An update on the student program

published at 30.08.2016 14:04 by Jens Weller

Age requirement has been dropped for students

There has been no real news on this for quite a while, and its still too early to go live with this years student program. But I can share some thoughts and how the student program will continue from this year on.

The student program was started two years ago with the help of think-cell, previously in 2013 I offered already a few, discounted student tickets. But with the help of think-cell, it was possible to bring 50 Students to the conference in the last two years. Also think-cell organized a great workshop for the students on Thursday. This year, due to a lack in personal/staff resources, think-cell is not able to help out in organizing the student program. Which is sad, and as of today, no other sponsor has stepped up to take on the pledge to continue. So, there is no sponsored student program in this year. But I want to thank think-cell for sponsoring and enabling Meeting C++ to run this student program for 2 years!

This years student program

I wasn't to happy about having no student program at all. On the other hand, without one, I could sell more tickets and the conference would be financially better off, as the student program never was meant to generate a profit at all. But doing so would not really be in the community or my own interest, as I still think that its important to enable young people to visit the conference. I have been thinking about this for a while now, and now the fundamentals of a student program 2.0 are standing.

Let me start with the things I'd like to change. First, as a fun fact, I could have never been a part of the student program my self, as I never studied. Yet, I really would have loved to be part of this. I don't want to exclude people which are in an apprenticeship or similar trainings to become a qualified IT professional. So, for now I plan to open the student program for everyone in a age range of 18-25 and students. This will be checked at the conference (age or student ID), student tickets will not be transferable!

How should selection work? This is a very interesting topic, until now, it was in the interest to select only the best, which meant selection was based on the grades students had. As it was the least discriminitory available, also as one of the motivations for such a program is usually HR, its in the interest of the sponsor. To be honest, I was never a big fan of this, but understood why this was the preferred way. Yet, I lack the resources of continueing this tradition, plus that I don't really like to compare grades. So, from this year on, the selection will be based on a random draw. Maybe std::shuffle could do that job? I plan on drawing the first n winners from the pool of submitters (if n > pool.size).

As there is no sponsor, I think that the conference is able to host 25 students this year, minimum. This number might be again at 50, especially if a sponsor for the workshop is found. The students still have to cover their expenses for travel and hotel. Also the student program is without possibility of recourse to legal action.

Winners will be notified by end of October, I still have to see when the deadline should be exactly. Winners still need to be able to make travel arrangements etc. I hope to be able to bring the webforms and other details online by next week.