Developing Perspective

#128: WWDC Tips and Etiquette.


00:00:00   Hello and welcome to Developing Perspective.

00:00:05   Developing Perspective is a podcast discussing news of note in iOS development, Apple, and the like.

00:00:06   I'm your host, David Smith.

00:00:11   I'm an independent iOS and Mac developer based in Herndon, Virginia.

00:00:12   This is show number 128.

00:00:14   Today is Thursday, June 6th, 2013.

00:00:16   Developing Perspective is never longer than 15 minutes, so let's get going.

00:00:19   All right, so this is the pre-WWDC episode.

00:00:22   Next Monday, WWDC, the Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off in the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

00:00:27   I'll be one of the lucky few who got a ticket and will be in actual attendance joining the

00:00:32   seemingly thousands of other people who will be in town just to generally talk to each

00:00:37   other, have conversations, and improve our craft, and to talk about all the cool stuff

00:00:42   that's hopefully going to be announced on Monday, and to just really connect with the

00:00:46   community, which is a great part about WWDC.

00:00:49   There's two things I was going to talk about in today's episode.

00:00:51   The first is to discuss just some of the hits and tips, things that I've discovered about

00:00:56   being at WWDC, having gone, I think this is my fourth or fifth.

00:01:00   It's been basically the iPhone era.

00:01:02   I've been there since-- except for the first one

00:01:05   since the iPhone was announced.

00:01:07   And then after that, I just kind of get

00:01:09   into a little bit of some etiquette stuff, some things

00:01:12   that kind of are my pet peeves that once a year I get up

00:01:14   on my soapbox and talk about.

00:01:16   But anyway, so to start off with, if you're going to WWDC

00:01:19   and you're getting-- sort of heading to San Francisco,

00:01:21   there's a lot of great guides.

00:01:22   I think Jeff LaMarsh is a good one.

00:01:24   Casey Ellis is a good one.

00:01:25   The little guides and things are good to read through if it's the first time there.

00:01:28   Just kind of get a sense and a flavor of what it's like, what are the experiences you should

00:01:33   be looking for, what kind of...

00:01:36   Maybe getting a roadmap is a good word for it, and I'll have those in the show notes.

00:01:38   Definitely want to read through those.

00:01:40   Generally, some of the high-level things and the things that I made mistakes the first

00:01:43   year.

00:01:44   Make sure you get your badge on Sunday.

00:01:46   Hopefully you're flying in the day before the conference starts, so hopefully this Sunday.

00:01:50   And you definitely want to go...

00:01:51   I think registration is typically open all day on Sunday.

00:01:54   And so you want to go immediately to there, check in your hotel, do all that kind of stuff.

00:02:00   Make sure at some point during registration when it's open on Sunday you go get your badge,

00:02:04   because it'll be a little bit more complicated in the morning when you're probably waiting

00:02:07   in line for the keynote, and then you need a badge to get in, so then you have to leave

00:02:11   the line and go get your badge.

00:02:12   And it can be a bit complicated.

00:02:14   It's definitely just recommended to go get your badge.

00:02:16   Make sure everything's set up and good in terms of if something's funny with your ticket.

00:02:20   You want to know that as soon as possible.

00:02:21   So stop by the conference center Sunday.

00:02:23   It's also a nice place, there's a lot of people just hanging out as they get in the lobby,

00:02:28   and it's kind of a nice place to do that initial meetup and say hi to people.

00:02:32   I mentioned this before. It's a good thing to make sure that if you are going to the

00:02:37   conference that you have, if you have any questions or things that you want to talk to with an Apple engineer,

00:02:41   specifically in the labs, when you want to sit down and talk, make sure you have that written down.

00:02:45   Make sure you have that planned out, and you can look at the schedule for the labs and make sure you take advantage of that time.

00:02:49   time. It's just something that I wish I'd done for a couple of times, where I had questions,

00:02:55   but I didn't quite have them organized, and then I kind of missed the opportunity or missed

00:02:58   the right lab. And so being prepared for that is good.

