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Comment on "In Defense of WWDC 2006"
by Scott Ellsworth — Aug 31
I have gone to five of the last six WWDC events, and I believe this year was actually better than last year in many regards. This is good, because after last year, I seriously considered not going back. This year felt like a reasonable event, but I do agree with Matt that the environment of the conference distracted from the excellent tech content.

The event last year felt cheap. Tawdry, even. We are not at the conference for the swag or the food, but if we have to leave the building to eat something that would not choke a maggot, then we lose some time and some networking opps. Frankly, good high protein snacks and juices help people concentrate, which is the real reason to provide good lunches.

Similarly, the swag is a marketing effort. Every bit of swag is something that potentially starts a conversation when the developer gets back to their office. Good swag starts better conversations.

I agree with others about the room monitors - they were impolite, brusque, and a pain. I suspect they would have had less yelling to do, though, if the organizers taped a whole bunch of powerstrips to the floor of every room, at virtually every row - 3.5k+ attendees does imply roughly that many computers, and if you want people to play with Leopard, they need to be able to top off a battery.

They did a lot right - I liked the tech content, and it seemed like many of the sessions were better polished than previous years. Hall conversations were good, though I would have brought in the dev depot folks again were it my call.

The bash was also better this year than last. Last year, it felt like they were pushing people out the door early, and shutting down the discussion areas long before the event was scheduled to end. I rather enjoyed this year's bash, though I am not that into the techno/DJ mix thing.

I would be willing to accept the loss of the DVDs if the mpegs of the sessions were downloadable and burnable to disk, so I could watch them on the plane. As it is, streaming only access is a problem. Another good and cheap value ad would be to distribute the slides electronically at the end of each day.

In all, boosting the price by a small amount, and using it to provide the critter comforts that support developer attention seems like it would fly.

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