ACCU 2009 Conference aftermath

The conference is over, and I needed the last week to recover from it—being the conference chair is always very rewarding but also quite exhausting, even when the conference goes smoothly (and, perhaps, staying up until late drinking beers while enjoying quite a few chats with the various delegates and speakers had an impact on that as well).

Given the current economic climate, the attendance was incredible. There were around 350 people; that was almost as many as in 2008 (the difference was about 10 people less in 2009). And this at a time when several conferences lost a big chunk of their size an others closed down completely. In fact, several delegates told me that this time they were paying for the conference out of their own pockets, but the programme looked so good that they couldn’t possibly miss it!

The conference started (as I hoped) with a bit of controversy caused by a keynote from Robert Martin (Uncle Bob) entitled “The Birth Of Software Craftsmanship” followed by an end of day keynote on the same day by Nicolai Josuttis entitled “Welcome Crappy CodeThe Death of Code Quality”. The slides will be online on the conference website soon. In the meantime you can read the blog entry written by Bob Martin about it here.

On a non-software related note, I was quite proud of the fact that the keynote from Baroness Susan Greenfield entitled “Geeks, Nerds and Other Prejudices”—in which she debunked some myths on gender differences—was received with an huge ovation (we had to ask people to stop applauding because we were running late!) proving that, despite of being a mostly male audience, was, by no means, a chauvinistic one.

Being the conference chair, I’ll keep my preferences to myself. However, you can have a look at what other people have already written about it (I expect more to be published):

Finally, I co-presented a workshop with Kevlin Henney and Peter Sommerlad on “Patterns of Simplicity” whose results (not all of them just yet, we are working on it) can be found in the SimpleCode wiki . Kevlin, Peter and I, in the last few years, have been running sessions on simple code alone and together. Hopefully, we’ll make an impact, since I’m quite tired of working on fixing unnecessarily complicated code bases.