A few weeks ago, I talked about the reviewing process for NSDI and LATIN. I suppose now is a reasonable time for an update.
LATIN is nearing the end of the reviewing process. I think it went well -- my top ranked papers seem to be being accepted, my low ranked papers are not. There's been some electronic discussion of papers where there was wide disagreement, but we're not having an on-site PC meeting, and overall there's been surprisingly little discussion on my papers. Because LATIN is a "2nd tier" conference, I had previously suggested that I expected there would be some wide deviations among review scores, "corresponding to different opinions about how interesting something is". There were in fact some wide scoring discrepancies, though this may not have been the primary reason. I was a reviewer on multiple papers where one reviewer really didn't seem to "get" the paper -- in most cases, ranking it high when I thought the ranking should be lower. (I imagine the scores will change before the reviews come back to the authors.) I've seen similar problems even in other, stronger theory conferences -- selecting 3 reviewers who are expert on the subject of paper in a broad theory conference is very difficult to consistently get right, especially when subreviewers come into play -- though I think it was more problematic here, where the papers are weaker on average in any case. Finally, I still don't like the easychair interface that much.
The NSDI reviews have been, for me, substantially more interesting, no doubt in part because the papers are more interesting (to me). The "first round" is nearing the end, and at least on my papers, the review scores are remarkably consistent. In cases where they aren't consistent, there's usually a clear reason for the discrepancy that comes out in the reviews, which tend to be longer and more detailed for systems conferences. While that's all very satisfying, at this point I'm hoping to be offered some dramatically more controversial papers to look at for Round 2, or I'll be finding the PC meeting pretty boring. (I should note I have a paper submitted to NSDI, so I reserve the right to either completely trash the reviewing system, or sing its praises ever-higher, depending on the eventual outcome.) Finally, I still like the hotcrp interface a lot.
I get asked to serve on a number of PCs, and usually, I make efforts to serve, because I believe such service is important to the community. But I must say, doing these two at roughly the same time has led me to think I'll be more circumspect in the future. The older I get, the more precious time seems to become, and perhaps I've just reached a point where I think I've done enough PC service that I can be choosier about what I agree to, aiming for things that are more enjoyable. At the same time, I wouldn't want everyone to start acting that way, since then I imagine it would be tough to get good PCs together for the many conferences we have.