WWDC has officially ended :(
It was an absolutely amazing week where I got to network with amazing people (including Apple Engineers, Scholarship Recipients and Attendees). I arrived in San Jose last Saturday and we hit the ground running with amazing things starting on the sunday…
Sunday was without a doubt one of the most awesome days at WWDC – we got to visit Apple Park, specifically Cafè Macs and the Steve Jobs Theater. Apple park is Amazing.
We got the convention centre early in the morning and went for check in.
Two things are for sure…
- Apple know how to make a great line.
- Apple burrittos taste great.
Then we took some shuttle busses and by this time most people knew what was up 😝 (it helps when people are checking Apple Maps to see if we’re navigating the course to Apple Park 😎)
By the time we navigated into the area (Apple Suburb?) we knew for sure that we were going to be visitng Appel Park – the excitement was real!
Our first stop was at Tantau 9, /one of/ the Cafè macs. They have amazing food there (thanks to the many chefs!). Personally, I tried many of the options including pizza, pasta and fries (chips for us Aussies ;)).
After this, we walked from Tantau 9 to ths Steve Jobs Theater and it was an absolutely amazing sight. The composure of glass, carbon fiber and marble is beautifully consistent throughout the venue.
We walked down the stairs (or took the glass elevator!) to the floor below where we entered the theater and sat on the comfortable chairs made from the same hermes leather found on the Apple Watch.
After visiting the theater, I was invited to a round table discussion with Lisa P. Jackson (who was an honour to meet – check out some of her cool work on the environment and sustainability).
This was a really cool discussion. A writer from Mashable was invited and wrote briefly about the discussion. We spoke about many things including our journeys and experiences as young developers, our motivations, goals and inspirations.
After the round table, most scholars had head back via the shuttles. I decided to stick around with a good friend of mine I met at WWDC in 2016. We left the theater and collected our AirPods (which we were generously gifted by Apple - thanks :D!) and went across the road to the Visitor Center.
The Visitor Center is absolutely amazing – the perfect mix of retail. cafè space and AR experience space. More on this later 😎
Monday (Keynote Day)
Monday kicks off with the Keynote. This is the day when Tim, Craig and a collection of Apple Engineers come and introduce all of the new technology (mostly software) Apple is releasing.
Many of the cool things were releases part of iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, as well as updates for watchOS and tvOS.
Scholarship recipients had reserved seating for the Keynote, which saved us from having to stay up all night and camp out to try and get a decent seat for the event. It goes for about two hours, and most of the demos are live demos (which makes them all the more awesome 😎).
After the keynote, I happened to be walking out alongside Marques (MKBHD) who I met last year as well, and Justine (iJustine). These guys are super cool – if you ever get a chance to meet them in real life I highly recommend saying hi!
After the Keynote, I went over to the AR Game Room to test out Apple’s demo on the cool new features of ARKit 2.0, including Multiplayer ARKit. This was great fun!
Tuesday morning the consultation bookings had opened, and so at 7am the race begun to book as many consultations as you could! (I believe the UI consultations go the qucikest, which is probably why this year they made a form of ‘review process’ for the UI consultations labs.)
I wanted to grab as much Apple merch as a could (I’m quite the fan I suppose 😜) and so I visited the Company Store as soon as I could. It was a long, long, long line. A very long line. So long, it was simply long.
After visiting the company store, I went to a bunch of labs that were running throughout the day and networked with various attendees. I went to the UI Consultation and App Store Promotional Consultation, but was talking for a little too long and missed my Business Consultation… luckily the guy who I had booked with was very generous enough to have a chat with me in his own time! (Cheers!)
Midway through the week I had kind of mentally planned which sessions and labs I wanted to go to through the week, but it also hit me that WWDC was nearing completion. Wow had it gone fast.
I went to a couple of labs again today (including the Machine Learning lab to check if some of my ML was sound). I went for lunch nearby to the conference with a good friend I met in 2016, and it was great to catch up. We ate at the Marriot next door to the convention center, and the food there is pretty good! :)
I was also was requested and went somewhere on this day – but not sure if I can talk about that right now. Might move that into another post.
Thursday (Bash Day)
I started Thursday morning by attending some more labs, including the Natural Language Lab which was pretty cool. A good friend of mine also managed to book a session in the Podcast Studio, and that was good fun.
We arrived at the Podcast studio and got set up, chatted for about an hour and it was all recorded by the engineers at Apple who gave us a recording afterward. If he ends up posting the podcast, I’ll be sure to link it.
Lunch at the convention center was probably my favourite on this day (compared to the food that was offered on the other days) as this day they had Chipotle chicken. It tasted good. Maybe the good chicken wraps were there to prepare us for the great food offered at The Bash, that same night.
The bash started at 7pm, and was across the road at Discovery Meadow. It was really cool to see Panic at The Disco, and network while listening to some great tunes and eating some really good food. After The Bash, we had a mini afterparty at the dorms (as Scholarship Recipients) and that was also great fun.
The mornings on the Friday(s) of WWDC has a more generally sad-vibe… here’s when it hits you that all of the amazing people you have met over the course of the week will go back to their places and you probably won’t see them for a long time.
I got to the conference center a little later on Friday with my assigned scholarship group, and watched the Swift Playgrounds Subscription session via live stream. I quite enjoyed the session and wanted to catch up with a friend from the team, so I visited the labs later for this – it’s super cool, I’d recommend checking it out.
After we got back to the dorms, we went for a ride around on some lime scooters (these are great fun – and I used these on a couple of days to get to the conference and to zip around with some mates). After this, we had a bit of a party back at the dorms to celebrate our new friendships.
After the main part of the week, I slept in and checked out on Saturday. I’m going to miss all of the great new people that I’ve missed and will endeavour to keep in touch with as many as I can. If we met during the week, or if you’re interested in App Development (or just want to say hello?) feel free to reach out :)