Friday, April 04, 2008

At ACCU conference


I am at ACCU conference this again, tonight is the last night so we have the speakers dinner. As usual the conference is very good. As usual there is little C# or Java but C++ is by no means dominant, in fact there are more sessions on functional programming languages (Haskell, Erlang and Lisp) than C++.

Its always troubled me that we don’t have more Java and C# but I think I understand now. The kind of people who come to ACCU like a certain type of programming challenge, you find this in C++ but not so much in Java or C#, this is partly because Java and C# do there job well and partly because they are, well, shall we say, a little boring. They do what they are supposed to. Because of the way C++ has developed, and the type of applications it is used for includes more of these challenges.

(Having said that, I had a conversation the other day which started: Java is not as interesting as C++, in fact Java is boring, but reflection is interesting. And annotation. And the libraries, and ....)

It seems functional languages too have these challenges. People here are very excited about all things functional. Already it looks like next year will have plenty of Haskell, Erland, Lisp etc.

There are also lots of other interesting sessions - my own sessions on management went well, I’ll post details soon.

Some other high lights:
Tom Gilb’s sessions on management and EVO have been great
• Gail Ollis and Dirk Haun have done really good sessions and shown themselves to be up and coming C-list presenters
• Sean Parent hide a hard core C++ talk inside an excellent session on the Adobe Source Libraries - libraries which look well worth checking out.
Roman Pichler ‘Is the project manager an endangered species?’ was more of a ‘Quick introduction to SCRUM’ but still interesting and useful
Simon Peyton-Jones showed himself to be an entertaining speaker and really excited the audience with his keynotes on parallelism and functional languages

Oddly, for the first time ever I’ve found myself with spare time on my hands at the conference. Not a lot but the odd session were I was not interesting in anything - although there were more sessions were I wanted to be in two places at once. I think this is more a reflection on myself, I’m increasingly post-technical and the technical session here are hard core. There were plenty of management sessions but I didn’t want to go to them all.

Right, to dinner!