Conference – ASE 2020 | Virtual

This year is full of virtual conferences. 35th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering was supposed to held in Melbourne, Australia (going to happen that next year, hopefully). However, due to Covid-19, the conference happened virtually. Melbourne was under stage 4 restrictions too (So tight!)

First Human Centric Software Engineering and Cyber Security (HCSE-CS) Workshop

Pre-print of the paper:

Video presentation:

We had a paper (Towards Better Understanding of Agile Teams through Behavior Change Models) which got rejected twice (weak rejects) from IEEE Software magazine and FSE conference due to it being a theoretical piece. So the paper had no where to go. By that time, my lab-mate Chehara was planning to submit a paper to this workshop. I double checked with the scope of the workshop and it matched our paper. Then I talked with Rashina and John and we decided to submit our paper to this workshop. The workshop was a good fit and the earlier rejections were really because the work was preliminary. I had the paper already in the ACM conference format. So, it was just a simple submission. I submitted the paper one month before the deadline 😂 . It was the first submission of the workshop! So funny! Who submits a paper to a conference a month before the deadline? My friends were laughing 😂😂 .

However, the paper got accepted with good reviews from the reviewers 🥳 .

Xiao from Deakin University and Mohan from Data61 were contact points of the workshop. They did a pretty good job in organizing. Authors were added to an MS Teams channel before the workshop and it was easy for us to communicate with them.

Preparation: Since I had a little experience of preparing and presenting earlier (ICSE), it was bit easy for me this time. I prepared the slides little by little over 3 days before the conference (I was working on the Ph.D. too). And then, I prepared the video and sent it to Rashina to review the night before the conference (John was the general chair of the conference. So, I did not want to disturb him at all). The presentation/video was supposed to fit to 7 minutes. But video was 10 minutes. Rashina gave suggestions on cutting off the extra 3 minutes. However, I asked Xiao about the presentation duration since I was given a slot of 16 minutes in the schedule. He told to fit to 10 minutes. So, I trimmed the video to 8.5 minutes and uploaded it to the drive that was provided by the conference in the morning of the presentation 🙊 .

Presentation: I was late to sleep the night before the conference day since I was preparing the slides. So, I woke up around 11 AM on 21st Sept, 2020 and put some makeup too (I looked like a crazy person at ICSE, so I decided to have some makeup) 🙊 . Then my friends Zainab and Dulaji were ready to come on Zoom and see me practicing. So, I practiced the presentation with Zainab once and prepared my settings etc. Then Dulaji was available after a while. I practiced with her too. Both had good questions to ask from me. I am always thankful to my supervisors and friends who help me with all these 🙏🏼 .

HCSE-CS workshop is the first event of the entire conference happened from 21st – 25th Sept, 2020.

Chehara presented around 1 PM. She did a nice job presenting her paper. I watched her presenting and left the session.

My session started at 3 PM. I joined the Zoom meeting at 2.30 PM. Thoung from Deakin University chaired the session. He gave the instructions before starting the session. The first presenter was absent. So, I was third to present. The presentation went smoothly. Thoung asked me an interesting question: in activities such as co-designing where teams and customer both put their input in terms of requirements changes, whose behavior should we change? My answer was it’s team’s because it is hard to change the customer. But at some point, along in the line of engagement of customer and team, I think it’s possible to change the behavior of customer too if necessary.

There were a couple of other presentations too. I think around 30 attended the workshop (Not sure).

After the presentations, there was a panel discussion by Rashina and Chetan from Deakin University. It was about past, present, and future of human centric software engineering. Half of the panel discussion was about my Ph.D. project though 😂 . After a quick chat with Rashina, she suggested that next time I should join these discussions if work related to mine are getting discussed. Good point!

A selfie I took while Rashina was presenting. Some results of stage 4 restrictions are also here: Gained weight, wearing slippers and presenting at a conference 😂

It was a wonderful workshop! It is great to see people working in human centric software engineering area.

