Neil Macy

How I prepare for WWDC

WWDC is an annual, week-long event, which delivers lots of new API for developers to build on. There's a huge amount of content from that week, so it can be hard to keep up. Here's how I approach it.

You Can't Do It All

I never try to get through every session. To narrow things down, I identify two categories of session:

  1. Useful to my work.
  2. Most interesting to me. (I sometimes have to be harsh with this one!)

This usually helps me bring it down to around 1/3 of the sessions. I focus on what I need to learn, and what I'm most excited to discover, while accepting that there will be new things that I'll have to park for a later date. For example, this year I don't expect to watch VisionOS sessions.

The Apple Developer app is a great way to keep track of what you want to watch. I go through sessions and bookmark them in the app, then I can filter out the extra sessions that I don't plan to watch just now.

Remember You May Not Be Able To Use This For A While

It's unusual for most developers to get to support the latest OS as soon as it ships. You'll have customers who take time to upgrade. So there's a good chance you'll have to wait a year or two, depending on your scale and your user demographic, before you can use the new code. This is a great way to help yourself focus on what matters to you now.

Set Aside Dedicated Time

It's easy to try to squeeze in watching session videos around work, but often, meetings, work deadlines, and other pesky distractions will get in the way. If you work for yourself, schedule time in your calendar to watch sessions and try out new code. If you work for a company, ask for personal development time to follow along, and again, dedicate time in your calendar for it.

Write Code

Get stuck in! Even if you are just copying sample code, it's fun to get to try the new capabilities of your platform.

Make a demo app to try things out, and you might even end up with something you want to ship.

Share Your Excitement

If you see new API you like the look of it, talk about it! Share it on social media, write a blog post, do a presentation in work to tell your colleagues.

Published on 27 May 2024