Although it was my first WWDC, you wouldn’t have known it. Everyone was incredibly warm and welcoming. I think it helped that it was a new location to everyone so everyone was learning the new places in town to hang out and making new traditions.
Monday was the most eventful day. Thanks to the new Beacon app, I was able to start off my day meeting excited developers while enjoying a great cup of coffee at Philz. Afterwards I headed into line to get into Alt Conf, meeting more great people there whilst speculating what Apple would have to unveil. I didn’t stay long since I had the opportunity to watch the keynote with Joe Cieplinski and his friends Curtis Herbert, Ben McCarthy, and Sara Lovic.
I think the announcements were pretty great. iOS on the iPad is getting a much needed buff, truly transforming it into a multitasking dream. Drag and drop on a multitouch surface makes for a great interaction model because you can navigate the UI with the other hand while holding on to your selected content. HomePod is an exciting product, but I think Apple has more of its story to tell in coming months. I’m surprised they didn’t go into more detail about the Siri integrations. I imagine they will when they get closer to launch.
After lunch and the State of the Union I ran over to watch the Accidental Tech Podcast Live. These guys are even better in person. My favorite podcast was a delight to listen to with 900 other nerds. Everyone singing the theme song at the end was a great experience.
Next up was the Relay.FM meet up. Getting to meet the hosts in person after listening to their voices for the past few years was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed my long conversation with CGP Gray and Dan Moren. It’s interesting to think about how these people live normal lives for 51 weeks of the year and become rock stars for 1. Continuing with the theme of dub dub, everyone was warm and welcoming.
Finally I went to the Beard Bash to enjoy some live music and Heineken. Meeting up with friends, we headed to the cocktail bar of WWDC – Paper Plane. It was the place to go for any precisely crafted cocktails.
Tuesday was a bit more laid back. I spent most of my day at Alt Conf where the talks were ranged from interesting to over my head. One of the best meetups I went to while in town was Manton Reece’s Micro.blog meetup. I was nice talking to other kickstarter backers and meeting some interesting people to follow on Micro.blog. The main highlight of the day was John Gruber’s Talk Show Live. I was able to go with my friend from back when I was a Campus Rep, John Tylko. We got in line early and ended up in the 5th row. When we got in the California Theatre, we saw three chairs and figured it would be Craig and Phil joining Gruber and we were correct. The show was insightful and fun as always, however I don’t think it was as good as last year’s. The most interesting tidbit was the fact that Apple tested changing phones to APFS each iOS 10 upgrade and would set it back to HPFS after the test. I’m looking forward to seeing the buttery scrolling allowed by the new iPad hardware and ProMotion. However, maybe its best I don’t see it. Update: Saw it today…
Afterwards we enjoyed sausage at Original Gravity and went to Paper Plane for those famous cocktails.
My final day of WWDC. The day started off with a bang, Stephen Hackett gave a great talk about his transition from the corporate to independent worker life. It was an emotional talk and I am personally grateful for the sacrifices he made in order to make Relay.FM what it is today, but even happier that he has found a balance that is healthy for him and his family. After lunch with Airplane Mode sans Dave, Agnes and some developers from Breaker (a new podcast app) and I got bubble tea. I wish I was able to go and get bubble tea again on Thursday but there wasn’t enough time. I did another meet up at Philz Coffee and spoke with Collin Donnell for a while. It’s funny how I’d run into him all over the place, including sharing a Lyft ever so briefly. For over 5000 people being in town for WWDC, you’d see a lot of the same faces.
One big highlight of the trip was getting to see Airplane Mode again in concert. It was particularly great because they have come up with quite a few new songs since the last time I’ve seen them. We rocked all night and afterwards continued the partying. Unfortunately Paper Plane was taken up for a private event so we went to a bar next door and hung out until late night tacos at La Victoria Taqueria called our name yet again.
I hope to make WWDC a yearly field trip. I felt at home. Thank you to everyone who was so great to me, especially Joe. He broke the ice which led to many great new friends.
I can’t wait to do it (again)