TestBash CCFP Reviews Move Online - Come Contribute
27th December 2018

TestBash is the software testing conference ran by us all over the world, we currently have them in 7 locations. Last year in order to ensure we have the best speakers at our events we moved to a CCFP(continuous call for papers), meaning that you could submit whenever inspiration hit.

The CCFP approach has proven a huge success, we average 300 abstracts for each TestBash, tough competition for 7-14 places! Of course, it’s not all down to the CCFP, we’re worked hard over the years to make TestBash an appealing conference to speak at. The growth of TestBash and our CCFP has made picking the conference a tough and time-consuming gig!

Our approach thus far has been to tweet out requesting help or post a message on our Slack, which has usually resulted in 40-50 people offering their time to help. We would then send them a spreadsheet containing 40 anonymised abstracts where they grade them and add some comments to the abstract. We would do this for all 40-50 people, some would race through them and request more, the result... fantastic feedback from the community which we really appreciate and need but also a huge pile of spreadsheets! We were then collating those spreadsheets into a master sheet where we can start to create shortlists based on the community feedback. The whole process was time-consuming and prone to error, we needed something new.

New has arrived. We’ve just put our CCFP Review page live! You can now contribute to Ministry of Testing and TestBash when it works for you. If you’d like to contribute to TestBash just visit the review page and you’ll be presented with an anonymous abstract to review. Simply read the abstract, and complete these three steps:

  1. Is the abstract anonymous?
    Were you able to identify the speaker(s)? We want to remove any bias from the process, so if the speaker has left some identifiable information in the abstract such as a blog link or used their name in a third person we want to know so we can remove that identifiable information or contact the submitter and ask them to resubmit. If it isn’t anonymous click “Abstract Not Anonymous” which will notify us.

  2. Give the abstract your score
    We use a simple scoring method as Ministry of Testing for grading abstracts
    Green - This means you really want to hear this talk, or attend this workshop, or you believe the community does.
    Orange - You’re undecided, it could go either way.
    Red - Nope, no, not interested in hearing this talk.

  3. Feedback
    We offer feedback to everyone who requests it. If you think the abstract could be improved, consider adding some comments to aid us in providing that feedback. We don’t send these comments direct to the submitter. The TestBash team would collate and review them and send the feedback as a whole.

It’s a simple as that. We are hoping this will give us hundreds of abstract reviews from you, the members of the community, so we can continue to create programmes that bring you value.

Feature Insights

  • You can’t review your own abstract, that would be silly!
  • You won’t be shown the same abstract twice unless a new version has been submitted
  • We prioritise abstracts for the next events
  • You have to log in, so we can track who is scoring the abstracts, in case people find ways to abuse the system; so we can stop you reviewing your own abstract but also so we can see who is contributing.
  • The abstract you are given to review is as random as random is

Future Plans

This is the first of many new features for our CCFP. We’ll be adding more throughout 2019 with the current prioritisation around being able to edit/remove your own abstracts and depending on what kind of abstract feedback we start to see, being sent this feedback as it comes in. Giving you more time to make amendments and improvements before event deadlines are hit.

We hope to see many of you contribute to TestBash lineups, and we thank you in advance for doing so.

Team MoT
Written by Richard