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Debian Developers Weighed The Idea Of Not Allowing Q&A Sessions At Their Conference

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  • Debian Developers Weighed The Idea Of Not Allowing Q&A Sessions At Their Conference

    Phoronix: Debian Developers Weighed The Idea Of Not Allowing Q&A Sessions At Their Conference

    Debian developers have been discussing what to many seems like a rather unorthodox idea of not allowing questions/answers following presentations at their annual DebConf conference. This idea of banning questions and answers follows a policy by a Python conference that forbids questions/answers following presentations and is meant to help ease newcomers...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...Possible-No-QA

  • #2
    WTF? Q&A is often the most interesting part of a talk. Giving a public presentation can be a rather daunting thing for people not used to it for sure, but I don't think always skipping Q&A is going to help much. Let each presenter decide for themselves, at least.

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    • #3
      What happened to the obvious approach of making individual decisions? Ask the speaker if he wants to include a Q&A session in his presentation, and notice the decision on the agenda.
      Who needs a "policy" for such a trivial choice?

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      • #4
        In my opinion Q&A is the most easy part in presentation.

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        • #5
          A way to avoid being thrown full with systemd and flatpak questions.

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          • #6
            Not allowing Q&A sessions? But they are an important part of many presentations. It's plain stupid to disallow Q&As when the speakers can handle it. And if the newcomers would like to do Q&As but aren't experienced enough, at least offer them someone knowledgeable on the topic, to help them fill in the gaps. How else can they learn how to do Q&As if not actually doing it?

            Q&As shouldn't be mandatory, but they should be encouraged and supported.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dwagner View Post
              Ask the speaker if he wants to include a Q&A session in his presentation, and notice the decision on the agenda.
              I agree completely. Though obviously it is to avoid embarrassing those with a weak or slightly dodgy agenda. I.e imagine if Intel gave a talk and was the only talk with "No Questions" next to their door

              I see Q&A the closest form of peer review in the wild west style world of open-source conferences and it will be sad to see them killed off in the name of "newcomers". Who are these newcomers anyway? If they cannot answer questions then they might also want to reconsider their talk and choose something in a topic that they are more confident with.

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              • #8
                Well that's a pretty novel way to counter reductio ad absurdum-arguments against what you're suggesting. Suggest something so absurd you simply can't reduce your logic to the point of absurdity because it's already like something out of a Monty Python sketch.

                /Sarcasm

                Seriously thou, I get the feeling somebody didn't quite think this trough as newcomers this is supposed to help are obviously the ones who have the most to gain in asking Qs in a Q&A session.
                "Why should I want to make anything up? Life's bad enough as it is without wanting to invent any more of it."

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                • #9
                  I thought the whole point of presentations was that instead of discussing without any prepared material, you had this more formal process of presenting these preliminary results and ideas you'd like to share to have a more constructive common ground for criticism. Some first time speakers might not be ok using english and/or answering politically loaded, extremely technical, or aggressive comments, but other than that, this sounds pretty much like a dumb idea. First steps towards censorship. But I guess the LGBTQ+ folks cheer every time they manage to expand the definition of space.

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                  • #10
                    I'll say the same thing I do about sites with no comments section after their articles:

                    No thank you. You'll find me elsewhere. (As previous commenters have said, both because Q&A is often the most interesting part and because it acts as a sort of peer-review check against flawed talks.)

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