Discussions

News: How NOT to Have Your Talk Accepted for the JavaOne Conference

  1. Sun has gotten a hard time from people saying that politics are too important in who speaks at JavaOne. Casey Cameron of Sun has written about the requirements to get a talk accepted for the 2005 JavaOne conference.
    Pitfall #1: Crappy Abstracts

    Sloppy, slight, vague, uninspiring... you get the idea. And let me say that any incomplete submissions with "TBD" as a placeholder just won't cut it. A good abstract is a reassuring thing: it may mean -- though it doesn't guarantee – a REALLY GOOD TALK! The PC reviewers want to see a well-composed abstract with enough detail (and please add an outline, it does help) to know if you know what you're talking about. If the abstract is dull or inarticulate, then no matter how expert you are, the reviewers fear your talk will be, too.

    Pitfall #2: Scattershot Submissions
    This is where you or your company submits a blizzard of abstracts, hoping one of them will hit the mark. It doesn't work: on this end we see a big bunch of little flakes, not even enough to make a snowball, because there is so little detail or definition in any of them.

    Pitfall #3: Product Talks Positioned as Learning"

    Most of you understand this. Some of you, a minority thank goodness, will try to sneak your product pitches in anyway. This strategy backfires on so many levels. JavaOne is a developer conference: it's supposed to be a forum for acquiring new or better skills, not anyone's favorite branded things.

    Pitfall #4: Niche topics, Not of General Interest to Most Java Technology Developers

    Your abstract may be top-notch, but if your subject seems to be interesting to only a few rare birds, it won't fly.

    Pitfall #5: Old and Beaten-to-Death Topics with No New Approaches

    Enough said. If you're not sure what topics are “old,” see the JavaOne Online program archives.

    Read more: How NOT to Have Your Talk Accepted for the JavaOne Conference
  2. I think I've been hitting pitfall #6 (Don't offer an alternative to Sun's Chosen Technologies). But I may try, again, to get a Tapestry talk on the schedule for JavaOne.
  3. pitfall #6[ Go to top ]

    I think I've been hitting pitfall #6 (Don't offer an alternative to Sun's Chosen Technologies). But I may try, again, to get a Tapestry talk on the schedule for JavaOne.
    Please try again, but before that please please release Tapestry 3.1 and HiveMind 1.1 betas , better yet RCs
  4. I think I've been hitting pitfall #6 (Don't offer an alternative to Sun's Chosen Technologies). But I may try, again, to get a Tapestry talk on the schedule for JavaOne.

    I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I believe you're hitting (in their eyes) pitfall #4.

    The reasoning is that it's, as you stated, an alternative solution. It's not gone through JCP, it may have a similar user base at this point, but doesn't have the industry backing, etc. So, hence, it is seen as a niche topic.

    I guess I would try to think of ways perhaps to brand your talk to somehow get away from that pitfall. I don't really know how to do that in your case. But I guess I would lean back on my good ol' lesson from high school history class.
    You don't truly understand your position, until you understand your opponent's position.

    Of course we were always told this before we had to do things like debate slavery as though it were 1860, and some of us had to actually defend it.

    Anyway, I think I've outlined the point. I think there is a way to get your talk in there, I just don't know exactly how to do it. You're the expert there.

    Then again, I'm not sure how relevant Java One is anyway. At least to those who post and read here.
  5. Pitfall 4: "Niche topics, Not of General Interest to Most Java Technology Developers"

    Sounds more like a description of that last JavaOne I went to in 2003 than a submission pitfall. ;-)

    Of course this Pitfall is a very subjective statement. Who defines what is or is not of general interest to the communtiy? Was there a vote on say java.net about proprosed subjects for JavaOne?

