Spurred on by Mike Lee’s post on App.net about his tips and tricks for WWDC, here are a few of my tips for WWDC from the perspective of an Aussie traveller, and long time attendee:
tl;dr; Enjoy yourself, make new friends and learn.
Everyone remembers the first year they joined the Presidio hopefuls and lined up at some ungodly hour of the morning to get a passable seat in the main room.
- It’s OK to be really excited. You’ve come a long way, and waited a long time to be here;
- You’re surrounded by thousands of people who do what you do, and generally speaking love doing what you do — chat, make friends, and enjoy the atmosphere!
- It’s a long, cold wait if you’re going to brave the San Francisco night and line up early. Wear a jacket or a jumper;
- Line up with buddies. If you don’t have some, make some in the line. I’ll reiterate: it’s a long wait. Nature is going to come calling long before you get a seat, and having someone mind your spot will avoid the inevitable stress of reclaiming your spot in line;
- Be cool: there’s a crush at the end where a gaggle of over-excited, over-tired developers will push everyone in their path out of the way to get to a better seat. Don’t be the jerk, but also don’t get stressed about being in the main hall — the screens in the overflow rooms give you a better view of the proceedings than a seat in Presidio will (unless you’re a VIP or member of the media);
State of the Union
- In my opinion, the State of the Unions are far more interesting than the keynote: They’re my favourite sessions!. These sessions are where Apple kicks off the week by talking the changes to the developer tools, Core OS, Graphics, etc.
- Don’t snore. Seriously. It shows a massive lack of respect for the presenter, and for your fellow attendees. If you’re getting tired, grab a coffee or go grab a bean bag and have a quick nap.
- If there’s a session you really want to see, be prepared to leave the previous session 10-15 minutes early. There’s rarely enough room in the popular sessions. Remember that almost everything is recorded, and will be available for download after the conference;
- The seats are hard. Your arse will fall asleep;
- Don’t fret about skipping a session to spend time with interesting people, or to spend time in the labs. Those are things you can’t do after the conference — watching session videos is something you can do later.
- San Fran has some really interesting bars, and there’ll be free drinks at some of the events — enjoy yourself, but take it from a seasoned conference alcoholic: you’ll regret getting blind drunk;
- Be a good egg and talk to people you don’t know. Nobody likes a clique;
I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends, and making a whole bunch of new ones — see you all there!