17–19 October 2016: Conference & Tutorials
19–20 October 2016: Training
London, UK

Call for speakers

Call closed 23:59 — 23 May 2016 BST

OSCON celebrates, explains, and demonstrates the power of open source technologies from the inception of languages and frameworks up through their use in the enterprise. We invite you to join us as we bring together a large community of contributors, learners, and users.

Please submit original session and tutorial ideas that share your technology passions. Proposals should include as much detail about the topic and format for the presentation as possible. Detail matters; vague proposals face an uphill climb. Share with us WHO you are, WHY you’re excited about open source, and WHY we should get excited about seeing you speak!

Suggested Topics

These are just guidelines and suggestions—but we love to be surprised. If you want to submit a great proposal, see our tips on how to submit a proposal. The deadline for submissions is 23:59 (BST) on 23 May 2016.

If you are one or more of the following, we invite you to submit a proposal to lead sessions and/or tutorials at OSCON:

  • Developer or programmer
  • Systems administrator
  • Hacker or geek
  • Enterprise developer or manager
  • IT manager, CxO, or entrepreneur
  • Trainer or educator
  • User experience designer
  • Open source enthusiast or activist
  • Documentation Writers
  • Software Testers and QA


We strive to keep pace with an industry that moves quickly, by constructing an event that makes sense of the most important recent trends and technology for the open source community. At OSCON in London this year we want to focus on what is happening in the local community, which includes software architecture, open data, open government, and lots of fintech. Check out the topics we want to cover this year with your help!

Be sure to consider how best to get your information across to your audience. If you are introducing attendees to a new language you may want a straightforward instructional style, though keep in mind that case studies, personal stories, interaction with the audience, show and tell, or live coding may be the way to keep the audience captivated and digest the new material.

Open source: From consumer to contributor
It’s easy to use open source, many people do it without even realizing. But the true power of open source comes from collaboration and contribution. Giving back to the open source community can be done in more ways than just code. Giving of yourself, your time, your testing, your documentation, your encouragement, and perhaps your code, are all ways you can contribute directly to the world of open source. How do we build an open, inclusive, diverse, and welcoming community? How do we grow open source contributions by converting consumers into empowered contributors?

The business of open source: From project to product
Many successful businesses are built on strong open source projects. Part of the secret lies in creating something useful and building a community around it. But how do you combine free software with profit-making business without destroying your community? How do you balance open collaboration with a commercial product roadmap? How do you maintain transparency throughout the entire process?

The realm of what a developer (or operations person) is responsible for and can impact in the lifetime of an application has been utterly changed forever by the advent of DevOps. Long gone is the idea of developing a project and throwing it over the wall at the operations team. Now it is all about continuous integration, how best to use the cloud, asynchronous collaboration, and testing from the beginning. And, to nobody’s surprise, a whole new ecosystem of tools has come along to help with this new world. Docker anyone? What tools are you using? How have your or your team made the change? Is the architecture you work within a help or a hindrance?

In real life (IRL)
Hearing about how a company or team has succeeded with a new initiative, implemented a new language, or reconfigured their architecture is fascinating – so is listening in on the failures. Both success and failure have a lot to teach us. As individuals we have a limit to how many projects we can complete in one year so this track is about sharing war stories and life on the front lines. Help the person beside you and tell your story. All proposals here should be in the form of real-life stories. How did you go from a monolith to microservices? Now that you’ve migrated to microservices, how do you manage them in production? How did they hack your system?

The new stuff
In the past we’ve had an emerging programming languages track, but software development isn’t just about programming languages at this point so we are bringing this idea back but widening its scope. We want to tell people about new workflows, libraries/frameworks, and, yes, programming languages. Consider though, what is the new DevOps? Have you tried reactive programming? Is there a new JavaScript framework that is all the rage? (Probably.) Are you the first one to do event-driven microservices in Rust?

Security is a longstanding problem in the software world, previously organized more by technology stack, and now, being viewed through a more language-agnostic and services-oriented lens. What do you protect? What frameworks and libraries are working for you? How do you test the strength of your security? How do you fix it when it doesn’t do the job? How do we deal with identity and privacy? How open should we be?

So you’ve shipped the first version of your product and it’s a resounding success! As you scale from 0 to 1000s of users you start to notice things fall over just as you hit deep sleep and the pager goes off. Building applications and infrastructure for performance is the difference between a good project and a great product. Performance tuning has become a bit of a lost art, mainly due to the every growing layers of abstractions provided by our web frameworks, database ORMs, and standard libraries. How did you hack the framework for performance? What tools did you use to squeeze every ounce of performance from your stack? What should aspiring developers know about performance and how to increase it?

Collaboration and community
We have frameworks and languages for creating software projects, but successful projects require communicating with people as well as writing code. Making projects work requires communication, collaboration, and respect, inside teams, among teams, and often across organizations and the broader world. How do you navigate the politics of your company? Of a larger open source community? What are the best practices for collaborating across the world? Across the office?

The importance of leadership and management can not be overestimated in businesses, both big and small. Incorporating these skills into an already technically diversified skill set creates the powerful professionals we need in open source and computing. Leaders that understand technology and entrepreneurship have a strategic advantage in an ever-crowded marketplace. How do you infuse your start up with the right culture to bloom into a profitable business before the cash runs out? How do you create a team of professionals who grow with the company? How do you communicate and execute your vision?

