Trip to San Francisco for WWDC

It’s been a crazy 36-hours since finding our I’ll be attending WWDC 2016 as a student scholar. The unexpected excitement of seeing the ticket appear in my account, and the arrival of the all important confirmation email were both highlights of yesterday. Attending WWDC is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m lucky enough to be attending years before I imagined I would.

It’s going to be a crazy, yet awesome week. Arriving on the Saturday will give me 24 hours to settle in to the beautiful city of San Francisco before the conference check in and registration begins, potentially followed by an orientation afternoon for the scholars, graced by the presence of Tim Cook - as I’ve been told occurred last year.

Touristy things on the agenda include crossing the Golden Gate bridge, visiting Fishermans Wharf (from memory, the clam chowder was 👌🏻), as well as general exploration of the city sites such as Lombard Street and the Painted Ladies.

At the conference, Monday’s Keynote will undoubtedly be the most exciting part - even if it does mean waking up before the sun to get a spot in line. I hear the lab sessions are invaluable, while the sessions not so much. I’ll try to mix it up throughout the week and get a fair share of both. On top of that, the vibe throughout the city during the week - and particularly around Moscone Centre - will be electric. 7500 geeks all united under one cause, sharing a common interest… programming. It’ll be an awesome opportunity to meet new people, with 349 like-minded scholars from all around the world, as well as people I am already familiar with due to their online presence - mainly bloggers and podcasters whom I’ve been reading and listening to for years. Meeting Apple executives would also be a highlight, should it so happen, as will extra curricular activities such as a trip to Google HQ (which is currently in the early stages of organisation). As fun as it would be to attend WWDC parties such as The Talk Show live (assuming it’s going ahead this year) and RelayCon, I will be unable to due to my age. Unfortunately being of legal adult age in Australia counts for nothing in the USA. On the whole, WWDC is definitely an exciting opportunity and I intend on making the most of every second spent in San Francisco.

At this point I unfortunately still have some concerns which I’m sure will be resolved in due course. WWDC ends on June 17th this year, meaning the earliest flight I could catch out and still attend the conference in its entirety would be the evening of June 18th, meaning I arrive back in Sydney early morning June 20th. My university exam block begins June 18th, which could prove to be a problem. As I type this, I don’t have my timetable and I haven’t heard back from my university as to whether or not it would be acceptable to reschedule an exam, should a clash occur. (WWDC certainly relates to the I.T. component of my course, will enhance my skills, boost my connections, and all round be an informative educational experience.) Worst case scenario, I have to leave a day or two early to make it home in time for an exam, but the verdict is still out on that one. Here’s to hoping my first exam won’t be until the Tuesday or Wednesday.

I plan to update this blog with thoughts, tips, and anything else that comes to mind as I prepare for this trip and also while I’m in San Francisco. At this stage the plan is to write a short post every night about the day, what I did, what I learned, and what cool people I met. But no promises at this stage, we’ll see how that goes!

It’s going to be a crazy month as I prepare for this trip. There’s flights to book, a hotel to confirm, assignments to finish, exams to study for, and shifts to work all between now and then. It’ll be a challenge, but I’m excited knowing once I get to the end I’ll be spending a week in San Francisco attending WWDC 2016. The experience will truly be once in a lifetime.

Update (13/05/16): All sorted with my University, should I have any exams while in San Francisco, they’ll reschedule them. Flights and accomodation have now been booked - bring on WWDC. 👍🏻

Update (02/06/16): Not looking so good with University anymore. After submitting a formal request to have exams rescheduled, they’ve declined it. Currently in the process of appealing and talking to subject coordinators to see if they can influence the decision at all. Credit to them, they’ve all been very understanding thus far.