Main Conference

Thanks to Rashina I got the chance to register for the entire conference (It was John who sponsored by ICSE registration and he was generous enough to sponsor this time too. But since Rashina was willing to sponsor this time, I chose her. How generous both my supervisors are!)

I attended many sessions. This included: doctoral symposium, AI for SE, SE for AI, some tutorial sessions (I loved the ML based tool designed to do SLRs fast), tool demos (Xiao’s team presented their behavior capturing tool), and especially the keynote speech by Gail Murphy which was very interesting.

I missed the keynote by John but I watched it later. The conference was well organized. John and the team had done a wonderful job. We were given an app called Whova, which had all sessions live with chat functionality. Few other interesting features were there in the app like competitions, polls, and surveys. Even though the conference was virtual, I don’t think that anyone felt disconnected because of the app.

It was another wonderful conference experience I had in 2020. We all will be able to meet in person next year again in Melbourne, hopefully!

Main Conference – ICSE 2020 | Virtual

I was bit busy with my Ph.D. after ICSE. So I could not write anything about my experience at ICSE main conference. Finally, here I go!

Pre-print of the paper:

Video presentation:

Video was available for public before the conference

Unfortunately, the conference happened online due to COVID-19 as I mentioned in my earlier post on presenting at CHASE workshop of the same conference.


Well, I did not have much of a hassle in preparing for this presentation as I was experienced with CHASE preparation 😉 . So, I prepared the video, and uploaded to the Google Drive provided by the conference organizers. Then they uploaded the video to the playlist of my session in Youtube.

I did not practice the presentation as I did for CHASE. I was bit tired of the work I had between CHASE workshop and main conference (yes, Ph.D. work and I was getting ready for Visualize Your Thesis competition). I really wanted a change since I was working from home since March, 2020. So, I took a risk and went shopping the day before the conference 🙊 .

But thankfully my friends were ever-ready to watch me doing the presentation. So, I did some practicing with Zainab and Dulaji after I was back from shopping.

Conference Day (8th July, 2020 – Morning Session):

This was different from the way how CHASE was organized. We were supposed to join the Slack and Zoom one hour before the session. Slack had channels for each conference room. Several sessions were going on at the same time. So, I was added to Room Baekjie. Then there was a seperate channel called Green room of Bakjie. Presenters are added to the Green room before the session and removed after the session (But you are left in the main Baekjie room through out the conference. Sounds crazy right? No, it was well organized). So, the ones in the Green room were called over Zoom by the organizers 30 minutes before the presentation. We were given instructions and session chair talked with all of us.

Here comes the funny part. Everyone else in my session were “big shots” I would say; well established researchers. Since there were around 15 minutes for the session to start, I started practicing the presentation. I thought I was on mute, but I was not. So everyone else in the session were hearing me practicing. I got a message from the session chair (Mei Nagappan – he is so good by the way) saying that my mic is ON. I saw the message only after I was done with practicing! 😂😂😂 I was laughing but others were so good, they did not care me practicing. All knew that this was my first ICSE.

Session started at 9 AM AEST (as I remember). I was the second speaker. Everything went smoothly. I did my talk over Zoom and it was live streamed on Youtube and conference website (They used a different platform for interactions and live stream of talks. Sadly, I can’t remember the name of it. This is what happens when you write a blog post after months of an event 😔 ). I had both my supervisors in the audience (I love them having in the audience so I feel confident), my friend Tingting watching on Youtube, and 76 other researchers around the world 🤯 .

I was asked whether I analysed the data according to the gender (which was not done) by someone in the audience (I can’t remember her name. My memory is so bad 😔 ) and I said that is out of my scope of the Ph.D. Mei suggested to analyse in that perspective as well; which is actually a great idea!

After the talk, I got an email from an Emeritus Professor appreciating my talk! That is one of the best things happened to me because of ICSE!

Overall, I loved the conference! I got to see a lot of faces I knew through papers. And I am looking forward to meeting them all in person in the coming conferences!