EclipseCon 2009 Submission Guidelines
< To: EclipseCon 2009
So You Want to be a Presenter?
Thank you for taking the time to consider presenting at EclipseCon 2009. Your submissions make up the heart and soul of our conference. We would love to be able to provide a speaking opportunity to everybody. Unfortunately, we have a limited number of slots, so we need to pick those talks that we think will provide the best conference possible.
This short guide has been created to help you create the best presentation submission possible. Submissions are evaluated and selected by the EclipseCon 2009 Program Committee (PC). The PC is divided into categories that are loosely based on the Eclipse project structure. Our goal is to provide a balanced program that represents all of the Eclipse projects and communities. Please review the EclipseCon 2009 Category Descriptions to insure that your talk is submitted to the appropriate category.
The category representatives with finding the best talks for their category. Each representative will use their own evaluation criteria based on the goals of their category, but we all share the EclipseCon 2009 Selection Guidelines.
I have also created a blog post which provides additional thoughts and references.
Quality presentations are a lot of work! If you are not prepared to spend the time putting together a quality proposal, it is unlikely that you will find the time to prepare for the presentation. Take the time to think clearly about what you want to say, and more importantly:
Why would someone want to use their valuable time listening to this presentation?.
Please take the time to search the other submissions within your chosen category. If someone has a talk that is very similar to yours, you may want to approach them through the comments section to suggest working together on a presentation. Some of the very best presentations are done by a team of presenters.
Anyone can submit a talk, but the PC is looking for the very best presentations. Great presentations require a good topic, but the key is the presenter. Your experience, knowledge, and presentation skills all make a difference. Please fill out your bio in the EclipseCon system.
If you have done this presentation at a different venue, please add a comment to your submission that details when and where. If this is your first time presenting at a national conference, please consider a short talk (10 minute or 30 minute).
The Submission is Only a Starting Point
Please be prepared to work with the category reps to modify your talk so that it can fit into the program. This may mean combining your talk, shortening your talk, or changing the subject matter.
The Submission Form
The Eclipse Submission System has been designed to be very easy to use. There are just six things to fill out:
Five minute and you are done, right? Just remember that the program committee will probably end up reviewing between 400 - 500 submissions. If you want your submission to stand and get selected there are things that you can do to distinguish your submission.
Short, Descriptive and Catchy. We all hate sales, but that doesn't mean we can live without. Your title is your sales pitch. If you want people to select your talk or attend your talk work on the title. A simple test if you are faced with two talks:
- Pimp My Editor
- Improving the Visual and Functional Attributes of the Eclipse Editor Through the Addition of Compelling Visual Communication Elements
Which one would you choose?
The abstract is the most inportant component of your submission. Take the time to demonstrate that you are an articulate communicator that has something valuable to share with the community. At a minimum your abstract should address these four questions:
- What are you presenting?
- Why is it important?
- What can someone expect to take away from the presentation?
- What makes your presentation unique?
If you are submitting a tutorial, it is highly recommended to provide an outline that covers the content and the hands on exercises that you expect to give during your presentation.
EclipseCon has three basic types of talks as explained in Scott's blog post :
- Show Me. Short Talks are 5 to 10 (perhaps as much as 30 minutes) long and are designed to get people excited and engaged on a particular subject. Short talks are the EclipseCon version of lightning talks (see the Perl conference's advice on giving a lightning talk).
- Tell Me. Long Talks are one hour in length and are designed to provide a thorough road map of a particular technology. A good talk requires preparation and a good pace; the EclipseCon audience is atypically highly intelligent and well prepared and thus any introductory material should be very brief (less than five minutes). There will be at least seven parallel sessions competing with your long talk (in separate rooms, of course), so your talk needs to be compelling.
- Let Me Do It. Tutorials are four-hour hands on presentations. It is expected the attendees will learn how to work with a technology. All of the EclipseCon tutorials require that the instructor to let the attendees get their hands dirty because attendees who invest four hours of their time at your tutorial have high expectations. Tutorial presenters should expect to have their presentation reviewed by the PC representatives in the month prior to the conference start.
- If you would like to do a tutorial but don't feel that you have four hours worth of material, go ahead and submit your tutorial, with a note about how much time you need for your presentation. The category leads will work to combine complimentary tutorials into a single four hour session.
The program committee is attempting to provide something for everyone. That means we need talks that range in difficulty from the novice to the expert. We have adopted the ski run standard to identify the difficulty of a talk.
When gauging the difficulty, consider how difficult would it be for a typical person that is a member of the categories community. If your talk is based on having two years experience developing SWT widgets, you have a strong Double Black Diamond. If you feel your talk can be attended by anyone that is attending the conference, you have a .