A Gentle Guide to Your First JuliaCon Review

Hi folks!

JuliaCon is just around the corner and I wanted to more publicly share this resource I put together for new reviewers of the (fantastic) annual JuliaCon. Hope it helps!

As there have been some questions about how to make reviews for JuliaCon, I made a small guide on making your own reviews for a proposal if you have any concerns about how to write a review. To start, here are the comments that I received for the lightning talk I gave, Using Julia for Observational Health Research:

Reviewer 1:

This sounds like an incredibly interesting talk and well worth the 10minutes (lightning talk format)

Reviewer 2:

This may be an interesting application of Julia in another area.

Reviewer 3:

It appears that this talk showcases the efforts of a large group of contributors in a variety of organizations and therefore potentially the effectiveness of composability in the Julia ecosystem.

As you can see, the reviews can be very concise. I try to make mine more direct and more detailed for the submitters depending on the familiarity I have with a particular submission topic. Here is an example of one review that I created (with relevant pieces redacted):

A word that comes to mind when I see this package is: innovative. I have not only followed the development of this package but also used it myself. As a developer who finds myself constantly within the Julia REPL, I am impressed by the extensibility brought to the Julia REPL by this package. There have been packages such as RCall.jl which introduce new modes within the REPL – this package extends the base Julia mode in ways I have never seen before. I rank this package very high in interest to the Julia community due to its technical feats but due to the niche of [redacted], its applicability may be somewhat limited. However, as the author states, even though [redacted] may be niche, the idea [redacted] is highly pervasive. I would like the author in their presentation to more explain the technical details and challenges encountered within their experience in creating this package. I would, nonetheless, recommend it for a slot as a JuliaCon Talk.

It can vary widely in terms of how much or how little you can write in a review as you can see. The main philosophy I keep in mind is this, “if I were to receive this review, would I find it useful in creating an excellent X?” (X being a poster, talk, etc.). Importantly, at the end of the day, choose kindness in writing your reviews. Hope this helps and feel free to follow-up with questions or your insights! :smile:

~ tcp :deciduous_tree: