Monday: Got in line a little after 3:30AM for the keynote with my friend James. There were a couple hundred people in line in front of us. After awkwardly sleeping on the sidewalk for a bit, I met some new people. We stuck together until we got to the actual room for the keynote. A couple of companies came through with coffee, breakfast bars, fortune cookies, and of course, promo codes. Unfortunately, out of line at a coffee shop, I had the bad experience of someone asking me if I was part of the press. Sadly, this was not an isolated incident — some guy felt like it was appropriate to really find out if I was a developer by asking me about specifics of NSStrings. 🙁
Somewhere around 7AM, the line started to move as Apple employees told us to get closer together. After an hour, the line moved again as we got to move into the actual building. It was ridiculously disheartening to see all of the litter that people left behind, including full lawn chairs. Every hour or so, the line would move again as Apple employees told us to get closer and closer. There was one point when we got to go up a floor, and people were running up escalators, which was terrifying to watch. After that, people ran to the next set of doors… and then had to sit down for an hour. Luckily, there was breakfast and bathrooms! Unfortunately, someone thought it was a great idea to tell us to move closer together, yet again, until people were practically touching each other. I’m particularly short, so I was stuck in very close proximity to people’s armpits. Between that and the lack of sleep, I was on the verge of panicking because being stuck with no where to go in a crowd. Another hour later… we were finally in!
And after that, I decided I had enough energy to go to the Twitter/Crashlytics WWDC after party. They had awesome cocktails named after different elements from iOS. I got to meet more awesome people at Twitter, too! One of them, Kristine, had the best attitude: she said that she could love anything. That inspired me to see the positive in everything again — something that I lose sight of every so often. They also gave me restaurant recommendations!
Tuesday: Endless bagels and pastries for breakfast! Awesome!
I went to a WWDCGirls lunch at Medium. I got to meet a ridiculous number of awesome women, who were my new instant friends. Sharon and Gwen were so ridiculously enthusiastic and energetic. I had some residual stress and negative energy from the crowds of the keynote, and their energy completely counteracted it. It was nice to have that mind reset so I could fully get excited about life again.
Tuesday evening, I went to two parties: Nest and Square. At the Square party, I got to meet Natasha who I jokingly say is my counterpart because she works at Capital One Labs.
Wednesday: Met up with Dave who was in the same lab as I in grad school. He had just gotten a job at Apple. It was so nice to catch up with someone and see their successes!
There was a meetup for women and allies at WWDC. I think there was roughly 200 people there (maybe over 95% women), and it was very interesting. There were four breakout sessions; two being mentoring and diversity (can’t remember the other two). I think my takeaways from it was that while we need a space to vent and get advice from others about harassment, it’s especially important to hear success stories on how others handled situations. Nothing helped me more than hearing someone say how someone said something inappropriate and how they handled the situation in a way that I could envision myself handling it. I know that everyone has a different style, and I was definitely struggling to find someone who’s voice I could borrow while I tried to find my own. It’s very easy to feel isolated when you’re the only girl or one of a few girls, and something happens and you have no idea how to respond. I learn through examples, and so seeing examples of other people in similar social situations was immensely helpful for me.
Afterwards, there was an App Camp For Girls fundraiser. I got goosebumps when they announced that they had obliterated their goal of raising $5000 and got a little over $9000.
Thursday: I finally got to meet Jason! He had left Asynchrony right before I had started there so it seemed like everyone knew him except me. It was so nice to meet him and some of his other coworkers. I did spend most of our meal excitedly talking about how fancy the food was — I’m sure everyone in San Francisco thinks I’m mildly insane for being in a constant state of excitement about good food.
Thursday night was the WWDC Bash at Yerba Buena Gardens. Bastille was the band that played, and I thought it was odd that they had a fog machine outside. Overall, pretty fun way to get all of the people at WWDC together in a social setting.
Friday: Last day! My friend Mackenzie came to town the night before so we got to meet one of her old friends who was also attending WWDC.
I had a really great experience at WWDC. I met a lot of people who were really enthusiastic about the challenges of learning a new language, Swift. Going to WWDC inspired me to do more development when I’m not at work. I would definitely go again!