Software architecture is a massive multidisciplinary subject, covering many roles and responsibilities, which makes it challenging to grasp because so much context is required for every subject. It’s also a fast-moving discipline, where entire suites of best practices become obsolete overnight. Software architecture plays a key role in the success of any organization. How do you figure out the right way forward? Do you start from scratch? How do you migrate to microservices? Should you? What else is out there besides microservices?

Open hardware
Open computing includes open hardware. Hardware is changing. The cost of prototyping, designing, and manufacturing has come way down has caused the levy to break and the pace of innovation is staggering. The open hardware movement is bringing about not only cool new products but connected spaces. It’s about not just wearables on your wrist, but on your dress, in your shoes, or within your insulin pump. It’s robots and remotes, it’s connected tic-tac boxes, and it’s LEGO creations. How do you go from prototype to product? What are the best frameworks/libraries? How do you learn about all this hardware stuff when you have been focused solely on software?

Open data and open data science
Data is literally everywhere you look and our devices and computers are working with bigger and more diverse sets of data than ever before. In Europe in particular, lots of that data is being made open. How do you manage this deluge of material? How do you tackle big data’s continued and growing influence over the entire business world? How can you make it work for you? How do you show others what you’ve collected in a way that is digestible?

Open government
In December 2015, part of the intelligence services (GCHQ) in the UK, created a github repository and open sourced a graphing database. This one act tells you how far open source has reached. It’s not just public community and enterprises getting involved but Government agencies. Whether GDS (Government Digital Service) in the UK, the adoption of open standards by the UK Cabinet Office or the presumption of open source by various departments. We’d like to hear about your experiences of open source within central and local government and where it might take us? What issues are faced, what impact is it having, how do you manage open source in a Government world and is it becoming the new norm?

Open source technology in the world of fintech is really starting to catch on well beyond the super quick performance that C++ provides. E-commerce is now into its third decade, and the way in which we transfer money is being disrupted by the blockchain and mobile payments. New languages like Rust and new protocols like the blockchain make this an exciting place to be for open sourcers. Can you ensure security in an open source product? What architectures do you choose when spinning up your new site? How is bitcoin being incorporated into your web app?

Creating the best possible future requires everyone
We want our conferences, and the technology communities and companies who participate in them, to include, encourage, and recognize people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, and sexual orientation.

Required information

You’ll be asked to include the following information for your proposal:

  • Proposed title
  • Overview and extended descriptions of the presentation
  • Suggested main topic
  • Suggested secondary topic
  • Speaker(s): biography and hi-res headshot (minimum 1400 pixels wide; required)
  • Prerequisite knowledge and/or requirements needed by attendees
  • A video of the speaker (encouraged, but not required; user groups and Toastmasters are acceptable)
  • Reimbursement needs for travel or other conference-related expenses (if you are self-employed, for example)

Proposals will be considered for the following types of presentations:

  • 3-hour tutorials
  • 40-minute presentations

Forty-minute sessions are for introducing a new concept, a best practice, or view into the future. We’re also looking for intense 3-hour tutorials that involve hands-on examples, working with other attendees, and frameworks and processes.

Tips for submitting a successful proposal

Help us understand why your presentation is the right one for OSCON. Please keep in mind that this event is by and for professionals. All presentations and supporting materials must be respectful, inclusive, and adhere to our Code of Conduct.

  • Pick the right topic for your talk to be sure it gets in front of the right program committee members.
  • Be authentic. Your peers need original ideas in real-world scenarios, relevant examples, and knowledge transfer.
  • Give your proposal a simple and straightforward title.
  • Include as much detail about the presentation as possible.
  • If you are proposing a panel, tell us who else would be on it.
  • Keep proposals free of marketing and sales.
  • If you are not the speaker, provide the contact information of the person you’re suggesting. We tend to ignore proposals submitted by PR agencies and require that we can reach the suggested participant directly. Improve the proposal’s chances of being accepted by working closely with the presenter(s) to write a jargon-free proposal that contains clear value for attendees.
  • Keep the audience in mind: they’re professional, and already pretty smart.
  • Limit the scope: in 40 minutes, you won’t be able to cover Everything about Framework X. Instead, pick a useful aspect, or a particular technique, or walk through a simple program.
  • Explain why people will want to attend and what they’ll take away from it
  • Don’t assume that your company’s name buys you credibility. If you’re talking about something important that you have specific knowledge of because of what your company does, spell that out in the description.
  • Does your presentation have the participation of a woman, person of color, or member of another group often underrepresented at tech conferences? Diversity is one of the factors we seriously consider when reviewing proposals as we seek to broaden our speaker roster.

Other resources to help write your proposals:

Important dates:

  • Call for Participation closes: 23 May 2016
  • Proposers notified: By June 2016
  • Registration opens: June 2016

Code of Conduct

All participants, including speakers and presenters, must follow our Code of Conduct, the core of which is this: an O’Reilly conference should be a safe and productive environment for everyone. Read more »

Create your proposal now