Thank you for an amazing SeaGL 2021!
Love SeaGL and want to help out? Get Involved


Call for Volunteers 2021 and Beyond
October 05, 2021

As we get closer to November, SeaGL is starting the process of looking for volunteers to help with several roles across the virtual conference. There are many opportunities to get involved!

Please note, while the schedule is still in the oven baking, please reach out to Once a finalized schedule is formed, we will reach out with a detailed sign up form via email to coordinate training in short informative sessions or via prerecorded instruction.

Help Desk

Folks in this role will assist in answering common questions about the conference, where to find information, when talks are happening, how to navigate to virtual sponsor area or events, etc. We will provide a FAQ sheet and other documentation, and you will have the ability to escalate questions to specific folks as needed.

Speaker Wrangler

Assist speakers in entering the room for presentation, troubleshooting their presentation needs, making sure speakers are at the right place at the right time, and introduce the speaker to the audience. Moderate the Q&A portion as needed by relaying chat questions to the speaker. Give time cues to the speaker, if wished by the speaker. Additional tasks include keeping an eye out and responding to Code of Conduct abuse in the channel and to, as needed, triage to staff to assist.

Career Counseling

The Career event at SeaGL is a great opportunity to share and get feedback on resumes and all things jobs and hiring. Having more folks to provide unique perspectives and feedback to folks seeking counseling is always appreciated.

SeaGL also requires a lot of work leading up to the conference. More helping hands are always valuable. These roles can start ASAP as we gear up for the conference date, and many continue in the time in-between each year’s conference.


SeaGL has put together a lot of fun tech to make this conference run and can always use help to further the platform. If you have experience with light web development, and customizing Matrix bots (likely a mix of Python and TypeScript) that would be great. More eyes on the development stage and user experience testing would also be great.


Outreach handles promotion and community communication through social media and other avenues. They also provide the graphic design support, blog posts, social media blasts, etc. The committee is also looking for another chair to help lead.


Reaching out to partnership leads is an exciting role that involves emailing leads, corresponding and sharing the yearly prospectus, and relaying the results through an internal process. If you are passionate about connecting community sponsors to SeaGL or representing SeaGL in other community spaces, there’s also room for you too! Organization and timely correspondence via email and light Google Sheets skills are the key here.


The volunteer committee could use more support documenting all areas of the conference or in user-testing the documentation that comes about for various users so all volunteers have a guide to work off of.

We are always open to more ideas of how folks can get involved, so if you have anything you’d like to do that isn’t listed above, please also reach out to

SeaGL 2021 keynote speakers
September 27, 2021

We’re excited to share the first part of the SeaGL 2021 program with you—our keynote speakers!

Taking the virtual stage this year are:

  • Marie Nordin
  • Christine & Morgan Lemmer-Webber
  • Elana Hashman
  • Cory Doctorow

Some of these names are new to SeaGL and some have spoken here before. But all of them will be giving great talks that you don’t want to miss.

As in years past, the Program Committee selected keynote speakers from your nominations. We thank everyone who gave us suggestions.

For the other talks, all speakers have been notified. Once we have confirmation, we’ll be able to share the schedule with you. We can’t wait to see you online November 5–6!

Lightning Talks at SeaGL 2021!
August 24, 2021

We’re incredibly excited to announce that we’re hosting lightning talks at SeaGL this year! Think of this space as a great opportunity to learn about fun topics, or even present your own talk. It’s a great way to get comfortable with speaking to an audience or to explore the kernel of an idea that could become a full-length talk at SeaGL 2022!

The lightning talks will be a series of 5 minute talks which will be pre-recorded - meaning that we can accommodate speakers from all over the world! We’re looking for any community focused talks. A few examples are:

  • Tech examples: Event organization, coding, design, documentation, open source, etc.
  • Non-tech examples: non-profit work, hobbies/programs (eg. community gardens), sports teams, theater, etc.

Our one request is that there are no promotions of any kind - meaning, please no video resumes, no company/product promos, etc.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you, our community. Please submit your talk ideas as soon as possible, as we will be reviewing them on a rolling basis.

