WWDC 2018 Social Recap

I just got back from my WWDC 2018 Social trip and it was a lot of fun. I figured I’d do a quick recap of the social side and leave room to talk about the tech stuff as I get deeper into the session videos in the weeks to come.

Costs

With a nod to Manton’s lead I thought I too would share my costs in order to help others understand what is possible despite WWDC generally being a large cost these days.

  • Plane fare (Southwest, Philadelphia to San Jose Roundtrip taking the early and late times to save a little bit extra): $564.00
  • Hotel: ($125/night, 4 nights + taxes & early checkin fee). Booked early on event date assumptions, was cancelable.: $642.00
  • Airport cab fair: $25 each way.
  • WWDC conference ticket: $0 (Big savings here obviously. If you can get value from the labs, the $1700 ticket cost can pay for itself but if you just want to watch the sessions, enjoy the free video streams on delay).
  • AltConf conference ticket: $0 (I’ve bought the $300 Hero ticket in the past but held back this year since I’m on my own again and trying to keep costs down. Kind of feel bad considering how well I enjoyed the talks there this year.)
  • Food and drinks: ~$300 Made a point to get some supplies at a grocery store early in the week so I could supplement eating out with some in-room breakfast mornings and snacks.
  • Podcast and other event tickets: ~$50

Total: ~$1600

TL;DR: Make your decision about WWDC early and keep an eye on the rumored dates. Book early with hotels that are cancelable. If you need some more help, find a roommate to split hotel/cab costs with.

Events

On Sunday night I attended the sjMacIndie party and saw a lot of conference friends. Venue was a little on the warm side but plenty of space so it didn’t get too stuffy. I did not recognize much of San Jose from my earlier WWDC trips (2002-2004) but I did recognize this venue as the previous pool hall where the student scholarship winners once had a party. In fact it was at said party where I won an iPod which I later sold to help cover my plane fare back in the day.

You can check out some of the old WWDC 2002 Student coverage we did via Wayback Machine and this video, with footage from the pool hall, I was able to find and re-upload.

On Monday I watched the Keynote and State of the Union with friends at the hotel. We had to jump wifi networks a few times but overall was very successful. Afterwords I headed to the live recording of ATP podcast which was a lot of fun.

On Tuesday I took in a few AltConf talks and also attended the Micro.Blog meetup. Really enjoyed the Setapp talk about their growth/recommendations and the detailed talk on improving app startup times. I also took some time on Tuesday to work on my own project, finally breaking down a long list of tasks into a new Pivotal Tracker project so I can start to track things better.

On Wednesday did more AltConf stuff. Really enjoyed Paul Hudson’s review of new iOS 12 additions. Also had a good time in the Finding Product Fit lab. At night I attended the Relay FM podcast recording which went great. Afterwords I went to the Breakpoint / AppCampForGirls event. I didn’t stay too long though, place was really dark and loud. Also kind of irked me that there was a separate VIP section. I really dislike the social cliques that pop up at industry conferences and seeing the VIP thing put a bad taste in my mouth.

Aside: I’d love to see some options for non-bar night events at conferences. A 24 hour hacking lab with whiteboard grouping around ideas; maybe with room corners for Mario Karting or boardgames/poker. I like hanging out but I don’t like drinking too much and I can’t hear people over the crowds. I miss MacHack in many ways. Maybe I’ll lead by example some day should I ever dawn my event organizer hat again.

On Thursday I got to attend a few morning talks at AltConf before heading home. Of them I really enjoyed the review of what Firebase is offering these days. I’ve been watching them since before they were bought by Google. Like any third-party component you have to accept some risk but I welcome the opportunity to use them to bootstrap a new idea some time in the future.

The journey home took a long while. I didn’t sleep much but did enjoy a bunch of podcasts.

Overall WWDC 2018 Social was a great success. It was awesome to say hi to some internet/conference friends and hear how everyone is doing. Now that I’m home it’s time to jump into the technical content and see what the WWDC sessions have to share. I’ll post more on that as I experiment.

Micro.Manton

Long time Apple developer Manton Reece is broken, sources in the Reece household have shared. After embracing a micro format with Micro.blog and now microcasts, Manton has now instituted “micro” all over his household, from Micro.bed to Micro.dinner.

“Dinner is now severed on these little Barbie-sized plates. It’s a sick joke. I’m starving.”

Apparently the family is looking into a Micro.therapist for assistance. Manton could not be reached for Micro.comment.

You Don’t End Schindler’s List with a Pepsi Ad.

It’s Friday. I’m actually a little low energy and so I decide to go out and pick up a late lunch. I’ll eat it in my car listening to a podcast and get some outside / sun time. The podcast of choice is Startup, a podcast about starting a business to make podcasts. It’s a good show, with interesting stories and high production values. It’s in season 4 so we are well past the pitch stuff and into the real forced growth issues that all VCs seem to face.

