As a conference organizer (and previously proposal reviewer) I get to see a lot of new tool related proposals that don't do too good in getting selected for the major conferences. Even with open-source type of approach, they still appear sales pitches. Sometimes giving the visibility is justified, and my rule of selection, I notice, is basing on the users other than the developers.
So I wonder: what are the forums in which these great innovators of new tools meet? Where do they go to see if other people are solving the same problems? Are any of the places online, so that travel cost would not be preventive?
(There's one academic background tool that I really want to get more info on, about multi-locators. Yep, the challenge of locating an element in Selenium is something I experience and would love to see if there is something that helps with that for real)
I'm also thinking through (with support from my European Testing Conference co-organizers) my personal stance: what would make a tool-based presentation stand out enough to be presented in "mainstream" conference, even when the focus is both on how testers and developers perceive testing? What are the challenges in the world of developer testing that are so interesting that they deserve to be highlighted?
Most conferences just reject these proposals, we've selected an approach where we talk to each of our submitters and with them taking the time to submit with us, I'd really like to help them forward even if the conference does not seem like the right place this time.
Ideas and views are welcome.