The Student Mentoring Workshop (SMeW) at ICSE 2022 encourages and supports students who are entering the software engineering research community. The goal of the workshop is to attract students to research careers in software engineering, to demystify the graduate school experience, and to offer first-hand perspectives on graduate study from recent Ph.D. graduates, young scholars, and senior researchers. SMeW’s core mission is to foster the development of the next generation of researchers in our community — supporting undergraduates and master’s degree students who are applying to PhD programs, and early-career PhD students who are just beginning their studies. SMeW aims to foster an inclusive community, promoting diversity and increasing the participation of students who are members of underrepresented groups in computing.
The workshop program will focus on important skills for beginning researchers and will offer mentoring opportunities with senior researchers attending the conference, discussing the topics:
- How to find a mentor and what to look for? What is the difference between mentorship and sponsorship?
- How to network effectively at a conference? How to find your cohort? How to find a mentor and what to look for?
- What communication skills are essential for a research career? To give a good presentation? A good poster session talk? To write an outstanding paper?
- What are the new, emerging areas in software engineering research?
- What are the differences between a research career in industry and in academia?
- How did other software engineering researchers successfully navigate their training experiences?
The workshop program will be structured to encourage interaction and discussion. The program will focus on small group mentoring pods and group discussions. We will match mentors and mentees into small groups based on their technical and non-technical interests.
The virtual workshop will take place during two time slots, scheduled to make the event accessible to participants in different time zones - both sessions will contain similar programming, and students may choose to attend whichever is more convenient.
- Monday May 9th 0500-0800 UTC (1:00pm-4:00pm Beijing/China Standard Time)
- Monday May 9th 1600-1900 UTC (12:00pm-3:00pm New York/US Eastern Daylight Time)
At ICSE in Pittsburgh, we will also organize social activities in the afternoon and evening of May 24. Thanks to the generous support of CMU’s Institute for Software Research, we have organized a bus for a scenic tour and visit to Mt Washington, Market Square and Point State Park, followed by ICSE’s newcomers reception.
Please send any questions about the workshop directly to the SMeW organizers, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon 9 MayDisplayed time zone: Eastern Time (US & Canada) change
01:00 - 01:15
01:15 - 01:45
01:45 - 02:15
02:15 - 02:45
03:00 - 03:30
03:30 - 04:00
11:00 - 11:15
11:15 - 11:45
11:45 - 12:15
12:15 - 12:45
13:00 - 13:30
Call for Participation
All students who are interested in attending the workshop must submit an application, which will help us match students with mentors and ensure that we can provide sufficient space to have productive discussions. To help support students who are able to and would like to attend the workshop in person, we have funding set aside to defray travel costs, and also to cover the registration costs for ICSE. Please fill out the student application form by March 18th. Travel support is made possible thanks to a generous grant from ACM SIGSOFT.
Would you be willing to participate in ICSE 2022’s Student Mentoring Workshop as a mentor, leading a small group mentoring pod? We will perform a match-making process, assigning specific students to mentors based on technical and non-technical interests, and will provide a platform for you to meet virtually with mentees. We expect this to be a roughly 2 hour commitment, although you are welcome to meet more with the students. To volunteer to serve as a mentor, please fill out the mentor RSVP form by March 10th.
How to Participate
All of the activities will take place within Midspace. The schedule can be accessed from the left-hand menubar, which will auto-scroll to the current sessions.
Each group of mentoring sessions is displayed as an “Exhibition” in Midspace - each mentoring session page lists all of the mentoring circles scheduled to occur during that session. Each mentoring circle is listed as “Mentoring circle with (Mentor name) #(session number),” and has the mentor and the mentees listed as participants/discussants. To join the mentoring circle, simply click “Join in room”.
We have shared your mentoring assignments in advance, and strongly encourage you to take a look at each mentors’ website in order to get a bit more information about their background, so that you can make the most of each 30 minute conversation. Think about what you want to get out of this workshop; we have done our best to match you with mentors based on the topics that you indicated that you wanted to discuss (be they technical or non-technical), along with the mentor’s interests and experiences.
