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Just a few weeks left in the 2019 SeaGL Call for Proposals!
July 29, 2019

The CFP closes August 11 at midnight Pacific time!

We are JUST under only two weeks left in the 2019 CFP for SeaGL! We want to hear from YOU! We are dedicated to supporting newer speakers, and 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!

At a Free and Open Source Software conference, the depth and breadth of topics can be overwhelming! So let us share some of the talks we’d like to see. Tweet at us at @seagl if you have more ideas you’d like to see and we’ll add to this, and be sure to come see us on #seagl on IRC if we can help you develop your ideas!

First, a few topics that we think would make great talks.

  • Hardware, specifically DIY IOT! That is to say, “internet-of-things”-style hardware hacks with something like Arduino or Raspberri Pis which you use for automating your chicken coop, music setup, or something else?
  • Have you built a mechanical keyboard? Do you want to help other people get started with mechanical keyboards? This is an increasing number of folks’ entry into hardware so our FOSS conference is a great place to give a talk on this topic!
  • The open source ecosystem in front-end! We focus so much on open source in the operations/admin space but let’s hear about what you’re doing with non proprietary front end tools, like Glitch or Vue.js!
  • What are you working on in the FOSS education space? How can we better support people who want to make some movements away from proprietary methods?

Got other questions about the CFP that we could help you with? Email We can’t wait to see what you submit!

Office Hours for SeaGL CFP 2019
July 08, 2019

Several years ago, the Program Committee began CFP Office Hours. This has been successful, in fact so successful that we now see other conferences offering them. So this year, we’ll be offering office hours on the schedule of every Wednesday from 12pm-1pm Pacific time, until the CFP closes August 11. We’ll also do a special session the night that the CFP closes. We’d love to see you! We believe strongly in supporting new voices, and whether you need topic ideas or how to wrangle the central argument of your talk, we’re here to help. And lots of us are on the channel much of the time besides, so come say hi!

We use IRC for all our SeaGL communication, and we’re at #seagl on freenode. You may also reach the CFP mentors by email at If you would like more information, read on!

If you haven’t used IRC before, no sweat. Just click here for the browser chat version of the channel, choose a nickname, and you’ll be in! If you’d like to learn more, SeaGL Organizer Vicky Brasseur has written a quickstart guide on on how to get started with your own nickname (“nick”).

Program Committee Code of Practice
June 25, 2019

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

  • Wm Salt Hale
  • Nathan Handler
  • Rachel Kelly
  • Deb Nicholson
  • Georgia Reh
  • Lucy Wyman

Code of Practice

This is what we believe in and how we operate as we go about our business of building the best possible program and schedule for SeaGL.

As members of the SeaGL program committee and proposal reviewers, aside from the SeaGL Code of Conduct, we also agree to operate according to these values and statements:


We believe in the importance and power of free and open source software.

We believe in putting the needs of our audience and our community before our needs or those of our employers.

We believe in boosting the voices of others above our own.

We believe in mentoring and helping to create the speakers, leaders, and contributors of the future.

We believe in supporting diversity in thoughts and experiences in the talks and speakers we select for SeaGL.

We believe in creating and protecting a SeaGL environment that welcomes all people in safety and comfort.

But what does that mean? Like, practically?

How are these values reflected in how we operate as program committee members and reviewers? There could be many different ways, obviously, but here are some examples of what we will do our best to do:

  • Promote the CFP to all our communities.
  • Seek out unreached/underrepresented/underserved communities and help them to propose talks.
  • As time allows, assist people with their proposals, making it easy for them to propose and what they propose a higher quality.
  • Do our best to do all initial reviews blind, within the non-blind constraints of the system.
  • Only vote on talks we feel qualified to review.
  • Abstain from voting on talks where we made substantial contributions to the the proposal (but we can advocate during the review call).
  • As much as possible, don’t allow our personal or professional biases (or those of our employer) to influence our talk reviews.
  • After proposals are accepted, and as time allows, assist people with their talks to help ensure that what they deliver is valuable to the audience.

We’re all pleased to have the opportunity to serve the SeaGL community and share this Code of Practice with you. It’s our hope that we can serve as a model for other free and open source events, who can publish their own Codes of Practice.

To help with that, don’t forget that everything published here on the SeaGL website is licensed CC BY-SA. We encourage you to copy, modify, and redistribute this Code of Practice however you and your event need.

The 2019 SeaGL CFP is open for business!
June 25, 2019

Calling all speakers or speakers-to-be! Our 2019 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 24th, 2019
  • CFP Closes: August 11th, 2019 - Midnight PDT
  • Speaker Notifications: September 15th, 2019
  • Schedule Published: October 8th, 2019
  • SeaGL!: November 15-16, 2019

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 the last few years, in 2019 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.

How to submit

First, Click here to propose a talk. This screen will ask you for your name, the title of your talk, and an abstract. The abstract needs to be less than 500 words. Indicate whether or not this is your first time speaking, and/or if you identify as a member of a group historically underrepresented at techinical conferences.

