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