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

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FAQ about SeaGL
November 09, 2016

Q: Is SeaGL really free?

A: We are both free as in cost and free as in freedom. We’re able to keep SeaGL free because of all the amazing support we receive from our generous sponsors. (Thanks, generous sponsors!)

Q: What kinds of people attend SeaGL?

A: Friendly folks who care about free software and increasing access to technology and people who are curious about free and open source software. We’ll have plenty of content for beginners, experts, free software advocates and everyone in between. There will also be an expo floor where you can talk with local employers and some of the dot-orgs that make the Seattle tech scene so vibrant.

Q: What about the Saturday night party?

A: First of all, it will be fun! We’ve got Corey Quinn and VM Brasseur hosting an interactive variety show. We’ve also got food (including snacks for vegans and gluten intolerant folks) plus we are providing both tasty non-alcoholic drinks and some alcoholic ones. The party will be all-ages and free to attend. (Thanks again, sponsors!)

Q: I’m sold. How do I get to SeaGL?

A: We put together a handy post with all kinds of travel and logistics information. If you still have questions, get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

Contact us either by emailing participate@seagl.org or visting us on IRC on Freenode in #seagl.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: der.hans
November 08, 2016

der.hans gives his talk titled, “MySQL for the system administrator: !DBA MySQL goodness” on Saturday afternoon.

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

A: I’ve mostly been a sysadmin for many years, but have also been a full-time developer, managed IT and engineering teams, taught at a community college, pretended to be a DBA and generally tried to automate myself out of a job. I annually do not set myself on fire.

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

A: Pinatas. We should definitely have pinatas. They would be great. Since we just had candy fest the presentation will instead cover database stuff from a system administrator’s perspective. Leveraging the CLI, automating, restorals, usernames longer than 16 characters and generally keeping our standard sysadminny toolchest.

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, this is my first SeaGL. Last year I ventured a bit further north for LFNW, then visited some friends in Seattle.

This year I look forward to catching up with conference friends and also meeting new people. The schedule has some great presentations and I’m certain the hallway track is marvelous.

As a desert dweller I’m also looking forward to the free water from the sky thing that I’ve heard so much about.

Q: nomyon6swobanon (nom-yon-SIX-swob-an-on)?

A: rherhothkufibfo (rher-hoth-kuf-ib-fo)

There’s no need for security questions and answers to make sense :)

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Jesse Walling and Matt Kelsey
November 07, 2016

Jesse and Matt give their talk titled, “i3-wm: Tiling never felt so good” on Saturday afternoon.

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

A (Jesse): Hi! My name is Jesse and I am currently a junior in high school. My passions and hobbies include computers, design, Aikido (a non-violent martial art), robotics, running, and drawing. I frequently ask myself how I can make things better, and this is how I discovered GNU/Linux. In middle school, I would frequently find pages on GitHub for fascinating projects but get stuck on the ‘Installation’ section because I was using Windows command prompt. I did not realize this immediately, but I eventually discovered that there was a strange and foreign alternative to both Windows and MacOS. From that point on I found the freedom of the system very empowering. The freedom of the code. The freedom to do whatever I wanted to my computer that fit myself. Every person has their reasons for using GNU/Linux and mine is that I want to get the most out of what I have while making it suit my needs perfectly. My background is mainly in markup languages such as HTML/CSS and LaTeX/TeX since I am so passionate about design. In addition to this I know a moderate amount of JavaScript and increasingly smaller amounts of Java, C++, and Python. I use GNU/Linux multiple times each day and might consider myself an aspiring sysadmin as well.

A (Matt): I’m Matt. I am a programming enthusiast and workflow fanatic. I am a junior in high school and spend most of my free time developing code, rock climbing, and racing drones. I was first introduced to GNU/Linux through Ubuntu trying to avoid buying Windows for a spare computer. Initially I was skeptical but soon grew to love both the operating and what it stood for. I later gave up Ubuntu for Arch and decided to ditch Windows across all my computers. I have been running various distros of GNU/Linux as my daily OS for about 4 years now and have never looked back.

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

A: Good question! Expect to see two high school students (Matt and me) having a fun time presenting on a topic that we are very passionate about. There will be a tasteful amount of humor interspersed with the serious topic of i3-wm as well. Finally, we hope that afterwards people will leave with a large amount of useful information on the program and be able to look back over our presentation, which will be hosted on one of our servers, to go over things that may have been glossed over or unclear. Basically, two high schoolers having a fun time, some humor, and a surplus of information.

