This week is Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. WWDC is the world’s largest gathering of Apple developers. Here in the Moscone Centre in beautiful downtown San Francisco, there are 5000 developers, plus another 1200 engineers from Apple. The whole week is devoted to Apple helping its developers create better Mac software.
As a user experience researcher, I’m not a code jockey. There’s a lot for me here at WWDC anyway. I’m learning about new OS technologies and how we might be able to plug into them. There are open labs where I can chat with Apple engineers to learn more. Oh, and there are comfortable chairs in the common areas, where I get to meet my fellow WWDC attendees. This is my favourite part about attending WWDC: chatting with the other developers here, learning about their favourite sessions, and generally basking in the geekiness that is 5000 developers all together in one building. There’s a lot to learn, there’s a lot to share, and the energy that’s here is absolutely fantastic.
This year, WWDC falls at right at the time when we’re working the hardest on shipping Office 2008. Some members of our team have carved out a day (or even just a few hours!) to come to WWDC and attend the sessions that will have the most impact on them for our future work. We don’t get to spend as much time here at WWDC this week as we would normally, but we want to know what’s coming next and think about what we can do in the future. On Monday, I attended the keynote with some members of the PowerPoint team, and we spent the whole time whispering ideas to each other about what we think we could do in the version after Office 2008 with the Leopard features that Steve demoed.
There are lots of other ideas going around WWDC, too. I went to a session today that included a song break. The Apple engineers were on stage with guitars singing about Cocoa. Maybe that’s an idea we should consider for our booth at Macworld Expo in January 2008 …