Sharon’s Top 12 Reasons to Come to ClueCon – Part 1

By Sharon White

Sharon White has been the main organizer of ClueCon for many years! This is a little behind the scenes look into ClueCon and all her favorite things about the conference.

I first came to ClueCon years ago to hang out with my best friend for a week. I started helping to clean up the registration desk, then before I knew it I had taken over all of registration, and by the next year I had taken over all of ClueCon. It’s been a crazy ride, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite things that you can look forward to at ClueCon this year!


12. The Most Dangerous of Demos

The first time I saw a Dangerous Demo I thought “this is weird, they want to fail?” But as it turns out, that’s what makes it so fun. Dangerous Demos was started 12 years ago by industry veteran James Body for developers to prove their experience and abilities by pushing the envelope of new ideas in a competitive environment. I have seen the craziest demos over the years. One year a cell phone encased in bubble wrap was volleyed all over the giant conference hall and it still worked. Another time, the MC’s hotel room was broken into by the demo contestants who used a raspberry PI to hack into his keycard and project a video of it onto the huge screens for everyone to witness. And my least favorite, a demo where after calling a phone number you must choose a number. Choose the wrong one and it plays the “Baby Shark” song… over and over and over. It’s maddening!

Several awards are given out, including the Crash and Burn prize for the demo that fails the most spectacularly.  But not all the demos fail! Check out this demo from our virtual ClueCon in 2020, one of my favorites, by SignalWire CTO Evan McGee. My face in the video tells you all you need to know.


11. Boats and the Night Sky

Some of the greatest moments at ClueCon happen during our all inclusive evening events. One of my favorites is the Sunset Boat Tour we host Thursday night on the last day of the conference after all the great speakers finish presenting for the week. Everyone at the conference walks the two blocks to the pier, often stopping for some ice cream from a street vendor close to the dock, to board the boat and set out onto Lake Michigan to witness the Chicago skyline at sunset.

My first year of the boat tour I was so naive, staying on the top deck of the boat. That was before I realized the lower deck is where the cool kids go. The fully stocked bar (not only alcohol) is the first place you should hit. Then take your drink to the front of the boat to chat with other developers and the ClueCon team. By the time the sun begins to set over Chicago the boat is positioned out on the lake and the view is astounding.

Usually, ClueCon is in August, when the weather is warm and the sun sets quite late in the day. This year it will be in late October, and the Midwestern chill of autumn will start to settle over Chicago. But don’t worry! The boat is heated.


10. It’s all fun and games: The Coder Games

ClueCon’s hack-a-thon is a day filled with games and fun for every attendee, whether you like to code your way to the prize or you’re a builder at heart. You can work as a team or go solo as you utilize the provided materials to build your creation and win prizes! The day is planned for months in advance to be fun, challenging for most, and inclusive for all.  We now have 3-4 standard games you can play each year.  The Maker Challenge is meant to test your coding knowledge, while games like the FreeCYCLED Challenge are meant for all ages and all skill levels, where there is a simple goal such as making a ping pong ball travel 2 feet using everyday random items like straws, toilet paper rolls and poster board.

Abbi Minessale, daughter of FreeSWITCH founder Anthony Minessale, is the Coder Games Queen, and has hosted the hack-a-thon for several years. Abbi works for the better part of a year with the help of some developers to come up with the challenges, and she also designs the Coder Games t-shirt and other activities. One of the best is our classic “Cards Against Technology” game that was given to each attendee as a gift at the last in-person ClueCon.

The first time I attended the Coder Games I didn’t have any idea what could actually be made during the games. One of our sponsors brought in a 3D printer that year. During the Maker Challenge, one of the contestants used it to print an old vintage telephone, hooked it up to the internet, and actually made a phone call! It was very impressive. One of my other favorites was the year we had contestants build a little remote controlled car using the Cards Against Technology game as a track for a race at the end of the day. It’s always the most creative day of ClueCon!

Winner of the remote controlled car race.
The functioning 3D printed vintage phone.


9. The Softest T-Shirts in the World

This may come as a surprise, but every single person I know, no matter the age, owns a t-shirt.  At conferences they are a staple. If you attend a conference and don’t come out of it with 2+ t-shirts… you chose not to take them. And ClueCon has the BEST t-shirts.

The ClueCon Team takes t-shirts very seriously. The design alone takes months to plan. The shirts are always styled after the conference theme, and that design is followed in the show guide and other printed materials. You also never know what kind of easter eggs you might find in the t-shirt design. One of my favorites was when we had two different designs of the same theme that signified emerging AI technology and the human brain.