    JavaOne has pretty much lost its way these days and has become more of a vendor conference. There are much better learning opportunities out there with more of the real people who influence the community.

    http://www.nofluffjuststuff.com/index.jsp

    and of course the Symposium!
  6. Re: "niche topics"[ Go to top ]

    "Niche topics" bears some clarification, too. We ask ourselves if we can fill a big room -- most of them have a capacity of several hundred -- with a particular talk. In other words, can we count on enough of the attendees to care enough about the talk to show up? It's as simple as that.
  7. ...yes it is that simple[ Go to top ]

    as dividing one big room into two or three smaller rooms. At least every good conference-center should allow this...
  8. Re: "niche topics"[ Go to top ]

    "Niche topics" bears some clarification, too. We ask ourselves if we can fill a big room -- most of them have a capacity of several hundred -- with a particular talk. In other words, can we count on enough of the attendees to care enough about the talk to show up? It's as simple as that.

    Hi Casey,

    So, if a submitter felt they were unlikely to fill a large room would they do better to submit something for a BOF?
  9. Re: "niche topics"[ Go to top ]

    "Niche topics" bears some clarification, too. We ask ourselves if we can fill a big room -- most of them have a capacity of several hundred -- with a particular talk. In other words, can we count on enough of the attendees to care enough about the talk to show up? It's as simple as that.

    Well, I wonder why, in 2003, there were tons and tons of near empty auditoriums in talks about BPELish stuff.

    I actually got a cold because the aircon put the temp below 12 centigrade and I still managed to nod off. And anyway you should ensure the quality and relevance of the talk more than anything else. I have seen at least two or three talks that would have booed right out off undergraduate school for style and content!

    Even though I think it is a worthwhile conference. There is still enough interesting stuff and if worse comes to worse there is still a chance of some quality foggy weather: June in San Francisco :-))
  10. You might be right, but its not such a niche topic to have at least a brief (wide?) view of current successful web frameworks at JavaOne'05. JSF just won't help developers to get real value.

    On the other hand, what about 'Comparing web frameworks' topic? It could be dynamic, offer discussion situations, the speaker could value the features he/she like/dislike helping people to make decissions instead of everybody evaluating each framework. I'm not an expert, but such topic help people to focus the efforts just on two or three alternatives.

    Anyway, you could pay for the trip, buy a chair and a michrophnone and speak at the lobby. ;)
  11. Howard, I think that you shouldn't really care.
    With JavaOne or without it, Tapestry is great and is widely used. I've stuck to it after trying... well, all these other frameworks.
    Word of mouth is a promotion tool that perfectly works for those good things that could sell themselves.
  12. I think I've been hitting pitfall #6 (Don't offer an alternative to Sun's Chosen Technologies). But I may try, again, to get a Tapestry talk on the schedule for JavaOne.

    I hear ya. I got the same cold shoulder last year for a WebWork BoF. Not even a session, mind you, but a BoF. I don't know if it's worth my time to put something together this year. I've only been to 1 JavaOne and I was underwhelmed compared to TSSS. Of course, it didn't help that it was like a month after the first TSSS.
  13. So if I understand well a talk should be both about something new and not niche, i.e. widely accepted. This to me seems somewhat of a contradiction...at first any new techology is used by a small group, isn't it ?

    The only exceptions to this of course are technologies designed by commitee and 'accepted' by the user base through a 'standards' process ;-).

    It should be easy to fill a J1 BOF room or lecture room with a Tapestry talk by Howard, judging by the attendance at the (very good imho) Tapestry talk at JavaPolis. Even better would be both: a lecture to introduce people to the framework, a BOF to talk about more advanced stuff.

    Luc.
  14. Sun has gotten a hard time from people ..

    Pitfall #6: Wrong Company

    Make sure you work for Sun! That will help your talk get accepted!

    (Sorry, couldn't resist .. ;-)

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Shared Memories for J2EE Clusters
  15. Actually, last year Sun accepted more talks from outside-Sun speakers than from inside people. But here's the real point: we haven't done a good enough job in the past of communicating how we select, what we're looking for, and what we would like from speakers, etc. This year we're going to do it better.
  16. Actually, last year Sun accepted more talks from outside-Sun speakers than from inside people.

    Hi Casey,

    That doesn't surprise anyone, since I'd put good money on there being more Java work being done outside of Sun than inside Sun. Wouldn't you? ;-)

    p.s. dear Santa, don't hold my comments against me when I submit a topic or two for JavaOne this year

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Shared Memories for J2EE Clusters