00:03:02   Another kind of thing that's important to think about is just make sure you don't feel

00:03:06   like you have to go crazy and overdo it at the conference. This is one of those things

00:03:11   that for me, especially the first couple of years, I felt like I had to go to-- I've paid

00:03:16   all this money, I flew all the way here, I need to deseeze something absolutely every

00:03:20   session. I have to go to every event. I have to do everything." And the reality was what

00:03:24   ended up happening is that worked well for Monday and Tuesday, but then by Wednesday,

00:03:28   Thursday, and a little Friday, I was totally destroyed. I was drinking from a fire hose

00:03:33   far too much. And so that was a little bit overwhelming. And so what I typically found

00:03:39   moreover is periodically I'll take breaks, I'll space him out a little bit, make sure

00:03:44   that I'm taking care of myself in order to take full advantage of the conference. It

00:03:47   sounds like this year especially they're going to be putting out videos almost immediately,

00:03:50   so you don't have to worry about that side of it as much. But it's something that I want

00:03:55   to encourage you that you're there to learn, and you're best able to learn the better you

00:03:59   take care of yourself.

00:04:01   And similarly along those lines, make sure you're not overdoing it in terms of going

00:04:05   out and partying too late. Make sure you're hydrated, all the usual self-care things that

00:04:10   you're going to want to do if you want to have a really rich experience there. I know

00:04:16   people who go out and get a little too caught up on Monday night, and then it kind of ruins

00:04:21   the rest of the weekend, like they're all hungover on Tuesday. And that kind of stuff.

00:04:24   I feel like you just want to take care of yourself, and you want to make sure that you're

00:04:28   able to enjoy the experience as much as possible. So that's just some high-level things.

00:04:32   And lastly, I want to talk a little bit about the keynote itself. Every year's a little

00:04:36   bit different. But just to give you a sense, if you want to get into the main room, if

00:04:40   you want to be in the actual big room for the keynote, you probably need to be there.

00:04:46   My gut would say before, I don't even know, it varies every year, but probably before

00:04:51   seven, before six or seven in the morning probably. After that, the line will go all

00:04:58   the way around the building, and it's a pretty crazy thing. And they just kind of stage the

00:05:02   line, they'll let a first group of people in, then the next group of people in, and

00:05:05   the line will snake all the way through the convention center and so on.

00:05:09   And then, it varies every year, but typically I've never found it to be a problem because

00:05:13   usually I'm coming from the East Coast, which is a three hour time difference, and I have

00:05:17   a son who wakes up very early in the morning.

00:05:19   Pretty much I'm up by no later than 6 a.m. every day.

00:05:23   So for me, I often just wake up at three or four in the morning, San Francisco time on

00:05:27   my own, can't go back to sleep, and so often I'll just go and get in line.

00:05:30   But if you want to be in the line, if you want to get in there early, definitely something

00:05:35   you have to plan for.

00:05:40   Typically otherwise, you'll be able to get in.

00:05:41   You'll just go into one of the many overflow rooms.

00:05:44   I think they pipe the keynote into a couple of different rooms

00:05:45   in the convention center just to make sure that anybody

00:05:48   who wants to watch it can.

00:05:51   But if it's important for you to be in person,

00:05:53   it's something to keep in mind.

00:05:54   When you actually get into the main presidio,

00:05:55   the big room that the keynote's in,

00:05:58   the kind of funny thing is you actually,

00:06:01   if you think about it as if you're in first in line,

00:06:00   and you're going to be in the front row,

00:06:05   you're going to be sorely disappointed

00:06:06   because the first, probably third of the section

00:06:08   is roped off for press and VIPs.

00:06:13   And so in my experience, you actually don't want to be

00:06:15   in the front of the developer section

00:06:18   because you're close enough to the front

00:06:20   that they don't have the big screens on the side

00:06:24   to show you what's going on,

00:06:28   but you're not close enough to actually see the stage.

00:06:30   And so what I tend to do is actually be about maybe halfway

00:06:33   in the developer section.

