WWDC 2022 was this past week and it was great. I didn’t get to watch enough sessions. There are a ton that I want to watch. I’ll slowly chip away over the next few months.
I’ve been lucky enough to attend Apple’s WWDC in person several times. I’ve been to WWDCs in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2018. I “won” a ticket in 2019, but we transferred it to a teammate so that he could experience WWDC in-person.
My first WWDC was in 2012 at the Moscone West in San Francisco. I had never been to California before. Everything was new and interesting. The entire trip was amazing and a little overwhelming. I loved every second of it. That same year, I attended Google I/O (also in Moscone West), but WWDC was different.
My last WWDC was in 2018 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. I liked the WWDC being in San Jose. It gave a new vibe to the conference. Selfishly, I was able to explore a new city experience some new things.
Being at WWDC in-person beats any other experience. There’s a level of focus you’re able to give to the conference and all the amazing tech Apple has announced. You are there to focus on the conference and it’s easier to tune out other things. Flying across the country can be a hassle, but I think that bit of distance helps with the focus.
When I watch WWDC remotely, I don’t get that same level of focus. Things will come up at work and home. Slack dings, dinner needs made, kids need to go to practice, dogs need walked, etc. At home, the list of distractions is pretty long, especially when it’s not essential work.
I say all this as someone who’s been very productive as a fully remote employee for the last six years. I can handle one week a year being in-person with other folks and totally focused on the new Apple tech.
I do enjoy the pre-recorded session videos. They are very well produced and succinct. Sometimes I thought in-person sessions were trying to fill the full time slot allotted. Now, the videos contain exactly what they need to. No less, no more. And they look great.
I think the format for this year’s WWDC may be the future of the conference. Inviting a number of people to Apple Park for some in-person video watching and the rest of the conference being remote.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever get back to take part of WWDC in person. I would love to. But I realize that I’ve been lucky enough to attend a handful of times.
As long as Apple invites people to attend in-person, I’ll keep trying.