May 2018, Bangalore
Status: Accepting submissions

About Rootconf 2018 and target audience:

Rootconf is India’s principal conference where systems and operations engineers share real-world knowledge about building reliable systems.

Starting November 2017, Rootconf will host a series of events in other cities, meetups in Bangalore, and regular trainings and workshops.

If you are interested in knowing more about events happening round the year, visit The first series of outstation events is on Cloud Server Management, starting 25 November in Chennai.

Our goal is to help build skills in the industry, and create awareness about different aspects of infrastructure management and scaling, round the year.

**The annual conference in May 2018 – the sixth edition – will have two tracks catering to:

  1. DevOps programmers who want to learn about recent developments in infrastructure management.
  2. Senior systems engineers and architects.
  3. VPs of engineering.
  4. CTOs.

Topics for submitting talks for Rootconf 2018:

For the 2018 edition, we are seeking talks on the following topics:

  1. Architectures:
    • Standard architecture patterns and pipelines.
    • Architecture implementations in the Cloud.
    • Microservices.
  2. Security:
    • How to think about security for your organization / domain.
    • How to break down the security problem into an actionable plan and components.
    • Tooling available for addressing specific areas and use cases.
  3. Comparative analyses between competing stacks:
    • Kubernetes vs Mesos vs Nomad.
    • AWS vs Google Cloud Engine vs Azure.
    • New Relic vs Datadog.
    • Databases.
  4. Monitoring and alerts:
    • What to monitor?
    • Monitoring for customers versus monitoring for internal infrastructure.
  5. Application of ML to DevOps.
  6. Immutable infrastructure.
  7. People management best practices around DevOps:
    • Shift management.
    • Attrition causes.
    • Training and re-skilling.
    • On-boarding and off-boarding
    • Career planning and advice.

Rootconf is a conference for practitioners, by practitioners. We are inviting proposals for:

  1. Full length talks of 40 mins.
  2. Crisp talks of 20 mins.
  3. Demos.
  4. Showcase of open source projects.
  5. Panel discussions and Off-The-Record (OTR) sessions for 60-90 mins.
  6. 3-6 hours workshops.


Rootconf 2018 is a two-track conference with:

Selection criteria:

The first filter for a proposal is whether the technology or solution you are referring to is open source or not. The following criteria apply for closed source talks:

  1. If the technology or solution is proprietary, and you want to speak about your proprietary solution to make a pitch to the audience, you should pick up a sponsored session. This involves paying for the speaking slot. Write to
  2. If the technology or solution is in the process of being open sourced, we will consider the talk only if the solution is open sourced at least three months before the conference.
  3. If your solution is closed source, you should consider proposing a talk explaining why you built it in the first place; what options did you consider (business-wise and technology-wise) before making the decision to develop the solution; or, what is your specific use case that left you without existing options and necessitated creating the in-house solution.

The criteria for selecting proposals, in the order of importance, are:

  1. Key insight or takeaway: what can you share with participants that will help them in their work and in thinking about the ML, big data and data science problem space?
  2. Structure of the talk and flow of content: a detailed outline – either as mindmap or draft slides or textual description – will help us understand the focus of the talk, and the clarity of your thought process.
  3. Ability to communicate succinctly, and how you engage with the audience. You must submit link to a two-minute preview video explaining what your talk is about, and what is the key takeaway for the audience.

No one submits the perfect proposal in the first instance. We therefore encourage you to:

  1. Submit your proposal early so that we have more time to iterate if the proposal has potential.
  2. Talk to us on our community Slack channel: if you want to discuss an idea for your proposal, and need help / advice on how to structure it.

Our editorial team helps potential speakers in honing their speaking skills, fine tuning and rehearsing content at least twice - before the main conference - and sharpening the focus of talks.

How to submit a proposal (and increase your chances of getting selected):

The following guidelines will help you in submitting a proposal:

  1. Focus on why, not how. Explain to participants why you made a business or engineering decision, or why you chose a particular approach to solving your problem.
  2. The journey is more important than the solution you may want to explain. We are interested in the journey, not the outcome alone. Share as much detail as possible about how you solved the problem. Glossing over details does not help participants grasp real insights.
  3. Focus on what participants from other domains can learn/abstract from your journey / solution. Refer to these talks from previous editions of Rootconf, which participants liked most:,,, among others.
  4. We do not accept how-to talks unless they demonstrate latest technology. If you are demonstrating new tech, show enough to motivate participants to explore the technology later. Refer to talks such as this: and to structure your proposal.
  5. Similarly, we don’t accept talks on topics that have already been covered in the previous editions. If you are unsure about whether your proposal falls in this category, drop an email to:
  6. Content that can be read off the internet does not interest us. Our participants are keen to listen to use cases and experience stories that will help them in their practice.

To summarize, we do not accept talks that gloss over details or try to deliver high-level knowledge without covering depth. Talks have to be backed with real insights and experiences for the content to be useful to participants.

Passes and honorarium for speakers:

We pay an honorarium of Rs. 5,000 to each speaker and workshop instructor at the end of their talk/workshop. Confirmed speakers and instructors also get a pass to the conference. We do not provide free passes for speakers’ colleagues and spouses.

Travel grants for outstation speakers:

Travel grants are available for international and domestic speakers. We evaluate each case on its merits, giving preference to women, people of non-binary gender, and Africans. If you require a grant, request it when you submit your proposal in the field where you add your location. Rootconf is funded through ticket purchases and sponsorships; travel grant budgets vary.

About collaborators and curators of Rootconf 2018:

Rootconf is a community event with crowd sourced content. The curators of this conference are:

  1. Zainab Bawa: bespectacled and spectacular editor-in-chief at HasGeek. Her opinions and inights are public on
  2. Kashif Razzaqui: past speaker (at droidconIN 2011) and regular participant at Rootconf. Kashif Razzaqui suggested topics for the 2018 edition, and has provided inputs for curating an advanced-level conference.


MLR Convention Centre, Brigade Millenium Camp, J P Nagar 7th Phase, Bangalore. The venue is now accessible by Bangalore Metro.

Last date for submitting proposals is: 10 March 2018.

You must submit the following details along with your proposal, or within 7-10 days of submission:

  1. Draft slides, mind map or a textual description detailing the structure and content of your talk.
  2. Link to a self-recorded, two-minute preview video, where you explain what your talk is about, and the key takeaways for participants. This preview video helps conference editors understand the lucidity of your thoughts and how invested you are in presenting insights beyond the solution you have built, or your use case. Please note that the preview video should be submitted irrespective of whether you have spoken at past editions of The Fifth Elephant.
  3. If you submit a workshop proposal, you must specify the target audience for your workshop; duration; number of participants you can accommodate; pre-requisites for the workshop; link to GitHub repositories and a document showing the full workshop plan.

Contact details:

For more information about Rootconf, meetups and outstation events, sponsorships, or any other information contact or call 7676332020.

Propose a session