OSCON Call for Participation

Call closed 11:59pm 02/01/2010 PST.

OSCON 2010 – Accepting Proposals – Submit Yours Today!

O’Reilly Media invites you to lead conference sessions and tutorials at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention 2010. OSCON will be held July 19-23, 2010 in Portland, Oregon.

Submit a proposal — fill out the submission form.

Participants at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention want to hear your winning techniques, favorite lifesavers, the system you’ve made that everyone will be using next year, 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.

If you are one or more of the following:

  • Developer or programmer
  • Designer
  • Sys admin
  • Hacker and/or geek
  • Enterprise developer or manager
  • IT manager or CxO
  • Entrepreneur
  • Activist
  • Trainers and educator
  • Open Source enthusiast

We invite you to submit a proposal to lead conference sessions or tutorials at OSCON 2010.

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’re on the lookout for the 2010 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

2010 Tracks:

  • Administration – open source innovations in system and network administration
  • Business – open source best practices applied within the enterprise, legal issues and marketing strategies
  • Cloud Computing – how open source is pushing distributed services forward
  • Databases – Essential techniques and advanced tips in MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, etc.
  • Design & Usability – Users and their experiences, user-centered design, techniques and metrics for usability.
  • Emerging Topics – promising projects, proposals, and people (everything that doesn’t fit in another track)
  • Fundamentals – the basics that all open source enthusiasts need to thrive
  • Government – open tools that promote transparency, accountability, and engagement
  • 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
  • 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

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
  • 40-minute presentations
  • 40-minute group discussions
  • 40-minute panels

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.

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

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

Help us understand why your presentation is the right one for OSCON.

  • 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 40 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

Additional Tips for Submitting a Proposal

Please keep in mind that this event is by and for professionals. Our participants expect that all presentations and supporting materials will be respectful, inclusive, and "safe for work."

  • Be authentic! Your peers need original presentation ideas that focus real-world scenarios, relevant examples, and knowledge transfer
  • Include as much detail about the planned presentation as possible. The more we know about what you plan to present and why it matters, the better. The longer the talk you’re proposing, the more detail you should provide
  • If you are proposing a panel, tell us who else would be on it
  • If you feel this is something that hasn’t been covered at OSCON before, let us know
  • Be sure to let us know if you are going to have a release
  • Keep it free of marketing and sales
  • Context is important. If your presentation is about something truly ground-breaking, earth-shattering, and new, it will be helpful to the reviewers if you describe it in terms of things that attendees might already know of
  • Warmed-over talks from some conference circuit are less likely to be appealing. The conference has a limited number of slots, and if attendees can see the same talk somewhere else, why should they come see you at this one? If you speak at a lot of events, be sure to note why this presentation is different
  • Don’t assume that your company’s name buys you cred. 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
  • Present something relevant. If you’re presenting a new way to do something that others have been doing for a decade or more, you need an angle on it that’s fresh or an explanation for why it’s important now. The hot things are hot, the cold things are cold, but there are interesting problems in almost everything. One of your challenges as a proposer is to demonstrate that you understand that attendees might need an extra reason to pay attention to something that they might otherwise think of as “settled”
  • Avoid taking a scatter-shot approach to proposals if you submit more than one or two. Be focused, have something important to say on a worthwhile topic, and sell the topic (not just yourself)

Other resources:


Here are some other resources that may help you write your proposal:

Important Dates

Call for Participation deadline: February 1, 2010
Program announced and early registration opens: April 2010

Submit a proposal now!

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • (mt) Media Temple, Inc.
  • ActiveState
  • CommonPlaces
  • DB Relay
  • FireHost
  • GoDaddy
  • HP
  • HTSQL by Prometheus Research
  • Impetus Technologies Inc.
  • Infobright, Inc
  • JasperSoft
  • Kaltura
  • Marvell
  • Mashery
  • NorthScale, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • OpSource
  • Oracle
  • Parallels
  • PayPal
  • Percona
  • Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc.
  • Rhomobile
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • SourceGear
  • Symbian
  • VoltDB
  • WSO2
  • Linux Pro Magazine

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

OSCON Newsletter

To stay abreast of conference news and to receive email notification when registration opens, please sign up for the OSCON Newsletter (login required)

OSCON 2.0 Ideas

Have an idea for OSCON to share? oscon-idea@oreilly.com

Contact Us

View a complete list of OSCON contacts