Put open source to work
July 16–17, 2018: Training & Tutorials
July 18–19, 2018: Conference
Portland, OR

OSCON 2018 call for speakers

Call closed 11:59pm 01/30/2018 PST.

OSCON 2018 gives groundbreaking companies, communities, and thought leaders in open source the opportunity to work together to create stronger projects and industries. In this coming year, our focus is squarely on open source concepts and technologies that have begun to or have the potential to move entire industries forward. Regardless of origin or community, all innovative and emerging open source projects, from blockchain to machine learning frameworks, will be at the center of OSCON 2018. OSCON gives attendees an overarching perspective within which to make decisions that strengthen and grow companies and industries, a deep knowledge of key open source technology to make it happen, and a community in which both they and their companies can thrive.

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! Be sure to read our tips for submitting a successful proposal.

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

  • Software Developer/Engineer
  • Architect / Technical Lead
  • System Engineer
  • DevOps Engineer
  • VP/Director
  • Engineering Manager
  • Data Scientist / Analyst
  • CXO
  • Product / Project Manager
  • Consultant
  • Community Manager
  • Sales / Business Development
  • Professor / Academic
  • IT Manager


It’s a 20th anniversary celebration this year at OSCON, the longest running conference with open source as the central theme. And as you’ve come to expect, we are making some adjustments that continue to focus OSCON on how open source is a catalyst for innovation and transformation. Each and every track has been selected because of its open source nature and the significant change it presents to software development. Some of the trends we are going to be highlighting are AI, evolutionary architecture, blockchain, the SMACK stack, emerging languages such as Go, Kotlin, and Rust, cloud technologies like AWS, Azure, GCP, and edge computing.

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.

Blockchain beyond Cryptocurrencies

Like open source, devops, and the agile methodology, blockchain promises to be a significant shift in software development. Cryptocurrencies have taken hold of our imagination and some of our wallets, but the real game changer is the underlying technology. Decentralized and secure, blockchain is beginning to transform how we deliver data like medical records. This technology is on the brink of exploding and transforming financial, medical, and retail industries. Do you have an innovative take on this? Can you explain what the pros and cons of the blockchain are? If so, we want you have a voice at OSCON.

Artificial Intelligence

With the help of open source frameworks, AI is taking software development to a new dimension. More specifically, how can we utilize data within that development to create smarter ‘things’ and gain insight via machine and deep learning that we humans couldn’t do to this point, well at least not in the time it takes our computers? Are you doing some great work with any of the open source frameworks? Do you have a new way to incorporate deep learning into an app? What about interpretability? As AI makes its way throughout industries let’s be sure to share best practices and ideas on how to create next generation software and businesses outcomes.

Emerging languages

Many of you said you missed the emerging languages track at the 2017 edition of OSCON—well guess what, ask and ye shall receive. Any language that makes it big nowadays is open source, some of the still emerging languages like Go, Rust, and Kotlin are all welcome here. While Java and the like are work horses and will be with us for a long time, if not forever, there is something that Java has a hard time being: a language that was created today, in our software development landscape. And that landscape is dramatically different than it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Bring your real-life experiences to this track, talk about transitioning to a new language, maybe even how it wasn’t the right choice, and let’s circulate what role these new languages have today to our larger community.

Live coding ONLY

We want to get deeper into some actual coding, and one way to do that is to outlaw slides. That’s right, this track is live coding ONLY. From minute one, we want these sessions to be about actual coding best practices and new ways of getting the most out of languages like Python, R, Java, and C#. A Jupyter Notebook complete with runnable coding examples is mandatory so that the audience can follow along and have a takeaway. Let’s bring sessions into the now and cast off the crutch of slides, get your hands dirty and code…mistakes included.

Software methodologies from ideation to deployment

Taking a step back from the code, how do you actually get things done? From planning and discussions with colleagues from other departments, how do you give you and your team a better chance of getting things right? How do you ensure that you iterate rather than blindly head towards what you think stakeholders want? We want to see best practices and case studies on how you made a difference by taking a hard look at the ‘how’ of how you are delivering and deploying software and giving your company the best shot at leading the pack.

