Monday, 18 June 2007

What's in it for us?

Why would you ever organize an ICFP Programming Contest? I can assure you it is a lot of work. So why did we agree to do it?

  • We are happy to do a service to the community. We benefit from having a community in which we perform our research. The community organises conferences and workshops at which we learn about new ideas, can present our own ideas, and meet colleagues. Furthermore, people from the community review our papers and research proposals. In return, we sometimes have to invest time in projects that support the activities and visibility of the community.
  • Visibility for the community is good for us as well. There is very little programming language research in The Netherlands, and we have the impression that programming language research is sometimes not as respected as we would like it to be. Organising a contest that shows that programming languages and tools matter, might help a bit. Especially if previous organisers come from places like Harvard, CMU, and MIT .
  • We try to draw some attention to the contest in the Netherlands. It is nice to be able to have a story to present to the media. It is quite a challenge to present our work on a level that is understandable for non computer scientists.
  • Organizing the ICFP Programming Contest gives us visibility in the community.
  • We will write and publish a paper about the contest. However, the amount of work for producing this paper is considerably higher than for a normal paper.
  • We are a team of around 10 people (depending on whom you count), most of them from the Software technology group of the Information and Computing Sciences department of Utrecht University, working on a common goal, with a strict deadline. I think such a common goal creates a good atmosphere in the group.
  • We have already learned a lot, and had quite some fun.
  • Eternal fame. The ICFP Programming Contest has a good name. We hope that the contestants will like this years' contest, and remember it.

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