I’ve resolved to say “no” to at least one good idea each week. It’s going to be hard—the world is full of fun things that need to be done, and I’d like to do ‘em all—but I won’t have any right to whine about there not being enough hours in the day if I don’t start cutting stuff.
Today, I said “no” to running a DemoCamp at SIGCSE’09. For those who haven’t been, DemoCamp is like open mike night at your local pub, but for technical types: people give live five-minute demos of something new and exciting, and the audience gives feedback. SIGCSE is the big annual Computer Science education conference: more than a thousand people get together to talk about everything from what language to use in first year courses to how to measure teaching’s impact on industrial practice.
A lot of SIGCSE attendees build cool tools; giving half a dozen of them a chance to get up and show their stuff off seemed like a natural fit. But it would take organizing—lots of organizing, since it would be the first one—and that would take time away from the research I’m supposed to be doing, the students I’m supposed to be supervising, and the funding I ought to be chasing to support numbers one and two.
Why can’t I give up eating beets instead?