The announcement for this year’s Agile Testing Days program has been a rollercoaster for many people who have sent in their ideas for our 2022 Call for Papers. There were people who were happy, and some of them were sad that they didn’t make it into the 2022 program, especially among those who got positive feedback about their submitted abstracts. Our reviewers tried their best to provide feedback but we are aware that this is only a small consolation when you consider how much work, energy, and time it has taken to come up with and write the ideas down.
Our reviewers Elizabeth Zagroba, Stephan Kämper, Christian Baumann, and Samuel Nitsche, therefore, decided to write some kind of a set of blog posts where the personal views of each reviewer shine through, but which still focus on the Agile Testing Days.
In this blog post, we will pick the most important pieces of advice and serve them to you in a meme-able and enjoyable way.
How to get the attention of the reviewer
If you follow the advice from the reviewers, you will certainly increase your chances to get accepted. But you have to understand the work of the reviewer first. According to Sam, there are usually "an awful lot of abstracts for a very small number of slots" for the Agile Testing Days. And that means that the competition between the abstracts is really tough. So, in order to get the attention of the reviewer(s), it is important to "understand the assignment" and avoid common mistakes that will make your otherwise well-written abstract a dead end.
The Call for Papers Form
Unfortunately, every now and then our reviewers come across some abstracts that are consisting of only 3 lines of text or with the same text in every field. Here they suggest having a closer at the Call for Papers form and including all the information that needs to be provided depending on the fields in the form. The reviewers also recommend seeking help in the community and getting the abstract reviewed before submitting it.
Literally, avoid mistakes
Our reviewers can't highlight this enough but avoid typos and grammatical mistakes. We know mistakes happen to all of us, but if you want to get your paper accepted proofread your abstract before submitting it. A good abstract becomes better when you let it rest a couple of days and then read it again before pressing the submit button. The AgileTD Call for Papers has a save mode where you can save your paper and edit it later. If you are not a native English speaker, the reviewers recommend asking for help in the community in order to use the correct technical words and get your message across correctly.
No fear of constructive criticism
You know the saying: feedback is the breakfast for champions. Writing an abstract is hard work but you don't have to do it alone. In the agile testing community are many people who will share their feedback with joy. Our reviewers also suggest reaching out to the agile testing community and not being afraid to ask for help.
Makes your abstract unique
You should eliminate the concept of 'one fits all' at once when you are thinking of submitting a paper for the Agile Testing Days. "It’s more efficient to write one abstract you can send without change to different conferences, but it will never be as good as several different versions of your abstract that are tailored to the specific topics, preferences, and audience of a specific conference", writes our reviewers Sam. Although you have to put in more effort, the outcome could reward you. Keep in mind that the Agile Testing Days are a conference with topics revolving around software testing, test automation, DevOps, whole team approach, and much more as well as mental health, inclusion, diversity, sustainability, and ethics. The conference is also offering a hot topic list and it's always a good idea to have a look at it before starting the writing process.
Quality before quantity
Surely, due to many helpful resources on the internet and through the helpful community, there are already many high-quality abstracts competing for a slot in a conference program. But don't let that discourage you, because what still counts is quality before quantity. What do our reviewers mean by 'quality' in connection with a paper abstract? If you have one or two ideas that make you feel really good talking about them then it doesn't really matter how many of any other items you submit. If your passion for a specific topic shines through and you have kept in mind the do's and don'ts of writing an abstract, then you will have a good chance that your paper could be selected.
You can read the blog posts of our reviewers in more detail here:
The AgileTD blog post and video collection for writing a successful paper: