VikingPLoP is made of a set of activities that aim to build community of trust, as well as friendly but effective environment for giving and getting feedback on your work and sharing expertise. The conference differs drastically from traditional conferences, for example, there are no powerpoints at all.
Here is explanation what different events of the conference are about.
New comers intro
In this first session, we will outline the structure of the conference. Practical information about the arrangements is given.
In VikingPLoP we don't use name badges. This special game in the first conference day is held so that everybody gets to know each other and learn their names. This is an event you don't want to miss.
One of the unique features of the PLoP series of conferences is the emphasis we place on non-technical, right-brain activities.
We try to create an environment that exercises the parts of the mind and body that have nothing at all to do with developing
software but have a lot to do with finding and writing patterns (whether they are software patterns or any other kind).
Each day is started with get-together. It gives an overview of the days programme and announcements. If you are interested in organizing a BOF session in the evening you can announce it during the daily overview. Birds Of a Feather (BOFs) sessions are ad hoc sessions that anybody can announce and they take place after the day's official program. Contents and format of a BOF session is up to the group joining the session.
Writers' workshops are at the core of the VikingPLoP program. In these workshops we discuss accepted pattern papers.
Pattern papers may consist of an individual pattern or of a pattern language. Writers' workshops follow a special
format which has been adopted from reviewing poetry. Before the conference, everybody reads each other's papers.
In the actual workshop, authors give each other feedback on their work in a peer review fashion. Each writers' workshop
contains 5 to 8 papers; a session of around an hour is devoted to each paper. In such a session, the authors of the paper
under discussion remain silent while the other authors have a discussion about it, and explain what additional insights
and views they have. This confirms that the pattern can stand alone. Authors (as well as non-authors who may join) stay
with their workshop over the entire conference. This way authors get a lot of ideas on how they can improve their work.
Open space / nap time
Believe it or not, PLoP is hard work and you might sometimes feel exhausted. That's why we have nap time in the conference program. Alternatively, this time can be used to arrange open space sessions. In many cases, the coffee breaks and open space is the best part of an academic conference - you talk to people, network and get new ideas for your research. If you wish to announce open space session you are free to do so during daily overview and see if there are people with similar interests in the crowd.
Beer & Sauna
PLoPs are also about networking. This is a great chance to meet people over beer and enjoy traditional Finnish sauna. It is even possible to roll on the snow after the sauna.
Walk & Toboggan Hill
In this event we want to reflect a little bit. We are going to take toboggans with us and walk to the top of the Kaunispää fjeld. On the way, we will talk about the conference and about things we liked and things we did not enjoy so much. Once we have reached the top of the Kaunispää fjeld we will take the 1 200 meters long toboggan hill down. Be sure to have warm clothes on as the snow will be dusting when riding down hill in toboggan.
Enjoy the culinary highlight of the conference. There is no need to wear a suit for this event. Between courses we will change seats.
We want to know your opinion of the conference. In this session we will gather things to keep (what you enjoyed) and things to improve.
This is a special game session where we will do the traditional PLoP closing ceremony. This is an opportunity to say farewells to your newly made friends.
Forging links to other pattern authors is one of the most important activities at VikingPLoP. This is the reason why all
meals (breakfast, coffee breaks, lunch, and dinner) are taken together which gives you lots of opportunities for meeting
new interesting pattern enthusiasts.