This whole thing started from humble beginnings in 2017; a number of Engineers were standing around at SCaLE15x talking about how many conferences had great topics for intermediate and advanced users, but that newcomers often reported to us that talks were above their heads. Coupled with this was that a number of us “old guard” speakers were getting bored with the same sorts of talks each year. So we started to discuss how to solve that problem; to provide introductory material for new people and give experienced people a way of sharing their knowledge, and a new reason to attend the conference.
We proceeded to cook up a plan to run a series of Embedded “Apprentice level” seminars at back-to-back conferences in 2018 at SCaLE16x (Pasadena) and the Embedded Linux Conference (Portland, Oregon). Each was 3 days long with 3 90 minute seminars per day. The plan was that each seminar would be about half lecture and half hands-on labs applying the materials learned in the lectures. We also planned to film the talks to be put on YouTube and make all the slides and code available in GitHub (all licensed under CC-BY SA4 and the code as GPL or MIT). This allows for people new to Embedded Linux to have the ability to learn from experienced people at the conference and allows for a library of material to be built up over time.
The idea was to start E-ALE at SCaLE, then to continue with ELC and ELCE and then hopefully expand beyond to other conferences. We then pitched our track to Linux.conf.au, and managed to run E-ALE in Christchurch, NZ in 2019.