00:06:34   Even if I could have gone closer,

00:06:36   I'll go there, position myself next to one

00:06:38   of the nice big screens so I can just comfortably look up

00:06:40   and watch.

00:06:41   But I can still see the stage if I need to.

00:06:43   That's kind of what I do.

00:06:45   Now I'm going to dive into a little bit of some of the

00:06:47   etiquette things.

00:06:48   And this is something that I last year-- I think it was

00:06:51   episode 53 of Developing Perspective.

00:06:53   I talked about this again.

00:06:55   There's a lot of things that I-- it's one of these things

00:06:56   that I wish I didn't have to do every year,

00:06:59   or feel like I should do every year,

00:07:02   is there's a lot of people who,

00:07:04   it's like you just kind of wish people would,

00:07:06   some things wouldn't need to be said,

00:07:07   people would act like adults, people would be responsible,

00:07:09   people would take care of things.

00:07:11   But this is just one of those things,

00:07:12   maybe it's just my personality, my temperament,

00:07:13   that kind of really bugs me when I see people

00:07:15   being disrespectful of others and so on.

00:07:17   And it's just something that I wanted to then put out,

00:07:19   to kind of have, these are Dave's 10 rules of

00:07:23   how to not be a jerk at WWDC.

00:07:24   And these are things that generally--

00:07:26   99% of people are good, but that 1%

00:07:28   can really spoil the experience for a lot of others.

00:07:32   So the first thing I wanted to talk about

00:07:33   is make sure that you're appreciative and thankful

00:07:35   of the Apple engineers and employees who

00:07:37   are putting this on.

00:07:38   And definitely sometimes you see people

00:07:40   who have this sense of entitlement

00:07:43   that because they paid to be there

00:07:44   and they flew all this way, that they

00:07:46   own the engineer and the engineer owes them

00:07:49   lots of time and attention and whatever it is.

00:07:51   They're there, they're doing their job,

00:07:53   And you want to be respectful of that.

00:07:58   And in general, the more polite, the more friendly,

00:07:59   the kinder you are to them, the better your experience will be,

00:08:03   the farther they'll go to go above and beyond

00:08:05   to make sure that you're well taken care of.

00:08:07   So say thank you to everybody you can.

00:08:09   Make sure you're polite, respectful,

00:08:13   you're not butting into people's conversations, etc.

00:08:15   So just be respectful, especially of the Apple engineers,

00:08:17   because they're engineers just like you.

00:08:19   These aren't professional conference putter honors.

00:08:20   These are engineers just like you who are taking a break

00:08:25   from their regular job to try and help you.

00:08:28   So be respectful and considerate of that.

00:08:30   Also make sure that you're respectful of your fellow attendees,

00:08:34   and especially this is something that always bugs me during the actual sessions.

00:08:37   Make sure that if you're going to attend a session

00:08:41   and you don't expect to necessarily pay attention,

00:08:45   and this is something you'll see more often than,

00:08:47   it kind of surprised me initially, but you'll see a lot.

00:08:47   people who go into a session, sit down, immediately pull out

00:08:49   their laptop and just start typing away,

00:08:52   hacking on whatever.

00:08:53   And they're just vaguely listening.

00:08:54   If you're going to do that, that's cool.

00:08:56   That's your choice.

00:08:57   But please sit and sit towards the back of the room.

00:08:59   Maybe sit all the way in the back row.

00:09:01   So you're not just distracting everyone else in front of you

00:09:04   with your glowing screen sitting in the front row,

00:09:07   sort of not paying attention.

00:09:08   It's just not really kind and respectful to everybody.

00:09:11   Make sure if you're taking notes on an iPad

00:09:13   that the keyboard noises are turned off,

00:09:15   because that is probably the most annoying sound you'll ever hear.

00:09:18   And related to that, make sure obviously all your technology is on silent.

00:09:21   And this is one of those things that I think a lot of people get right

00:09:24   for their phone.