Today was a particularly powerful episode of Startup with lots of emotion. It even had me a little teary eyed. Then the end came, but it was not the true end. We still had an upbeat MailChimp ad, read by the same podcaster who just seconds ago had us all in tears.

It was one of the most drastic shifts of emotional voice I can remember and it had me rolling my eyes with bewilderment.

You don’t do this. You don’t play the heart strings of your audience and then shove an ad down their throat while they are in the moment. You don’t end Schindler’s List with a Pepsi ad.

The producers of this show are professionals. They are listening to these audio cuts many, many times over, but I suspect they aren’t doing it with the Mailchimp ads weaved in. Maybe they should.

The lesson here, once again is empathy. We need to constantly work to put ourselves in the shoes of our audience. If you have something important or emotional to share with your audience, you don’t weave it into your revenue system. I totally accept the need to use ads for some systems but if you must show ads, maybe for a show with an arc like this you show an extra one in the beginning so you can end clean? Doing it like this just seems emotionally tone deaf for me.

Farewell Edge Cases

Cue the Journey song, Edge Cases is ending.

Edge Cases was a podcast hosted by long time Apple developers Andrew Pontious and Wolf Rentzsch. Surprising unlike many other podcasts hosted by Apple developers, Edge Cases actually embraced the code, doing weekly non-topical coverage of coding concepts, practices and history. The show ends after 128 episodes and will be missed.

I’ve been following Wolf since the MacHack days and Andrew since the blogging boom of the early 2000s. Both are incredibly insightful and genuine. I want to thank them for putting on such a great show. The dedication it takes to run a regularly published podcast is no small feat and it was appreciated. I wish them well with their future projects.

If you haven’t listened to the Edge Cases show before I encourage you to browse the archives and give it a try. The content is timeless.

Philly Craftsmanship

Software as Craft Philadelphia

A community of professionals dedicated to well-crafted software

Was very happy to attend the inaugural meeting of this group last week. Was a great mix of discussion and hands-on coding/pairing. Thanks to Promptworks for hosting.

During the discussions, the Software Craftsmanship North America conference (as well as its manifesto) were mentioned. You can find a bunch of the conference videos on the eighthlight vimeo channel. Seems like pretty interesting stuff.

In related news (since I think all hosts were in attendance at said meeting), I want to give a plug to the podcast Turing-Incomplete podcast. Finally starting to catch up on this Philly showcase of talent and really enjoying the discussions. Keep up the good work!

Podcast Idea

A podcast idea…

Introducing Merge Conflicts a Cocoa focused debate podcast where people argue for or against different systems / programming patterns. There is a central, ever repeating host who moderates the debate and two guests who argue for either side. Some show ideas include:

  • Core Data vs. Custom SQL
  • Storyboards vs. XIBs
  • Git vs. Mercurial
  • Homebrew vs. MacPorts
  • CocoaPods vs. Manual Code Sharing
  • AppCode vs. Xcode
  • Code generators (like mogenerator) Love Them vs Hate Them
  • TestFlight vs. HockeyApp
  • Kiwi vs. XCTests
  • Retain vs. Release
  • And so on…

Thoughts? Let me know via email or the twitters @zorn.

Core Intuition

Core Intuition Logo

Core Intuition is a podcast about the indie software business. It has a strong focus on Mac and iOS development, including the vibrant community that surrounds it. Hosted by two long-standing Mac developers — Daniel Jalkut and Manton Reece — Core Intuition releases new episodes weekly. Each episode averages about 30 minutes of discussion.

As a old Mac developer myself, I’ve been following both Daniel and Manton for many years now and have been fortunate enough to meet them both at various developer conferences. I’ve always respected their opinions about software development and the Apple ecosystem, so when I heard they started their own podcast, I immediately subscribed.

When they started, Daniel and Manton had phases of regular releases and then periods of inactivity. These days, things at Core Intuition are stronger than ever and weekly releases are the norm. There’s even some sponsorship, which adds extra incentive to hook up the microphones week-to-week.

The team structures the show around popular news threads, yet tends to run off into tangents about personal stories and struggles. Ultimately, these tangents are what I enjoy the most, especially since I get to hear about how these two work through the problems that many self-employed people run into, especially when trying to balance life and shipping code.

For a part-time, two man show, the audio quality is impressive and comparable to many other network podcasts that I hear.

Core Intuition is a great podcast for anyone who works, or is interested in working, in the software development world. The thirty minute episode format makes it easy to squeeze the podcast into the drive home or make it a short diversion during lunch.

Daniel and Manton, thanks for the great content and keep up the good work.