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In Defense of WWDC 2006

Matt Neuburg comes down pretty hard on WWDC 2006. The title is misleading. He's not commenting on the information from the conference, but the side shows like food, paraphernalia and so on. I think it's too harsh.

This year, on the other hand, the freebies were the cheapest portfolio bag I've ever seen (flimsy, no padding, few compartments, bad zippers, strap attached in a silly place), a crummy travel mug, and a t-shirt with incorrect Latin on it.


I could dig into this, but the reality is that you're paying $1300-ish for the conference, not the bag. You could either look at it as "hey, I deserve better," or "look, it's is a free bag, if I don't like it I can buy something else for $50." I fall in the later camp because I just don't see the point in wasting energy on it.

No hardware, no currently shipping software.


Since the conference has been at Moscone, there has been precisely one hardware giveaway: the iSight, and it was because it was brand new and Apple wanted people to write software for it. Does it mean we should expect hardware every year? Again, I think it's a matter of perspective. In any case, does "no hardware" really mean a "decline?"

As for shipping software, doesn't everyone already get Tiger with their ADC membership? I'm not sure what this is about.

Lunches were plastic salad and plastic sandwiches in plastic containers; breakfast was nearly non-existent. Snacks between talks were dried-up pastry.


I didn't eat in Moscone so he may be right, but again, there's nothing but food in downtown San Francisco. Would it be nice to get better food for free? Sure. Am I here for the food? Nope.

One evening there was something that pretended to be pizza


I didn't keep samples, but I think the pizza has been the same for at least the last few years.

it was so bad that people were literally gasping in disbelief.


I missed it.

And attendees were herded into lecture rooms by uniformed characters we came to call "seat Nazis," yelling at us to move forward and inward rather than sitting where we preferred.


Oh, the injustice.

The overall trouble here is that WWDC done in this way feels like a rip-off.


I disagree. I'm judging it for the conference itself, not the food.

Is it really possible that renting the Moscone Center and paying for the equipment and logistics for presenting and recording the lectures is so expensive that Apple can't afford to give back more of those fees in the form of gifts and better food?


Can they afford it? Absolutely. Is it worth getting upset about? I don't think so.

There is also the question of what this deterioration in WWDC's surface quality implies about Apple's attitude towards its developers. Apple used to honor its developers, as being the creators of the front line of Macintosh usability; now it feeds them like rats and herds them like cattle.


I think somebody says this every year. It's like "kids used to respect their parents." I wasn't writing Mac software in 1985, but it sounds like Apple got everyone to WWDC via private jet, on which they dined on caviar and spotted owl.

People, these are not real problems. I actually thought WWDC 2006 was the best organized conference yet. Setting up the schedules was a breeze, and virtually all the sample code and materials were available exactly when they should be.

The only thing I miss is movie night. And Stump is the best reason ever to go to WWDC.
Design Element
In Defense of WWDC 2006
Posted Aug 29, 2006 — 32 comments below




 

Jesper — Aug 29, 06 1639

I haven't been to a WWDC in my life. I have no idea about what the quality of the giveaways or service has been before or was now. But it seems to me that, if the quality of those drops significantly, which Matt says it has, it's worth bringing up.

The giveaways shouldn't be the reason you go to a conference, that's right. However, there's no reason whatsoever the service shouldn't be as good as it can be. I'm fairly positive that poor service, and indeed guards "herding people" can put a damper on a conference, no matter how informational, productive and fun otherwise. I don't see Matt poo-pooing the factual nature of the conference or the more extravagant extra efforts (campus bash, stump the experts, ADA), but if your experience is not enjoyable, it could be a factor in deciding not to go next year. There's no reason for Apple to blow this feedback off, even if the service could be deemed "good enough". The Apple I know wouldn't settle for "good enough".

That said, I do have a theory why it's worse this year. Apple had over 1000 engineers on site this year, as opposed to over 500 engineers last year. If there's a bonus salary somewhere, that could well have affected the budget.

Uli Kusterer — Aug 29, 06 1640

I agree with Scott, and disagree with Matt. (Blogged about it here: http://www.zathras.de/angelweb/blog-more-wwdc2006-student-experiences.htm) It wasn't that bad. Pretty much everyone at the conference already had a laptop bag anyway, so all it did was make more people walk around with two bags the first day... it's a decent freebie, and I personally considered it unnecessary spending, but I keep it as a souvenir.