Then, you’ll hit submit. Notice that there is now a link asking for you to Complete Your Proposal. At this link, you can add Track and Difficulty, and edit any of the other fields that you have already filled.

Click here to propose a talk!

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.

VM Brasseur’s 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 to come shortly, probably a time or two on a regular schedule each week.

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!

Keynote Videos for SeaGL 2018
January 21, 2019

We’re very happy to announce that we’ve posted the videos for the four excellent keynote presentations that we featured at SeaGL 2018:

And, as an extra bonus, we even have a video of the presentation of the 2018 Cascadia Community Builder Award to Don Sheu.

Thank you, everyone, for making SeaGL 2018 amazing. We’ll be starting work soon on SeaGL 2019. If you’re interested in helping with SeaGL 2019, we’d love for you to join us.

Fourth Cascadia Community Builder Award Recipient Announced
November 13, 2018

Cascadia Community Builder Award: Fourth Winner Announced!

The Cascadia Community Builder Award recognizes a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the free software movement in the Cascadia region and this year’s winner is Don Sheu. The award was presented in person on Saturday, November 10th at the Seattle GNU/Linux conference Don founded PuPPy, a friendly user group dedicated to proliferating a diverse and talented Python community in the Puget Sound region. In a little over four years, he’s served PuPPy attendees about 20,000 tacos and taco equivalents.

With organizers from the PNW Python communities, he founded PyCascades in 2018. The first meeting was attended by 390 people including the creator of Python, Guido van Rossum. Guido delivered his last talk as BDFL at PyCascades. Because of the spectacularly inclusive community Sheu helped build, the talk schedule was majority women and non-binary speakers. Sheu is the first Cascadia Community Builder Award recipient based in Seattle, where the regional award is presented each year.

Sheu’s passion for seeding extremely welcoming communities is exactly what the Cascadia Community Builder Award was created to highlight. The award committee couldn’t be more pleased to highlight his impactful and timely work. The committee was especially struck by Sheu’s success in reaching out to traditionally under-represented groups. We hope that Sheu’s energy, vision and leadership inspire others to share their favorite tech with new people in their own regions.

SeaGL 2018: Final Details
November 07, 2018

OMG Only Two Days Until SeaGL Holy Smokes!

Ladies, gentlemen, and geeks of all genders (or no gender at all)! Welcome to the final few two days before SeaGL 2018! We’ve a few final notes to share with you before the 🎉 Big Event 🎉…

Code of Conduct

SeaGL, like free software, is for everyone. It’s paramount to us that all attendees feel (and be!) safe and welcome.

Please remember that all staff, presenters, and attendees of SeaGL are expected to obey the Code of Conduct not only at SeaGL but also in all SeaGL-associated spaces including but not limited to associated social events, the conference party, and the IRC channel.

If you have any concerns at all that are of a Code of Conduct nature, please email coc AT as soon as possible. If you need immediate help, please locate any SeaGL staffer. We’ll be wearing name tags that say STAFF so hopefully we’ll be easy to spot.


The SeaGL site includes maps to and of the venue and surrounding area, including information about parking should you need that sort of thing.

As the venue is a community college, it’s able to support people of all types of accessibility needs. Please see Seattle Central’s accessibility page for complete information.

Social media

We encourage people to get together, chat, and just generally share their SeaGL experiences. People are the best part of Free Software, after all.

If you share anything on your social network of choice, please use the #seagl2018 hashtag so everyone can follow along. If you do the Twitter thing, please follow @seagl for up to the minute announcements and updates.

Join our official conference IRC channel on Freenode for backchannel chatter and socializing. It’s #seagl and already has a number of folks hanging out in there. If you haven’t used IRC before, don’t worry! There’s a web interface to get you up and going with minimal fuss. You’ll need to register a nickname with Freenode in order to join, but that’s quick and easy to do. Instructions for that and a lot of other helpful IRC tips are available in this quickstart guide.

Social events

We have several associated social events you can join, if that’s how you roll:


Totally informal dinner gathering
  • WhereLa Cocina Oaxaqueña, 1216 Pine St.
  • When: Dinner-ish time (7PM or whenever)
  • Details: Feel like getting a bite and maybe running into SeaGL folks? Then come here for dinner. We have no reserved seats and everyone will pay for themselves. If it’s a nice night, aim to be seated on the patio out front.


SeaGL lunch
  • Where: Expo hall
  • When: 11:30AM - 1PM
  • Details: Thanks to our friends at Twilio, there is such thing as a free lunch. Refuel for the afternoon of filling your brains with more free and open source goodness.
Free Software Foundation mixer
  • WhereMcMenamins Six Arms, 300 E. Pike St.
  • When: 6PM - 9PM
  • Details: Light appetizers, a tasty beverage, and a Free Software Social courtesy of our dear friends at the Free Software Foundation!
Diverse SeaGLs Flocking Together
  • Where: Herb & Bitter Public House: 516 Broadway East
  • When: 6PM
  • Details: Thanks to the generosity of IBM and the assistance of Twilio, this year SeaGL will host its first social event focused around diversity and inclusion. Folks belonging to groups under-represented in technology (and their allies!) are welcome. Arrangements are being finalised now, seating will be limited, and invitations will be handed out at the event on Friday.


