Billy Sangster

Stuff out of my brain

WWDC Part Three

Started getting into a some kind of routine by Tuesday morning. Still not sleeping properly, but I never sleep properly when I’m at home anyway so there’s nothing new in that respect, I suppose.

I get up, have my shower, grab the coveted WWDC jacket and my laptop bag and head out the hotel door. Into the evil Starbucks just down the road a bit (quite pleased that the Starbucks app works internationally, although I’ll be paying through the nose for it with the exchange rate no doubt. Not sure if they charge you for it.) for a cheeky Mocha before heading down to Moscone.

There’s a large hall with tables placed diagonally stacked with sweet cakes, croissants and doughnuts at one end. You run this “gauntlet”, grab something to eat, go to the next bit that has big drums of iced soft drinks or tables with coffee machines on them and get something to drink, then find a place at the tables. There are probably enough tables for about three thousand developers, all with power blocks and (very) high speed broadband connections at them. The wifi is intermittent but pretty good, considering how many attendees are using it (every one of five thousand, constantly!), but it’s better to plug in for downloading the new Xcode and the beta OSes. This wonderful area is where you go for your lunch, as well as any time you just want to sit and code with coffee and cakes at any time. Love this place.

I must say I like the new OSX Yosemite. A beautiful operating system in my eyes. Fairly stable for a first beta, as well.

I’m feeling a bit like the guy at school with last year’s trainers with my ancient 2008 Macbook Pro, though. You’ll search far and wide to find anyone here with anything less than a sleek new Macbook Air or Macbook Pro Retina. Still, old Betsy’s just about coping with the new technology. Fighting with the idea of upgrading while over here, as MacBooks are a good few hundred pounds cheaper. Going back through customs with two laptops, an iPad and an iPhone might raise the suspicions of the authorities though. I’m not sure how much duty I’d have to pay if I was caught out.

Sessions, sessions, sessions, which I’m loving. You just come straight out of one lecture and immediately join the queue for the next one. The busiest ones are the Swift language ones, which are all packed out. They’re all in the largest rooms as well, which probably hold a good three or four thousand people.

There is a real buzz of excitement about this new language. I love it already and can’t wait to learn how to use it properly.

There are labs as well, where you can go and share your code and ask any questions about any software problems you have, or want to know more about any new APIs you want to use. I haven’t summoned up the courage to go there yet. I’d be embarrassed to show my puny rubbish apps to the engineers and just don’t feel confident enough to tackle them with the daft problems I have. All the solutions to those problems can be found on Stack Overflow anyway, so I wouldn’t want to trouble a busy Apple engineer with my daftness. I really must just man up and go into one, though. I know I’ll regret it as this will be my one and only chance to do something like this.

Maybe tomorrow.

Another night, another party. Although last night I only had a couple of beers at the 5by5 meetup, tonight I felt like I might have a few more as this promised to be a more raucous affair. Jim Darlymple of The Loop website was holding a joint party with AltConf, called “AltBeard Bash”. I found out where it was during the day then, after the sessions were finished, grabbed a burger before heading over.

It opened at seven o’clock and there were already a few people hanging around waiting to get in when I arrived. The doors opened and we went in and got a beer.

This was a party with a difference as there was a live karaoke band in residence. Just like normal karaoke but the band played the songs and you got to sing with them on a stage. It was good fun. You really have to see Americans doing karaoke, it’s like they’re born for it. Natural show-offs, the lot of them!

I joke, but they do put on a good show. Far less inhibited performances than you’d see this side of the pond.

Dalrymple is a massive “metal head” and guitar collector, so during the night he went up and played a few rock songs with the band, featuring himself on guitar. He’s pretty good.

This was a good night, although if I were to criticise anything, it would be the (lack of a decent) sound system. This was a free do though and they did the best with what they had. It was fun.