Q&A with the SCaLE Program Committee

You have 1 week left to submit a talk proposal for SCaLE 21x! If you're having trouble coming up with an idea or a proposal, watch our video for some advice and ideas:

You can also view the slides here:

The video has a lot more detail, but here are some common questions:

I’ve never presented before, is SCaLE right for me?
Yes! We are very interested in new presenters. It's always been a big part of the conference and we know that it can be hard to get started. SCaLE is a volunteer run conference - our team, our audience and our speakers come from all areas of technology from seasoned professionals and industry luminaries to students, community members and people doing cool stuff with Open Source at home.

Are talks recorded or streamed?
Yes, our talks are live streamed as well as recorded and posted to YouTube - you’ll find older talks at https://www.youtube.com/@socallinuxexpo

Are presenters live or virtual?
All presenters are live in-person, we do not have the capability to support virtual speakers.

Do I need a completed presentation to apply?
No, before you write your proposal, you should have in mind an idea of what talk you want to present. You don't have to have the slides or the full outline or anything like that, but you should have a pretty clear idea of what you want to say.

How long should my talk be?
Normally, our talks are given a 1 hour time slot and generally you spend 35-45 minutes on the presentation with 10-15 minutes for Q&A.

Can I submit more than one talk?
Yes, we’ll review multiple submissions. We have had the same person give more than one talk, though we try to minimize this in order to get a variety of voices (particularly within the same track).

What track should I submit my talk to? It could fit more than one.
Just use your best guess on the fit. We may move talks around between tracks during selection. You can also make a note in the “Message to Reviewers” section that your talk could be catered to more than one track.

I may need some accommodations to give my talk effectively.
Please include notes in the “Message to Reviewers” section with details about what you need. We will not take this into account as part of selection, but if your talk is selected, we’ll reach out to you to ensure we can meet your needs.

Can I speak about my company’s product?
Is your product Open Source? Can people download it and try it at home? If so then it might be ok if there is interesting technical content for the audience, but please do not submit a talk that is just a sales pitch. If you’d like to speak about a purely commercial product, we do have Sponsor Sessions which are separate from the submitted talk tracks. We’d love to talk to you about becoming a sponsor and hosting your session there. That does not go through the CFP process, instead email sponsorship@socallinuxexpo.org to discuss.

Can I propose a Hands-On Workshop?
Yes, you can submit an idea for a workshop through the CFP process. You should call out explicitly in the description that you plan this as a workshop. Workshops are typically 2-3 hours. Remember to include details about what prerequisites attendees would need to participate in your workshop effectively.

Can I have more than one speaker?
Yes, the tool allows you to add multiple speakers. Each one will need to create a login to the CFP tool in order to have a speaker profile. Generally more than 2 speakers doesn’t work well (unless this is a panel discussion) but submit your talk in the way that will best convey your message.

Can I change speakers later?
We accept talks in combination with the speaker giving them, so we do not guarantee that an accepted talk will be kept on the schedule with a speaker other than the one proposed. Reach out to us (cfp@socallinuxexpo.org) as soon as you can if you need to make a change.

How is the talk Q&A handled in-room?
Each room has a proctor with a handheld microphone to pass to people asking questions (or repeat the question if necessary) which will help the speaker hear the question and also ensures the question is picked up on the recording.

What are the speaker laptop specifications, particularly the video resolution?
Our projectors have HDMI input. Some rooms have dongles but it’s best to bring what you need. We’ll email speakers before the conference with recommendations for the best resolution and refresh rate to work with the projectors. We also provide a station where you can test the AV setup with your laptop when you arrive.

I have constraints on which day I can give my talk, what should I do?
Please make a note about this in the “Message to Reviewers” section with your limitations. The CFP lists what day certain tracks take place if we know, but other tracks may move as we build the schedule. We’ll try to accommodate you if possible.

Notifications and Reserve Speakers
We plan to send selection notifications starting December 1, 2023. We will notify everyone whether they are selected or not. We may also ask if you’re willing to be a Reserve speaker. Cancellations do happen and we generally have more great talks than we have space for, so we will ask some speakers if they’re willing to be available to give their talk if a slot opens up.

How do I submit my talk?
Start here: https://www.socallinuxexpo.org/scale/21x/cfp

Need more help or having trouble with the CFP tool?
You can email the team at cfp@socallinuxexpo.org