At the dawn of the universe, there was nothing, then boom. The big bang sent six elemental t-shirts hurtling across the virgin universe. These infinity shirts each control an essential aspect of existence: Space, Reality, Power, Soul, Mind… and ClueCon. After sending monks, sheikhs, gurus, and a shaman to the vast reaches of Mount Everest on an epic quest to retrieve the most sought after ClueCon Infinity Shirt, the shirt is taken to an underground lab in Atlantis that creates the softest and most durable synthetic material known to man. You will not want to miss out on the best t-shirt ever created!

To be continued….

CCW – Live!

ClueCon Weekly – Live! July 1st, 2021


Join us for a LIVE ClueCon Weekly episode once a month!

Thursday, July 1st at 10:30 AM CT, this episode of ClueCon Weekly – Live! Will feature Emil Ivov of Jitsi and 8×8! Emil will be joining Luca Pradovera to discuss the history of Jitsi, and to talk all about open source, the future of the industry, the open source RTC community, and other topics all about FreeSWITCH, Jitsi and open source. Come join the discussion to hang out and ask any questions!

Emil Ivov is the Founder and project lead of Jitsi. He is also VP of Product at 8×8 where he leads the development of video products and services.

Emil obtained his Ph.D. in computer science and real-time communication in 2008, at the University of Strasbourg. He is an IETF contributor, responsible for the WebRTC extensions to ICE (Trickle ICE) and other specifications such as the RTP audio level extensions or the CUSAX framework.

Through the years Emil has also been teaching graduate and undergraduate classes in real-time communication technologies at the University of Strasbourg in France and Sofia University in Bulgaria among others.

Sign up below to participate in this live community call so that you can ask questions and join the conversation around this month’s topic!

CCW – Live!

ClueCon Weekly – Live! June 4th, 2021

Join us for a LIVE ClueCon Weekly episode!

Friday, June 4th at 10 AM CT, this episode of ClueCon Weekly – Live! Will feature Daniel-Constantin Mierla of Kamailio! Daniel will be joining Luca Pradovera to discuss the recent major Kamailio release.

Sign up below to participate in this live community call so that you can ask questions and join the conversation around this month’s topic!

Kamailio v5.5.0 was recently released, bringing many new features and enhancements, among them: new mechanism for dispatching SIP message processing to internal workers for more vertical scalability of SIP server nodes, JWT handling, wobsocket client connector, extended KEMI API and STIR/SHAKEN, kamcli control tool with auto-completion and auto-suggestions from history, writing encrypted traffic in pcap files for easier troubleshooting, replication over encrypted distributed message queue.

What to expect from our first Hybrid ClueCon!

Join us in Chicago or online October 25th-28th, 2021!

  The world of events changed for everybody in 2020. Usually, every August would mark the time for our annual developers’ conference in Chicago, ClueCon, which has been around for 17 years. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, August 2020 instead brought about an experiment for the ClueCon team – we hosted ClueCon completely virtually, with almost everything that makes the conference what it is: our Coder Games hack-a-thon, networking opportunities, and the informative presentations and workshops that make the conference an educational opportunity for our community.

  ClueCon Deconstructed turned out to be a huge success, and served as a useful experience for launching SignalWire Events and the SignalWire Work platform. Since then we have greatly improved how we host virtual events. We now have an extremely skilled team that works specifically in the world of online events, and with the help of this team and a much more structured process, in February 2021 we held a mini-ClueCon to focus mainly on workshops and presentations.

  As the world slowly and hopefully changes for the better in 2021, we are looking forward to gathering together in Chicago this October at the beautiful Intercontinental Hotel on the Magnificent Mile. However, as everywhere in the world is on a different timeline in combatting the pandemic, for the first time we will be welcoming remote attendees to the party too! Using the improved platform and virtual events process we’ve built since ClueCon 2020, we’ll combine everything we know about hosting ClueCon virtually with the classic format of an in-person conference.

  The ClueCon team has already been fully vaccinated and we welcome anyone who is comfortable traveling during this time to join us on October 25-28, 2021. There will be plenty of masks and hand sanitizer available for all attendees to make sure everybody there feels comfortable and safe. The health of all the team members and attendees is our first priority, and we are only having the in-person conference as we feel it is safe to do so. That being said, we recognize it simply won’t be feasible for everyone to commit to coming to Chicago this year, and it’s difficult to know what the state of the world will look like over the next 5 months. Because of this, we’re doing everything we can to accommodate those who will be joining us virtually from anywhere in the world!

  Attendees joining us online will be able to partake in all parts of the conference – there will be screens all over the venue to allow those attending in-person to interact with those online, and you’ll even be able to join us for networking events like the classic Gigabit Reception. So grab some snacks and your favorite drink! Nothing will be off-limits to remote attendees; join us for each presentation, workshop, our Coder Games hack-a-thon, and all the networking events!

