Building a Conference Track


Have you ever attended a professional conference? If so, you probably didn’t think twice about the amount of work that goes into it behind the scenes, where the organizers plan for months to make sure the folks attending are in for a great experience. I have been on both sides of the name-badge, and this time, working on Kscope18 as Database Track Lead has been a rewarding, challenging, incredible learning experience!

For the past few years I have served on the Abstract Review Committee for  ODTUG’s Kscope Database Track, starting back in 2014 for Kscope15, Kscope16 and Kscope17. As an abstract reviewer, responsibilities include looking over what is usually well over 200 conference topic submissions (a.k.a “abstracts”) by hopeful presenters, and scoring them from “great” to “good” to “maybe not so good”, and handing off your votes to the Track Lead. Since Kscope is such a large conference with a focus on Oracle tools and technology, and where “Content is King“, it’s a big responsibility of the Database Track reviewers to make sure the abstracts selected cover a wide-range of interesting and relevant topics to both Oracle database administrators (DBAs) and developers.

This year, I was honored to be asked to lead the track. Under the guidance of Database/Apex Committee Chair, Jorge Rimblas, I gathered our international team of reviewers, who came from all over the globe, including Mexico, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Brazil, and all of the US time zones (Which made scheduling team webex/phone meetings quite interesting!) and we had a short time frame to plow through 220+ submissions this year. The abstracts submitted were soexcellent that it made our job to whittle them down to the number we could actually accept to be sessions in June very difficult; Admittedly, vetting choices from a list of excellent topics is a good problem to have.  The team did a fabulous job and I can’t thank them enough for all of their hard work.

This morning my work as Track Lead culminated in creating the “first pass” of the schedule, for the accepted sessions of the Database Track, which I have passed on to Jorge for his review. This year’s content is fabulous, and the attendees are in for a really, really good conference.

Registration for Kscope18 is open, with an early bird discount until March 29th, saving $300 off of the registration fee. See the tracks for a high-level view of what’s in store, and sign up for Community Service Day and the 5K.

About Helen J. Sanders

Assistant Director, Applications Development Services in the Student Collaboration Center at Temple University. Oracle database developer and enthusiast. Active in ODTUG. Serving on the Board of Directors for the Temple University Alumni Association, the Temple College of Education Alumni Association, and Vice President of the Network of Women with Careers in Technology.

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