Reasons to go to OOPSLA
In case you've ever considered going to OOPSLA, here are a couple of reasons that make it somewhat special compared to other conferences. For example, ...
... there were keynotes by various "old guys" such as Dave Parnas (architecture guru), Freed Brooks ("No Silver Bullet") and John McCarthy (Lisp). Not all of those
presentations were necessarily exciting and enlightening, but seeing these folks talk
is certainly a treat you'll only get at OOPSLA.
... I was sitting in the bar one evening listening in to a discussion about programming language concepts. What made this conversation special was the fact that the people discussing were Anders Hejlsberg (Turbo Pascal, Delphi, C#), Eric Meijer (LINQ, and general "language pimper"), Martin Odersky (Scala) and Dave Thomas (an old Smalltalk guy).
... there was a really extremely cool eveining keynote by Guy Steele and Dick Gabriel. The keynote was basically about interesting features in various historical programming languages. What made this talk stand out, however, was the fact that it was almost like a theater: superbly prepared slides, music and poems (and this really nice Lisp song
:-)). Dick and Guy didn't talk -- they recited their prepared script. At one point, Guy actually did some rap thing about a programming language :-) This was really different, absolutely great and the first talk on a tech conference, where the audience actually stood up at the end to applaud!
So, maybe you will consider going to OOPSLA next year :-) ?