These mentors are all respected members of our research community, known for their technical expertise, and will be great resources for discussing technical topics. However, every single mentor has also volunteered to talk about a range of non-technical topics too: topics like mental health, being a member of an underrepresented group, finding and forming support networks, communication and leadership skills.
If you aren’t sure what to talk about, you can always start off with questions like:
- What attracted you to software engineering research? What do you like most about the community?
- What was your biggest challenge in establishing your research career? (perhaps related to finding a research direction, finding an advisor, writing papers, networking, finding a job, etc)
- Are there any papers or presentations that you think I should read/watch to learn more about
Some mentoring sessions might have you meeting 1:1 with a mentor, and others might have you and several other students meeting with the same mentor at the same time. In cases where we have grouped students together, it is extremely likely that the students shared common interests (technical or non-technical) when applying for the workshop. We hope that these small-group discussions will help you to meet and learn more about your peers (in addition to learning from the mentor).
You might also find it helpful to take a look at the resources that we have included below in advance of the workshop - they contain collected advice that has been suggested by our mentors, and you might find that after reading these documents prompts additional questions.
The informal social time is our attempt to replicate the kind of organic conversation that happens at an in-person workshop in-between sessions. However, this is a very difficult experience to replicate virtually, and it requires active participation. We have two kinds of activities planned:
- Speed-networking: Join the Informal Social Time “Shuffle queue” to be randomly matched with up to 2 other participants of the workshop for a 5 minute conversation. At the end of the conversation, you could agree to continue chatting, or re-join the shuffle queue to be re-matched into another 5 minute conversation. This is a great way to meet new people with relatively low commitment - at the end of the 5 minutes you can choose to keep in touch, or to move on
- “Coffee break room”: We would strongly recommend joining the speed networking session for at least several chats. However, there will also be several SMeW “Coffee break rooms” - video chat rooms for casual conversation + lurking
Midspace has a built-in chat feature, and you can (and should!) use it throughout the conference to chat with each other, with mentors, and with us.
ICSE has a very large program of virtual events. ICSE’s virtual format this year is centered on short presentations with longer discussion sessions. Each presentation will be only 5 minutes, followed by a group discussion. These short presentations can provide a good overview of different topics, but will not go into significant depth. Each presentation will happen twice (one in each of the two time bands). Before the conference starts, you can browse the ICSE program and find papers that are interesting to you. Each paper has a link to a pre-print (a copy of the paper), as well as to a 20 minute presentation. Attending presentations and engaging with authors and other attendees is a great way to network at a virtual conference.
Our mentors have suggested the following resources that provide advice on many topics related to software engineering research. We encourage you to read and listen to lots of advice from many sources, but to think critically about how that advice applies to you. The person giving the advice might have had very different life experiences than you, and hence, it might not be useful/relevant. With that said, we will highlight CRA-E’s CONQUER resources for students as a resource that is fairly uniformly considered to be objectively excellent advice about how to apply to graduate schools.
- Alexander Serebrenik - “My Research Story (Presentation at ICSE 2022 New Faculty Symposium” ; “Peer reviews (and how to survive them)” ; “Service in Academia”
- Massimiliano Di Penta: “Being Successful with your PhD Without Crashing at the First Corner”
- Tayana Conte: (In Portuguese) How to enter the game - a talk with those who want to be a researcher , The Force that will be with you - a good mentor , “Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you” - talk about reviews
- CRA-E’s CONQUER resources for students
- CRA-WP’s Grad Cohort Workshop (See “Resources from past years” for a list of resources from past year’s workshops)
- Michael Ernst’s advice collection
- Alicia Grubb’s advice on reference letters
- Matt Might’s advice collection
- Tao Xie’s advice collection
- Yixue Zhao’s academic blog
- Andreas Zeller’s academic blog