Rainbow at Apple Park

Exactly 2 months ago, I got an Invitation to WWDC 2023 and I have been thrilled ever since.

Today, I got to finally attend the conference.

I woke up at 07:15 and got ready and hopped into an Uber by 07:45. I reached Apple Park Visitor Center at 08:15. I checked-in at 08:30 and picked up my badge for the event and some Apple Swag and stood in the line for security check.

I was in a hurry to get in to the line and didn’t realize I wasn’t smiling for the selfie
WWDC23 Swag

Swag items

  1. Carter Wide Mug
  2. A sticker pack
  3. A bag
  4. A hat

That was it. Usually conferences have a ton of swag, but it’s usually from all the attending/participating companies. WWDC is fully managed by Apple. So, you can’t really expect much else.

Once I got past the security check, which took around 45 mins, I went on my way to enter the Apple Park, The Ring, the Spaceship campus. I was blown away by the beauty of the building. It’s massive and yet doesn’t feel that way. It’s just so very well built. You can tell that a lot of effort and planning went into it. The insanely clean glass, the structure, the plants, trees etc outside The Ring, everything looked beautiful.

I was running out of time to grab my breakfast, which I didn’t want to miss out as I was quite hungry and so, I got to Caffé Macs, a cafe at the Apple Park. This cafe is nice, big and has a massive seating area. The seating area is where Apple setup their WWDC23 screening area.

I thought the event would be live and at the Steve Jobs Theater, but to my surprise, I got to know from a Staff member that the event was pre-recorded. I was slightly disappointed, but it didn’t bother me.

At 09:50, the welcome presentation by Tim Cook and Craig Federighi began.

Tim Cook on the stage before the screening of the Keynote. Craig Federighi joined him a couple of mins later

At 10:00 sharp, the Keynote screening started. Of course, it was great and I really loved some of the new features Apple introduced into macOS, iOS, and watchOS, but the One More Thing stole the show. I loved how insanely cool Vision Pro is.

The keynote ended at 12:00 and all the developers headed for lunch at the same Caffé Macs. After waiting for food in the massive line, I was happy to grab food and finally settle down. They had some good food options. I found a table in the seating area and started eating and that’s when I noticed iJustine. At first, I thought I was confusing some other person with her and then I noticed Marques Brownlee. They were a few feet away from my table and taking pictures with some fans. I ran over to them to take a selfie with them and they obliged. Some other guy wanted to take a photo with them and he offered to take a photo of me with them if I did the same for him. Justine was very sweet and she said she would take another pic with me.

I then went back to my table and finished up my lunch. It was 13:00 and the next session was the Platforms State of the Union (SoTU) at 13:30. I figured I’d head down to the seating area to get a good seat. Luckily, I was on time and was able to get a seat in the 3rd row, up close to the main stage.

At 13:20, Craig Federighi joined the SoTU.

At 13:30, the session started.

It was fun. Unfortunately, the seat I picked was between two people who were clearly not interested in being there. The guy on my right kept saying that he didn’t like Apple and he’s an Android guy and kept mocking Apple. The lady on my left slept during the presentation…with a god damn snore. The session was scheduled for 1.5 hours. After about an hour, I moved to a different seat, so that I could focus on the presentation.

At 15:00, the session ended and everyone headed out for some snacks, which included fruit from the Apple Park.

Next up was the tours. The tours of –

  1. The Ring
  2. The inner meadows

I wasn’t particularly interested in the inner meadows tour, but I was really interested in The Ring tour. The thing is, both these tours required conference attendees to register early. It was limited and the registration was full by the time I even opened the web page to register.

So, I started wandering around. I wanted to head to the restroom and started walking towards it. As luck would have it, the first batch of The Ring tour had started. The folks leading the tour thought I was part of the first batch and just included me in it. And boom! I got into the tour 😀

The tour was fun. I got to checkout The Ring and my god, it’s a beautiful building.

The Ring is well documented online and you can find a ton of photos. That’s why I didn’t take a lot of photos as I wanted to focus on the tour of the beautiful building.

Part of the tour was an art museum at the entrance.

The art museum had various soils from the Apple Park

After the tour, I went and hung out with the developers from the Swift and Developer Tools team, Design team, and a few other teams. I had some fun and interesting conversations with the developers and the designers as I talked to them about my app.

I then headed back out to the seating area to see what was up next. As I was walked back, I bumped into Phil Schiller.

Phil seemed really chill

He seemed like a great guy. I spoke with him for a good 5 mins, something I didn’t expect to do with a person of his stature. He was patient and took time to answer my questions. I thanked him for his time and left.

It was 16:40 and the only event left was the Apple Design Awards at 17:30. I was tired of walking around The Ring the whole day and decided to head back home.

I walked 0.5 mile over to the Rideshare spot and booked myself an Uber and got home.

Overall, the conference was very good. Apple did a phenomenal job at organizing the conference. They even had a team to help disabled attendees. I loved the conference and the sessions. I would love to go back again next year. I tried to attend this conference for 13 years and got lucky with the lottery this year. I am definitely applying again next year.


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