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ICFP 2017
Sun 3 - Sat 9 September 2017 Oxford, United Kingdom

On being a student volunteerWed 20 Sep 2017

I’m Rudy, a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of York (UK) under the supervision of Colin Runciman. My research is on tools to facilitate the testing of functional programs, such as: LeanCheck, Extrapolate, Speculate and FitSpec. I have presented a paper at the first day of the Haskell Symposium 2017 and a lightning talk about Extrapolate on HIW.

Recently, I had someone ask me: is being a student volunteer a lot of work? Does it hinder you from fully enjoying the conference? Doesn’t it take a lot of your time and you end up not going to talks you want to go?

TL;DR: I got to fully enjoy the conference and being a student volunteer actually helped.

Workload / working hours

About being a student volunteer: it does not take up much time. Of the 63 hours of conference time, I had to work for roughly 15 hours. My duties included:

  • helping with the serving of lunch (about 2 hours);
    • spending an afternoon at the registration desk (about 5 hours) and

    • filming one of the workshops (about 8 hours) – I got to see the entire workshop like everyone :-).

We are also recommended to post twice on the conference blog (this is post 2 of 2).

What if you are allocated to work during a session you want to attend?

I got lucky and was not allocated to any duty during the any sessions that I wanted to attend. For my colleagues that ended up allocated during sessions they wanted to attend, it was simply a matter of walking up to one of the SV captains and asking for a swap with someone else.


Be a student volunteer. :-)