This will be my first PLDI and first ECOOP experience. I'm looking forward to it. My background has not been in PL but in numerics and HPC. This conference will a nice step on my transition to the PL world. It is one thing to read the papers, but it is another to meet the personalities, and talk to both the old-hats and the newcomers.
The biggest difficulty in all this is choosing what talks to make and what to miss. Between the two conferences, the several workshops, and all the tutorials, this is an insanely packed week.
And frankly, I can't wait for the conference. Yes, it should be fun and exciting, but also, we can call this conference program done. A note to whoever has to do the next conference: keep all the conference info in a master document whose starting format is easily translated. For this year, someone else did the website first, and the conference program was made from those pages. Blech. Getting good design and layout from a web page onto paper is a mess. Endless cut and pasting, and then endless last minute updates make for a mess and more work that is necessary.