Friday, January 19, 2007

Bookings open for ACCU Conference in April

A little bit late, you’ve probably heard the news already. Another year and another ACCU conference rolls around. This year’s line up looks like one of the best yet – but then I’m biased! Keynotes from I’ll be speaking at the conference on Friday afternoon. My subject is “Exposing Problems/Creating Awareness.” As with my other recent sessions at ACCU this will be about one third presentation and two thirds workshop. I expect the audience to help expand on the subject with their own ideas and experience.

In some ways I still can’t believe I’m on a conference programme next to the likes of Jim Coplien, John Lakos, Michael Feathers, the Poppendiecks and others.

Originally this was a C/C++ conference but it has grown, matured, changed and now takes in a range of subjects including C# and Java. Still C/C++ is well represented but so too are Agile and Lean topics. So just to be clear, read my lips: this is more than a C++ conference.

As it happens the C++ standards panel is meeting in the same hotel the week after the conference so a lot of people like Bjarne Stroustrup will probably be hanging around too. I always remember my first ACCU conference, I was in a presentation about some advanced C++ features and the presenter said “I don’t know why this feature is like this, I guess we’d have to ask Bjarne” and this little voice at the back of the room says “I think I did it like that because...” and there was Bjarne just sitting in the session with the rest of us.

Once again this year I’m on the programme organizing committee for this conference. I’ve been on this committee for four years now and I’ve enjoyed it. However this will be my last year on the committee. I’m stepping down to make way for new talent and to give myself a little more time to work on my book and other things.

During this four years the committee has taken the conference from strength to strength both in terms of material and in terms of attendees. One of the strong points of the conference is it has space for the big names of software development – the Stroustrups and Poppendiecks – but it also has space for people who have not presented before or are building their career.
As I described after last years conference.

Last year the conference sold out and we were bursting out of our venue, the Randolph Hotel in Oxford. So this year we’ve moved to the Paramount Oxford Hotel.

This hotel offers great facilities but unfortunately its not in the centre of Oxford, although it isn’t far out and is not in the middle of nowhere. The trouble is: there just aren’t that many big hotels in Oxford with the facilities we need for this conference.

The conference committee has, partly by accident, partly be design, fallen into a pattern of replacing one member per year. Last year Kevlin Henney stepped down and Tim Penhey joined the committee. This year I’ll step down and, well, we don’t know yet who will join the committee.

Anyway, you don’t have to join the committee to come to the conference. If your work means you are involved with software development and you want to advance your knowledge then book yourself a place today.