Register for SeaGL 2018
November 9th and 10th, 2018

News

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Paul Berg
September 25, 2017

Paul Berg gives his talk titled, “Giving The Public What They Pay For: Opening Government Funded Research” on Saturday afternoon.

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

A: By trade I am a computer scientist, software engineer and security engineer. I have been active in the Open Source community since the mid 1990’s and became professionally involved in software licensing in the mid 2000’s in Microsoft’s anti-piracy initiative. Later I went on to help run Amazon’s Open Source program for over 5 years and am now working with the Department of Energy of the United States to ensure Open Source best practices and to encourage heavy release of government funded software projects as Open Source.

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: Yes. I had planned to attend last year, but life had other plans. I do know many of the organizers of SeaGL and know that they are some of the best in the industry so I expect it to be a very well run conference with interesting speakers on a variety of topics.

Q: What do you see as the most exciting recent development in the software industry?

A: A combination of recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, pervasive connectivity, and cloud based microservice offerings are presenting an opportunity we could only dream about just a couple of years ago. In the past we needed specialized, powerful hardware and a lot of AI know-how in order to do interesting machine learning tasks. Now we can offload the processor intensive tasks to specialized cloud services, and use off-the-shelf building blocks for pattern recognition, natural language processing and other complex tasks without requiring specialized machine learning knowledge. This allows us to focus on solving real world problems on the client side without getting bogged down in the details of the algorithms and is opening up possibilities for a tidal wave of smart applications that we are only just beginning to see.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: John (Genehack) Anderson
September 25, 2017

John (Genehack) is giving two talks; “Logs Are Magic: Why Git Workflows and Commit Structure Should Matter To You “ on Friday afternoon and “A static site generator should be your next language learning project” on Saturday afternoon.

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

A: Hi, I’m John aka Genehack most places online. Currently, I work for a custom software development and technology consulting shop, but I used to be a molecular biologist and bioinformatician (which is how I acquired the handle).

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

A: I’m doing two talks: one of them is about creating better revision control history while developing software, and ways to better use that history once it exists. It’s kinda Git-centric but most of the stuff applies to any revision control system. It’s part theory, part tips and tricks, and a big chunk of semi-opinionated ranting. It’s a fun talk.

The second one is about this idea I’ve had for a while, that a static site generation system is an ideal learning project. I’m still pulling this one together (read: I haven’t actually written it yet…) but it’s going to be a quick romp through what a static site generation system is, and what you need to do to put one together. I expect it will also be a rockin’ good time.

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 will be my second SeaGL. Last year I was taken with, well pretty much everything: the great content in the tracks, the good sized crowds, and the wonderful venue. 8^)

Q: What is the one superpower you wish you had?

A: I wish I had the superpower of coming up with a good question for myself when somebody tells me to make up my own question and answer it at the end of an interview. ;^)

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Aaron Wolf
September 25, 2017

Aaron Wolf gives his talk titled, “Snowdrift.coop: 5 years of a work-in-progress” on Saturday afternoon.

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

A: My name is Aaron Wolf. I’m a musician and music teacher who got sidetracked by questions about the nature of cultural freedom, creativity, technology, and economic equity. In 2012, I pivoted from Apple to GNU and from the prospect of a musicology PhD to co-founding a funding cooperative for free/libre/open software and culture. Although I’ve found a place in the FLO world and tech community, I’m still not a tech enthusiast per se or a programmer. I focus on how technology can be empowering rather than exploitive and how economic foundations play into all this stuff.

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

A: I always want to be modest and acknowledge that Snowdrift.coop is just a support project hoping to help the real projects that create primary value. But when I focus on the challenges and why we have taken so long to launch, I realize we just might be one of the most ambitious projects out there. We’re trying to fundamentally change economic and social structures all while living up to the highest standards of software freedom in our own development. Our mission involves everything any software project deals with plus handling money, cooperative governance, international issues…

My talk will be a race through an inside look at what happened over the last 5 years. I’ll share the details of politics, communication struggles, pivots and mission-creep, and where we are now. It will give everyone a good sense of what’s involved in a project like this.

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: My past SeaGL experience felt like a wonderful volunteer-run event. Many things to learn and improve, but overall good. It had a local feel, and the shoestring budget was apparent, but it did what a good conference should do in connecting people and sharing ideas.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Margaret Staples
September 21, 2017

Margaret Staples gives her talk titled, “Philosophy in Code: I Kant Even” on Saturday morning.

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

A: I’m a cyborg but with really primitive upgrades. You’ll see me rolling around and sometimes maybe laying down to give my bionicness some recharge time. I’ve been into computers since before they were common enough for me to have touched one, but my formal education is in World History.

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

A: You can expect me to be ridiculously enthusiastic about logic and programming.

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: Yes! I’m doing my best not to form any expectations, but I did meet someone from the org at PNWPHP last week and they were super nice, so I am hoping most people there will also be super nice :)

Q: Do you have a dog you would like to tell us about?

A: Why yes I do! Her name is Lilith. She’s a black lab border collie mix made entirely of sweetness and joy. She’s been with me for 16 years so you could say she’s my old lady. She’s a very good girl.

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.


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