ALT
McEnery Convention Center lit up with a huge WWDC19 banner

In April 2019, I was ecstatic to find out I was awarded a WWDC scholarship by Apple, who gave me a scholarship ticket, food and accommodation for the week of WWDC19, from June 3rd to June 7th.

Throughout the week, I met so many amazing people, learned so much and had great fun. I had an incredible experience, so I wrote this post to share my experience.

Checking in

Sunday, June 2nd

ALT
In the line with Erik, Sam and Sal

Although I arrived late Saturday night, it all started Sunday morning. We woke up early and got in line to check in, where we received our swag, including conference badges, jackets, pins, and an exclusive Scholars t-shirt!

ALT
Me and Erik after checking in

After checking in, Apple had a nice breakfast for all attendees outside, with breakfast burritos and drinks.

ALT
Breakfast outside McEnery Convention Center

Scholarship Kickoff

Sunday, June 2nd

ALT
Scholarship Kickoff at Discovery Meadow
ALT
Meeting iJustine
ALT
Apple Engineers welcoming us

As in previous years, Apple organized a Kickoff on Sunday afternoon for all the scholarship winners, where scholars were able to chat with over 100 Apple Engineers and recruiters, who answered questions and spoke about what they did at Apple.

Additionally, there were a few food trucks with free lunch for scholars and chaperones, serving food from all around the world, including Asian, Mexican and American food.

Later on, after speaking with the engineers, who were incredibly insightful, I met famous tech YouTuber iJustine!

I was also able to meet and briefly chat with Esther Hare, Senior Director of Worldwide Developer Marketing at Apple, who has a large part in organizing the WWDC Scholarship program.

ALT
Meeting Esther Hare

Keynote

Monday, June 3rd

ALT
Waiting in line for the Keynote

The conference officially began on Monday, with the Keynote. Although most attendees get in line very early to ensure a great spot in the hall, scholars get reserved seating, so we were able to get up a little later.

ALT
Tim Cook at the Keynote

Although it wasn’t my first keynote in person, it was still really fun, especially thanks to the immense number of important announcements this year.

(If you haven’t watched the keynote yet, it’s available here)

ALT

🤯

ALT
Apple really did this year...

Sessions

June 4th—7th

For the rest of the week, I attended a lot of sessions each day. Here are some of my favorites from the week:

ALT
Implementing Dark Mode in iOS by Kurt Revis and Tyler Fox
ALT
Designing Award Winning Apps and Games by Lauren Strehlow and Doug LeMoine
ALT
Introducing Parameters for Shortcuts by Ari Weinstein and Roman Efimov

Apple Pro Studio

Tuesday, June 4th

ALT
Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR

On Tuesday, Apple allowed developers to register for the possibility to visit their Pro Studio, across the street from the convention center, where they showed off the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR they announced during the Keynote.

The Pro Studio was an incredibly nice setup, with 4 different focus areas where different professionals demonstrated how their tools, such as Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and Xcode were better and faster when running on Mac Pro.

ALT
Xcode running on Mac Pro with real time AR and fast builds

Finally, Apple also had a special area where they showed the new Pro Display XDR’s very high dynamic range. The screens looked incredible in person, although I was not able to capture them on my phone’s camera.

ALT
Apple Pro Display XDR

WWDC Store

Open June 4th—7th

ALT
Apple's Official WWDC Store at McEnery Convention Center
ALT
The merch available at the WWDC Store

On Tuesday, I also visited Apple’s WWDC store, where Apple sold exclusive WWDC19 swag and merch, including sweaters, shirts, hats and other accessories.

Official WWDC Run

Wednesday, June 5th

ALT
Guadalupe River Park (picture by Alexander Zank)
ALT
Joan Benoit Samuelson
ALT
Lining up for the run

On Wednesday, Global Running Day, Apple organized the official WWDC Run, where attendees participated in a 5k run through San Jose.

It was organized by Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner of the Boston Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, and the first ever Women’s Olympic Marathon.

Although I didn’t bring my phone on the run, the view was beautiful as we ran through the city and in the park nearby the convention center.

Lunchtime Sessions

Wednesday—Friday

On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Apple organized special lunchtime sessions where they invited special guests, including Chris Downey, who gave unique insights into being a “blind architect”, Dr. Ayanna Howard, who spoke about her work in the STEM education and robotics fields, and Brown Johnson (Creative Director for Sesame Workshop), who gave a behind the scenes peek at how Sesame Street has evolved through the years.

Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting

As these sessions were not recorded, Apple requested that we avoid taking photos or videos. However, here’s a small sneak peek of Grover’s introduction:


Swift over Coffee Live

Wednesday, June 5th

ALT
Swift over Coffee live with Paul Hudson, Sean Allen and Guilherme Rambo

On Wednesday night, I attended Swift over Coffee Live at AltConf, a live podcast where Paul and Sean spoke about what’s new. They were joined by special guests Kristina Fox, Guilherme Rambo, JP Simard, and Kaya Thomas.

After the show, I was also able to meet and chat with Guilherme, reporter, podcast speaker and spelunker.

ALT
Meeting Guilherme Rambo

The Bash

Thursday, June 6th

ALT
WWDC19 Bash
ALT
Weezer playing at the Bash
ALT
Meeting Craig Federighi

Apple held their annual Bash concert on June 6th, featuring the multi-platinum alt-rock band Weezer.

Although I’m not a fan of Weezer’s genre, it was an outstanding event, with pretty good food, drinks and a great performance.

Craig Federighi has been known to enjoy the Bash, and this year, he even came out into the crowd multiple times! I was able to snag a selfie and I think he saw me taking a picture when he did this…

ALT

🤘


Revisiting Apple Park

Friday, June 7th

ALT
Apple Park Visitor Center

Although I had been to Apple Park in the past, me and some other scholars went on Friday afternoon to buy some of the newly available shirts.

ALT
On the roof of Apple Park Visitor Center with Roland and Aaron


All good things must come to an end

And finally, it came time to say good bye, once again, to San Jose, California.

ALT
Leaving McEnery Convention Center
ALT
Back in Hong Kong, where I live

WWDC19 was a completely unbelievable and unforgettable week! Thanks to everyone at Apple and all the attendees for making it such a fun week.

If you’re a student, I strongly recommend that you consider applying for a WWDC 2020 scholarship. Whether or not you’re accepted, it’s a tremendous learning opportunity and very fun.