The most recent ITiCSE conference just concluded, and I had the privilege not only of attending but also of presenting as part of a panel on computational thinking. The panel was a reworked version of one that two of us had submitted with several other people to the 2013 SIGCSE Symposium. The reviews for the Symposium version of the panel were quite good, with everyone agreeing that it was worth accepting, and yet the panel was rejected. I felt quite disappointed at the time, especially given that I knew of at least three panels that were accepted with (in some cases significantly) lower reviews. (Have I said that I have honest and supportive friends?)
Rather than give up, I decided to try again. Not everyone on the original panel could make it to the UK, but we recruited an excellent replacement, rewrote a bit, and resubmitted. This time it was accepted. In retrospect, I think that I’m glad it appeared at ITiCSE rather than the Symposium. The panel was very well received, with multiple people complimenting us on our work. I’ve already had three people ask for my slides, and one person suggested the possibility of future presentations or collaborations. I’m not sure it would have gotten the same attention at the larger Symposium. So once again I’m reminded that getting what you think you want isn’t always the best thing. It’s helpful to see that lesson again.