The Pizza they served at the Student Reception at least was pretty nice, and the "dried pastry" was only dried if you didn't pick it up when everybody else did.

Uli Kusterer — Aug 29, 06 1641

Oh, one more thing: I also went to the conference for the conference, but being a student, free food was important to me, and I agree that the boxed lunch they served got worse and worse as the show went on. I'm usually of the swavian mindset that I'd rather get indigestion than leave food on the table, but this was the first time I threw away food that was still good. Even the apple in the turkey sandwich box tasted horribly artificial.

But on the first couple days it was pretty decent, even the boxed lunch.

Pierre Bernard — Aug 29, 06 1642

I cannot completely agree with Matt's assessment of WWDC 2006. It was a terrific event with session organization and content being better than ever before.

Where I can agree is your remarks on the quality of food. Food has be bad ever since the move to Moscone. This year it was just worse:

- Boxed food. Nobody will like ALL there is in the box. Buffet style would waste way less food.
- Wraps / sandwiches. Cheap. One is bound not to like it because of one of its many ingredients.
- Sodas and juices: only sugary stuff at WWDC this year. Speakers had bottled water!
- Jamba juice. There smoothies used to make up for the lack of food quality. Why are they gone from WWDC?
- "Moscone Special Pizza": all kitchen left-overs on one pizza. With 4.800 attendees, many are bound not to like at least one of the many toppings. Try simple: cheese pizza.

All in all I only ate lunch once this year and ran from it the other days. I skipped pizza despite being hungry. And I drank way to much sodas.

map — Aug 29, 06 1643

He might have picked a few odd examples, but I feel he got the underlying theme quite right.

There are small things like Jamba Juice and Movie Night that got axed and there are important things that make my work harder, like not giving out DVD sets of the sessions and declining any comments about that.

And I for one don't enjoy flying around half the world and dropping a lot of cash on a conference that isn't organized good enough to avoid crowd mongers jelling at and bossing around attendees in near empty hallways before sessions. And if I have to argue to change a session mid-stream because someone "has orders" to don't let people in anymore, despite seats being available, that's more than just a bad experience. That and the food might be the Moscone's fault, but I don't care much who is to blame. The experience was suboptimal nevertheless.

Not getting DVDs and having to fight my way into sessions are serious problems to me. You're absolutely right about Stump and the Sample Code, although I'd found it a bit cumbersome to cherry-pick all the dmgs I wanted and would have preferred a big disk image with all the samples like last year.

Tony Arnold — Aug 29, 06 1644

OK, I have nothing but praise for the rest of the conference, but the food was pretty bad. And as for there being lots of food in down town San Francisco... well, let's just say I appear to have a different opinion of what constitutes food.

In my (often strange) little world, fast food != food

In reality though, I will put up with it. WWDC06 was a fantastic experience, and I will definitely go again next year.

kristof — Aug 29, 06 1645

It was my first time... I loved the juices he talks about and I was impressed with the food and the organization of the event. Of course I can't compare.

Steve-o — Aug 29, 06 1646

This really sounds like a tempest in a teapot to me. Complaining about the quality of the free stuff comes off as whinging. As Scott points out in effect, if that's why you're going to WWDC, then you're really wasting your money. Frankly, they don't have to give people free toys or tote bags at all...

Especially when Apple had twice as many engineers on site this year... you know, to actually attempt to improve the substance of WWDC. What a concept.

Aaron Tait — Aug 29, 06 1647

This was my first WWDC and after reading several blogs before landing at SFO I was expecting the worst imaginable food for us. I found the food to be amazing! Considering it is free and they have to plan for 5,300+ people (engineers + attendees). I thought that they did cheep out on the bags and badges from what I saw on people's Flickr account from last year, but they do have to scale for the number of attendees and considering this was the largest WWDC yet I can't complain. DVDs of the sessions and more source code would have been nice. It would be cool if they gave us the source code for some of the demos they had running for the sessions, especially for the Core Animation sessions. Overall I thought WWDC was well worth the plane ticket and hotel room (I won the student scholarship as well).

Andy Lee — Aug 29, 06 1648

"Can they afford it? Absolutely. Is it worth getting upset about? I don't think so."

