first time’s the charm

As a first year student I had the rare opportunity of having my first paper, Exploring the Causes of Frustration for Software Developers, submitted and get accepted! Writing this first paper was quite intimidating at first. But it definitely helped that I had previously started writing about the work. My advisor and I worked through many revisions before submitting the final product.

#ICSE15 with Dr. Heckman
#ICSE15 with Dr. Heckman

As someone who is still new to technical writing I found it very valuable to have gone through those multiple drafts. In addition to that my advisor recommended writing a blog so that I could be able to talk about my research to the normies(i.e. non researchers). I can honestly say that writing the ‘medium-formal’ research blog and the ‘cool’ buzzfeed post about this work definitely guided my approach for the poster and presentation for the conference.

From the 16th to the 23rd of May I was able to travel to Florence, Italy to attend the conference, #ICSE15, for this work. At the conference I was also selected as the first person at my workshop, #CHASE15, to give a presentation on my paper.

poster presented at conference
Poster presented

Of course, with this being my first presentation I was scared but surprisingly it all went well. It was well received by the audience and I got some pretty nice questions. After my presentation my advisor introduced me to other researchers at the conference. It was amazing because I was finally able to put faces to all the amazing researchers whose work I’ve read.

It was also great to network with other researchers and hear them passionately talk about their research topics. Some being Bogdan Vasilescu’s work on Perceptions of Diversity on GitHub: A User Survey and Maryi Arciniegas-Mendez’s Regulation as an Enabler for Collaborative Software Development. For those who are interested, their slides and papers can be found online.

On top of that, Maryi, a presenter at the workshop, and I randomly set up a trip to go to Rome the next day! This just goes to show you the type of networks that can be formed at these conferences.

at the colosseum
THE Colosseum
Maryi and I
Maryi and I

Going to this conference honestly allowed me to become more comfortable in my skin as a researcher. Getting this paper accepted made me feel like I am personally being accepted as a REAL researcher. Like my work is ACTUALLY impacting the field and other researchers ACTUALLY welcome my contributions. Such an amazing feeling.  

Going to the conference definitely encouraged me to continue my research efforts (Especially since at the conference I was working on another paper 😛). All in all, ending this first year of the PhD program at this conference was truly the icing on the cake. I can’t wait to see what next year has in store!

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