A week in California, courtesy of Apple

19th June 2013

As you will be aware, Apple recently held the 2013 World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco.  One member of the 3Squared team, Ste Prescott, was lucky enough to attend the week of seminars, workshops and of course the keynotes from Apple executives that revealed the new iOS7.  Here Ste tells us about the unforgettable experience in California.

I had just a couple of weeks between being told that my app had won the student scholarship and the start of WWDC, which left me frantically searching for last minute flights and accommodation.  Fortunately, as I am still a student while on placement at 3Squared, Sheffield Hallam University kindly agreed to pay for my flights and transport ot the airport, which I was very grateful for.  After three flights, I eventually arrived at my hostel, which was predictably full of like-minded apple-lovers.

My first day was spent getting over the jet-lag and taking in some of the amazing sights in the city – notably the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz – with some of the other winning students.  We were all keen to get a seat in the Moscone Center for the following days talk by Tim Cook so we went to get in the queue around 10pm that evening.  Rather surreally, there was a shooting on the other side of the street overnight.  Even more bizarre was the fact that nobody seemed too troubled by it – apparently not even a gun will make a developer give up their place at WWDC.Stump the Experts

We were awoken the next day by a free burrito from Test Flight – our reward for wearing their branded t-shirts given away the previous night.  As the doors to the impressive Moscone West opened, a stampede followed, and I managed to land a seat just 25 rows back from the stage.  To be in that room when the new iOS7 and Mac Book Pro was revealed was an unbelievable experience.   I also attended the Apple Design Awards in that same room, to see some of the best hardware and software from the previous year.

The days were structured all very similarly, with two tech talks in the mornings, followed by a lighter talk around lunch time, then two more tech sessions up to a 6pm finish.  Every evening there would either be an Apple event, or something unofficial by a third-party.  One of the highlights was ‘Stump the Expert’ , a quiz-show style session where developers got to test the knowledge of over 20 Apple employees from various generations.  Anybody who ‘stumped’ an expert would get a limited edition t-shirt – needless to say I bagged one for my relentless questioning!

On the Tuesday evening, Apple hosted ‘The Bash’ – with a free bar and a performance from Vampire Weekend!  Afterwards we moved onto other events where I actually met one of the guys who built Source Tree – an app I use on a daily basis.

It was a crazy week of meeting other developers, engineers and Apple executives, one which I will never forget (not least for the cancelled flight and having to sit on a broken plane seat for 7 hours!).

After an 18-hour sleep once back in England,  I was straight onto planning my application for next year’s scholarship – and I would recommend anyone to do the same.

WWDC Banner