  Additionally, we will have some of our speakers with us in Chicago, and other speakers will be calling in virtually from other parts of the world. We’ll be integrating the virtual conference as best we can with the in-person conference, so you’ll still be able to interact with speakers, other guests, and the ClueCon team no matter how you choose to participate! This is our plan to slowly bring more people together during this uncertain time, and we hope you’ll join us either in Chicago or from the comfort of your own home. We’re confident that the tech we’ve built, along with the events team we’ve curated, will make this experimental hybrid event a success. 

If you want to explore Chicago and you feel comfortable doing so, we highly recommend joining us at the Intercontinental Hotel! Unfortunately, virtually we won’t be able to provide you with the tasty meals and experience of the city – so if that’s a priority for you, do consider joining us in-person!

  Over the next few months we will have more details available, including a list of speakers and a week-long schedule of the event. In the meantime, you can take advantage of early-bird pricing. Registration is open at

  We can’t wait to see you there!

CCW – Live!

ClueCon Weekly – Live! April 30th, 2021

Join us on the last Friday of every month for a LIVE ClueCon Weekly episode!

This month, on April 30th at 10 AM CT, the first episode of ClueCon Weekly – Live! Will feature Anthony Minessale and Luca Pradovera.

Sign up below to participate in this live community call so that you can ask questions and join the conversation around this month’s topic!

STIR/SHAKEN: How Robocalls and Scammers Met Their Robocop
The telephony industry has been plagued by robocalls and spam calls, including caller ID spoofing, since its inception. STIR/SHAKEN is a protocol that aims to solve that problem by using a call signature mechanisms similar to HTTPS and Letsencrypt. SignalWire has sponsored development of the “libstirshaken” open source library, that is being used as a reference implementation and has already been adopted by multiple important projects. We will go over what STIR/SHAKEN is, how it can be integrated with existing applications, and what the future holds for industry adoption.

A Year of 2 ClueCons: What 2021 holds for your favorite developers’ conference 

You read that right. 2021 will be a year unlike any other, a year of TWO ClueCons. Here’s what to expect if you plan on attending both!

2020 was more successful than we could have imagined. ClueCon Deconstructed was our first ever virtual version of ClueCon. Despite all the challenges 2020 brought us, our community showed up and made it a ClueCon to remember.

2021 is almost as uncertain as last year. Just like everyone else, we don’t really know what will be possible when it comes to in-person events. But because of the insanely positive response from our community, we decided to host a mini version of ClueCon next month, February 16th and 17th: ClueCon TGI2021! This shortened version of the conference will mainly focus on the essentials of a typical ClueCon, workshops and presentations brought to you by brilliant industry experts. We’ve squeezed in a little networking time as well! You can expect that both days will alternate between presentations and open source workshops, with built-in breaks throughout the conference, and networking events at the end of the day.

If you’re excited about the Coder Games, we have news for you: even though ClueCon TGI2021 won’t include the usual hack-a-thon, we will be unveiling the challenges and you’ll be able to sign up to participate later in August. The challenges can be completed month by month. The sooner you get started, the better.

The full version of ClueCon will take place the first week of August as it usually does. We are optimistic that it could be in-person in Chicago, but like the rest of the world looking forward to what 2021 holds, we just don’t know yet. What we can tell you is that you can expect a full version of ClueCon online, no matter what happens. If the COVID situation is not safe, we will have the entire event online as we did last year with ClueCon Deconstructed. But even if we are able to host an in-person event, it will be a hybrid conference – that is, we will be hosting it online at the same time. We know that even as things get better this year, it’s likely that many members of our community simply won’t be able to travel yet, and we want you to know that you won’t be missing out. No matter what corner of the world you call home, you’ll be able to attend both ClueCons this year.

ClueCon TGI2021 will be an entirely FREE, online event. We hope to see you there!

Register Now! 

Workshop Lineup

Speaker Lineup 

Check out our Virtual Christmas Variety Show!

Join the FreeSWITCH team for A Very Pandemic Christmas and help raise money for Toys for Tots!

The holidays are looking a little bit different for everybody this year. Many of us are having virtual gatherings with friends and family to help keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy this season. With this in mind, the FreeSWITCH team would like to cordially invite you to add our Christmas Cabaret to your holiday virtual events schedule!

You can come hang out with the team and enjoy a full-length virtual Christmas spectacle, complete with an entire lineup of performers local to Wisconsin. Singers will perform classic Christmas carols, a dance group will put on a holiday dance show, and it will all be topped off with skits and Christmas stories, all for free.