Unintended emails being sent
August 23, 2021

Hello SeaGL community,

Some of you might be getting multiple emails from us. We want to apologize for the unintended mailings. Some changes were made to past conference schedules as part of a general clean up. We were working on an archive page that was disconnected from OSEM, our conference software. Unfortunately, there were no notifications from OSEM that emails were being sent to the community.

We are currently working on a shim to stop any emails from going out until all updates are done. Thank you so much for your patience. You can reach out to us on our usual communication channels.

SeaGL 2021 CfP extended
August 05, 2021

Need a little more time to get your proposal together for SeaGL 2021? Good news! We’ve extended the submission deadline to August 19. This gives you two more weeks to submit a talk proposal about free software, security, tech culture, community, and more! If you need some ideas, check out our suggested topic categories.

If you have questions about the Call for Proposals process or want feedback on your talk proposal, we have one more office hours session. Join us in chat or on video at at 3:00 PM Pacific on Saturday, August 7. If you can’t make the office hours, email your questions to any time.

When you’re ready to submit, our CfP portal is ready for you!

Office Hours for SeaGL CFP 2021
July 30, 2021

One of the ways SeaGL supports first-time speakers is by holding CfP office hours. If you have questions about the Call for Proposals process or want feedback on your talk proposal, you can join us in chat at or on video on:

  • Sun Aug 1, 3pm PDT
  • Tues Aug 3, 5:30pm PDT
  • Sat Aug 7, 3pm PDT

We’d love to see you, whether you’re making your first conference proposal or you’re an experienced speaker! Whether you need topic ideas or want help wrangling the central argument of your talk, we’re here to help. We’ll also have some prepared topics for each session.

If you can’t make the office hours, email your questions to any time.

And many of us are on the channel much of the time besides, so come say hi! We’re in #SeaGL on Libera.Chat and on Matrix. The rooms are bridged, so join us on the network and client of your choice. If you haven’t used IRC before, no sweat. Join in the browser chat version of the channel, choose a nickname, and you’ll be in!

SeaGL 2021 Call For Proposals
June 24, 2021

Welcome to the 2021 SeaGL Call For Proposals! Every year, we want to hear from YOU, and we’re always looking for speakers who are traditionally underrepresented in tech, and people with perspectives uncommonly heard, as well as first-time speakers. Because we’re virtual for the second year in a row, there is opportunity for speakers anywhere in the world to submit talks! In 2020, we had talks from four continents!! So let’s take advantage of our virtual closeness for another year.


CfP Open: Thursday 24 June 2021

CfP Close: Thursday 5 August 2021Thursday 19 August 2021

Acceptances: Early September 2021

Finalized Speakers: Mid September 2021

Program Published: Late September 2021

CONFERENCE: Friday 5 November and Saturday 6 November 2021!

Submit at: OSEM

Committee and Code of Practice

The Program Committee is the group responsible for choosing and scheduling all of the great talks you enjoy at SeaGL. This year the committee steering the Program consists of:

  • Nathan Handler (co-chair)
  • Rachel Kelly (co-chair)
  • Monica Ayhens-Madon
  • Remy DeCausemaker
  • Megan Guiney
  • Sri Ramkrishna
  • Alison Yu

As in prior years, we agree to abide by the SeaGL Program Committee Code of Practice.

Code of Conduct

The SeaGL Code of Conduct applies to all staff, all volunteers, all speakers and keynotes, all attendees and viewers, and all sponsors. SeaGL is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone; regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, nationality, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference staff, volunteers, presenters, attendees, and participants in any form. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference, without a refund, at the discretion of the conference organizers.

These are more than words, they are a framework that we have used and will use in the future when the situation calls for it. We encourage you to become familiar with the contents of the SeaGL Code of Conduct, as you indicate your strong agreement to these principles in submitting a talk, attending the conference, volunteering, sponsoring, or otherwise participating in the conference.

Talk Topics/Labels

We encourage almost any topic related to open source that you have a personal engagement with. We have created a list of topic labels you might choose to use — these might give you some ideas.

