WWDC 2010: Worth Every Minute

Monday 06/14/2010  –  Category: Uncategorized

Going to WWDC is a pilgrimage that every Apple developer should make, and as a first-timer it was quite a spiritual experience.

On keynote Monday, I arrived just before 6am at Moscone West and found the line already wrapped around three-quarters of the building. Anticipation and excitement increased as the hours slowly passed. Finally at around 9:30am they opened the keynote room, causing a small stampede of folks trying to try get a seat close to the stage.

In the keynote room, the atmosphere was electric. Press photographers were posted with their huge telephoto lenses poised at the main stage, and everyone in the crowd was trying to connect to the congested wifi network in efforts to communicate with the outside world. Throughout Steve's presentation my attention was split between furiously taking notes on Google Wave and trying to take in the whole experience.

The conference really does bring developers from around the world; throughout the week I met folks from France, Germany, Australia, and more. I also noticed that there was a good distribution of younger and more experienced older folks who have been around the block. However, you could tell by the bathroom lines that the gender split was much more uneven...probably about 97/3.

The catered lunch was not bad the first day, but after that variations on the sandwich/wrap got old very quickly. Thankfully, snacks throughout between sessions and my favorite--Odwalla drinks--kept me awake throughout the day.

Though I can't delve into details of the sessions, I can say that their quality was top notch. They started and ended on time, the presentations were well rehearsed and of high content quality, and the demos were fantastic. I'm glad that they will be available for download later, because they went by fast. I found the labs very helpful as well. It was really nice having an Apple engineer to ask questions and help you through specific issues in code.

During the conference I was a bit starstruck when I met the developers of some really popular apps: Angry Birds, Words With Friends, Bump, Things... I had to remind myself that behind every app there are developers, who are real people.

WWDC is a unique gathering of tons of smart people, bleeding-edge technology, and exciting new software, all in one place. I learned a ton, met lots of cool developers, and left saturated with new information and ideas.

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