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: For both of us this is our first visit to SeaGL. Last year we attended Linux Fest Northwest and loved every second of it, which initially inspired us to give this talk! If anything, we would expect a smaller-scale but similar format to LFNW.

Q: What is your most embarrassing mistake ever made with GNU/Linux?

A (Jesse): I was planning on testing a new GNU/Linux distribution on a flash drive and was using dd to move over the disk image. Instead of specifying ‘/dev/sdc’ I specified ‘/dev/sdb’ and accidentally wrote over my Arch Linux install. I spent the rest of my winter break reinstalling everything.

A (Matt): No comment.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Tessa Mero
November 04, 2016

Tessa gives her talk titled, “Nom Nom: Consuming REST APIs” on Friday afternoon.

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

A: Yes! My name is Tessa Mero and I live for my family and the developer community. :-) I absolutely love encouraging and inspiring others and also bringing people together in a community and everyone sharing knowledge with each other. Currently I am a Developer Evangelist for Cisco DevNet. DevNet is a department that was born about 2 years ago to create a developer side of Cisco where we create new products from Open Source Software to APIs that will help make your work more productive and efficient. Cisco has also switched from a networking company to a software and services company and we want the world to know this. I specifically advocate on Cisco Spark (a chat/collaboration tool) and Tropo (a Voice/SMS API). I find these 2 API’s absolutely fascinating and love teaching people how to make their applications better by creating more automation for their work flows.

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

A: Since I love to teach, having a background in education, teaching web application development at Edmonds Community College (Lynnwood, WA), I love helping people extend their knowledge. I also love learning new things for the sole case of showing others how to do it. In this talk, I will be going over the basics of REST APIs and how they can easily get started with learning how to use ANY API. This is a basic level talk and does not require coding knowledge to join, so I encourage any level of expertise can be part of the talk.

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 first time at a SeaGL event, specifically my first time at a Linux conference. I’m quite overwhelmingly excited and want to be more involved at events in the Linux community as I have heard nothing but positive feedback on the community. I’m really hoping to get the opportunity to learn from others and meet a lot of people.

Q: So, you run the local PHP meetup… what can you tell us about that?

A: Yes! I run the Seattle PHP User Group and the Pacific Northwest PHP Conference in Seattle. SeaGL was kind enough to offer us a booth (THANK YOU). I will have our Vice President of the Board be at the booth giving information about our community and how much we would really love the Linux community to be part of our events. We give talks with such a range that we would love to have more speakers on DevOps! There will always be topics that will work for any developer in general, so please check it out. Come find out more information at the SeaPHP Booth and also come there to get free goodies!

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Spencer Krum
November 02, 2016

Spencer gives his talk titled, “OpenStack for Humans” on Saturday afternoon.

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

A: My name is Spencer Krum. I’ve been doing Open Source things in the Pacific NW for the past several years. I work at IBM on the OpenStack project, making Open Source cloud software.

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

A: This talk is going to introduce OpenStack to people who want to know what it is, where it comes from, and what to do with it. OpenStack has been going for 5 years and there has been a lot of hype. I’m hoping to educate the audience on some simple use cases and answer some common questions. If you last checked in on OpenStack a few years ago, what you learn might surprise you!

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 third SeaGL conference. Ever year I make sure to attend this event. It is such a good mix of community members, we are so privileged in the PacNW to have so many awesome people. You never know which OSI board member is sitting next to you in a session!

Q: What small thing makes SeaGL great?

A: I really enjoy the impromptu GPG keysigning party that always pops up. It’s always a small hoot.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Mark Atwood
November 02, 2016

Mark gives his talk titled, “How to get one of those Open Source jobs” on Friday afternoon.

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

A: I’m the Director of Open Source Engagement at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Some of the projects I’m currently involved in right now include OpenSwitch http://openswitch.net/ and NTPsec http://ntpsec.org/

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

A: Getting a paying software developer job the open source way has amazingly low barriers to entry. It bypasses much of the “you need a job to get experience, and experience to get a job” problem, and has not been infested by the expensive debt-heavy degree credentialism that has burdened other career paths. The largest barrier is just not knowing that the option exists. This talk removes that barrier.

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 attended and presented at SeaGL before. I actually live in the Seattle Capitol Hill neighborhood, so it’s refreshing to attend a conference that I can walk to, instead of having to fly across the country to attend. SeaGL attracts lots of people who are there to learn, which are my favorite cohort to present to.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Brian Raiter
November 02, 2016

Brian gives his talk titled, “Bare Metal Programming: Introduction to Writing Assembly in Linux” on Saturday afternoon.

