WWDC Has Become a Love Letter to the Apple Community
WWDC is a special week for those of us who are Apple faithful. Whether or not you get the opportunity to enjoy San Jose with the rest of the community or you tune in remotely, it’s the one big time of year when we can all feel like we are a part of something big. In some ways, it’s an event that celebrates all of us that contribute to the Apple community, from developers to designers to podcasters. It felt this way more than ever before this year.
Apple has begun streaming every session and lab, including the State of the Union and Design Awards, to developers around the world in realtime so that everyone can participate in the festivities whether you landed a coveted ticket or not. Our community is stronger than ever before so the fact that all of us can be a part of the conference from anywhere in the world feels quite special. The keynote at WWDC always feels different from events that happen in the spring or the fall because they’re aimed at developers and the nitty-gritty fans. Many of us view Apple’s executives as inspirational and they act as the leaders of our community, which is why we all share the same excitement when Tim or Craig run on stage. The opening video this year, “The Developer Migration” featured some of the most famous members of our community, namely Jim Dalrymple from The Loop. The video was tailored specifically to us, more so than ever before. This year’s presenters included a wide range of executives, some of which we’ve never seen before. A pretty even split of female and male presenters made this one of the most diverse keynotes yet.
This year Apple introduced fitness events, creating a new way for attendees to connect and spend time with eachother. Two official events, the Nike+ Run and Sweat with Kayla, were both major parts of this year’s conference. Jay Blahnik and Julz Arney, the two leaders of Apple’s health and fitness department both attended the Nike+ Run. Apple executives and employees participated in this year’s conference quite a bit more than they typically do.
Aside from Apple’s core conference, the week is full of sometimes even more interesting events for us. John Gruber has hosted a live version of “The Talk Show” for the past few years featuring Apple executives. It’s become the hottest afterparty to the keynote’s Met Gala. This year we saw the very first live shows for “ATP” and “Connected.” Both of those are arguably the premiere Apple podcasts aside from Gruber’s. Marco Arment, John Siracusa, Casey Liss, Myke Hurley, Federicco Viticci, and Stephen Hackett have become the pseudo-rockstars of our tight knit community. I can’t neglect to mention other shows like the “iMore Show” with superstars Serenity Caldwell and Rene Ritchie. Jim Dalrymple, veteran Apple reporter, hosts his annual Loop bash too. More of us than ever before want to attend WWDC, which has lead to shows like Layers and AltConf being created.
Then there’s the social media component. Throughout the week everyone shares their thoughts and opinions about things announced at the keynote. We all get to know the new software together this way. Those of us who can’t attend the event are lucky enough to sort of live vicariously through the social media accounts of attendees too.
WWDC has become much more than just a developer comference. It’s the most important Apple event of the year. It’s a time and a place for us to connect and combine our powers to do incredible things. All of this was on display more than ever before this year. One of my dreams is to attend WWDC and I plan to enter the lottery next year for the first time. I can’t wait to join my people in San Jose someday.