My first day at WWDC, and why it changes everything.

Posted on June 11, 2013 by Lukas under Conferences | No comments

WWDC'13 PhotoToday started this year’s WWDC, and since I won the scholarship, I had the incredible opportunity to be part of it. In this blog post, I’ll try to summarize the most important things from my personal perspective, and I’ll tell you guys why it is a big deal not only for Apple and for the whole world, but also for me personally.

I woke up at 4:00 am, and I managed to be in the line for Keynote around 4:45. Even though it was over 4 hours until the keynote started, it didn’t feel that long at all. When the line was still outside, people were going along it and were handing people free stuff (like promotional items), and then Apple employees went giving people coffee, with coffee backpacks on their backs. I was also talking with a bunch of people during the line and it was quite inspiring. Both of the developers whom I showed my app really liked it, so this was pretty encouraging for me. When we got inside and I managed to connect to wifi with my macbook, I sent a couple of pictures and a message to one of the largest Czech apple sites (LsA), for which I am doing reporting from the conference. Then we were gradually let go further and further, to the Presidio (the huge main room where the keynote is held). I got quite a nice spot, but if I was a little bit faster during the moving inside the building, I probably could have been much closer to the podium.

But anyway, the atmosphere was simply amazing. When Tim Cook showed up and people started cheering, it was really astonishing. It really drew me in completely. You can’t absolutely compare the video with being there in person. And the introductory video – that was really breathtaking. Apple’s company values (and life values) are like the heart of the company, the core thing that makes them so successful and that makes it possible for them to be so successful, and I relate to it so much. I think that if they had any other motivation for their work than that do, their products couldn’t be as great as they are. As far as all the new products are concerned, it was really cool. All the optimization in the OS X Maverick seems to be like a great step forward. The Apple maps on OS X is also a great idea, especially when it’s also going to be part of SDK for developers to use it. And the iOS 7 – I have really mixed feelings about it. Or at least I had, at first. Most of the things are really cool, but the icons of the Apple apps on the home screen are not that nice, in my opinion. What also bothers me is that I will have to remake a lot of things in my app, and create new graphics which will be aligned with the system from scratch. Actually, I already have some cool ideas of how I am going to do certain things, but still, it will delay the launch date of my app, and that’s quite disappointing for me.

After the keynote, I went outside to eat my lunch (because the Level 1 was completely full), and I met there with David, a guy that I was with on a trip to Silicon Valley that we did yesterday. A Chinese reporter asked us for interview, and we did it for her (I am curious if she’s going to use it) It was quite hard for me, I am still having trouble with actually using English in spoken form (but it’s fortunately getting a lot better with every day of being here in states).

Then I went to drop all the stuff I was carrying around from the morning to the hotel, and went to a pizza place to meet with Eduardo, David and other guys from the Silicon Valley trip.

At 14:30, the Platforms State of the Union kicked-off. It was really amazing talk about iOS 7 and Mac OS X Maverick from developer’s point of view, and the Xcode 5 also looked cool, packed with a lot of useful tools and features. After that was the Apple Design Awards 2013. This one actually made quite an impression on me (in a different way then the previous talks). I somehow saw in it the huge gap between American society and Czech society. In czech, if you show even a small sign of success, most of the people get jealous. They won’t appreciate your work and they’ll try to discourage you from what you are doing, because they are too lazy to do something themselves. We are taught that kind of thinking in school, from an early age. It’s like: do what you’re told, do what you are supposed to do, do what is “right”, because everybody else is doing it. That’s what the czech society constantly thrust into your mind. When they were calling each of the developers who won the ADA on the stage, the people in the audience were really thrilled for them, and the way they reacted showed admiration and encouragement to carry on and keep up the great work, as the opposite of Czech Republic where people are usually crappy when hearing about someone else’s success. Also, what I felt really strongly was that I want to finish my app, and I want it really soon. But in order to really move forward quickly and in order to have the creative state of mind when you are getting great ideas for the UI and logical solutions to the problems you are dealing with, you have to work in a good environment, and you need to have the luxury to be able to focus on the task without being distracted by constant demands of your time by other “institutions”. And now I am finally getting back to the title of this post – ‘why it changes everything’. The whole day was so awesome, I really felt the urge to start crashing the whole apps developing again. It feels exactly like the “kick in the butt” that I desperately needed so much. I know for quite some time that I’ll have to fundamentally change certain aspects of my life. You realize how much you dislike certain things when you have the luxury of not being exposed them for some time; that’s what happening to me now. I want to finally get in control of my life, I want to make the bet on my passion for the work I do, because deep down in my heart and in my stomach, I know that it will work. It will work, if I do what is necessary to make it work. And I believe that if I’ll follow my intuition which is already whispering me what these things are, things will really start to move forward with mile steps.

I think that it has a lot to do with fear. If you manage to overcome fear, if you stop trying to avoid it and if you stop giving up to it, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for you. I realized that on the plane here to San Fran, when I was heading to the other side of the planet; alone, and for two long weeks. I could feel the fear in my stomach, but I also felt it was necessary to overcome it, and I believed that it’ll be an awesome and enlightening experience (and now I can say: it is!). I believe that all those emotions, the moments of being frightened, have their own reasons that we, people, can’t understand, and the best thing how to deal with them is to stop trying to avoid them and to accept them gracefully.