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15 June 2008 @ 10am

Development, General, iPhone, Mac

WWDC 2008 Debrief

Another WWDC has entered the history books and I think that it was a pretty good one. As in previous WWDC’s that I’ve attended I spent the week in simultaneous states of total euphoria and near exhaustion. Unfortunately, I was unable to arrive early enough on Sunday to check-in or attend the MacSB party. The checking in part was no big deal since you can peal out of the line on Monday morning on your way into Moscone long enough to grab your badge, conference t-shirt, and laptop bag. However, missing the MacSB party hit me hard since there are a lot of people that I’d still love to hook up with and now not knowing their faces made it impossible to search for them in a crowd of over 5000 people.

This year for the keynote I stepped into line outside of Moscone at 5:30 am. As fortune or fate would have it I was just barely ahead of the same place in line last year when I had arrived at around 7:00 am. So, maybe that could be used as some sort of judgment on the size and enthusiasm of the crowd this year.

Why get in line so early and would I do that again? Yep, I think I would. Just being able to get up somewhat close to the stage for the big event makes it that much more exciting. Even more than that though you have some fun and make some friends as the line compresses and expands exposing you to different groups of people. If none of that matters to you though you can show up an hour or less prior to the keynote and watch it from one of the overflow rooms.

Unfortunately I can’t talk about the content of any of the WWDC sessions that I attended. However, I will say that, for me at least, most of the content seemed to be either way too high level (getting started) or way too low level (audio API’s). In any case, good info is there to be had and I picked up a lot of tips and got exposure to parts of the platform that I haven’t touched yet. Amazingly at every WWDC I have attended the speakers are first rate. They’re developers, managers, evangelists, and the like and I must say they all do an excellent job at presenting.

I spent a lot more time this year taking advantage of the labs that were available. The labs were divided out into major platform components and each had a dedicated area of the conference floor. Within each lab experts on a particular topic would be scheduled to be on hand during a particular time slot and all that you needed to do, in most cases, was just drop by and talk with them. Bring questions, code, or design ideas and it’s a good bet that you can talk with the guy or gal who actually wrote the code for some part of the system that your interested in. That in itself is worth the price of the conference ticket in my opinion.

Outside of the conference sessions, labs, and lunchtime speakers there are still plenty of Apple and non-Apple sponsored events. As for non-Apple events this is where your networking comes into play. Keep your ear to the ground because every night after the normal WWDC hours the real party begins. This year I made it to the VMWare party at ‘The Thirsty Bear’, the Cocoa Heads meeting at the Apple store (awesome), the Austin area Cocoa Coders get together at the ‘W’ (hi Jim!), and the Big Nerd Ranch party. Each and everyone was a lot of fun and I didn’t even scratch the surface of the events that I could have attended.

On the Apple sponsored events side of the coin you’ve got the ADA awards (not to be missed), Stump the Experts (which I did miss this year in preference to sleep), and of course the Thursday night beer bash. Apple’s beer bash is the ‘must do’ event of the week. The food and drink selection is a couple of notches above what you’ve had all week and, prior to the entertainment coming on stage, is a decent networking opportunity. I mean when you’re standing shoulder to shoulder its kinda hard not to meet the person next to you. This year the entertainment blew me away. I’ve always been a Barenaked Ladies fan and guess who stepped on stage? Yep, BNL! I was right down front just about center stage and managed to take this shot with my iPhone:

… tons of fun and the Barenaked Ladies were a blast as they talked and jibed about Apple.

All in all it was a great conference. I’ll definitely be back next year. Now to sleep for a few days and dream of that new code I’ll be writing.


[…] put an intriguing blog post on WWDC 2008 DebriefHere’s a quick excerptI was right down front just about center stage and managed to take this shot with my iPhone:… […]

Posted by
Paul Robinson
17 June 2008 @ 9pm

Great BNL shot! That concert was a highlight for me as well! I think I was probably just a few people away from you. 🙂

Posted by
More WWDC : kupuk
17 June 2008 @ 9pm

[…] Another great WWDC summary from Shane Crawford. […]

Posted by
22 June 2008 @ 3pm

Shane . . . great to meet you at WWDC!

I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference!

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