OSCON 2009 Call for Participation

Call closed 11:59pm 02/03/2009 PST.

O’Reilly Media invites developers, designers, sys admins, community leaders, inventors, CTOs and CIOs, evangelists and activists, researchers, strategists, and entrepreneurs to lead conference sessions and tutorials at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention 2009. OSCON will be held July 20-24, 2009 in San Jose, California.

We want to hear about your winning techniques, favorite life-savers, and the system you’ve made that everyone will be using next year. We’ll have tracks for sessions and tutorials on Linux, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, Java, Databases, Desktop Applications, Web Applications, Mobile, Administration, Security, People, Business, and Emerging Topics.

Submit a proposal — fill out the submission form.

Participants at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention want to hear about real-world scenarios using open source, ways they can be more productive or write better code, and what’s new. Please submit original session and tutorial ideas that focus on hands-on instruction and real-world examples. Include in your proposal as much detail about the planned presentation as possible. The more we know about what you plan to present, the better. Proposals which are vague or cover too much material are unlikely to be accepted. If you think your proposal covers too much of a topic, consider submitting two proposals which split the material into different sessions.

Some tips for writing a good proposal for a good talk :

  • Keep it free of marketing: talk about open source software, but not about a commercial product—the audience should be able to use and improve the things you discuss without paying money
  • Keep the audience in mind: they’re technical, professional, and already pretty smart
  • Clearly identify the level of the talk: is it for beginners to the topic, or for gurus? What knowledge should people have when they come to the presentation?
  • Give it a simple and straightforward title or name: fancy and clever titles or descriptions make it harder for people (committee and attendees) to figure out what you’re really talking about
  • Limit the scope of the talk: in 45 minutes, you won’t be able to cover Everything about Widget Framework X. Instead, pick a useful aspect, or a particular technique, or walk through a simple program
  • Pages of code are unreadable: mere mortals can deal with code a line at a time. Sometimes three lines at a time. A full page of code can’t be read when it’s projected, and it can’t be comprehended by the audience
  • Explain why people will want to attend: is the framework gaining traction? Is the app critical to modern systems? Will they learn how to deploy it, program it, or just what it is?
  • Let us know in your proposal notes whether you can give all the talks you submitted proposals for
  • Explain what you will cover in the talk

Proposals should focus on:

  • Delivering information that can be acted upon
  • Tools people actually use
  • Not simply repeating manual or web pages

Some of the topics we hope to see for the 2009 conference program are:

  • Doing more with less, the opportunities of a constrained economy
  • Design and usability: tools, techniques, and success stories
  • Open source in smart phones and mobile networked devices
  • Cloud computing, openness in distributed services
  • Parallelization, grid, and multicore technologies
  • Open web, open standards, open data
  • AI, machine learning, and other ways of making software smarter than the people using it
  • Open source in democracy, politics, government, and education
  • Best practices for building a business model around open source
  • Virtualization, appliances, and their creation and deployment

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

  • Proposed title
  • Overview and extended descriptions of the presentation: main idea, sub topics, conclusion
  • Suggested track
  • Speaker(s): expertise and summary biography

Proposals will be considered for the following types of presentations:

  • 3 hour tutorials
  • 45 minute sessions
  • 45 minute panel discussions

We also ask you to be clear about the experience and knowledge level of the audience that you are targeting: novice, intermediate, or expert. Keep in mind that we look for a balance of all three experience levels when determining the conference schedule.


  • Administration – open source innovations in system and network administration
  • Business – open source best practices applied within the enterprise, legal issues and marketing strategies
  • Databases – essential techniques and advanced tips in MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, etc.
  • Desktop Applications – GUI toolkits, synchronization and offline caching, filling the long tail of a fully open source desktop experience
  • Design & Usability
  • Emerging Topics – promising projects, proposals, and people (everything that doesn’t fit in another track)
  • Java – new tools, building on OpenJDK, Harmony, etc.
  • Linux – creation, use, and future direction of Linux and its killer apps, from kernel and distros to office suites and multimedia
  • Mobile – ahead-of-the-curve open telephony and mobile technologies, people, projects, and activities pushing the boundaries of what’s possible
  • People – community, users and their experience, user-centered design, and usability, humans rather than technology or processes, marketing as an architecture of collaboration
  • Perl – (Perl Conference 12) Perl 5 and Perl 6, trends from databases to mod_perl to Perl hacks for productivity
  • PHP – (PHP Conference 8) migration, deployment, security, and preparing for the future
  • Programming – hard-core open source tools, technologies, and techniques for elegant, quality coding
  • Python – (Python 16 Conference) latest developments, Python 2.x and 3.0
  • Ruby – Rails, Ruby 2.0, test, deploy, extend, and integrate
  • Security – application, network, and data security, from Linux firewalls to VoIP risks
  • Web Applications – the perpetual beta model, user experience, frameworks, scaling, testing

Have a passion to share what you know? If so, you are invited to submit a proposal now to speak at the next OSCON.

Limited speaking opportunities are also available through conference sponsorship. Contact Sharon Cordesse at (707) 827-7065 or scordesse@oreilly.com for more information.

Important Dates
The submission deadline for all proposals is February 3, 2009.
Early registration opens in March 2009.
Standard registration begins June 2009.

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • SourceForge.net
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Facebook
  • Gear6
  • Kaltura
  • Liferay
  • MindTouch
  • MySpace.com
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • Rackspace Cloud
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • Symbian Foundation
  • Twilio
  • WSO2
  • Yabarana Corporation

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at scordesse@oreilly.com

Download the OSCON Sponsor/Exhibitor Prospectus

Media Partner Opportunities

Download the Media & Promotional Partner Brochure (PDF) for information on trade opportunities with O'Reilly conferences or contact mediapartners@ oreilly.com

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at maureen@oreilly.com

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