Last week I attended my first conference: the 44th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2022). I had a great time! I attended quite a few interesting talks, formed new connections with other researchers, and even explored some of Pittsburgh.
The ICSE organizers this year restricted each presentation to five minutes. While this wasn’t a popular decision amongst many of the attendees, it enabled many talks to be packed into a short period of time. My favorite single presentation was Courtney Miller’s talk on toxicity in open source discussions. I think Courtney did a great job of working with the limited presentation time by making the talk fast-paced and easy to understand.
My favorite technical talk was Michael Coblenz’s talk on Bronze, a garbage collector for Rust. This talk was fairly technical, but Coblenz communicated his group’s findings clearly and efficiently. What I found most interesting was that students who completed tasks in Rust with a garbage collector enjoyed programming in the language about as much as those who did so with a garbage collector, even though the latter group could complete some tasks more than twice as fast as the former.
I am glad to say that I met a lot of great people at ICSE from all over world, such as Canada, Iceland, Germany, and Texas. I especially enjoyed talking with Zachary Patterson and Austin Mordahl, both from UT Dallas. Zach is the first author on our paper that was accepted to ICSE, and presented an excellent talk and presentation for it. While not at the conference, the three of us explored various parts of Pittsburgh, such as an art museum, a nature park, and a local bookstore. I like exploring new places and had never been to Pennsylvania before, so discovering these places with my new friends was a lot fun.
I really enjoyed ICSE 2022, and hope to have a similar experience when I go to PLDI in San Diego in a few weeks 🙂 I’ll be sure to provide a debrief here after that conference as well, so be on the lookout for that!