Swapping Keynotes

We published the ACCU 2019 schedule a month ago. There is the usual disclaimer that the schedule is subject to change without notice till the end of the conference – at which point the schedule is a record of the history so no further changes are possible. This usually means just amendments to the sessions, quickies, side events, or social events, as the keynotes are normally fixed points.

This year an unusual situation means we need to swap two of the keynotes: Herb’s Saturday closing keynote has become Thursday’s opening keynote; and Kate’s Thursday opening keynote has become Saturday’s closing keynote. Given the circumstances this year, this was unfortunately The Right Thing To Do™ even though it is a change to the keynotes post publication of the schedule.

The ACCU 2019 Schedule

So a few days before the deadline, but later than we (The Programme Committee) would have liked, here is the ACCU 2019 schedule.

Obviously there are a few details missing, these will be filled in as the data comes in, but the schedule is in place and we believe is a very strong programme.

People have already started registering for the pre-conference workshops and the conference itself – registering early is always good, especially for the pre-conference workshops.

T-Shirt Competition

Each ACCU conference has a t-shirt design competition to provide the design for the year’s conference t-shirt. This year is no different.

This year’s conference social theme is Artificial Intelligence. The reason for this will become extremely apparent during the conference.

So we want designs based on the idea of "artificial intelligence". Obviously the design will be t-shirt sized when printed so do bear this in mind when making submissions, both in terms of design and in terms of resolution of the submitted image.

In past years we have announced the competition at the beginning of January with a four week submission period. Due to "stuff happens" things were not put in train early enough this year. However, since we must go to print at the end of January, we will have to go with a two week submission period. Sorry about this.

So design ideas to conference@accu.org by 2019-01-28T12:00+00:00.

Registration for ACCU 2019 Opens

Apologies to all for failing to keep the conference news updated over the last few weeks.

The call for proposals is now closed. The programme committee did lots of reviewing and deciding and planning. We are thus at the stage of getting the draft schedule in place. This is a work in progress for the moment. More news soon.

The important news of the moment is that the registration website is now up and running, and you can register for ACCU 2019. Indeed we already have some people registered.

If you fancy joining the early bird registerers, nip over to http://www.cvent.com/d/dbqjfx and sign up.

ACCU 2019 Call for Proposals is Open

The ACCU 2019 Call for Proposals is now open. It will close 2018-10-26T23:59+01:00.

For further details on ACCU the organisation go to https://accu.org and for further details on ACCU the conference go to https://conference.accu.org

Submission of proposals is by logging in and entering data into the submission Web application at https://cfp.conference.accu.org

ACCU has a lot of C++ content, but it has much more: Python, C#, Go, Rust, Java, Kotlin, Lisp, Groovy, JRuby get a look in as programming languages. Also the tools, techniques, and processes of programming are things people present sessions on: ACCU is about anything and everything to do with programming. Main conference sessions are 90 minutes long and are one of:

  • 60 minute presentation with 30 minutes questions and answers[1].

  • a workshop[2].

Sometimes we have 180 minute workshops, i.e. double session ones, because 90 minute is sometimes just not enough!

Lead presenters of main conference sessions are eligible for a "presenter deal" so as to be able to attend the conference even if they cannot get funding for expenses via another route.

We also have "quickies" which are 20 minute sessions, 15 minute presentation and 5 minutes questions and answers. Currently we are not able to provide any form of "presenter deal" for these sessions, but we are looking for sponsors that might enable us to do something for these presenters.

ACCU puts on full day pre-conference workshops/tutorials, i.e. 6 hours with breaks. There is a pre-conference workshop package" for lead presenters of these that includes an honorarium as well as expenses. We are looking for introductory sessions as well as deep dive sessions so as to get wide appeal: Rust for C++ programmers, C++ for people who do not already know it,as well as C++17 and beyond, or using Rust for Python extensions,are just a few of the sorts of thing that would get well received.

The ACCU Programme Committee members review all the proposals submitted and score them. They will from this year also provide "comments to proposers" as well as "comments to the committee". "Comments to the proposers" will be sent to the proposers as a matter of course. Having reviewed all the proposals the committee then meets to select and schedule the selected sessions. This is not an easy task, but it gets done despite this.

1. Some people choose to structure this as 90 minutes of interactive presentation instead of 60 minutes presentation and 30 minutes Q&A, and that is fine – the point is to have interaction and dialogue. A 90 minutes one-way presentation without interaction is not really what we want.
2. A workshop is all about people doing things.

The Call For Proposals is Close

A final reminder: the call for proposals for ACCU 2019 opens next week 2018-10-05 and is open for three weeks till 2018-10-26.

ACCU is a conference about programming. Given the history of the ACCU organisation, there is a lot of C++, and some C, oriented content. However we have Python, Rust, Go, Java, Kotlin, Groovy, Lisp, Ruby indeed any programming language oriented content. Also tools and techniques of programming content: TDD, BDD, Git, Mercurial, CMake, Meson, SCons, concurrency, parallelism, continuous integration, continuous delivery, creating software-based startups, the list isn’t endless but it is big and it is flexible. Any and all content to do with programming is acceptable.

The conference content is entirely created from the submitted proposals. Except for the keynotes. This year we have:

  • Angela Sasse

  • Kate Gregory

  • Paul Grenyer

  • Herb Sutter

as our keynote speakers.

