This will be my first time at WWDC – the Apple Event of the year – and I cannot state how excited I am. Yet, part of me is also very nervous and partly scared – I just don’t know what to expect and how to take the most advantage of this possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and there are soooo many choices for things to do – how do I pick the right one?!!!
Luckily, I attended the first event in a sea of upcoming WWDC events yesterday- a Core Sushi dinner organized by @janeylicious. Most of the people I talked to during dinner have been to at least one WWDC before, so I asked them for tips. I’m mostly writing these down in preparation for Monday for myself, but hopefully others will benefit.
Read the First Timers Guide
Labs vs Sessions
Outside the big Keynote on Monday, the rest of WWDC week consists of Labs and Sessions. Labs are where Apple Engineers who are building the tools we’re using are there to answer questions, and Sessions are where you learn the coding details for the new iOS / XCode / OSX features presented during the Keynote.
As a few people already mentioned to me (thanks @jonfriskics, @andyeb, and @janeylicious), the sessions will be video-taped, so you’ll be able to watch them online later at any time. Therefore, make sure to TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE LABS! As @janeylicious mentioned, you can’t even PAY for the level of support you get at the labs.
@janeylicious also mentioned that the UI lab is really really popular. So if you don’t have specific questions about anything else, you can at least show an app you’re working on and get feedback on the design and user interaction.
I’m excited that I actually do have a pretty big question for an app I’m working on, so I’ll be able to take advantage of the labs! Of course, now I have to take the time to really prep my question.
Apparently there is an Overflow room. So if you don’t get in line early on Monday, you might be put in a room other than the main Keynote room. There are about 5,000 attendees, and the big Keynote room only holds about 2,000 people.
How early should you get in line? I’ve heard around 5 or 6am. Of course, if you want a seat in one of the “front” rows, 2-3am is optimal. Some extremest will be there in line starting today (Sunday).
I put the “front” row in quotes, because apparently all the seats in the front are reserved for VIP people. The closest we can sit is actually not that close. One person told me the best solution is to get a seat with a good view of the monitor.
I’ll be heading over to the line tomorrow sometime between 4 and 5am. Wish me luck!
No ticket, no problem
This might be some late advice, but I was surprised how many people during yesterday’s dinner didn’t have WWDC tickets. One person flew to SF from Bolivia without a ticket. This year, there is even a whole Alt Conf for those who didn’t get a ticket. There are just so many events going on, that even if you don’t have a ticket, but you’re an iOS developer, you will get a TON out of the experience.
I heard Alt Conf even has Labs run by Apple employees, so definitely come out here next year no matter what. I’m embarrassed to say that although I’ve lived in SF for the past 4 years, I have never thought to join in on all the fun without a ticket.
Let’s be honest, I’m really going to WWDC for the food! Lol. Just kidding, of course, but I do hate being hungry. From what I’ve seen so far, I thought Apple only provides lunch. However, from talking to people who’ve attended WWDC previously, it looks like there is breakfast, lunch, drinks, and snacks throughout the day, so no need to worry.
If you’re attending WWDC this year, or just in town and going to lots of parties, let me know in the comments or on Twitter and maybe we can meet up!
Have any other WWDC Expert tips for me?! Let me know in the comments!