Free and Open Software Conference and Expo - Columbus, Ohio - October 2-3, 2015

Call for Presentations

May 22, 2015vance

The 2015 Ohio LinuxFest is looking for presentations on Friday and Saturday, October 2 and 3, 2015 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Please submit your talk proposals by the deadline of July 17, 2015 [extended by one week to July 24, 2015] to make sure you'll be considered.

Q. What sort of audience can I expect?

A. This event attracts people interested in Free and Open Source Software running on Linux, BSD, and other platforms. Attendance is more skewed toward programming and system administration professionals, although casual users are a significant minority. You'll probably be speaking to 50-100 people, although popular talks can draw a couple hundred.

Q. What subjects are you looking for?

A. Most presentations have a practical benefit to the audience, showing them how to use or set up a particular tool. Covering best practices, such as in development or security, is also popular. Past subjects have included IPv6 networking, performance tuning, scaling distributed systems, general systems administration, media production with Free Software, web operations, virtualization, and accessibility. You can also talk about non-technical subjects like licensing or "soft skills" like delegation or working in teams, although these are best delivered by experienced speakers. The Career Track welcomes presentations about career management and hiring companies presenting about open positions. Purely academic presentations are less suitable; for example, a comparison of performance between filesystems would be of interest when talking about btrfs, ext4, and XFS, but not for research filesystems that aren't in use outside the lab.

Q. What is the format for presentations?

A. You'll have a public address system and projector available for slideshows and demonstrations. Most talks have one presenter, but tag-team presentations and panel discussions are also welcome. Time slots are 50 minutes long, including time for questions and answers, so plan your talk length accordingly.

Q. May I submit more than one presentation?

A. Sure! If one subject doesn't quite fit, giving us options means another might be selected. Do note that for practical reasons, one talk is probably the maximum we will end up accepting.

Q. What information do I need to submit?

A. Your proposal must have a minimum of two sections: one giving the abstract for your talk, and a biography section discussing your background and experience. The abstract will be visible to everyone when a talk is accepted, so make sure not to include anything you don't want to be public.

Q. What should my abstract contain?

A. Try to concisely (under 150 words) describe the subject of your talk. Don't assume that we know what a particular application does; in addition to the name, provide a few words describing it. Talk about what the audience will get out of the presentation. Will they be able to configure a firewall? Will they know the difference between process schedulers? Will they be able to simulate electrical circuits?

Q. What should I talk about in my biography section?

A. Let us know why you are the person who should be delivering this presentation. Describe the amount and level of engagement you've had with the subject. If you have an alternate e-mail address or additional contact information, include it here. There is a separate (optional) section for you to list past presentations. Use this to give us some idea of your experience speaking to groups, even if it hasn't been on a technical subject. If there is video or audio of your prior performance, give us a link to it!

Q. Oops, I made a mistake in my proposal! How can I fix it?

A. Visit your user page on the ohiolinux.org site; talks you've submitted will be listed there. Follow the link and you should be able to edit your proposal until the CFP closes.

Q. How much prior speaking experience do I need?

A. More is always a good thing, but we're also interested in having first-time speakers who are passionate about a particular technology. Don't count yourself out just because you've never presented at a technical conference; if you have something to share, we want to hear even if you're new at it!

Q. Where can I get more help on writing a good proposal?

A. Here's a good article (see the video) on getting your talk accepted. Another good resource for developing your talk is speaking.io. You can also contact us at speakers@ohiolinux.org with any questions.

Q. What is this Speaker Agreement thing?

A. It is the formal document setting out your and our rules and responsibilities. Go and read it now. Seriously. You will need to accept it in order to submit your proposal.

Q. I'm ready to go! How do I get started?

A. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Create an account if you don't have one already.
  2. Log in.
  3. Go to the proposal submission form.

Fill in the details and submit! You can always contact us at speakers@ohiolinux.org with any questions. Remember, the deadline is Friday, July 17, 2015 July 24, 2015, so don't delay.

 

If you need to get permission or travel expenses from your employer in order to speak, please do so well before the closing date. We will not be able to wait more than a day or two for approval processes when confirming presentations.

Q. When will I hear back?

A. We will do a preliminary review as the closing deadline approaches. We'll assemble the talks into tracks and notify speakers, starting within 1-2 weeks after closing. It's possible that some speakers may not confirm attendance; we would then contact others to fill those slots. We intend to be in touch with everyone within three weeks after the CFP closes.

Q. Do you provide travel expenses?

A. We are a free-to-attend conference with an all-volunteer staff. Unfortunately, our conference budget is not large enough to cover this. However, it might be possible to find a sponsor to help out. If travel costs would prevent you from presenting, please e-mail us early in the process and we can see if help is available.

Q. This doesn't sound quite right for me. Are there any other options?

A. We will be having other activities over the weekend including Birds of a Feather sessions and Lightning Talks. Keep an eye out on the web site for announcements relating to these opportunities.