Register for SeaGL 2019
November 15th and 16th, 2019


The 2018 SeaGL CFP is open for business!
June 04, 2018

Calling all speakers or speakers-to-be! Our 2018 Call for Proposals is open!

We are currently doing weekly proposal review/feedback sessions as well as email proposal review and feedback. Please bring us your talk ideas and proposals and we’ll help you polish them before you submit them to the CFP. See the Help and mentoring for your proposals section for more information.

SeaGL is dedicated to supporting newer speakers. We welcome speakers of all backgrounds and levels of experience – even if you’ve never spoken at a technical conference. If you’re excited about Free/Libre/Open technologies or communities, then we want to hear from you!

Because we’re a community-focused event based in Seattle, we’re particularly interested in hearing from new and experienced speakers from the Seattle and Pacific Northwest region, but we welcome proposals from anyone no matter where you’re based.

Here’s what we cover in this CFP announcement. We know it’s rather a lot, so you can click to jump to the section you need (but we encourage you to read it all through at least once).

CFP dates

  • CFP Opens: June 4th, 2018
  • CFP Closes: July 29th, 2018 - Midnight PDT
  • Speaker Notifications: September 3rd, 2018
  • Schedule Published: September 17th, 2018
  • SeaGL!: November 9-10, 2018

Audience profile

SeaGL is honored to be hosted by Seattle Central College. Because our event occurs partly during their school week, we have not one but two audiences. Both audiences are present both days of the event, but each day has a larger proportion of one type of audience member:

  1. Friday: School is in session on this day, so many of our attendees are community college students. We try to schedule more “Free/open source 101” type talks on this day to help the students get a firm grounding in FOSS and its technologies.
  2. Saturday: Weekend! We have fewer students on this day and more professionals and hobbyists. This audience is more familiar with technology in general and often is looking for more advanced talks or introductory talks on more advanced topics.

Talk formats

Like last year, in 2018 SeaGL is looking for talks in two formats:

  • 20 minutes: Introduce the audience to a new technology, concept, or just recap an older idea which you think is really neat.
  • 50 minutes: Go more in depth! Do a demo! This is your chance to really educate the audience about something you enjoy.

Both of these time slots include the Q&A time. Please time your presentations accordingly. We suggest aiming for a 15 minute presentation for the 20 minute time slot and for 40-45 minutes for the 50 minute time slot, but as the speaker the final presentation time is up to you (as long as you don’t exceed your time slot).

We do not have workshop (60+ minute) slots available at SeaGL and will not be opening any. Please do not propose talks that cannot be presented well within the two time slot options above.

Click here to propose a talk.

Talk categories (aka Tracks)

SeaGL doesn’t do “tracks” like many other conferences do, but we do use tracks to make sure we have a nice balance of subjects covered during the event. Think of them more like categories than tracks in the traditional tech conference sense. This year you can select from one of the following categories when creating your proposal:

  • Data/AI/ML
  • Design/UI/UX/Accessibility
  • Documentation
  • Education
  • Hardware/IoT
  • Legal/Licensing
  • People
  • Programming
  • Security/InfoSec
  • Something different
  • Systems/Ops

Don’t worry if your talk isn’t a snug fit with any of these categories. It’s not a problem and we don’t mind at all. Just pick the one that’s the closest fit, and if nothing else please do use the Something different category.

Click here to propose a talk.

Topic ideas

Not sure what to propose? Here are some ideas!

  • How to get involved in free and open source software
  • DevOps, system administration, infrastructure, CI/CD
  • Career tips and strategies
  • Web development tools and techniques
  • Policy and licensing affecting free and open source software use or development
  • Hardware, embedded Linux, or the Internet of Things
  • The cloud and other distributed services
  • Building free and open source communities
  • Using free software at home, work, or school
  • Security and privacy online
  • Writing testable code, and testing in general
  • Effective documentation patterns and strategies
  • Free and open software on non-GNU/Linux platforms (Windows, macOS)
  • Anything else that you think would be interesting to new or seasoned Free/Libre/Open source fans!

