WWDC 2010 Journal, Day 3

Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 7:58 AM

By Mike Morton, Google Mac Team

Google engineer Mike Morton eschews sleep (mostly) while attending Apple's WWDC in San Francisco. Here's his account of day 3 in the life of an iDeveloper.

Things are settling into a routine. After dinner, I retreat to my hotel room and wrestle with the wifi to catch up on email and look at tomorrow’s sessions. I worry about which sessions to skip so I can visit scheduled labs and pump Apple engineers for advice. Today I attended four sessions and skipped two. That ratio seemed about right.

Many labs are busy. I waited a long time to ask a couple of questions about Core Data. That’s an Apple technology for storing info, not related to the phylum chordata. After an hour, I gave up. But the busiest lab is the one for User Interface consulting, where you can show your prototype application to Apple UI gurus and get advice. This takes place in private rooms, because prototypes are often secret. Unlike other labs, this one takes reservations, and by early morning they’re booked for the whole day. That must be frustrating for folks who don’t get a slot, but I’m glad that so many people care about the fit and finish of their apps.

Today’s sessions were great…but of course the non-disclosure agreement won't let me tell you about them. During one session, I took frantic notes, emailed them off to my team on the east coast, then got questions back that I asked at a session an hour later. Technology is so useful!

The obligatory power adapter shot

I caught most of a lunchtime talk by Pixar Senior Technologist Michael Johnson about Pixar’s internal software projects. His talk was fast-paced and witty, with a lot of lessons about how to make good in-house software. He mentioned one important deal that happened because of a conversation at WWDC’s annual beer bash. The clear lesson was that beer bashes are an important part of the industry. Just as we always suspected.

In between sessions and labs I caught up with old friends and colleagues. I've been doing this for a while, and sometimes I get a little behind. I asked one friend about his toddlers, and he showed me a photo of his older daughter in an evening gown. Other parents are fretting about college choices and driver's licenses. It's nice to be reminded that geeks have a life, too.

Some non-geek friends have been in touch by email, curious about what’s going on. They’re especially interested in FaceTime, and other possible uses for the front-facing camera. One friend suggested that it will make a handy mirror. That gives me a great idea for an app: Do I Have Spinach in My Teeth?

Thursday is my last day. I'm taking a redeye home Thursday night. Friday is supposed to be a work day. We’ll see how that goes. And now it's time to start packing.