in the rearview mirror: dbtest 2012

Organizing DBTest together with my partner in crime Eric Lo from the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong was a great experience. For a long time already we both have been very passionate about developing test methodologies for database systems in all forms and shapes; hence, it seemed very fitting to volunteer for organizing the database test workshop!

We managed to solicit a total of 26 submissions, which is an all time high, as far as I can tell. While impressive by itself, it meant we just didn’t have enough people on the PC to keep the review load as low as we had originally promised. Luckily our PC members proved to be great sports and agreed to review pretty much double the number of papers we had originally anticipated. Thank you very much! As a result we managed to put together a very strong program! After some deliberation we decided to include a whopping 12 papers in the program and rather shorten the presentation time than reject several truly outstanding papers.

A couple of pointers for organizer of next year’s workshop:

  1. The workshop stands and falls with the solicitations/submissions; you cannot put enough effort into publicizing the workshop; make sure it’s advertised in SIGMOD Record (free of charge); have flyers that PC members can post on their message boards/office doors, and, yes, periodically pester everybody in your network to submit a paper.
  2. The short slot format (20 mins including Q&A) worked extremely well; it required presenters to come to the point quickly and concentrate on the truly essential parts of their work. Also, it meant that people in the audience who weren’t interested in the current talk didn’t wander off — after all it’s just 20 minutes.
  3. Since the workshop is collocated with SIGMOD we ended up in a conference room that was definitely a bit larger than we needed. And even though we had 40+ attendees throughout all sessions, a smaller room might have been better suited.
  4. Including all workshop presentations in the plenary poster session in SIGMOD turned out to be a great move and allowed workshop participants to reach a much wider audience.

At the end of each workshop, organizers face questions about the fate of the workshop for the next year(s) to come. Looking back on this year’s success, we’re actually quite confident that there will be huge interest in further installments of this workshop!

You can find the workshop website and the proceedings here.

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