Every paper presented at the Pacific NW Software Quality Conference over the years has started with an abstract. You might be wondering “What is an abstract and how do I get an idea for one?” PNSQC President Philip Lew takes you through the process in this blog post.
An abstract is an outline/brief summary of your topic. Therefore, it should have an introduction, body and conclusion. And, it must be understandable to a wide audience. In other words, you don’t want to dive into too many details. There are five basic components to well-written abstract as outlined below:
Reason for writing: What is the importance of this topic? What value is there for the audience? What is the main advantage they will gain? Will it help:
- Improve software quality?
- Perform faster?
- Make something easier?
- Avoid mistakes (because you share yours)?
- Teach someone a new way of working?
Problem: What problem do you solve or help to solve? Some ideas could be:
- Automation object recognition
- Implementing Agile in large organizations
- Managing testers as a new manager
- Interpreting performance test results
- Filtering through all the AI technologies currently available
- Understanding how to measure software quality
- Where and what buttons to place where in your mobile app
Methodology: How did you approach the problem?
- Did you try several options and finally come to what you think is best?
- Did you model the problem and decompose it?
- Did you try to apply a new technology or tool?
- Did you try one method or process model (i.e. Scrum) and modify it to meet your needs?
Results: So you had a problem, and tried to solve it.
- Did you improve what you were working on? How much?
- What people or parts of your organization benefitted?
- What mistakes did you make that others can learn from?
- Alternatively: did the solution fail in a useful way?
Implications: How will this affect future work?
- Will this help your organization in the future?
- Will you be able to build on this work and keep going forward?
- Can others use your work in their organizations and how?
Now that you’ve got a good idea of how to write the abstract, put together a few sentences and structure them into a paragraph and submit! You can get some ideas on topics here in our archive. Submit your abstract here and be part of PNSQC’s 40+ year history. In doing so, your paper will be published in our annual proceedings and will forever be available to your fellow colleagues in our online archives.