WWDC is the yearly Apple developer conference. With over 5000 attendees and 1000 Apple engineers on site (plus security and host people from Apple), there are people everywhere. It is a great experience and after several years of trying the lottery, I had the honor to join the conference this year. Here a few notes to make live easier:
The keynote room is big enough to sit everyone. No need to hurry to get a seat.
Whether it is worth waiting 4 hours to get a spot in a front row? Next time I'd better come at 9:30, sit in the back and not so close near the screen that I need to move my head to see the other side.
Watching the keynote on a screen at home has a big advantage: You can press the pause button. And you can open a website in parallel with a newsfeed so you have a transcript to look back. This year the keynote was very fast and there was not enough time to read slides with a lot of text.
Bring a jacket. It's cold early morning outside and often the temperature in the rooms is chilly.
Bring a bag folded in your pocket. Over the day, you may need to stuff things there like your jacket, some purchases at the Apple store or simply food for having it later.
Rucksacks are not optimal as you may run into bag checks on the entry. Laptop bags are more likely to be inspected.
Skip the waiting lines for sessions. The sessions are in general not very full, so you can just walk into 5 minutes before the session starts and find a good spot. As you can watch all session later at home, the only benefit of going there is to get the information earlier and then ask questions at the labs. There are no questions taken in the session room.
Go to the labs. Before WWDC make detailed list with things to ask, sample projects to show your issues, radar numbers for the bugs, so they can follow up. And check if the bug is fixed in new beta already before (!) you ask.
If you need the restroom, best go there when sessions start or leave one a minute before it ends. You may even use restrooms in the session room (on the back wall) before the session starts.
Grab some food and drinks early when it's delivered, put it in the bag and walk to find an area where you can eat without a thousand people watching you. If you come late to the food tables, the best stuff is taken...
Bring extra devices to install the beta software. Don't put it on your regular machine unless it's a VM for MacOS. First betas are said to be buggy and may not even boot or cause data loss.
For hotel booking: Either you pick an expensive one in downtown San Jose or you stay outside. As car park is $25 in the conference center and nearby parking space, the best choice seems to pick a hotel near a train station and use those local trains here in the city. I stayed at the Courtyard hotel in Campbell which is just a few stops away and right next to a train station. The train is $5 per day for two trips.
A wish to Belkin and Apple: Please make USB-C Ethernet adapters which can charge the MacBook Pro via Power over Ethernet. That would be even better for sitting in the Café area.
The conference can be a great experience with thousands of developers from all over the world. I learnt a ton of things and got a few ideas for new plugins, but more in a future blog post. You can make friends, find a lot of other developers from your country (lots of German) and ask your questions directly to Apple employer. They may not answer everything, but sometimes you can read between the lines. Next year, I'll not enter the lottery to give others a chance to go there!
09 06 19 - 06:28