Thursday, August 30, 2007

WWDC07 & San Francisco

This past June I was privileged to attend Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference in San Francisco, which for someone like me, being the Apple lover I am, was really really neat. With an entry ticket price of $1600, there's no way I could normally afford to attend, but on a whim, several months prior, I'd filled out an application to receive a student developer scholarship to attend, and by some small miracle I was actually granted one, meaning the ticket was covered, all I needed to do was get there.

I didn't take nearly enough voice notes to make a very detailed journal, but suffice it to say the week was enjoyable. It would have been much more so had I actually known anyone, but regardless, it was an entirely new (and cool) experience to be walking the hallways and see other developers wearing polo shirts with the logos of software packages that I use. Wow! These are the people who actually make the programs I use in my day to day life. Pretty neat. (Putting in an in-person feature request to the Panic folks who developed Coda was definitely a highlight of the week for me).

With that summary, I digress to the actual voice notes I did take, both about WWDC itself, and about my explorations around the nearby streets of San Francisco.

- WWDC truly is an international event and community. My first day I sat for lunch with someone from England, and that evening met someone at my hotel from France. Roaming the hallways I saw any number of people with power adapters and converters for their laptops' power adapters, allowing them to plug into American outlets in the same way that I've had to use electrical adapters when I've traveled overseas. And there were Asians everywhere, and they were all really smart.

- Walking the streets of San Francisco the day before the conference was an entirely new experience for me: I'd never been that close to so many homeless people and beggars walking around on the street. Reading their signs was a might bit depressing, though the one that read "I need a girlfriend" I just found to be terribly hilarious. Conversely, the sadest sign I saw offered "Will take verbal abuse for spare change". During the conference days themselves, there was a beggar with a very clever line sitting not too far from the Moscone entrance: as we (the attendees) walked past he would call out "My name is [so-and-so] and I'll be your pan-handler for the next 5 feet"–he had a fairly sharp sense of humor about him.

- San Francisco has an overabundance of banks and cell phone store: without fail I passed at least one or two per block as I walked around. Scary.

- The Golden Gate bridge was too far away to walk to from where my hotel was, and I didn't feel like braving a trolley to get there, but I did manage to find my way to a peer overlooking water, which was beautiful. All in all, despite the somewhat cultural shock of seeing the inner city, walking around the city for those several hours was definitely fun, and relaxing.

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