This is a guest post and part of our ongoing Student Life series
In May this year I attended the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) in Austin, Texas. The first time I had travel internationally, not for family or leisure but for a purpose I had earnt through my own hard work, presenting my work at a conference. It was a very rewarding and proud feeling.

ICSE is the leading conference in the field of software engineering and on being told I was going I was overwhelmed with excitement about the things I would learn, people I would meet and experience I would gain. I looked through the committee and presenters and made a “hit list” of people I wanted to talk with. Going to ICSE was one of my main goals when I became a researcher due to its high standards and that I work in software engineering in my research, I never expected to get there so soon.

The venue was stunning and very spacious with so many attendees and the conference itself lasted a whole week. It was very interesting to experience as the conference and co-hosted conferences each had their own cultures, styles and trends. I found it very valuable to observe this and took notes on how I would write my next paper for a better chance to fit in and thus be accepted.

The most informative and also inspiring talk was the presentation given by John Anvik which was given for winning the most influential paper “Who Should Fix This Bug?”. The paper was one of the first ones I read when I started my honours and based a lot of early work on. John presented a brief overview of the work before showing how the work has evolved over the ten years through various different authors and approaches. Lastly he lamented on the ICSE community, how it’s helped him, how his formed friends for life and how they have supported him throughout the years. I found the whole talk very informative but also touching.