I just got back from the InSITE dinner, and I had a lovely time. It was at Buffet Maharaja, an Indian restaurant right around the corner from my hotel. While Indian food is among my favorite, and the buffet was excellent, that wasn’t the most salient characteristic of the evening. Instead I spent the evening talking with an incredibly friendly group of people, including the conference chair and his wife. This is my first InSITE, but everyone has been very welcoming.
During the course of our conversation, the conference chair mentioned that the collegiality of the InSITE community was something that impressed him from his first conference. And while he’s right, I can’t say it’s unique to InSITE. Just about every small computing education conference I’ve attended (SIGITE and ITiCSE are foremost in my mind) has had a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. This is in sharp contrast to the theoretical computer science conferences I attended while I was in graduate school, which were so intimidating and hard to navigate. I’m grateful in so many ways to have landed in the research communities that I have.