00:09:25   But especially as the proliferation of devices--

00:09:27   iPads, laptops, all kinds of things that people have with them--

00:09:30   a number of times you'll be sitting into a session, and halfway through you'll

00:09:34   hear like the Twitter-rific refresh sound, or that kind of thing,

00:09:38   or the mail bing, or whatever.

00:09:42   Just make sure all your devices are powered off and turned

00:09:45   quiet.

00:09:45   And a little tip on that, if you are booting up

00:09:48   your MacBook Pro or your MacBook Air during a session,

00:09:52   is you're turning it on, and you want

00:09:53   to avoid that like dong sound when it first comes on.

00:09:56   If you hold down the mute key, it won't make it, I believe.

00:09:59   So just a little tip there to try and be

00:10:02   quiet and respectful of people around you.

00:10:04   And then related to that, and building on that,

00:10:07   this is my number one pet peeve.

00:10:09   And this is, if you do nothing else about my little etiquette

00:10:12   soap boxes, I'm up here railing and trying to improve everybody's experience by talking

00:10:16   about these things. What will often happen is a presenter will go through their talk,

00:10:23   they'll give their talking away, their talking away, their talking, and then they'll put

00:10:27   up their, essentially, in conclusion slide, and they'll have a quick summary or talk a

00:10:30   little bit about what you just learned slide. The thing that drives me more crazy than anything

00:10:37   is people who, as soon as that slide pops up,

00:10:42   will noisily pack up their stuff and leave.

00:10:45   So the presenter has about 30 seconds more

00:10:47   of their talk that they're going to do.

00:10:50   It's not long, they're basically said, "I'm done,"

00:10:52   but at that point you're just like,

00:10:53   "Oh, whatever, I'm going to get up and leave."

00:10:56   And do it in a disruptive, noisy way.

00:10:57   No matter how quiet you're trying to be,

00:10:59   you're always going to make noise.

00:11:01   And it always just makes me sad when I see presenters

00:11:02   who really were doing a great job,

00:11:06   who were really excited, who were really into their topic,

00:11:04   really knocking it out of the park.

00:11:06   And all of a sudden, they put up their concluding slide, and before they have actually ended,

00:11:10   before they've had their last word, half the people get up and leave.

00:11:13   In a way, they'll often just cut their talk short in a way that it just feels sad and

00:11:19   is very disrespectful of the presenter.

00:11:21   That's one thing.

00:11:22   If you go into a session, in the first five minutes you realize you're totally in the

00:11:25   wrong place, it isn't what you thought it was going to be, and you want to go catch

00:11:28   another session in those first couple of minutes, you want to get up and go, that seems totally

00:11:32   appropriate and reasonable to me.

00:11:33   But if you've sat there and you've gotten all the value for the first 55 minutes, and

00:11:38   you feel like you need to leave before 55 minutes and 30 seconds later, then that doesn't

00:11:43   sit right with me.

00:11:44   So definitely just sit there.

00:11:45   Just be patient.

00:11:46   It'll finish.

00:11:47   No matter what, you're going to be waiting in line for the next session.

00:11:50   Sessions rarely are totally overbooked.

00:11:51   And if they are, Apple is good at making sure they're rescheduled.

00:11:54   And I think even the videos this year will be up the next day or that day.

00:11:57   So it shouldn't be a problem.

00:11:59   So just please be respectful of your presenters.

00:12:01   That's just my little pet peeve.

00:12:02   that I'm always going to get on my soapbox and talk about.

00:12:05   The other thing is make sure you pick up your trash.

00:12:07   We're all adults here.

00:12:08   We're all hopefully respectful kind of people

00:12:10   who understand that leaving trash on the floor just isn't cool.

00:12:14   It's just not something you do.

00:12:15   So pick up your trash, put it in a receptacle,

00:12:17   or put it next to a receptacle.

00:12:18   If the receptacle is full, be an adult about it.

00:12:21   Be respectful about people in terms of waiting in line,

00:12:23   or waiting online if you're from New York,

00:12:25   or queuing if you're from Europe.