Even though the event is free of charge, we invite you to help us raise money for Toys for Tots during the show. If you have a little extra to spare this holiday season, consider attending and helping us raise funds to distribute gifts to children in need this Christmas! Donations can be made here.

This virtual event will take place on Wednesday, December 16, from 6:30PM to 8:00PM CST. We know everyone is missing live events this year, and the SignalWire live events series is as close as you can get to experiencing a live show from the comfort of your own home. Interact with the FreeSWITCH/SignalWire team, other guests, and performers, just like you would live! Skip the pre-recorded stage show for this holiday production and connect directly with the community.

You’ll be able to find the Christmas Cabaret at We hope to see you there!

It’s official: ClueCon in February 2021!

Every year, the FreeSWITCH team hosts ClueCon, an awesome developers’ conference in Chicago. Things were a little bit different than usual in 2020, but we still had ClueCon entirely online: ClueCon Deconstructed, a free to attend, three-day-long event by developers, for developers.

ClueCon is all about community. And in August, the community showed up – ClueCon Deconstructed, our first virtual conference hosted in our own SignalWire virtual office space, was a huge success!

We are so excited to announce that on February 16th-17th, 2021, we will be hosting the first ever mini version of ClueCon online, ClueCon TGI2021! This two-day-long event will also be free and entirely online, and will include the highlights of a usual ClueCon: insightful presentations brought to you by industry experts, and educational workshops from the open source community.

Each year, the thought-provoking presentations and brilliant workshops are a major part of what make ClueCon so memorable. In the world of open source and telecom, there are so many passionate, knowledgeable professionals who have plenty to share, and we’re bringing them to you in this mini virtual version of ClueCon. From the comfort of your own home you’ll get to witness all kinds of conference-worthy presentations about telephony, WebRTC, VoIP, and more, with built-in breaks throughout the day.

ClueCon TGI2021 will NOT be replacing the usual August conference. Mark your calendars, because the full version of ClueCon, which will include other classic events like the Coder Games hack-a-thon and Dangerous Demos, will be taking place on August 2nd-5th, 2021.

Click here to register now. See you in February!

Catch awesome presentations online at ClueCon!

ClueCon Deconstructed will be taking place from August 4th-6th! That means now is your last chance to sign up for this unique online conference that will include free workshops, our Coder Games hack-a-thon, dangerous demos, raffles, networking, games, and insightful speaking sessions presented by industry experts.

Each year, the awesome presentations are a huge part of what make ClueCon so memorable. In the world of open source and telecom, there are so many passionate, knowledgeable professionals who have plenty to share, and we’re bringing them to you in this virtual version of ClueCon. During the afternoon on Wednesday and Thursday (August 5th-6th), you can catch a dozen half-hour long speaking sessions from brilliant, experienced developers. These speakers will also be around later to answer any questions, hang out and chat! From the comfort of your own home you’ll get to witness all kinds of conference-worthy presentations about telephony, WebRTC, VoIP, and more, with built-in breaks throughout the day.

If you’d like to see interactive demos, creative problem solving, predictions about the industry, cool tech passion projects, or you’d like to learn more about open source platforms and how to use them (such as FreeSWITCH, Janus, Kamailio, and OpenSIPS), you can read more about the 2020 speakers here. If you’re interested in the workshops that will take place during the day on Tuesday (August 4th), you can find out more about those here.

We look forward to seeing you online in August!

Come party with us after ClueCon Deconstructed!

ClueCon Deconstructed isn’t just any online conference – not only will there be excellent speakers and workshops throughout the week, but we’re hosting networking events like no other – including our Gigabit Reception!

On Thursday afternoon, we carved out time for networking and fun. Join us August 6th starting at 4:30pm CST when we’ll be hosting a virtual version of the annual reception after a week full of presentations, demos, coder games, and raffles. The Gigabit Reception is a great way to meet your peers and get to know industry heads in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Grab a drink or a snack and join us for games, an underground guitar jam session and the highly anticipated ClueCon Karaoke, all in a virtual format!

ClueCon Karaoke is a big event every year, and this year will be no exception. We’ve worked hard to move this part of the conference online and perfect a virtual karaoke room where you can jam out with your peers from any corner of the world. You’ll be able to sign up to sing your favorite songs and put on a show for everyone in the karaoke room! Enjoy performances by members of our team and the community. If you’re lucky, you might even witness a duet or two!

In other rooms during the reception, you’ll be able to participate in networking groups where you can chat and relax, play games with your peers, and show off your musical talent in an underground jam session where members of the community can hang out and rock out. SignalWire CEO Anthony Minessale will be there too, playing one of his guitars for the party. If you’re interested, you can have a look at the conference schedule here.

See you in August!