Berlin Buzzwords CFP is open, which, along with Dataworks Summit in April, is going to make Berlin the place for technical conferences in 2018.
As with last year, I'm offering to review people's abstracts before they're submitted; help edit them to get the text to be more in the style that reviewers to tend to go for.
When we review the talks, we look for interesting things in the themes of the conference, try and balance topics, pick the fun stuff. And we measure that (interesting, fun) on the prose of the submissions, knowing that they get turned into the program for the attendees: we want the text to be compelling for the audience.
The target audiences for submissions then are twofold. The ultimate audience is the attendees. The reviewers? We're the filter in the way.
But alongside that content, we want a diverse set of speakers, including people who have never spoken before. Otherwise it gets a bit repetitive (oh, no, stevel will talk on something random, again), and that's no good for the audience. But how do we regulars get in, given that the submission process is anonymous?
We do it by writing abstracts which we know the reviewers are looking for.
The review process, then, is a barrier to getting new speakers into the talk, which is dangerous: we all miss out on the insights from other people. And for the possible speakers, they miss out on the fun you have being a speaker at a conf, trying to get your slides together, discovering an hour in advance that you only have 20 min and not 30 for your talk and picking 1/3 of the slides to hide. Or on a trip to say, Boston, having your laptop have a hardware fault and you being grateful you snapshotted it onto a USB stick before you set off. Those are the bad points. The good bits? People coming up to you afterwards and getting into discussion about how they worked on similar stuff but came up with a better answer, how you learn back from the audience about related issues, how you can spend time in Berlin in cafes and wandering round, enjoying the city in early summer, sitting outside at restaurants with other developers from around Europe and the rest of the world, sharing pizza and beer in the the evening. Berlin is a fun place for conferences.
Which is why people should submit a talk, even if they've never presented before. And to help them, feel free to stick a draft up on google docs & then share with edit rights to my gmail address, steve.loughran@ ; send me a note and I'll look through.
yes, I'm one of the reviewers, but in my reviews I call out that I helped with the submission: fairness is everything.
Last year only one person, Raam Rosh Hai, took this offer up, And he got in, with his talk How to build a recommendation system overnight! This means that so far, all drafts which have been through this pre-review of submissions process, has a 100% success rate. And, if you look at the video, you'll see its a good talk: he deserved that place.
Anyway, Submission deadline: Feb 14. Conference June 10-12. Happy to help with reviewing draft abstracts.