Earlier this year, Apple restructured its Developer Program bringing the Mac developer program into the same $99/year subscription fee as the iPhone Developer Program. Just prior to WWDC, registered attendees to the conference were treated to a surprise of gaining access to all of the WWDC 2009 conference videos. Now, in a similar move, Apple has made the WWDC 2010 Conference Videos available for free to the Apple Developer Community via a special iTunes link from the ADC site.
Attending WWDC for the first time this year, I was not prepared for the overall quality of the conference itself. It really was a very well put together conference; in fact, I would go so far as to say it is among the best if not the best conference I have ever been part of. And I have been to, spoken at, and even helped put together my fair share of conference over the years. So what makes this conference so different from the rest?
Over 1,000 Apple engineers on site throughout the week. That’s a lot of talented individuals, and these talented individuals are all put to good use. The overall quality of each and every presentation was impressive. They were all as well polished and of the same professional style of the one delivered in the keynote by Steve Jobs, and equal in quality to that of each state of the union presentation also delivered on that first Monday. It is as if there is a special training class that all Apple staff must take to make them all professional iWork Keynote experts. Very little variance in the slide design. And each used animations as well as visual graphics to bring each particular point across brilliantly.
Then there was the delivery of each presentation. We are talking about engineers and IT managers for the most part. Not the best speakers in the world one would think. But one would be mistaken given that this is Apple we are talking about. Most presentations were tag teamed, and several different individuals took the stage to present a sub section of material for each topic. In one presentation in particular, I do recall that an engineer made a mistake in a highly technical demo, started to choke in front of hundreds of fellow developers, and instantly was replaced on stage with a fellow presenter that took over right where he left off, and continued the presentation. This was required as most presentations ended exactly on time like clockwork with little time to spare. Don’t expect getting out early at WWDC. These topics are jammed packed of useful information.
This information should not be taken lightly either. The topics were very well thought out and seemed to lead developers in the direction of raising the bar of the overall quality of applications in the App Store today. Not only did these sessions introduce several new opportunities to design a better application, or redesign an existing application solely based on some of the new APIs and multi-tasking capabilities, but they also more clearly defined some of the core competencies of developing for iOS 4 and even changed the development life cycle itself by showing how and when to use specific instruments to make Apps better.
Given the clearly stated goal that Apple has for all of the apps being marketed in the App Store to be a cut above the rest, it only makes sense that Apple releases all of the session videos from this years WWDC freely to all registered developers. Development teams that invest the time necessary to review and adopt some of the concepts that are presented will be in a much better position to build better applications than those who do not.
So the ball is in your court, the sessions are there, online waiting to be viewed. Before you submit that new or updated app to Apple, take a brief look at some of the sessions, and see if there is not a thing or two you can use to make that next submission a better one.