  • Security: Security Practices (Personal and Industry) and Security Career
  • Hardware: Free and Open hardware projects
  • Leaving the Walled Garden: Owning Your Own Data
  • Tools: Command line, databases, web tools, accessibility, open graphics tooling, and more
  • Tech Culture: FLOSS for EveryOne: how can FLOSS be of help to those outside our immediate community?
  • Community: Community building, labor rights, & advocacy
  • Virtual meetings & “meatspace”
  • DevOps: Open source DevOps, containers, continuous integration/continuous deployment, & monitoring
  • Licensing & Legal
  • Career Development in FLOSS software and hardware
  • Performance Art! Seriously :)
  • Misc: Have a great talk that doesn’t fit these categories? Submit it!

Talk categories and “vibe”

SeaGL is a very special conference. We’re a community-focused Free/Libre Open Source Software annual event in Seattle, and since last year, all over the world virtually! We’re looking for technical talks from folks who usually give community talks, and activism talks from folks who usually give coding deep dives, and so forth. We would love to see you out of your comfort zone. The categories we used last year were, loosely: Security, Community, Career Development, Tech Culture, Tools, Virtual Life & Work, DevOps, Performance Art! and Miscellaneous, and we had amazing submissions as a result, like Devops Standup and several talks on labor organizing! We’re an independent bunch but we still like to take care of each other.

We are not looking for sponsored talks, however we’d love to welcome you over at our Sponsorship Prospectus and give you an opportunity to reach our attendees in other ways. As a small community event, our attendees tend to be university students, open source hobbyists and engineers, security professionals, technical writers, and more, skewing toward community rather than a corporate feel.

We’re not very likely to accept broad introductory talks, but specific, scoped introductions to a discrete part of the Operations or Network/Sysadmin world are very sought after, and we also love talks on the broad theme of “hacking for good”, and personal security as well. Are you making choices for your personal technology outside of Amazon/Google/Apple/other giants? We would love to hear about that too!

We welcome talks you have given elsewhere, but if you have, please indicate so in the abstract (a link would be great) and let us know how this talk will be different.

Talk structure

Talks will be presented remotely. Speakers may give their session live, or pre-record their session for the room moderator to play while they are in the chat session with the attendees.

Talk length is 20 minutes, with another 10 minutes allowed for questions, for 30m total.

We do not have longer time slots available at SeaGL 2021 because the online medium makes it more critical to present yourself concisely. Please do not propose talks that cannot be presented well within the allotted time. If you have a topic that absolutely needs more time, consider breaking your proposal into two talks: an introductory talk and a more “advanced” talk.

Office Hours

SeaGL pioneered the idea of CfP Office Hours, so stay tuned for details, and if you need help in the meantime, please email us at, and we’d love to help you work through a good proposal.

How To Submit

FINALLY, let’s talk about how to submit! First, you’ll go to SeaGL’s OSEM and either create an account or log in to an account you have previously used. For those of you who have submitted before, this is the same system as the last several years.

Scroll down to the Call For Papers section, and “Submit your paper now” for your proposal, and then New Proposal. There you’ll input the Title, Talk Type (there is only one - 20m talk), and the Abstract, up to 500 words. Do not put your name or biography in your proposal. Repeated, do not put your name or your bio in your proposal. It is part of our Code of Practice that our initial review is unaware of who the submitter is, therefore any proposal which includes biographical information will be rejected. Your bio will be asked for later.

When you have submitted, you will be taken to a page called Proposals for SeaGL 2021, and you will see your own talk(s) listed there. This is where you will add your bio and the talk label (“track”). Please note, you will not receive an email confirming your proposed submission.

Finally, please find the plaintext link to our submission software here:

Thank you!

Thank you!! Please email us or tweet at us with any questions! And don’t forget to Submit Early, Submit Often!

SeaGL 2021 stays virtual
June 08, 2021

Like many other conferences, the SeaGL staff has given a lot of thought to the format. After much discussion and consideration of the general landscape, we have decided that SeaGL 2021 will be a virtual event.

Last year’s first-ever virtual SeaGL was a great success, and we’re confident that we can deliver another delightful virtual experience this year! We loved how the remote format brought SeaGL to a wider audience, although we absolutely miss flocking together.

Seagulls are not particularly known for clairvoyance, and we didn’t feel as though we could predict what the pandemic situation will look like in early November. We are encouraged by the progress being made on vaccinations, but we understand that many people will still be hesitant to attend in-person events. We’re still holding open the idea of doing an in-person meetup for those of you in the Seattle area, but the conference proper will remain online in 2021.