00:12:27   You are going to spend a lot of time waiting for other things

00:12:30   in line with people.

00:12:31   And so being kind and having good etiquette about that,

00:12:36   I think is an important part of having a good experience.

00:12:38   And it's just one of those things that being respectful

00:12:40   of how you'd want other people to do it for you.

00:12:43   And the biggest part of that, I think,

00:12:44   is making sure that when you're in line,

00:12:46   A, that you're not doing silly things

00:12:48   in terms of line-holding and things.

00:12:50   Like there's nothing more sort of annoying

00:12:52   when you're waiting in line, you're waiting in line,

00:12:54   and then I'll walk 10 of someone's friends

00:12:57   and get in line in front of you

00:12:58   as though they were holding that line for someone.

00:12:59   But be reasonable about that.

00:13:01   My general rule of thumb is you can have a two to one ratio.

00:13:03   So one person can hold space for maybe up to two people,

00:13:06   but otherwise, that just gets silly

00:13:08   and gets a bit overwhelmed.

00:13:10   So generally be respectful of people's time

00:13:12   and their attention.

00:13:13   You're going to spend a lot of time waiting in line

00:13:14   and just generally bumping into people.

00:13:16   Sometimes people want to talk.

00:13:17   Sometimes people want to chill out.

00:13:20   And be respectful and aware of that.

00:13:22   That when someone-- if you try to engage with somebody

00:13:25   and they say, oh, hey, how you doing?

00:13:26   It's like, hi, I'm Dave.

00:13:27   And they say, oh, hi, I'm Bill.

00:13:28   And they pick up their phone and start

00:13:29   chatting their email or whatever.

00:13:30   They're sending you a message, "Hey, maybe I don't want to talk."

00:13:35   And just be respectful of that.

00:13:37   A lot of people are doing different things,

00:13:38   are kind of exhausted and just want some time to themselves.

00:13:40   So be respectful of that.

00:13:43   And similarly, be careful when you're getting too salesy.

00:13:44   A lot of people are going to be interested in what you're doing,

00:13:48   but there's a time and a place for doing that

00:13:50   that's natural in the conversation.

00:13:52   Don't feel like, it's like walk up and say, "Hi, I'm Bill

00:13:54   and I make this product and I think you should check it out."

00:13:56   I'm not at a sales conference.

00:13:55   I'm not walking up to your booth at a convention.

00:14:00   I'm here to enjoy a conference."

00:14:02   So just be careful about that.

00:14:04   If someone wants to talk and you're going to engage them in conversation,

00:14:06   they're always going to ask you, "Hey, what do you do?"

00:14:09   And that's the right time to do it.

00:14:11   And similarly, you can also run into a bunch of people.

00:14:13   I guess you call them internet famous or whatever.

00:14:15   There's a lot of people I look up to that I have always looked forward to,

00:14:17   maybe the opportunity that I might meet them at something like this.

00:14:19   Maybe be extra respectful of that.

00:14:23   And the way I tend to do that is just make sure that it's great.

00:14:23   It's one thing to go up and say, hey, I love your work.

00:14:26   I really appreciate what you do.

00:14:28   And at that point, you've given them an opportunity to say.

00:14:29   If they'll say, oh, great, thanks.

00:14:31   At that point, it's be like, yeah,

00:14:32   it was great to meet you, thanks.

00:14:34   But if they dive into conversation, great.

00:14:36   But give them the opportunity to do that.

00:14:38   All right, that's it, basically.

00:14:40   Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you all next week

00:14:41   in San Francisco.

00:14:42   I just think it should be a great week.

00:14:43   Hopefully, you're out there, even if you don't have a ticket.

00:14:45   And if not, and if you are, make sure you just sort of ping me,

00:14:48   look out for me.

00:14:48   I'll be around.

00:14:49   It'd be great to meet listeners to the show.

00:14:51   And until then, I'm on _DavidSmith on Twitter,

00:14:54   and I hope you have a great week.

00:14:56   Safe travels for everyone traveling,

00:14:57   and I'll see you next week in San Francisco.