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Writing and Presenting a Paper for PNSQC: It's not as hard as you think!

Michael Larsen

Creating a practical experience-focused paper for the PNSQC conference is a great way to share your insights with the community.

Since PNSQC began in 1982, one of the key things that has differentiated us from the ‘other’ conferences is our pursuit of deep knowledge. We implement this idea by asking for technical papers as a key part of the process of being a presenter. Anyone who submits an abstract, gets accepted to the conference, and comes to present is required to complement their presentation slideshow with a peer-reviewed paper.

The paper expectation strengthens the integrity and depth of the conference offerings. This is because authors have to think through their content twice - first in the paper and then during the formation of their presentation. As mentioned, it is a major differentiator for PNSQC and it puts us on the same level as many academic conferences.

Now, you may think writing a paper is a daunting task. This is especially true for those of you who’ve participated in an academic conference and know that writing a research paper is not easy! However, keep in mind our conference and hence papers, are focused on practical experience. It’s not as hard as you may think. Really, it’s as easy as telling a friend or colleague how your day went.

Outline for a Typical PNSQC Paper

The content of a typical paper is laid out something like this:
  1. The problem or issue you encountered during your work
  2. How you thought about solving it, what methods or tactics you considered
  3. Which methods you discarded and for what reason
  4. Which method you eventually chose
  5. How you implemented your method and what obstacles or difficulties you encountered
  6. What the end result was and what benefited you and your company
  7. What you learned in the process including what you may have done differently if you were to do it again

Submitting a Paper for PNSQC

The process for submitting a paper for the PNSQC conference is also easier than you think! Here’s how it goes:

  1. Think of a title and write an abstract that is 100-200 words. At most, about half a page long.
  2. Submit the abstract to our submission site.
  3. The PNSQC program committee evaluates all the abstracts submitted and selects yours to be part of the PNSQC conference.
  4. PNSQC assigns a review team (usually 2 past authors) to guide you through the writing process:
    • Submit a first draft → review team gives you feedback
    • Submit a second draft → get more feedback from the review team
    • Upload your final draft to the conference site
    • Develop your presentation
  5. This whole process of writing and reviewing takes about 3 months with a few hours per month needed from the reviewers and a few hours required from you, the author.
    • The entire paper is 6-8 pages long. We do not expect to see a Ph. D dissertation and you are not required to submit references unless you think it adds to the paper’s value for your readers.
    • The reviewers are there to support you in writing a good paper and are not there to criticize you.
    • We understand that your paper is based on practical experience rather than research. Hence, no references are required other than your own two hands.

Send in Your Abstract Today

Do you have something to share with our community? Perhaps some big Problem you solved or a new tool you implemented at work? Submit today and let others learn from your experience!  You won’t regret presenting and, when it’s all done, you’ll find that you’re happy you did it!