Responsibilities of a Working Session Leader

Before the Conference

Before the conference the Working Session Leader is responsible for,

  • crafting the problem statements,
  • identifying the key people that need to present proposals and to attend that session,
  • and finally, twisting people’s arms to make sure they register to attend and actually show up!

To assist in that last goal, one of the perks of being the Working Session leader is that you may nominate people for free speaker passes (see below).

Each MC will be allotted a 2 to 3 hour slot in the conference programme. Long microconferences could be split into non consecutive slots, depending on rooms availability. Our goal is that the MCs will be mainly workshop/discussion oriented. To that end, although we will provide a projector and a whiteboard, please try to keep slideware to a minimum as this does tend to impede audience participation.

A note on timing your travel: This year, the conference will be run as parallel Microconference tracks and Refereed Presentations tracks, on all three days of the conference. Wednesday is a shared day with the Open Source Summit, but we’ll still have a mix of refereed talks and MCs on that day. Hack space will be provided on all three days.


Maintaining the Working Session Wiki Page

Each Working Session/Track should have a wiki page linked off of the Topics page. This wiki page should describe the problem statement, the key people that need to attend, and once your presenters have submitted proposals, links to the proposals in the Paper Review System.

In order to create a page, you need permission to edit and create pages. If you need permissions or have issues, please send email to with your account information.

Identifying Key Participants

It is very important that you, as the working session leader, identify the key participants. If you aren’t comfortable placing names on the wiki page, make the list privately and then ask specific people to commit to attend, and ideally, they should identify themselves as attending that session on the wiki page. This helps in a number of ways. First, it helps presenters know who of the key attendees will actually be there. Secondly, it helps us schedule the working sessions to minimize conflicts. Every week or two, please keep the planning committee advised of who on your list of key participants have RSVP’ed negatively or positively.

Managing your Microconference Within the Proposals Site

Instructions will be sent out by the organizing committee to the session leaders on how to login to the site with the right set of privileges. Once you are set up, you will be able to administer the topics belonging to your microconference, and accept or reject proposals. You will also be able to add any slides used during your session.

Speaker Passes

As a session leader, you’ll be entitled to a free speaker pass to the entirety of the Linux Plumbers Conference. Additionally we anticipate being able to award two additional free speaker passes per MC to people nominated by the session leader. Two is not a hard number, and the final allotment will be negotiated among all the session leaders and the programme committee. Please make sure any recipients you nominate have submitted completed proposals so that we can include them correctly in the programme and also so that other session leaders have some basis for the decision to award the free passes.

Travel Sponsorships

As the site says, we have a very limited number of these available. For reference, in 2013 we managed to scrape together six (for the 12 MCs and 18 speaking slots) so it’s not huge. The way to apply is to get the person needing travel funding to submit a proposal (either for your MC or for a refereed presentation). They’ll need to fill in a speaker profile and tick the “I require travel assistance to speak” box. Once this is done, we’ll have an idea of how many this will apply to. The next step will be begging to the employers of those in Linux related companies to see if they could possibly pay (a member of the programme committee will do this) followed by negotiation with the Linux Foundation to use their travel fund (also done by the programme committee). The final step, once we know the number we can fund, will be to go back around with the Programme Committee and Session Leaders to produce the final list of those to be funded. Those we cannot fund will either need to nominate alternates or find funding from other sources.


In order to make a good discussion session, you should begin canvassing relevant people to attend as soon as possible. Although the refereed proposals deadline is May 6, 2017, we have deliberately not imposed a deadline on the MC proposals because things in Linux tend to change rather rapidly, we thought it best if you decided what this was. We’ll be trying to put together the final conference schedule in July 2016 (about 6 weeks before the actual conference), so it would be helpful (but not essential) for you to have all the relevant people for your MC and their proposed discussion topics registered in the submittal site by then. Every year, there are always last minute surprises (including people who suddenly find they want to go to the two MCs scheduled in the same time slot) so there will likely be last minute changes to the schedule, however, they will be made in consultation with the session leaders.

During the Conference

The Working Session Leader is responsible for introducing the presenters, moderating the discussion, and generally making sure things run on time. They will also need to assure that slides are collected before or after the Session, and that notes are taken and published. The Session Leaders will also be asked to present a report at the time of the plenary conference closing remarks about what was accomplished during their sessions. It is extremely important for a successful LPC that Microconference leaders assure that materials presented during the MC including any discussions and proposals,  are made available to those that couldn’t attend the MC.