Open Until August 31
Lightning Talks



Chair: Steve Berczuk, Steve Berczuk & Associates, panels@oopsla.org.

Important Dates

Submissions due date: March 18, 2005

Notification of acceptance or rejection: May 9, 2005

If you'd like feedback on an idea before you submit a proposal, please contact the Panels Chair in advance of the deadline; earlier is better than later, but 4-6 weeks before the deadline will allow sufficient time to work on your idea.


OOPSLA panels have consistently been among the best-attended and well-received attractions at the conference. The best panels offer an engaging, entertaining and informative examination of a timely topic from a variety of viewpoints. OOPSLA panels offer a unique forum to spotlight emerging issues. They also give the OOPSLA community a way to tackle controversial and divisive topics head-on in a fun, interactive way that can shed welcome light on the issues we all must deal with.


Past formats have included:

  • The traditional panel format, featuring the presentation of positions, followed by a moderated discussion among the panelists, and questions from the floor.
  • Formal debates permit an informed, presentation of starkly opposing positions. This format may be particularly suitable for more narrow, highly technical topics.
  • More exotic formats that have included, courtroom simulations, game shows, and reality television shows have worked in the past. Audiences appreciate being entertained as well as informed.

While will continue to accept proposals based on traditional formats, we encourage you to be creative and innovative as well.

Part of the enduring appeal of OOPSLA panels is that they have customarily showcased the opinions of leading researchers and industry leaders. This is a tradition we will hope to continue to uphold. We hope as well, however, to move beyond the usual gurus and gadflies, and feature a broader cross-section of the OOPSLA community in this year's panel program. Panelists need not be experts; dispatches from the trenches can prove at least as enlightening as the latest sound bites from the usual suspects.

Panels that have the potential for audience interaction can be particularly effective. For example, an extensive audience question and answer period, a roaming microphone for soliciting audience feedback and questions, audience submitted questions that the moderator poses to the panelists, or any other format the engages the audience in an active way.


OOPSLA panels can address topics that cover any theme that could be of interest to the OOPSLA community, which includes software researchers and practitioners.

With the 20 thAnniversary OOPSLA we'd like to encourage submissions with a broader retrospective cast that examine some of the currents that have sprung from or run through OOPSLA over the years.

The important thing is that the topics have some element of controversy and/or novelty. OOPSLA audiences prefer that there be a certain degree of discordance among these positions. Hence, you are encouraged to seek out panelists with contrasting opinions. Panels where all the panelists agree are generally not that interesting. However, the panels do not have to be about topics that have stark contrasts; a panel where everyone agrees on an idea but for different reasons can be successful.

If there is an issue that periodically generates lots of discussion and controversy in your workplace or on a (computing-related) discussion list, you may be able to shape that into a panel discussion topic if you can find people who will take the various sides of the argument.

Some areas that are possible candidates for a panel include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Processes, Methods and Teams
  • Tools and Languages
  • Design Approaches and Techniques
  • Collaboration Tools and Techniques: Wikis, Agile techniques, Traditional techniques.
  • The form and content of OOPSLA and related conferences.

Submission Process

Electronic submission of proposals is required through the OOPSLA submission system. Other submissions will not be accepted.

Submissions must include:

  • A description of no more than 500 words for the proposed panel, including the format of the panel, a clear description of what the panel is about and a description of why the panel meets the needs of the OOPSLA audience. This is to help us evaluate the panel proposal.
  • A brief abstract of 100 words or fewer for the proposed panel, with a concise description of what the panel is about and why the panel meets the needs of the OOPSLA audience. This will be for inclusion in the program if the panel is accepted.
  • Position statements from each of the panelists, which should include a short statement of their position on the topic as well as biographical information and contact information and
  • A biography of the proposed moderator. (The position statement and bio should total no more than 150 words per panelists).

Submission Guidelines

A successful panel proposal should hold out the prospect that the panel will be both informative and entertaining and that audience members will leave the panel smarter than when they arrived.

Panel submitters should be aware that we will usually work closely with them to refine and enhance their submissions.

For More Information

Feel free to contact the panels chair, Steve Berczuk  at panels@oopsla.org in advance of submission date if you have an idea for a panel, wish to be considered as a panelist, or require other panel-related information or clarification. We encourage people with ideas for panels to contact us early so that we can help to develop the ideas, and/or suggest panelists.