May 29, 2013

WWDC 2013 Tips

Spurred on by Mike Lee’s post on 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.

The Keynote

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 dochat, 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!