I was back by Saturday 25th actually, but haven’t found the time to post about this until now.

It was a great week in Nashville, attending PLoP and OOPSLA, while helping out as a student volunteer. The entire environment was very nice, a lot of interesting people (including some big-name gurus!), talks, and overall socialization. It’s so hard to digest this much information though, specially when it’s given to you in such a condensed way…

I must say I was impressed by how productive PLoP was for me. The entire writer’s workshops model is just great, but I agree with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock when she says they are hard work, and really depend on who is there — if we don’t fully read the other attendees papers before the workshop, there’s no way it’s going to work. We’ve brought back great insights on our paper, and the satisfaction of both some inspiring discussions and having made some new friends — btw, the conference version of our paper is already publically available, but we’re working on a revised one for publication.

As me and Hugo have discussed while we were there, this is a community with a real passion for what they do. That’s something I can really relate to, and which I have, sadly, only found in very few places. I’m really looking forward to be there next year!

OOSPLA was also a great experience, but in a different way. It’s a much bigger conference, of course, so it’s harder to find the right people (which, is apparently a contradiction, as it could imply a higher probability of finding interesting people, but I digress… ). So the ones I ended up exchanging more ideas with were the other student volunteers. A great bunch, I must say! As to the conference activities, I particularly enjoyed the tutorials; I went to The Art of Telling Your Design Story, by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and to Introducing New Ideas into Your Organization and Project Retrospectives, by Linda Rising and Mary Lynn Manns. I had to miss some promising conference events due to my SV duties, but student volunteering in a good experience nonetheless, and I’m glad to have been part of it — I’ll definitely try to apply as a SV again if I manage to go to OOPSLA 2009 (which will be help in Orlando, Florida).