I’ll see you around, but not at, WWDC10

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

My first WWDC was in 2006, when I flew in from Hawaii and stayed in a youth hostel in the Tenderloin with four friends. We were still too young to drink so we weren’t anywhere to be found at WWDC’s famous parties, but we made our own fun: staying up until dawn talking to a security researcher about the NSA; playing games until we couldn’t stay up anymore; just straight up talking about nothing; crowding so many attendees into the lounge that the router refused to hand out more IPs.1

I’ve attended every year since (although I haven’t been back to that youth hostel). Every year, that is, except this year. I don’t mind the preponderance of iPhone and iPad sessions that some have complained about — I too am primarily focused on iPhone OS lately. I’m not going this year because of the $300 price bump.2

WWDC is on the whole a fantastic experience and anyone who develops for Apple platforms should think long and hard about attending; however I’ve felt that the sessions, which make up the bulk of the conference, have been less than relevant to me the past few years. There hasn’t been a lot of content actually tailored for “experts”, Apple’s track names aside — maybe three or four sessions throughout the week. That’s not worth $1600, especially when last year they put the videos up for sale within a month or two.

Last year, I told myself that I was going for the labs — and indeed, I did get some fantastic help there. But did I really get $1600 worth of help? Is an hour of lab time really worth roughly order of magnitude more than my own time? I thought a lot about it and decided I couldn’t justify it this year. Not this year, when there’s an aging Macbook Pro to replace, RAM to upgrade, and a new phone to buy.3

Fortunately, I’m a San Francisco resident, so I’ll get to experience the best of WWDC for free, or at least, at no additional charge. This year, I’ll see you all at the many parties and gatherings, impromptu or otherwise. But don’t look for me on the conference floor.

  1. We ended up devising DHCP Over Shouting, in which you pick an IP by choosing one at random and then asking very loudly if anybody else is using it. 

  2. Originally I thought it was a $400 bump, but Tom Harrington tells me that the erstwhile early bird pricing was $1300, not $1200. 

  3. I’m still on a 2G iPhone, my Rev A Macbook Pro turns four this summer, and my iMac still has only 2GB of RAM in it. Jiminy. 


  1. Robert Occhialini replied on June 5th, 2010:

    I totally understand your reasoning. If I was paying for myself, instead of my employer paying for me, there’s no way I could justify the expense of flying out there for the week, staying in a hotel for five nights, and paying $1600 for the conference. It’s striking how expensive the event is now.

    Still hope to run into you outside the conference and get to catch up. @bump

  2. @JimRoepcke replied on June 5th, 2010:

    I’m hoping the $300 bump is to cover giving every attendee a new 4th-generation iPhone, but I won’t be surprised if that’s not the case.

    I totally agree that there aren’t enough expert sessions. Perhaps this makes the most sense for Apple though, they’re raising a new generation of Cocoa developers who NEED some non-expert sessions, and there’s only so many presenters and sessions that can be filled. It’s just too bad they can’t do WWDC-like presentations throughout the year and put them on the developer site.