Argh, I blame Donald Rumsfeld for causing me to be distracted by the self-interviewing pattern of discourse. :)

I've never been to a WWDC, so I have no opinion on whether treatment of attendees is any better or worse than before. But I do think that being treated cheaply -- feeling nickeled and dimed -- can detract from an otherwise enjoyable experience. On the other hand, in my experience most events of this kind have crappy food, so to some extent that's par for the course. On the *other* hand, Apple is known for attention to detail and creating great experiences, so it's natural for enthusiasts to hold them to a higher standard.

(Apologies to anyone distracted by the "Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof" pattern of discourse. :))

Jussi — Aug 29, 06 1649

I was not there in 1985 either, but I can assure you there was no private jets and caviar back then. I have had the impression, from some Guy Kawasaki books I guess, that Apple's relation to developers has always, been a bit problematic if not even schitzophrenic. I guess there's nothing new here, your comparison to obedience of children was quite accurate.

Given that Mac users and especially developers are elitistic ****s[1]. It's easy to see them complaining about anything less than top notch food and snacks :)

[1] http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/07/12

Steve-o — Aug 29, 06 1650

It isn't vacation - this is, in essence, for work. You go to this conference because it pertains to your job. I'm not saying that means it should be unpleasant... but the pleasure aspects of it should be secondary to the real point - learning and getting tools to do your jobs. It is important to accomodate and to make it "enjoyable" to the extent feasible, of course.

But this seems like kvetching that my office only has free pastries on the first monday of the month instead of every Monday. If that's why I'm there, I'm in the wrong place. And if that's my top priority, then I need to step back and think for a minute.

I think the lack of DVDs is unfortunate and a misstep by Apple. And I of course agree that a cumulative effect of underwhelming "small things" can add up to a "big thing". And to the extent that this might bode for the future, the criticism here is worth listening to. But in isolation, complaining that your free bag isn't as good as last year's really just sounds like there's a sense of entitlement which is unwarranted.

Andy Lee — Aug 29, 06 1651

"But this seems like kvetching that my office only has free pastries on the first monday of the month instead of every Monday. If that's why I'm there, I'm in the wrong place. And if that's my top priority, then I need to step back and think for a minute."

I agree with the first sentence, but the rest is kind of a straw man, isn't it? Who said the freebies etc. were a top priority? In fact Matt specifically acknowledges the bigger picture in his article.

Don't you ever complain about things other than the top priority?

Steve-o — Aug 29, 06 1652

Perhaps the "top" is taking it far.

And I recognized in the post you quoted from that there is validity in complaining about the "small stuff" because frankly, enough of that and it has a palpable effect (and becomes "big stuff").

Matt may acknowledge the bigger picture, but the title of his posting is telling nonetheless - "The Decline of WWDC." Pretty dramatic, no?

Uli Kusterer — Aug 29, 06 1653

Oh, one more thing: I also went to the conference for the conference, but being a student, free food was important to me, and I agree that the boxed lunch they served got worse and worse as the show went on. I'm usually of the swavian mindset that I'd rather get indigestion than leave food on the table, but this was the first time I threw away food that was still good. Even the apple in the turkey sandwich box tasted horribly artificial.

But on the first couple days it was pretty decent, even the boxed lunch.

DJ — Aug 29, 06 1654

This was my first WWDC as well. I don't know that I had any preconceived ideas about the "amenities", but I was underwhelmed in a few areas, including the aforementioned Moscone special pizza (late, tough, and room temperature). Other food was hit-and-miss: limited drink choices at lunch (no diet soda, or ANY soda for that matter), odd timing of afternoon snacks, etc.

I think I was most disappointed by the Apple campus bash. 45-minute bus ride (each way), herded into a grassy courtyard, and again no diet Coke to be found. The food there was pretty good though, and I think there were about 6 different kinds of beer available. But, except for access to the company store (which had a HUGE line anyway), the bash could have been held anywhere. In fact, it would be better if Apple opened a branch company store in Moscone for the week and held their campus bash off-campus and near the rest of the conference. And who the hell was that guy doing the music? I think there were maybe 30 people who were really into it, and at least a couple of them had their picture taken with him after he finished, but...

