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From the Chair’s Table: How to Submit for EuroSTAR 2016

  • 08/12/2015
  • one comment
  • Posted by Shmuel Gershon

If you are submitting (or thinking to submit) to EuroSTAR, you want to read this. We will deep dive to the details of the submission process and form, sprinkled with the expectations of the committee from submissions sent.

Learning to Test, Testing to Learn

This is this year’s theme. Keep it in mind. Read our theme explanation.
Let the theme inspire you:

It requires lectures that are meant to let delegates learn. Do not confuse teaching with learning, more than throwing information at the class, we hope your lecture will have the audience internalizing, understanding and taking action on what you say. Delegates will relate if you speak from the heart and say things you believe in.
It also means lectures that treat testing as a learning experience, as a path to discovery. Help the testers at your session upgrade their testing activities by adding new ways to look at their software and at the results of their investigation. Help their managers figure better ways to work with testers in order to uncover information about risk. Make your lecture the one that will change the way they work.

We want pragmatic lectures about which testers and managers can start talking about at work in the week after EuroSTAR.Some of you had a topic ready (perhaps even a prepared lecture) before the theme was published. That is great too! Before you submit, read the theme again, and read your abstract. Look at the content and see how it can show forms to learn while testing. Adapt your topic to be a full learning experience – include stories from your own experience, something the testers listening can relate to. If you feel the material is dry, condense it into what you learned that you’d like others to learn.

Submitting your talk

There is a submission form. Fill all fields carefully.We have a large team of volunteer reviewers that will read and score your submission. In addition, the program committee will read all the submissions and rank them, with help from the reviewers score. So there are many eyes on your submissions, some of them are reviewing hundreds of submissions… it helps if the topic and intention of your talk is clear and to the point.

In the short space you have, tell us what is special about your talk. If we feel you are saying something most of the audience already knows, we’ll have doubts if it is worth a slot in the program. No matter what topic it is, if what you are telling comes from your own real life Testing Experience, then chances are it is unique and not something delegates can get from Wikipedia.

In feedback we got from past delegates, they want to see more lectures aimed at practices, practical methods, and covering new trends. They’re not interested in repetition of the same lectures over and over, so don’t repeat others, bring your own point of view.

So what are the different types of talks?

If you enter the call for papers page (login required), you’ll see that it allows you to suggest lectures of different types. Let us explain shortly what we are looking for in each one of them, hopefully this can help transform a dormant idea into a talk:

Track Talk (45 mins)

These are the regular lectures you are used to have at EuroSTAR and outside of it. 45 minutes should be enough for the lecture and the questions session. Don’t replicate lectures you heard in the past – this is a chance to expose new trends and new ideas.

Skipping good audience questions is a missed opportunity, so please aim to have enough time for questions (talking ~30-35 min and answering questions ~10-15 seems to work well).

Interactive Workshop (90 minutes)

Interactive workshops take longer and include exercises. These are practical sessions that add a practicum to a theoretical idea, achieving a stronger understanding of the topics and making it adopt the theory for (immediate?) use. These may be located at the last timeslots of the conference, so they need to be dynamic enough to carry a tired audience :).

Advanced Technical Session (45 minutes) &  Advanced Technical Session (90 minutes)

In an a technical session, you are not only telling delegates what you did, you are also showing them how it was done. It needs to focus on practical application of ideas – ideas can be anything from techniques to test, definitions of testing, forms to code, ideas on how to report, visualization of data… as long as you show examples of how they were applied.
We understand sometimes 45 minutes may be short for this. So you have an option to submit for 90 min. Keep in mind, though, that a 90 min session is a big risk for the programme, so selection will be strict!

Half-day Tutorial (3.5 hours) & Full-day tutorial (6.5 hours)

A Tutorial is a long session that deep-dives into a topic. In a full (or half) day you should be able to leave the delegates with the feeling that they know your topic well enough to continue learning by themselves. These intensive classes should cover theory and exercises and adapt to the interests of your audience as the class develops. If you have it, add a time outline to clarify to us how the day is spent.

Discussion Track (45 mins)

In these tracks you will facilitate a discussion or debate with and within the delegates. Pick a topic in which you will be able to stir polarized ideas and within which you know you’ll be able to follow or fill any gap or direction. Within the 45 minutes, you will introduce the topic and give a background/backstory to the discussion, facilitate and guide the debate, and provide a conclusion based on the actual discussion. Show us in the submission how you plan to do it.

Special/Other (suggest in your description)

We don’t have the secret sauce for fascinating lectures. The above list are the initial suggestions, and within the Special/Other category you are free to suggest what we didn’t think of. Show us your innovative and creative side. Want to have a storytelling session, a session in which you juggle/play music and show parallels to testing, want to test on stage for people to see, live pair-TDD, run a testing dojo? Select this.

The paragraphs above as guidelines, you should submit lectures that are practical, technical and original. We’re looking forward to reading your submissions!
EuroSTAR 2016 Program Committee

>> Interested in finding out how the conference programme is chosen? Read this blog post <<

>> View Shmuel’s Google Hangout on “Submitting to EuroSTAR 2016” <<

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Shmuel Gershon

Shmuel Gershon is Programme Chair for EuroSTAR 2016 in Stockholm. Shmuel has experience in both firmware and software testing; and also in coaching testers and helping friends. Today he works in Jerusalem testing sensor products with his team of Super-Heroes, and his experience includes working for big companies, small companies, and as freelancer — spanning the world from South America to Israel. He is convinced that the most significant factor in our quest for quality is people (not features or technology), and used to be a programmer but discovered that testing is twice the fun. Shmuel writes about software testing at and publishes the open-source “Rapid Reporter”, an exploratory testing note taking tool.

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One Response to From the Chair’s Table: How to Submit for EuroSTAR 2016

  1. Avatar Paul Coyne says:

    If you’ve not submitted before, or perhaps submitted and been unsuccessful, don’t be put off. I spoke for the first time at EuroSTAR 2015 and the experience was amazing.
    I did not have anything like a ready presentation when I submitted, just an idea that I thought was important. I found the process of getting ready mostly exhilarating. But there were inevitable moments (not always short ones) of doubt when I thought variously “This is a rubbish idea”, “I don’t have enough material”, “I have too much material”, “this does not flow” etc etc. So don’t be put off from submitting, and if you’re successful then just get ripped into it – you’ll have a great time and meet lots of new and interesting people.
    If you’re not successful then good luck next time!

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