Join us on the Internet, Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6, 2021!

We will be announcing the Call for Participation soon. In the meantime, we’re always looking for more help with planning the conference. Please reach out to if you’d like to help with a well-defined, well-supported volunteer role as we ramp up to this year’s conference organization. Many of our volunteers have been helping with the conference for years, so you’ll be joining an established team of people who care deeply about free software and community in equal measure!

SeaGL 2021: Year Nine!
March 29, 2021

Thank you so much for sticking with us through SeaGL 2020! We’ll be announcing more with videos and other content from last year soon, but the big announcement here is that we are gearing up for year NINE of SeaGL! SeaGL 2021 will be Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6, 2021!

We are very close to decided on doing another fully virtual conference, which genuinely exceeded the highest of any of our expectations, but depending on how vaccinations go, there may be some kind of hybrid option. This is undecided, but we are working on setting a date to decide by, not later than by summer 2021.

Please reach out if you’d like to help with a well-defined, well-supported volunteer role as we ramp up to this year’s conference, at Many of the volunteers have been helping with the conference for many years, so you’ll be joining an established team of people who care about free software and community in equal measure!

Thank you & stay tuned!

SeaGL 2020: DAY 2!
November 14, 2020

Today is our second and FINAL day of SeaGL 2020! Here is the full SeaGL 2020 program, and please read on for today’s schedule, for Friday, November 13, 2020. As a reminder, SeaGL 2020 is completely virtual. SeaGL is also completely free as in tea with no registration required, so everyone is welcome to attend.

You can attend if you go to Live streams are also available at

Normal talk blocks are 30m - 20m for the talk, 10m for optional Q&A as led by the Room Moderator. The Moderator will read questions from the text chat audience for the speaker to answer. There are 15 minute spaces between talks, which means that the talk blocks are listed as 45 minutes long. There is no Q&A during Keynotes.

Please note that as of 6:30pm PST Friday Nov 13, a few of these have changed. Last minute schedule changes - it’s a wild world out there this year, but we can accommodate :)

All times are listed in Pacific Standard Time, which is UTC -08:00

  • 9:20am Opening announcements by Wm Salt Hale, Nathan Handler, and Rachel Kelly
  • 9:35am Keynote by Kathy Giori

10:00am-10:45am block

  • Cameron Bielstein - Building Free CI/CD with GitHub Actions
  • Elizabeth K. Joseph - Open Source on the Mainframe in 1960, 1999, and Today
  • Aeva Black - Crossing the Gender Divide

10:45am-11:30am block

  • Molly deBlanc - Introduction to Ethics from an Ethicist-in-Training
  • Justin W. Flory and Bhagyashree (Bee) - Time for Action: How to Build D&I in your Project
  • Bri Hatch - 10 Vim Tricks

11:30am-12:15pm block

  • Ask Me Anything (AMA) about Kubernetes with Elana Hashman!
  • Kara Sowles - Alcohol and Inclusivity in Tech

12:15pm-1:15pm block - go eat some lunch, come back at 1:15pm PST :)

1:15pm-2:00pm block

  • Deb Nicholson - Move Slow and Try Not to Break Each Other
  • Ian Kelling - When does a Service Take Away your Freedom?
  • Wm Salt Hale - Contacts to Connections: CRM Funneling for Projects and People

2:00pm-2:45pm block

  • Amanda Sopkin - The United States’ History with Free Software and what we can do to improve the Future
  • Aaron Wolf - Software Freedom through Collective Action
  • Lisha Sterling - Building Alternative Networks for Fun and Resistance

2:45pm-3:30pm is TeaGL! Bring the tea your TeaGL buddy sent you, and come enjoy the company of tea lovers even if you didn’t sign up for the Tea Swap!

3:30pm-4:15pm block

  • Paris Buttfield-Addison and Tim Nugent - First Steps with Swift for TensorFlow
  • Ben Cotton - Scheduling your Open Source Project
  • Nočnica Fee - Data Liberation: Open Source Observability

4:30pm Closing Keynote by VM Brasseur

6:00pm Closing Virtual Party!

If you have any questions about any of these, please pop into and we’ll get you set right up!