Having said all that, I really liked the technical aspects of the conference. That was my whole reason for being there, and my only real complaint in that regard is that there were several times that I wanted to be in 2 (or more) sessions at once. Oh, and people who like to talk out loud during sessions.

Ken — Aug 29, 06 1655

I would say this wwdc was better than I could have imagined. (My First)
I got to talk to apple engineers, have my code looked at.
Provide feedback, get leopard. And meet some great mac developers and make great contacts.

The food? Crap. But oh, well. I guess we need something to complain about don't we....

The biggest thing I could think of that was "bad" was they didn't reprint the schedules after the keynote, so they kept handing out schedules on the 4th day that said "To Be Announced," !!

Bill Coleman — Aug 29, 06 1656

OK, I didn't go to WWDC this year. In fact, I haven't been to a WWDC since 2002. But I had gone to WWDC from 1991-2002, with the notable exception of 1996 (which means I really didn't miss anything then, either).

I don't know what the conditions are like at Moscone, but things were already changing at the old San Jose Convention Center back in those days.

One of the things I put in the feedback for the last few years I went was the lack of sit-down lunches and dinners. WWDC had moved to a fast-paced format where there were box lunches, or a school cafeteria tent outside. I was glad to see the tent gone in 2002.

Part of my complaint was that I had learned an awful lot just by sitting down with a half-dozen other developers and chewing the fat for an hour over lunch. I met a whole bunch of people with a lot of different views on Macintosh development. Sometimes they were Apple engineers, sometimes they were people I knew, at least by reputation. Sometimes they were perfect strangers.

The snack situation was in decline for a long time. Back in the early 90's, Apple used to have carts of snacks, including a big cart of candies they would push around in the afternoons.

I also remember some of the lunch-time competitions -- like the lego structure contest, or the music trivia contest. (Best Answer: "Q: What do Def Leopard and The Honeycombs have in common. A: They are both breakfast cereals, except for Def Leopard.") Perhaps WWDC just grew too big for some of this.

Stump the Experts was introduced in 1992. It became my favorite session. I even half-way answered a question well enough to get a shirt one year.

Bottom Line: there's a lot of intangibles to a conference like this. The priority is the information -- the contact with engineers, hands-on with hardware, the NDA sessions, etc. But little things like bad food, lack of snacks, poor treatment by security -- these things add up to a negative impression. Apple ought to be listening to their feedback and try and correct these problems next year.

Julian Bennett Holmes — Aug 29, 06 1657

I see both points of view.

I think that what Matt complained about is something that is worth bringing up, but I also don't think it's the end of the world.


If all we cared about was the core content, we probably wouldn't be Mac users. The Mac OS is so great because of it's great polish all those little details. The lack of that polish is exactly what Matt is talking about, and I mostly agree.

However, I find it somewhat hard to believe that people gasped at the pizza.

Mark — Aug 30, 06 1666

This was my first WWDC, but I found the whole thing great. Sure, the bag had the most frustrating zipper in the world, but I quite liked the food most days and, the "seat Nazis" were nothing to complain about and solved the problem of poorly packed rooms.

(Incidentally, was I the only one reminded of Godwin's Law with the seat Nazi bit?)

Mike — Aug 30, 06 1667

WWDC has gone significantly downhill over the past 5 years.

Forget the quality of the food and swag, which everyone can universally agree has (a) gotten much worse and (b) isn't the main reason to attend the conference.

Here are some development-related ways the conferences has gotten worse:

- The elimination of the third party booths. Past WWDCs had dozens of booths from third-party vendors who focused on developer solutions. This was very valuable because shows like MacWorld focus more on consumer and pro solutions, not developer solutions.

- The "morphing" of the IT track. I think that having an IT track per se is not a bad idea, but it has turned into less of a chance for IT folks to learn about IT on the Mac then a commercial for Apple solutions. Apple had three sessions about using their mediocre Remote Desktop product and one session on real-life interoperability with Active Directory. Which do you think is more useful for an admin in the real world?

- The elimination of the DVDs. These DVDs, which contained the contents of all the the sessions were invaluable for reference. They are no longer provided. Instead you have to watch replays online (if and when they are made available -- an open issue).

- This is a minor one, but the elimination of the Meet the VP's feedback forum was very sad. That used to be the only time when average Apple developers had a direct line to Apple's top leadership. I am sure it was cancelled because developers tend to ask too many questions without easy answers.

