OOPSLA versus traditional conferences

Matt Berther bio photo By Matt Berther Comment

I have been to several flavors of VSLive among other development conferences. This is the first OOPSLA conference I've ever been to.

Which one do I prefer? OOPSLA, by a mile! You're probably asking why...

VSLive works from a practitioner's point of view. VSLive is very good at telling you how to do something. For example, this is how you should write a web service with ASP.NET. OOPSLA definitely takes the academic route. OOPSLA gets you to think more about developing software from a hypothetical standpoint. It's not expected to produce an immediate result. I'd much rather learn more on how to think about a problem, rather than being told how to solve a problem.

The stats for this years OOPSLA are about 1200 attendees from 46 countries. Over 430 people from overseas. This is pretty impressive. The other day, as part of the DesignFest, I ended up having lunch with my group, which included 2 people from Canada, one person from Switzerland, and another person originally from Russia, now living in Finland. Making these types of acquaintances and being able to talk with people on the other side of the world about how they develop software is something you will never get at a VSLive type of event.

OOPSLA 2007 is in Montreal next year. If you've never gone, I strongly encourage you to go. You have no idea what you're missing. Knowing what I know now, Im fairly disappointed that I've not gone before now. I know for a fact that I will not miss next year...