WWDC 2010 Post Mortem
I (Nicolas Goles) travelled all the way from Chile to represent Gando Games at Apple WWDC 2010. In this brief Article I will present some insights about what went right and wrong for me in the whole event. I had a great time there, it was amazing, and I really wanted to have some time to write a bit and share my experience. In the last part of the article, I will present some small tips that I think are worthy of consideration if you are planning to attend Apple WWDC in the future. (Also… there’s a video surprise at the end of the post, so read on… )
What went right:
The Labs I attended where amazing. I went to the Apple Development Tools Lab to get up to speed with Xcode 4, within an hour I was able to understand the new Interface and most of the other new things thanks to a pretty cool Apple engineer that was there at that time. Still, my best lab experience was in the Graphics lab. I was there ~5 hours on Wednesday!, first with one engineer, then another one, and then 3 engineers, helping me out with a problem that was a bit more complex than what it seemed to be. In the end, those ~5 hours where golden.
The sessions I attended where very good. Mostly aiming Gaming and lower level stuff, I got very inspired and motivated. In fact, we are now porting our whole 2D Game engine to OpenGL ES 2.0 as a direct consequence of what I saw and did at WWDC 2010. Key Sessions for me where, Advanced OpenGL ES 2.0 and Game Design and Development for iPhone/iPad (part 1 & part 2). Also, for some sessions I though that I could just read the official documentation and more or less obtain the same degree of knowledge. But still, there where always surprises or useful details mentioned by the presenters, even in what you would call a “basic” session.
I met a lot of cool/interesting guys at the WWDC, even as a first timer I was able to meet some really amazing people there, also hanging out with them was very nice, special mention for the Apple engineers here. Also made lot’s of networking, business cards flying around, and left with the feeling that the people that conform this community are great.
- iPhone WWDC App:
Saved my life, . Using such a nice app to schedule (and re-schedule) sessions, labs, news, you name it… was a real time saver!. +1 for that Apple.
What went wrong:
- Not having a US Enabled Phone:
Yeah, Twitter is nice, and SMS can also work. But some times you need to make a call to meet some people, etc, and Roaming from Chile is not cheap at all for me, so I almost totally avoided using it. Get a US SIM card, prepaid or whatever, and maybe a cheap/unlocked mobile phone, so at least you’ll be able to receive phone calls. ( PS: Calls from Skype to cellphones are not cheap either + don’t trust the Wi-Fi )
- SFO Weather
A lot of people got sick at WWDC, weather in SFO can change rapidly. I felt quite bad one afternoon, and it was mostly for being very tired + SFO weather + sick people at WWDC. It’s important to remember that the body needs to rest.
Some tips for WWDC:
- Take some warm clothing there, San Francisco is quite cold at night, plus on some days, there was a very cold wind going on. By the last day I noticed that a lot of guys in the audience had caught a cold, and believe me if you paid/did everything to get to WWDC you don’t stay in bed at the hotel…
- I took SubEthaEdit to WWDC, and it is very nice!. But all the session videos where available within a week of WWDC, so if you want to take notes I think it’s fine, but IMHO it’s better to pay attention in the sessions and just take small notes that you want to checkout right away, since the videos will be available quite fast ( I can’t assure this will happen next year, but I think it will ).
- Try to meet other people!, there’s very talented/bright people in the crowd, be friendly with them!, they will be friendly with you too!.
- Prepare for the labs. I really mean it. I traveled from Chile to go to WWDC 2010, so I was prepared and had a couple of non-trivial “proof-of-concept” Xcode projects ready to go. This was in order to go to the engineers with specific questions. Those are GREAT guys, but try to get there with specific questions if you have an issue/bug that you want to resolve.
- The most important piece of advice I can give you: Have Fun & Learn a lot! , it is up to you to have a “successful” WWDC, and it requires dedication to take the most of it, try to do just that.
I would love to hear other people’s feedback about the event, so feel free to leave comments