to be a part of the 2017 SeaGL.

Q: What prerequisite knowledge is required for the talk?

A: I don’t plan to get very technical with regards to the implementation of Docker and Swarm so this talk should be accessible to almost anyone with an interest in containers. Prior knowledge of Docker will be helpful, but my hope is that those completely unfamiliar with containers should also be able to follow along as well.


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