TeaGL, the SeaGL Tea Swap
  • Where: The SeaGL expo hall
  • When: all day, but especially the afternoon break
  • Details: If there’s any tea you particularly enjoy, bring it along to SeaGL on Saturday and bring enough for a few other people. Share your tea with the SeaGL community and try some interesting teas brought by others. Black, green, white, herbal, whatever! All teas are welcome at TeaGL. The sharing happens all day, so bring your tea to the expo hall in the morning on Saturday. We’ve also dedicated the Saturday afternoon break as Tea Time so all tea lovers (or simply tea curious) can get together in the expo hall, visit with our sponsors, and have a nice cuppa.
SeaGL lunch
  • Where: Expo hall
  • When: 11:30AM - 1PM
  • Details: Thanks to our friends at Twilio, there is such thing as a free lunch. Refuel for the afternoon of filling your brains with more free and open source goodness.
The Official SeaGL Conference Party
  • Where: Silver Cloud Inn, 1100 Broadway
  • When: 6PM-10PM
  • Details: Food! Beverages! Fun! There’ll be entertainment, including lightning talks (sign up during the conference if you’d like to deliver one). It’s always a great time, so please do join us!

Whew, that was a lot

Wow, there’s a lot going on at SeaGL this year. We can’t wait to see you there!

Tutorial Announcement: Learn Kubernetes and Habitat for free!
November 01, 2018

Interested in Kubernetes? Curious about Habitat? You’re in luck! Thanks to IBM and Chef you can learn them for free!

Join us on November 8th, the day before SeaGL starts, for a workshop at hosted in the Chef offices in Seattle. You’ll learn the basics of Kubernetes and how to get great results with Habitat in a Kubernetes cluster. Ideally you’ll come out excited and confident to use Kubernetes and Habitat in your own projects. Thanks to IBM donating a robust public Kubernetes cluster (which will be available for a month), you’ll even be able to practice what you learn after the tutorial is done!

Space is limited and RSVPs are required. Here are the vitals:

  • When: Thursday November 8, 2018 from 10-3
  • Where: Chef Software Inc. located at 619 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Who: Anyone and everyone, which is to say: You!
  • How much: Absolutely free (just like SeaGL!)
  • What: IBM workshop on Kubernetes, food break, Chef/Habitat workshop
  • RSVP Link

Hope to see you there!

How To Record Your Own Conference Talk
October 15, 2018

SeaGL 2018 is approaching quickly and we’re starting to put the finishing touches on preparations.

This year, due to technical constraints, we are not recording talks. However, all speakers are—as always—encouraged to record their own and share them with the world.

A/V connection details

All rooms will have HDMI connectors (though a few may also have VGA). Please come prepared with whatever adapters you’ll need to hook up your laptop to the HDMI connector. If you forget your adapter, don’t worry: we’ll have a few on hand, just in case.

Do try to test out your laptop in your presentation room during one of the breaks or lunch times before your talk is scheduled. Two minutes before your talk is not a good time to learn that you forgot your video adapter.

🎥 Recording your talk 🎥

Regardless of your preferred platform, we have recording instructions for you.

If you’ve not recorded your own presentations before, you’ll probably want to do a test run before you get to SeaGL just to be sure you have the software you need and that you’re familiar with how to use it.

The Windows instructions also include details for using Open Broadcaster Software (which is Free software) to record your screencast. These instructions will work for any platform where you can run OBS (read: pretty much all of them).

The room moderator for your talk may not be familiar with the recording instructions for your platform, so please test this out ahead of time to make sure you know how to do it.

Out of respect for everyone else using the conference wifi, we ask that you not attempt to live stream your presentation.

Sharing your slides, video, etc.

Once you’ve recorded your talk, what do you do with it? Or with your slides?

You could upload the video to YouTube and the slides to SlideShare, and if that’s your preference that’s great. However, we encourage you to upload the video and the slides together to a single item at Internet Archive.

Here are instructions for uploading a video to the Archive. The exact same instructions will work for slides or any other digital material you wish to share.

If you upload your video and/or slides to Internet Archive (or anywhere else), please include seagl2018 as a subject tag. That will make it easier for us to locate your material and share it around.

Please also tweet out any talk content that you post. If you tag @seagl we’ll retweet it to boost the signal.

Introducing TeaGL, the SeaGL Tea Swap
October 12, 2018

This year we’re pleased to introduce TeaGL, the SeaGL Tea Swap!

If there’s any tea you particularly enjoy, bring it along to SeaGL on Saturday and bring enough for a few other people. Share your tea with the SeaGL community and try some interesting teas brought by others.

Black, green, white, herbal, whatever! All teas are welcome at TeaGL.

The sharing happens all day, so bring your tea to the expo hall in the morning on Saturday. We’ve also dedicated the Saturday afternoon break as Tea Time so all tea lovers (or simply tea curious) can get together in the expo hall, visit with our sponsors, and have a nice cuppa.