Cloud strategies and implementation

The cloud has been around for a while now and in that short time it has become a pillar of how software development works. Three of the biggest vendors—AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform—are not happy as is and keep pushing the envelop with more and more services. This track’s purpose is to help situate attendees around how cloud strategies and their implementation can impact their business, answering questions like: How do you know what services you would benefit from? How do you make a choice of what vendor to use? What is the best way to transition from the data center to the cloud? Bring your experience and share it with the community.

Evolutionary architecture

Architecture is becoming much less monolithic and static. According to Neal Ford and Rebecca Parsons of ThoughtWorks, “The software universe exists in a state of constant flux; it is dynamic rather than static. Architecture isn’t an equation but rather a snapshot of an ongoing process.” Let’s take a look at how architectures like microservices and serverless are necessary in the time of continuous development and delivery.

Distributed computing from industrial to commercial

Containers. Continuous Delivery. Monitoring. These are just a few words that conjure up the world of distributed computing. The wall between software development and deployment is now all but dust, and there are completely new paradigms and a slew of tooling options. What cool new achievements have you tackled in the last year? Come and tell us about them!

Edge computing

A powerful emerging method is taking the cloud by storm, edge computing. Edge computing processes data near the source of the data, minimizing the time it takes to send that data back to a data center. It optimizes user experience with just-in-time or real-time analysis of data by making use of the computing power at the edge from mobile devices and the growing mesh of IOT. This shift aids in performance but does it swap performance for security? Or is it what’s needed to make augmented reality a, well, reality? Is this a way to ensure that the networks are self healing, able to respond to issues more quickly, avoid lengthy downtimes? How are you incorporating this into your work?

The SMACK Stack

Big data is only as useful as the stack that can deliver its power and that is the SMACK stack: Spark, Mesos, Akka, Cassandra, and Kafka. This combination of tools presents a workflow that can handle huge amounts of data at speed. Each component is a necessary component and so we want to know not only how you are using this stack but how you’ve dived deep into any of the components and gotten the most out of it.

OSCON Business Summit – Open Source in Enterprise Case Studies

Over the years we’ve included many different viewpoints on open source. Among those is how enterprises can use, benefit from, and give back to open source—and why they would want to do so. This special track is all about the business side of open source, specifically case studies. Aimed at business stakeholders from CXOs to team leads, this track will give insight into why your software development/engineering teams chose open source, why open source is already coursing through the veins of your business and why that is something you can use to your advantage. Open source is a catalyst for digital transformation.

People learn best through stories and we want to hear yours. If you would like to present a case study at this year’s conference, your session should describe your personal experience solving a real-world problem. Your proposal should provide a synopsis of the situation; outline the pain points your organization or team was experiencing; walk through the decision-making process and the strategy that came out of it; explain the successes, failures, and lessons learned along the way. Use metrics and share data to describe the outcomes and make recommendations (at least 3-5). We encourage presenters to invite discussion and Q&A throughout the session.

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 speakers must adhere to our Code of Conduct.

NOTE: Feel free to reach out to any of the chairs for extra help when crafting your proposal! Find us at @rroumeliotis, @shanselman, and @kelseyhightower.

  • 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.

Required information

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

  • Proposed title
  • Description of the presentation
  • Suggested main topic
  • Audience information: who the presentation is for
  • For tutorial proposals: hardware installation, materials, and/or downloads attendees will need in advance
  • 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
  • Reimbursement needs for travel or other conference-related expenses (if you are self-employed, for example). Note: If your proposal is accepted and you are traveling internationally, we can provide a formal invitation letter upon request.

Proposals will be considered for the following types of presentations:

  • 40-minute session
  • 3-hour tutorial

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.

Other resources to help write your proposals

Important dates:

  • Call for Participation closes on January 30, 2018
  • All proposers notified by February 2018
  • Registration opens in February 2018

Code of conduct

All participants, including speakers, 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. Please be sure that your presentation, including all supporting materials and informal commentary, is welcoming and respectful to all participants, regardless of race, gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, national origin, ethnicity, or religion. Read more »

Submit a proposal