Recently tweets were made by some members of this year’s program committee regarding submissions and reasons why talks may or may not be accepted.  The tweets do not reflect the standards to which ShmooCon holds itself.

We value and respect the work done by our submitters and judge each submission as fairly as we can. ShmooCon has worked for 13 years to foster the open and respectful exchange of ideas. We apologize for any statements that ran counter to these values.

Our program committee is comprised of 20 individuals.  We use an open source system called OpenConf to collect, read and review the CFP proposals.  There are no hard rules for our reviewers, we prefer that they read each paper with their own unique point of view and skill sets.

The committee keeps in mind ShmooCon’s emphasis on new and upcoming speakers – both to ShmooCon and to the industry in general.  There is also a strong leaning towards never before presented material as well as talks that include the release of open source code.  Talks that have been given repeatedly or have been submitted to multiple cons in the future tend to get rated down by our reviewers.  Talks that have been given before but promise new/updated material are given more leeway.  And yes, it’s true that talks that don’t match the requested format in the CFP are also downrated.

We do not and will not reject a submission simply for spelling our name wrong. Nor do we condone or promote public discussion on submissions, good or bad.  It is also important to note that no single reviewer has the ability to outright prevent a talk from being accepted.

After the committee has finished doing their reviews the Program Chairs, along with Bruce and Heidi, take that information and start to build the program.  This is done taking into consideration score and topic while working towards track balancing and can take several days as we work across time zones. Ultimately, we end up with what we hope is the best possible program for ShmooCon given the submissions we receive.

We appreciate all the support given to us over the years.  We take to heart feedback from the community and welcome further conversation.