So, to avoid complete bitching, what does Apple do right?

- The Labs: There are a lot of these now, more then their used to be, and they are genuinely useful. This is some of the real meat of WWDC and it is prime.

- Network connectivity: Wireless acess has sucked at previous WWDCs, to put things charitably. This year it worked from hour one and worked well.

- Wide variety of sessions. There were a ton of very useful sessions. No wasted time. Only downside, sometimes two you wanted to go to were up in the same time slot...this wouldn't be as much an issue if Apple provided those DVDs (see above)

WWDC is still valuable...the old days of Krispy Kremes, cool swag and, well, fun may be long gone, but it is still the only way to really learn about Apple tech, and it is a must-go for any serious developer. Just remember, Apple, we bitch because we care!

Rainer Brockerhoff — Aug 30, 06 1668

Before this one, I'd been to several previous WWDCs in San Jose and only last year's in Moscone. Technically, this year was excellent; the networks worked fine and the sessions, labs and engineers were great. No complaints there.
Can't tell if the food went downhill, it's never been remarkable, but to me it was just normally bad American fast food. :-)
Organizationally, I would vote for cutting off the beer bash entirely; it's too far away from SF and, now that there are Apple Stores elsewhere, unnecessary. I My suggestion is to have an extended lunch on Friday for wind-up meetings. And, unfortunately, Stump the Experts has gone downhill; it used to be great...

Corey — Aug 30, 06 1669

Long-time developer, first-time WWDC attendee.

My teammate and I were impressed with the overall organization of the conference and how well the facility stood up to the onslaught of so many people. The whole thing seemed remarkably well-organized. The food and drink was plentiful, even if not 4-star, and we found the people at the information desk to be well-informed about other dining choices within walking or cab distance from Moscone.

I'm wondering how many of the complainers have been to *other* technology conferences. There was a camaraderie and sense of connection at WWDC that I haven't seen anywhere else.

Al — Aug 31, 06 1670

It was my first time attending WWDC. Yes, it was technically excellent, but, even as a first time attendee, I was disappointed with a few things.

- There seemed to be poor planning regarding room sizes for many of the IT sessions. There are two or three I wasn't allowed into because of overcrowding. Lots of people were upset, since that's why the paid to be there.

- I've seen the swag from past WWDCs and this year's certainly wasn't even close. Even the official WWDC t-shirt was lame. You just expect better from Apple.

- The Apple campus party was mostly a waste of time. What's the point of going there if all we can do is hang out in the courtyard or wait in for at least an hour to get into the company store? While the company store is similar to Apple's regular retail stores, it has Apple logo merchandise (t-shirts, jackets, pens, mugs, etc.) that you can't buy anywhere else. It would be make far more sense to have this stuff brought to the 'flagship' store a few blocks from Moscone, where WWDC attendees could buy this stuff without having to stand in a very long line.

- The food for vegetarians and vegans (which I'm one) was worse than for other people. Note to Apple: it's not hard to provide a balanced meal for non-meat eaters, but there clearly was no effort to do that. Vegetarians need protein too--not just carbs in the form of salad and pasta.

- A personal pet peeve, though shared with many of my fellow attendees: there was virtually no Coke to be had. Other than for some Diet Coke occasionally and the far more rare regular Coke, there was an absence of the major reason why most coding and IT work gets done in the first place.

- Except for Madisonline's charging station (a personal life saver for me), there were no third parties to be seen.

- It would have been great to hear from VPs and upper management in other than canned demos.

- Not having hardcopy of the new sessions that were added after the Stevenote was pretty lame.

- The labs were great, but the scheduling system were engineer's names and area of expertise on a white board. There were people who were upset because it was hard to locate the engineer you really needed to talk to. With the infrastructure that was already onsite, you would expect that something better could have been implemented.

Exittoshell — Aug 31, 06 1671

Doesn't Apple always solicit feedback after a big event? If so, instead of putting up endless blog posts whining about your personal issues, why not write them concisely in the event feedback form(s) so that the people whose job it is to uncover issues actually uncover them.

IMHO food and crowd control are venue issues, and frankly if a venue thinks it must squish a bunch of geeks toting laptops and other "stuff" into as small a space as possible, then they need to be told that we geeks needs our space (as a Man, and with all the stuff we have in a COMPUER CONFERENCE).

