There’s nothing quite like attending Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco at the Moscone Center. To gather with five thousand like-minded individuals at a conference devoted to a subject you’re passionate about, and to hear first-hand about new tech from the engineers that built it is amazing. Here’s what lucky attendees should do to make the most of next week.
Prepare Your OS X and iOS Devices. Ensure that you’re running the latest versions of all your operating systems and apps. If you’re planning on upgrading to OS X Lion (which may arrive as early as next week), you may want to make a clone of your current OS in advance.
Beyond your own array of travel software, there are two iOS apps you’ll want to install. Apple’s own WWDC 2011 conference schedule app, and the WWDC 2011 Party List app. That way you’ll have both business and pleasure covered.
Plan on Visiting the Apple Company Store in Cupertino. There’s only one place in the world to get officially licensed Apple swag, at the Apple Company Store in Cupertino. Sometimes there are bus tours that will take you there, but you may just have to split cab fare, get a one day rental or take the Caltrain down to 1 Infinite Loop. On Sunday June 5, the store will be open exclusively for WWDC attendees from 12-5 PM PDT.
Pay Attention to Wi-Fi Usage and Battery Life. Last year at WWDC, my iPhone battery was the first to go, followed by my MacBook, and finally my iPad. There are plenty of power outlets all over the place, and I kept my Mac plugged in most of the time. I kept a pair of JustMobile Gum Pro chargers on hand throughout the conference. Wi-Fi access was fine, but don’t discount the Ethernet ports in the main dining hall. The raw speed they provide is great, especially when downloading something as large as the latest release of Xcode.
Get Up Extra Early for the Keynote. Every year, people start lining up for the keynote presentation earlier. Last year I met with the individual who has been first in line several years running; he may be in line now, in fact. But to ensure a seat in the main lecture hall, think about arriving at Moscone West by 3 AM PDT this year. If you get there after 7 AM, you may end up in one of the overflow rooms, and be forced to watch the keynote on a large projection screen.
Focus on the Labs, Not the Lectures. The lectures are great, but the labs are even better. Since the conference sold out so quickly this year, it’s very likely that the lectures will be made available to registered Apple developers again this year. So access to Apple’s engineering staff in the Labs is a far more valuable experience than attending a lecture. Last year I spent two hours in one lab alone going over all the intricate details of how to use the various instruments in Xcode.
Take Notes on the Mac, Not the iPad. Resist the urge use your iPad when taking notes and make sure to use SubEthaEdit on the Mac instead. This is a collaborative note taking editor that has become popular at events like WWDC, and enables individuals to share note-taking duties. In fact, you can even monitor notes being taken in another lecture while you sit attend a different one.
Got any other tips for WWDC attendees?