WWDC 2017

This year I got to attend WWDC for the second time!

Here I’m going to try and explain what WWDC is like, what you can expect if you go, and a little bit of what I learned and experienced this year.

There are a ton of new things coming out – new hardware, the refined macOS High Sierra, and new frameworks for augmented and virtual reality, machine learning.

On a selfish level, though what I’m most excited about is the new Xcode 9, with all the new features that will make my day-to-day a lot better! We can finally refactor Swift code!


Apple has a free WWDC App for iOS where you can view the schedule of sessions, labs, and events.

All of the sessions will be available online after the conference, but labs are only available during the week. Because of this, I think the most effective way to get the most value out of WWDC would be to:

The goal being to maximize the amount of information you can get out of Apple engineers by optimizing your time spent in the labs.


The sessions are where they go into detail about the new things announced during the Keynote and Platforms State of the Union. They are an excellent resource to learn how to use the new features. The best part is that they are all available online afterwards!

I haven’t been able to watch all of the sessions, but some of the big takeaways I got from the sessions I did go to:


There are a lot of different labs at WWDC, where you can ask specific questions and get answers directly from WWDC engineers. They are divided by category, so there is a UIKit Lab, Swift Open Hours, Build Tools Lab, CoreML Lab, etc.

Generally you will want to go in with a specific question or problem that you’d like the engineers to help you out with. If your problem is something that seems to be a bug, don’t be surprised if they just end up asking you to file a radar.

With some other labs, especially those concerning the new features, you can go in with a more general question. These conversations can be pretty enlightening about what certain technologies can and can’t do or how you might include new features into your app.

Some questions that I’ve asked in the past:


There are events going on pretty much every night at WWDC, both sanctioned by Apple and other companies. Apple events can usually be found in the WWDC App, and there usually is no problem getting into those events.

For third-party events, I recommend using the Parties for WWDC app. It keeps an updated list of events that are happening, and has links to the registration pages. The registration for these events sell out really quickly, so act fast! If you missed some, put your name on the waitlist for a few of them, and you might get into one.

This year I attended these events:


Of course, one of the biggest benefits of a conference is meeting other developers. There were 5,300 developers at WWDC alone, not counting the people who where next door at AltConf and CocoaConf. It’s a very common occurrence to be walking down the street and see any number of people wearing the same WWDC jacket as you, even far away from the convention center.

Even high-profile members of the iOS community are very approachable at WWDC.

WWDC only comes once a year. Take advantage of the time to meet new friends and spend time with old friends you haven’t seen since last WWDC!


If you are a developer in the Apple ecosystem, then WWDC is the conference that you should attend. Even though certain sessions are live-streamed and all the sessions are available online, it’s a really great opportunity to learn about all the new features, get in touch with other developers, and talk to actual Apple engineers.