This PLDI was an excellent experience overall. I was able to meet many new and old colleagues in the PLDI community. As a volunteer I assisted with any needs at the WAX workshop, which was very insightful. There were many interesting talks at this workshop, and I am looking forward to the authors to continue their work.
The PLDI talks were all very high quality as well. I tried to attend most of the talks, but made sure to pace myself to not get overly exhausted early on. All of the plenary speakers also had lots of insight, and it was interesting to see their perspective on what the future open problems there are for us to continue working on.
The really valuable experiences during PLDI was spending time networking with others during the lunch and dinner times. I was able to exchange business cards with many academic and industry professionals at each meal which was one of my goals. Spending time sharing my research with others also gave me many insights into how to take my project further, and many friendly suggestions were made on papers to read that may be of interest. I am very happy to have had funding provided from the NSF to attend. Attending conferences is one of the most important parts of a graduate students career, as it leads to new ideas, leads on jobs, and a chance to learn from excellent mentors outside of ones institution.