November 8th & 9th, 2024
Love SeaGL and want to help out? Get Involved


SeaGL 2019 List of Talks and Speakers!
September 24, 2019

To tide us all over until the official Schedule is published, here is the list of confirmed speakers and their talks. We’re still waiting to confirm a handful of talks and we’ll update this as this small amount of changes comes in.

Talks for SeaGL 2019

  • Bri Hatch - A QUIC History of HTTP
  • Toby Betts - Playing in the Sandbox
  • Jeff Silverman - How to Use Linux Tools to Troubleshoot Small Networks
  • Nell Shamrell - Devops: A History
  • JJ Ashgar - Kubernetes Training by IBM
  • Nadine Whitfield - Left Shift Security (LS^2)
  • Robert Joslyn - Building Custom Linux Systems with Yocto
  • Nishant Sharma - Taking control of our Networks, Data & Privacy
  • Gareth J. Greenaway - The Death Star Postmortem
  • Alice Monsen - Digital Art Characters Step-by-step with Krita
  • der.hans - Debian Software Management
  • Joe Roets - Releasing Open Source Code in a Large Enterprise
  • Brett Sheffield - Privacy, Decentralisation, and Scaling with IPv6 Multicast
  • Amulya Bandikatla - Microservices: A Cautionary Tale
  • Lance Albertson - Introduction to test-kitchen and InSpec
  • Bradley M. Kuhn - Open Source Won, but Software Freedom Hasn’t Yet: A Guide & Commiseration Session for FOSS activists
  • Deb Goodkin - 25+ Years of FreeBSD and Why You Should Get Involved!
  • Matt McGraw - Getting Started with Nextcloud
  • Brian Raiter - My Own Private Binary
  • Mike Hamrick - Consistent Technical Documents using EMACS and Org-Mode
  • Aeva Black - DIY Decentralization
  • Hailee Kenney - Empowering New Programmers through Introductory Arduino Workshops
  • AJ Jordan - Chaos in the System
  • Brian Mock - Building your own Keyboard with Free Software
  • Ryan McKern - Bash 101: platforms, user-space, and built-ins
  • Eva Monsen - Text Recognition in Images
  • Aaron Wolf - Codes of Conduct and Restorative & Transformative Justice
  • Oscar Baechler - Digital Painting in Krita
  • Flynn Liu - Lesser-Known Features of GNU Makefile
  • Michael Smith - Classic Tools for the Modern Age: Introducing Wash, the cloud native shell
  • Deb Nicholson - Make it Official: In Praise of Official Programs for Diversity & Inclusion
  • Johannes Ernst - Project Springtime: a DIY backyard hydroponics system developed open-source-style
  • Mairi Dulaney - Controlling your model trains with your computer and free software
  • Dawn Parzych - The Fallacy of “Move Fast and Break Things”
  • Garrett Honeycutt - Security Compliance Testing with InSpec
  • Adam Monsen - Containerized sourcery 🧙 with Docker and Snap
  • Gaba - The Tor Project: The State of the Onion
  • John SJ Anderson - Once more with style
  • Vagrant Cascadian - There and Back Again, Reproducibly!
  • Rachel Kelly - Adventures in De-Googling
  • Jerome Comeau - “Technical”ly Incorrect
  • Mark Polyakov - 2019: A Lisp Odyssey
  • Kate Pond - “This is fine” (the meme)
  • Audrey Eschright - Organizing your way to a long and healthy career
  • Dwayne Thomas - More than dabbling in a Security Engineer career
  • Philip James - The Elephant and the Serpent: Using Mastodon with Python
  • Emmanuel Morales - Free Press, Free Society
  • Wm Salt Hale - Bicycles as a Metaphor for FLOSS
  • Keith Packard - Snek: A Python-Inspired Language for Tiny Embedded Computers
  • Athan Spathas - Glass Beatstation: An open source mobile and modular musical interface for Linux machines and musicians that don’t know how to use Linux

2019 Keynote Announcement: Lisha Sterling
September 23, 2019

Lisha Sterling is our third awesome keynote presenter for SeaGL 2019!

Lisha Sterling is the executive director of Geeks WIthout Bounds and president of Frontline Wellness United. A life long proponent of software freedom, she first learned to code by copying BASIC programs into her Timex-Sinclair 1000 while avoiding the rubber bands that held the 16k memory expansion pack onto the back of the computer. She spent the first 15+ years of her career working for companies like Wells Fargo Bank, and a string of startups you barely remember. Her ideas about the importance of Libre software and hardware have been refined in the fires of civic and humanitarian projects that affect marginalized people on the outside of the digital divide. She has worked on software projects to improve public water service in Tanzania, environmental tracking in Guatemala, protection of indigenous lands in Ecuador and the US, and the protection of refugees in Jordan and Mexico. Over the last three years, much of her work has revolved around keeping vulnerable people (and their digital doppelgangers) safe while facing harassment from individuals, hate groups, and governments.

2019 Keynote Announcement: Abigail Cabunoc Mayes
September 16, 2019

We are excited to announce that our second keynote presenter for SeaGL 2019 is Abigail Cabunoc Mayes!

Abigail Cabunoc Mayes (@abbycabs) is the Working Open Practice Lead at the Mozilla Foundation. Abby mobilizes leaders in the internet health movement through mentorship and training on open practices and open source. Before this, she was Lead Developer of the Mozilla Science Lab, transforming science on the web.

Prior to joining Mozilla, Abby worked as a bioinformatics software developer at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and at Michigan State University where she applied open source and to research problems. With a background in open source and community organizing, she is fueling a culture of openness in research and innovation.

Named in “100 awesome women in open source” by source{d}. Editor Emeritus, the Journal of Open Source Software.

2019 Keynote Announcement: Sage Sharp
September 09, 2019

With SeaGL 2019 fast approaching, it is time to announce our great lineup of keynote presenters for 2019, starting with Sage Sharp!

Sage is the CEO of Otter Tech, which provides diversity and inclusion consulting. Sage has trained Code of Conduct enforcement teams for open source communities like Kubernetes, GNOME, Python, WordPress, and OpenStreetMap. They are a co-coordinator for Outreachy, a paid internship program with the goal of increasing diversity in free and open source software communities. They are a Python and Django developer for the Outreachy website. Sage was a Linux kernel developer for seven years. They are the original author of the Linux USB 3.0 driver.

Stay tuned for our second keynote announcement next week!

Call for Proposals: FINAL WEEK!!
August 05, 2019

The CFP closes August 11 at midnight Pacific time!

Hi folks, a quick update from your Program Committee that we have just SIX DAYS left in 2019’s SeaGL Call for Proposals! We want to hear from you, so please get those submissions in, better sooner than later!

A point of clarification, the CFP itself says that the slots are 30m-60m, but in fact the talk length is 20m to 50m, which includes time for questions. That ten minute difference you notice between 30/60 and 20/50 is so that we have plenty of time to turn the rooms over between talks and get the next speaker situated as smoothly as possible. Thank you!

If you have any questions about the CFP, please join us on at #seagl on, and you can email us at

Click here to propose a talk!

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 Raspberry 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 responsible 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 technical 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 presentation. 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.