The OOPSLA conference, originally about object-oriented programming, was the seedbed for a lot of the early conversations about Agile. It’s fallen on hard times these past several years. Now that object-oriented programming is ubiquitous; the easy patterns have been mined and the next step beyond pattern catalogs faltered; and Agile has gone off into its own conferences, OOPSLA has struggled to avoid just being the place where (1) academics go to present papers on making Java fast and (2) old comrades go for the yearly reunion.

That said, the Onward! track and the workshops remain happening places. You can say pretty edgy things—I still remember fondly the time one person said of my position paper that he’d shown it to his wife (a physician) and her opinion was that if I actually believed that, I was clinically insane. (Sadly, I don’t remember what position paper that was. Maybe I should be alarmed that it doesn’t stand out.) Even better: people will actually talk to you about your edgy ideas, help you refine them, help you make them useful. That happened to me a fair amount, so I’m grateful.

So I’d give OOPSLA a look. For exampe, here is a workshop about Agile methods in new contexts.

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