I think OOPSLA is the best d*mned programming conference in the world: there is nothing else like it. OOPSLA is where people learn what they need todayand learn what they will be doing tomorrow. This is as true for programmers in the trenches as it is for researchers and academics and educators.
Long-time OOPSLA Attendee / Iconoclast
OOPSLA was founded in 1986 by the earliest of early adopters: researchers and practitioners thrilled by the prospects of object-oriented programming. Now, as we convene for the twentieth time, objects are utterly mainstream, the very foundation of a great deal of the world's software. But the thrill of creation is addictive, and OOPSLA has developed a strong tradition of being the spawning ground for new ideas, artifacts, and movementsthings like software patterns, aspects, refactoring, reflection, Eclipse, UML, and the Agile methods. At OOPSLA, languages like Smalltalk, CLOS, C++, Beta, Self, Eiffel, C#, and Java have sprouted and bloomed, contributing their underlying ideas and expressive power to the pool of computing concepts. OOPSLA strives to mingle people on the vanguard of research, and practitioners in the trenches who are reflecting upon and trying to understand just about every facet of software and programming.
People at OOPSLA like to interact in all sorts of ways, so we have papers, posters, and presentations; workshops, tutorials, and essays; lightning talks, panels, and films; and receptions, BoFs, and a special eventthis year it's the San Diego Zoo. All this plus Practitioner's Reports, DesignFest, and Camp Smalltalk.
People at OOPSLA like to learn from each other and from the masters, so we have sessions selected from the very cream of our carefully refereed submissions, alongside talks and events planned around invited participants. This year we have people who built the mainstream: people like Grady Booch (co-creator of the Unified Process) and Ralph Johnson (coauthor of Design Patterns); we have people who challenge the mainstream like Ward Cunningham (inventor of Wikis), Dave Ungar (inventor of Self), Kent Beck (software patterns, XP), and James Noble; we have people who insist on inventing the future like Gerry Sussman (co-inventor of Scheme), Jimmy Wales (the father of Wikipedia), and David P. Reed (inventor of the TCP/IP end-to-end argument and co-developer of Croquet, the ultimately flexible tool for exploration); and we have people who buttress the present like Martin Fowler, Ivar Jacobson, and Mary Beth Rosson.
Because OOPSLA is hosted by ACM, it's independent of any vendor or supplier. OOPSLA is the only place where you can find out about the next version of Java one day, the new release of C# the nextand then debate with experts about their merits over a beer in the evening. Say you need to integrate Sun's J2EE and Microsoft's .Net? Do Generative Development via IBM's Eclipse? Perhpas you want to use the RUP process to do Agile Programming? OOPSLA is the unbiased professional event where engineers and developersnot marketeers or evangelistshelp you find out what you really need to know.
This year we have two co-located conferences devoted to topics that are only now entering into the early mainstream: the Dynamic Languages Symposium and the Social Software Symposium. Our focus is on creativity and innovation, anchored by a keynote by Robert Hass (the former poet laureate of the United States), continuing with the Working With Vision panel, and the Instant Art School Experience.
Interested in finding out about IBM's new X10 programming language? Using Wikis in Softare Development? Ambient Programming? Agents? Scrapheap Programming? What to do with three million lines of legacy COBOL? The things you'll end up doing tomorrow (or next week, or next year) you'll first hear about at this year's OOPSLA!
We are especially proud of Onward!, our innovative track for altering or redefining the art by proposing leaps forwardor sideways.
We'll even take a look Backward!, in a retrospective session celebrating the tenth anniversary of Java, featuring Guy L. Steele Jr., and with a multimedia reminiscence of OOPSLAs gone by, featuring an all-star cast.
There's a lot to learn about OOPSLA. Visit the OOPSLA website to get it all.