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

A: I’m Brian Raiter, I’ve been a professional programmer for most of my adult life, and a recreational programmer for even longer. I’m most interested the aspects of computer programming that are, in and of themselves, fun. My tech talks tend to reflect this.

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

A: My tech talk will provide people with enough background to start demystifying Intel x86 assembly language. By the end of the talk, the idea of writing assembly language code for Linux will no longer seem scary (I hope) – in fact, it will even sound fun!

Assembly language has a reputation for being difficult and tedious, particularly nowadays when knowledge of assembly has become less and less necessary. While this stereotype is partly true, it is also true that assembly language is both precise and powerful. And mastering assembly language programming provides opportunity for a certain type of enjoyment that you can’t get anywhere else. I want to give more people a glimpse of that enjoyment.

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 fourth time attending SeaGL. The talks at SeaGL cover the gamut from programmers to users, sysadmins to managers, and their commitment to free software and inclusion is sterling. It’s a great little event, and I’m looking forward to it getting bigger.

Q: What is your favorite assembly instruction that is also coincidentally a valid HTML tag?

A: DIV.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Donald Robertson
November 01, 2016

Donald gives his talk titled, “Free Software Foundation: Volunteer Empire” on Saturday afternoon.

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

A: I am the Copyright & Licensing Associate for the Free Software Foundation. I have worked on the licensing team for the FSF for over 8 years. I joined the FSF straight out of law school but was an advocate for software freedom long before then.

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

A: The FSF is a very small organization in terms of staff. All the work that we do is made possible by thousands of volunteers all around the globe. In my talk I want to highlight their work while also giving the audience some helpful ideas on how to magnify the work of volunteers in their own communities.

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 coming to SeaGL for years now. It’s one of my favorite conferences. The talks are wonderful but the community that comes out for this event is what makes it so great. The people at SeaGL are dedicated free software activists and users.

Q: How can someone become more involved in FSF’s work?

A: There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer, and we’re also hiring for several positions at the moment.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Charlotte Tan
November 01, 2016

Charlotte gives her talk titled, “SSL/TLS Primer” on Saturday afternoon.

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

A: I’m a software developer, currently at ExtraHop Networks, and I’ve been working on networking appliances my entire professional life. I’ve spent way too much time writing single-purpose hash tables, staring at hex dumps, and scanning packet captures. As someone whose work has benefited a lot from open source, I thought it was past time to contribute something more!

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

A: TLS is the most widely used cryptographic protocol, and most software developers will run into it at some point, but it can be intimidating! My ambitious goal is to demystify parts of it from the high-level motivations down to the nitty-gritty details on the wire.

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 first visit! It’s the nature of the software industry that you tend to specialize, so I always appreciate the chance to hear from a wide variety of people doing different things. I’m loving the scope of the talks on the docket!

Q: Do you want to rant about network security?

A: Yes! With the recent DNS outage due to a DDoS attack, internet of things vendors need to get their bananas together and implement basic things like randomized default passwords and (at least) basic authentication and encryption! ISPs also need to take responsibility for mitigations like reverse path check for spoofing and reflection attacks. There aren’t many simple solutions, but as the internet grows, we need to think very hard about the security implications of end to end connectivity.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Carol Smith
November 01, 2016

Carol gives her talk titled, “The Set of Programmers: How Math Restricts Us” on Friday afternoon.

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

A: I’m Carol Smith, I currently manage education partnerships at GitHub. I have been there 7 months and have also done a lot of of other, related education outreach in that time. Before GitHub I was at Google managing the Google Summer of Code program. For those who don’t know, Google Summer of Code is a program designed to get university students involved in open source software development all over the world. I worked at Google for 10.5 years. Before Google Summer of Code I worked in network operations at Google helping to deploy a lot of network infrastructure for North America.

I have a degree in photojournalism from California State University, Northridge. I am also an avid horseback rider and armchair movie critic.

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

A: I’d like to show the audience that the way we are teaching programming and computer science to students and newbies is unintentionally creating a barrier to entry for some. We are introducing concepts and ideas that don’t need to be introduced when they are and are unnecessarily sending some people the message that they don’t belong, even though they may very well excel.

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 is my first visit to SeaGL! I’m excited. I expect that it will be a diverse group of attendees from industry and academia. I also think it’s going to be lots of fun to talk to some new folks and hopefully spur some interesting discussions.

Q: Do you have any questions for us?

A: Some great questions for the attendees to think about would be, “Do you think we’re currently doing a good job teaching programming and computer science to the next generation of developers? Are the students coming into open source and the workforce as well prepared for contributing and working in their jobs as they can be?”


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