Click here to propose a talk.

PLEASE don’t do this…

Our conference software doesn’t currently support concealed reviews (where the reviewers can’t see who proposed a talk), but we do the best we can to review everything concealed anyway.


Your name is for your bio, not for your abstract. If you include your name in your abstract, you are at risk of having your proposal voted down and not accepted.

We really can’t stress this enough. Don’t do this. Really.

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.

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 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 talk.

Help and mentoring for your proposals

Want to propose a talk but want feedback on your idea, proposal wording, talk title or just on how to deal with nerves? The speaker committee is running CFP office hours during the CFP. We’ll do everything possible to help you be successful with your proposal and presenatation. Office hour times:

All office hours are held 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!

If you’d like assistance outside of the office hours, please email us at We welcome all questions that arrive between June 4th and July 29th.

Speaker travel support

As SeaGL is a free to attend community-oriented and -organized conference, we regret that we are unable to help with the cost of travel and accommodation for speakers at this time.

Code of Conduct

All 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.

Code of Practice

All members of the SeaGL Program Committee have agreed to operate according to our Code of Practice.

No, really, click here to propose a talk. Please. We want to hear from you!

Our 2018 Keynoters
May 28, 2018

Did you miss the announcements of our four keynote speakers for 2018? We’re very excited and honored that these folks accepted our invitation! Click on each one below to learn more about them:

Molly de Blanc Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph
Tameika Reed Stephen Walli

We at SeaGL believe in sharing and openness. In that spirit, we’ve posted our keynote selection process. Learn all about how our community helped choose our keynote speakers this year.

Interested in being a part of SeaGL 2018? Our CFP opens a week from today on June 4th. If you’d like to volunteer, please drop us a line at We can’t wait to see you in November!

2018 Keynote Announcement: Stephen Walli
May 04, 2018

Our final keynote announcement for 2018 is Stephen Walli!

Stephen is a principal program manager working in the Azure engineering team at Microsoft. Prior to that, he was a Distinguished Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Stephen has been a technical executive, a founder, a writer, a systems developer, a software construction geek, and a standards diplomat. He has worked in the IT industry since 1980 as both customer and vendor, working with open source for 25 years. He blogs about open source and software business at Once More unto the Breach,, and on Medium.

That’s four out of four 2018 keynoters now revealed. We’re thrilled to host these brilliant people and honoured that they agreed to present. Please join us on November 9-10 and hear for yourself what they have to say!

2018 Keynote Announcement: Tameika Reed
May 03, 2018

And now, for the third of four 2018 keynote announcements, we present Tameika Reed!

Tameika founded Women In Linux out of frustration that there were no other women or women of color represented at the workplace or tech events. Tameika is a self-taught Linux Administrator since 2000. She has provided countless of hours to helping others get started in Linux. She has spoken at conferences such as OSCON on Diversity in Education, Women In Linux Conference on various topics, and LISA on a Plenary Panel: “Scaling Talent: Attracting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce”. Since the the creation of Women In Linux, Tameika has inspired countless of women, men, and children to succeed in tech as well as in their perspective fields. She continues to explore outside the norm of just Linux by introducing Hyperledger, Kubernetes, Microservices, and High Performance Computing.

Our keynotes are nearly all revealed. One announcement remains. Come back tomorrow to learn who it is!

2018 Keynote Announcement: Elizabeth K. Joseph
May 02, 2018

Our next keynote announcement for 2018 is Elizabeth K. Joseph!

Lyz is a Developer Advocate at Mesosphere where she focuses on the Apache Mesos and DC/OS communities. Previously, she spent four years as a systems engineer on the OpenStack Infrastructure team and six years on the Ubuntu Community Council. She is the author of Common OpenStack Deployments and The Official Ubuntu Book, 8th and 9th Editions. At home in the San Francisco bay area, she sits on the Board of Directors for Partimus, a non-profit providing Linux-based computers to learning facilities in need.

Two keynote announcements down, two to go. Keep an eye out tomorrow for our next 2018 keynoter reveal!

