Last week (and both weekends) I evaluated all the abstracts for ODTUG KScope12 in two tracks: APEX and Developer's Toolbox. In the APEX track 76 abstracts where submitted, Developer's Toolbox has just a few more, 82. All the abstracts will be evaluated by a team of (around) 8 people, so it doesn't all depend on my rating ;-)
For the first time, the abstracts where anonymous. So you don't know who wrote the abstract when rating it. In some cases, you can guess (and some had their own name in the abstract or summary, so that's easy). But I have to say, it makes it more difficult to evaluate. Because, for some people it doesn't really matter what the abstract says, you know it will be good anyhow (and for other ones, it is just the other way round). But luckily we have to rate the presenters as well - as far as you know them.
We had to rate every abstract between 0 and 5, where 5 is a top one. My totals are: little under 20% I rated as 5, almost 40% got a 4, 30% received a 3 and the rest is 2 or lower.
The hottest subject in the APEX track is, without any doubt, mobile development. Seems like a lot of presenters are anxiously awaiting the next APEX release. In Developer's Toolbox, the subjects are more diverse, but, to my surprise, analytic functions are a trending topic! Not that these are new, but there seems to be a more general adoption and interest in this feature.
And what did I learn from these "blind auditions"?
That it is very hard to write a good abstract. And when you submit one, there always a line saying: Don't copy your abstract as a summery (or the other way round). They have two different goals. The abstract should convince the evaluator to select your presentation, while the summary should convince the conference attendee to attend your session. So you should give away more in the abstract - but please, not pages long - and maybe just make people curious in the summary part.
But seeing all these great abstracts, I am really sure that Kscope12 will be even better than this years!