Fueling innovative software
July 15-18, 2019
Portland, OR

OSCON 2019 call for speakers

Call closed 11:59pm 01/16/2019 PST.

Put Open Source to Work

OSCON 2019 will focus on five substantial pillars that are driving the software development industry forward today.

Open Source: Open source is how software is developed today – beginning with the flow of open ideas that ultimately leads to world-changing innovations. Regardless of origin or community, all innovative and emerging open source projects, from blockchain to machine learning frameworks, are at the heart of software development and OSCON 2019.

Cloud-Native: The solutions that the cloud provides have grown rapidly over the past few years and show no signs of slowing. AWS, Azure, GCP, Alibaba, and IBM currently have the leading cloud frameworks. While these allow for open source to thrive they are not completely open source themselves. However, excluding such an important pillar of software development that enables so much would be to turn a blind eye to a significant force moving us all forward – and we’ll get them to open source eventually, right ;) !

Data-Driven: Data drives our software development industry in a few ways. First, we need to know how to deal with massive amounts of it making use of a wide variety of tools like Kafka, Spark, and Hadoop while using techniques like streaming data and edge computing to create fast, reactive, resilient applications for all types of customers.

AI-Enhanced: Awakening from hopefully the last of a few too many AI winters, many aspects of AI are an ever-growing force transforming how we see, understand, and interact with the world around us. Machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing are no longer just found in the world of research and academia—these techniques and tools are making significant changes to building the software of today with tools like TensorFlow, SageMaker, and PyTorch.

Customer Centered: In a world where consumers can get information by uttering a simple phrase like ‘Hey Siri or Alexa or Google or Frank’ or by simply looking at the computer they wear on their wrist, software needs to be built around the needs of its customer whether that be a nine year old, an oil rig employee, or you. Product management and design is essential to ensuring all that coding and development is used to its fullest potential.

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 technologies 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 your topics, 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


Each of the tracks for OSCON 2019 support the five pillars that are so integral to software development today. 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.

Sustainable Open Source

Open source is the lifeblood of software development and while open source is ubiquitous there is a lot to getting it right for developers, companies, and communities. This track will focus mainly on the how to introduce, grow, and sustain healthy open source communities inside and outside of companies. If you have experience in this, we need you to share your insight—we need to care for open source now that it has indeed won. We must share what works and be open to new voices that have possibly radical ideas to improve upon what open source is today!

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? Are you building a distributed ledger? Smart contracts? If so, we want you to have a voice at OSCON.

Incorporating Artificial Intelligence

With the help of open source frameworks and amped up computing power from the cloud, AI is taking software development to a new level. Image identification, customization, personalization, and new ways of interacting with our computing devices like voice recognition and augmented reality are just some of the things that are transforming the way we interact with our world. 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 business outcomes.

Emerging languages and frameworks

Any emerging language that makes it big nowadays is open source; some of the still emerging languages like Crystal, Flutter, Rust, and Kotlin are all welcome here. While Java and the like are workhorses 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

A smash hit last time, it is back! 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 to what process should drive your software product, 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-Native Strategies and Implementation

In the blink of an eye ‘the cloud’ has become a pillar of how software development works. Big vendors—Amazon, Microsoft, and Google—keep pushing the envelope 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.

The Next Architecture

From monolith to microservices, we are now moving towards architecture that is loosely coupled and backed by the services offered in the cloud. Containers. Continuous Delivery. Monitoring. These are just a few words that are conjured. 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!

Building Data-Intensive Software

Many software applications are now what one would call data-intensive, that is, there is a need to move vast amounts of data to and fro for the consumer. Knowing how to harness and manipulate this data in your application in a secure, resilient, and fast way is a must. Real-time and streaming data coupled with edge computing and machine learning algorithms is how even once simplistic apps need to be able to operate. Tell us how you adjusted to this change? How are you making the best use of data in your apps and for your customers? Have you built software that respond to issues more quickly, avoid lengthy downtimes?

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. A case study for the purposes of this OSCON is to present a protagonist and a problem, you’ll want to put the audience into the shoes of that protagonist and ask them ‘what would they do?’ in this instance and then show what actually happened.

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.

Product Management and Design

All software products have a customer—if you do not have that customer in mind from the beginning of the project then it is not going to be a smooth, quick, or successful process. Product management and design is now front and center when undertaking a new software product, whether you are working with product managers or need to take that role on yourself. You need to keep that customer at the core of what you are doing. Do you have a product that went well or maybe not so well? Share that with us at OSCON so we can all do a little better next time.

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.

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.

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 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.

Other resources to help write your proposals

Important dates:

  • Call for Participation closes on January 16, 2019
  • All proposers notified by February 2019
  • Registration opens in March 2019

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