2018 Keynote Announcement: Molly de Blanc
May 01, 2018

It’s time to start announcing our four brilliant keynoters for 2018, starting with Molly de Blanc!

Molly is Campaigns Manager for the Free Software Foundation, where she organizes people around free software issues, researches and writes on new and longstanding software issues, and draws connections between current events and user freedoms.

As an independent researcher, Molly has explored how people communicate in and around free software communities and the effects on language from policies such as codes of conduct. Her interests include the demographics of communities and the way labor is divided among participants based on open contribution. Molly works with the Debian project’s Outreach team, facilitating Debian participation in the Google Summer of Code and Outreachy mentorship projects. She serves on the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative.

Prior to joining the FSF, Molly worked in free and open education including the publishing team at MITOpenCourseWare and as community coordinator of the Open edX Project. She was previously affiliated with One Laptop Per Child and the Youth and Media Group at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.

In her spare time, Molly enjoys biking, climbing, cooking, and playing guitar and bassoon in a band that produces freely licensed music.

Stay tuned for our second keynote announcement tomorrow!

2018 Keynote Selection Process
April 30, 2018

We’re trying something new in 2018: rather than having a single keynote present for an hour each morning, we’re having two people present for about 25 minutes each morning instead. We have two reasons for trying this:

  1. We get to give twice as many people the opportunity to keynote our wonderful event and present to our beautiful audience. (as you can see, we have no bias here)
  2. Our audience members get twice the opportunities to learn and be inspired each morning of SeaGL.

We’re using the extra keynote slots to host people who haven’t keynoted before, but who are experienced speakers and brilliant technologists. This continues SeaGL’s commitment to boosting new voices in our community. We’re very excited to announce all of these speakers in the coming days this week, but first we want to share how we selected our keynoters:

  1. Gather candidates. We asked the entire SeaGL and free/open source communities to nominate people they thought would make great keynote speakers. The nominations were collected in a simple Google Form. This process generated dozens of nominations! It was obvious that the choice wasn’t going to be easy.
  2. Clean up the nominations. You don’t crowd source nominations on the internet and expect not to get trolled. We didn’t have to remove many joke nominations, only two or three, but it had to be done before voting.
  3. Sort the nominations into two groups: Keynoted and Not Really Keynoted. We did some really quick web searches to figure out who should be in which group. The groups each became a new Google Form.
  4. The most important step: the voting. The entire SeaGL organising staff voted for each candidate in each group, selecting a value from 0 (I have no opinion on this nomination) to 5 (omgyesplz).

That was about it. We then invited the candidates who received the most votes, and got to celebrate when they accepted!

Over the next four days we’ll reveal the four brilliant people who’ve agreed to keynote SeaGL 2018. They’ll be revealed one a day in alphabetical order by their last names. We hope once you see who they are you’ll be as excited as we are!

Keynote flashback: Rikki Endsley in 2017
April 26, 2018

In preparation of announcing our 2018 keynotes next week, we’re revisiting our great keynotes from 2017.

And for our final flashback: Rikki Endsley! Rikki showed the audience the powerful effect that writing can have on your career in tech and made an offer to help everyone in the crowd to share their story on

Keynote flashback: Nithya Ruff in 2017
April 25, 2018

In preparation of announcing our 2018 keynotes next week, we’re revisiting our great keynotes from past years

Next up: Nithya Ruff! Nithya entranced the audience with the story of her path from India to Silicon Valley and accompanied it a slide show of photos from her history.

Keynote flashback: Karen Sandler in 2014
April 24, 2018

In preparation of announcing our 2018 keynotes next week, we’re revisiting our great keynotes past years

First up: Karen Sandler! Karen shares her personal story of how software freedom—or the lack of it—affects her life in a special way: by controlling the beating of her heart. She shares the dangers of proprietary systems for critial systems such as the implant that keeps her alive.


SeaGL is dedicated to a harassment-free conference experience for everyone. Our code of conduct can be found here

All website code is licensed GPL v3.0.

Unless otherwise specified, all website content is licensed CC BY-SA.