Moscone dropped the ball, not Apple.

Btw a buffet would actually waste more food as opposed to box lunches, hence their increasing popularity as a cheap-o catering option these days.

Ulf Dahlen — Aug 31, 06 1672

I thought the food was OK and the conference information was very interesting. I'm very happy I went to WWDC. However, I must agree with Matt Neuburg regarding the "seat nazis". They were sometimes disruptive, walking around and talking loudly to people during the presentation.

Shark — Aug 31, 06 1674

Whilest I've never been able to attend a WWDC, reading the comments here makes me miss MacHack even more.

Scott Ellsworth — Aug 31, 06 1675

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.

Scott

Brian — Sep 02, 06 1689

This was the first WWDC I've been to, and it seemed fine to me. I was happy with the technical content, and if the food didn't suit, there were plenty of other places to get better.

To those critiquing the event for the extras, I'll offer this: Your fee pays for about 1/3 of what it actually costs to host you at the event. One third. Thirty-three percent. Apple rents the space, pays their employees to be there and take a solid week off from other, indubitably more important projects (whether you like to think so or not), lines up the programs and then, after all that's done and paid for, including all the technical ancillaries, insurance and what not, buys you food and freebies.

Now, me...I'd rather have the goods in the way of great sessions. If what you'd prefer is a hot dinner, I'd suggest you could do better by staying home and reading the rumors reports. It'd be less crowded for the rest of us.

Don Carlile — Sep 03, 06 1716

Having attended 20 WWDCs, I have to agree with Scott and the majority of folks here, especially Brian. I blogged on it.

Mac Developer — Sep 03, 06 1717

I've been to two previous WWDCs. This is the first time they've hat the "seat nazis" there. One of them I was able to talk into letting me into a session because someone was leaving at an opportune time-- otherwise it would have come to blows.

Those people were completely unacceptable. First off these are DMV rejects who have no clue about what's going on. Secondly they are rude, inconsiderate and lazy-- the reason they wouldn't let people into sessions is its much easier to hang a sign that says "Session full" and sit on your ass than actually man the door.

THESE PEOPLE HAVE GOT TO GO.

If I am ever denied entry to a session at WWDC I will demand a refund from ADC, or the firing of the person who denies me entry.

They have a right to check badges, but that's all. If I have to stand, that's fine.

Its not like there was a fire hazard or anything. Its pure idiocy and these idiots should not be tolerated, and Apple should not be paying them.

WORST thing about this WWDC.

The food seemed not quite as good, I missed movie night, but these are no big deal. The real purpose of the sessions is the content, and that seems a bit better than in the past (but still way too much of apple dodging the hard questions, and not giving us a straight answer, only to, a year later, find out the product or technology really is cancelled.)

But the seat nazis were unacceptabel and by far the worst thing I've ever seen at a WWDC. They were polite, but interferred with ones ability to get the data and pointlessly.

Shay — Sep 15, 06 1801

I've attended 4 previous WWDC's (all in San Jose), and organised a 200 attendee conference myself.

I had no problems with the bag (it seemed quite padded to me!), and some years there's only been a plastic folder... Usually you can chart Apple's financial fortunes by the sort of swag they're giving away to developers. No WWDC mugs for student attendees kind of sucked though (no, I'm not a student). Remember, many people pay big money to attend the conference, so the bag isn't really a freebie.

Several Apple employees complained to me about the crowd control, they were let in last to sessions and separated out from people they were in conversations with when approaching the food tables. If people walked forward in sessions to the free seats and sat in the middle of rows, maybe the seat nazis would be less necessary.

Food was pretty much what I'd expected, although the spamlike meat in the salad was kind of scary.

The campus bash is kind of part of a recruiting drive that lets Apple show prospective employees what a cool place it would be to work. Unfortunately as the conference is now in San Francisco, the bus drive is pretty much mandatory. You can always elect not to attend, of course.

Stump the experts is always great. Movie night was good, but I don't think it was ever a new release I couldn't watch somewhere else...

In the good old days, CDs/DVDs were a separate item you could purchase, none of this 'free' conference DVD's, and no streaming either.

My feedback I sent to Apple on their survey form is here.




 

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