As ever lead presenters of main conference sessions will get a "conference deal".

For further details on ACCU the organisation go to https://accu.org and for further details on ACCU the conference go to https://conference.accu.org

Submission of proposals will be by logging in and entering data into the submission Web application, which when the call is open will be at https://cfp.conference.accu.org

ACCUConf and BrExit

As we approach October 2018 and the Call for Proposals for ACCU 2019, a number of people have expressed some concerns about ACCU 2019 being after BrExit 2019-03-29. The issue being that post-BrExit the UK government’s apparent obsession with curtailing EU freedom of movement may lead to EU citizens having difficulties entering the UK.

When UK leaves the EU on 2018-03-29, there is a two-year transition period and as such, nothing will change immediately. Constraining EU citizen’s entry into the UK after this date is highly unlikely. If however, travel into the UK by EU citizens is constrained, a move to the same sort of visa arrangements the UK already has with non-EU nationals is the most likely scenario – either automatic entry with no visa needed as per the current arrangement with Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and the USA; or as we do with other nationals. In the unlikely event of EU nationals travelling to the UK requiring visas, the ACCU organisers are able to send ‘Letters of Invitation’ to support visa applications through UK embassies and high commissions. We believe though this will not come to be needed.

Here is a statement agreed with Archer Yates Associates the organisation that organises the ACCU conferences:

Concerned about travel to the UK after Brexit? – ACCU firmly believes, free travel to the UK after Brexit will continue as it currently operates, as part of the agreed two-year transition period. In the event of visas being necessary, we will make available ‘Letters of Invitation’ to speakers and registered attendees to help facilitate any visa requests they may have.

And So ACCU 2019 Begins

OK so ACCU 2019 isn’t actually happening any time soon – it is scheduled for 2019-04-09 to 2019-04-13, but preparation and planning takes quite a long time. So this is really "Planning and Preparation for ACCU 2019 has Begun".

We have a nice logo. Well, obviously, it is essentially the same logo as ever but with a numeral changed and in a different colour – continuity of brand imagery has a lot going for it. We hope you like the colour – or if you are in the USA: color :-).

Of course, there can be no ACCU conference without good content, and good content requires lots of good submissions so the committee can select from them to create a great schedule. We are busy, OK I am busy, updating the submission Web application in the light of experience from last year. As there should be in any project, there is a deadline for these changes, and that is 2018-10-05. Why is that? Because that is the date of the opening of the Call for Proposals. This is really what this post is about, the Call for Proposals.

The Call for Proposals will open 2018-10-05T10:00+00:00.

The Call for Proposals will close 2018-10-26T19:00+00:00.

So as to be fair to everyone who submits, these date/times are not negotiable. Neither will there be any extensions[1]

Anyone who has an idea for an ACCU conference session should think it through, plan it, and create the proposal ready to submit it during the Call for Proposals. Details on the sort of sessions at an ACCU conference are given on the front page of the website.

You have three months. Get planning to submit.

1. If, as there was a couple of years ago, there is a problem with the submission system such that people cannot submit or amend proposals during the Call for Proposals, then appropriate negotiations or extensions will happen. I think it fair to say this is the only situation in which it would happen.

Schedule Web App

For ACCU 2017, Austin Bingham of Sixty North created an ACCU conference schedule Web application implemented in Elm. After the conference he donated the code to the ACCU Conference. Sadly, despite lots of good intentions, it has not been developed over the year. It seems though right to have it running anyway. So the ACCU 2018 schedule Web application is at https://testconference.accu.org/schedule_app/

If you do want to get stuck in to helping to develop the Web app the master Git repository is at https://github.com/ACCUConf/ACCUConf_Schedule_Web_Application

Marriott Hotel and The News

A couple of people contacted us about this government document that was released 2018-03-09. It named The Marriott Hotel in Luton as having paid workers less than the national minimum wage. The people that contacted us were concerned that ACCU 2018 was being held at a Marriott Hotel (the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre) and they were worried that Marriott Hotels were paying people less than the minimum wage, and that ACCU should not be associated with such a hotel.

AYA (the ACCU organisers) have had an excellent relationship with the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre people since we moved from Oxford to Bristol, and we felt confident there was no problem with this hotel. However, we felt it prudent to ask them explicitly about this issue. For sensible reasons, rather than just make a local informal verbal statement, Marriott Hotels head office have created a formal public statement that they have authorised us to publish:

Marriott is committed to compliance with the national minimum wage. When an error was identified by a routine HMRC audit in 2015, we cooperated fully with HMRC and promptly reimbursed all those affected. We apologised to all our associates impacted by this error and have taken steps to ensure it cannot happen again.

This relates to technical underpayments made in 2015 where some hotels made deductions from wages for live-in accommodation or late-night taxi services. Despite acting in good faith, and with full consent from associates, these deductions were not permissible by HMRC as they lowered the impacted associates’ salary below minimum wage.

When Marriott first became aware of the issue, we immediately suspended all non-statutory deductions. We have since updated our payroll processes so this cannot happen again.

I would like to thank the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre staff for taking our enquiry seriously, and not only giving AYA verbal assurances, but also "escalating" things so as to get this public statement for us to publish and so explicitly answer the concerns of the people who original raised the issue. Not only can ACCU 2018 go ahead in full knowledge there isn’t an issue, we can continue with our plans for 2019.