It’s that time of the year again: the time when people start trying to get tickets to WWDC 14, the 2014 edition of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
When and where is WWDC 2014?
This year, it will take place from Monday, June 2 through Friday, June 6, 2014 in San Francisco at Moscone Center West.
Are you eligible to apply for WWDC tickets?
To be eligible, you need to have a developer account in one of these programs:
- iOS Developer Program
- iOS Developer Enterprise Program
- Mac Developer Program
…and that developer account has to have been active when WWDC was formally announced on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. EDT (GMT-4) / 5:30 a.m. PDT (GMT-7). You’re not eligible to apply for tickets to this year’s WWDC if you signed up for your developer account today after 8:30 Eastern.
You also need to be at least 13 years old to attend. If you’re between the ages of 13 and 17 inclusive, you’ll need a parent or legal guardian to complete the submission form.
Okay, I’m eligible. Now what?
Go to the WWDC ticket registration page (this link will take you straight there, bypassing all of Apple’s preamble) and submit your information. That’s it.
The demand for tickets is, to use a Steve Jobs-ism, insanely great, so you’re not actually buying a ticket at this point, but entering into a lottery. If you’re one of the lucky people selected in the lottery, you will be able to buy a ticket.
Make sure you apply by Monday, April 7 at 1:00 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) / 10:00 a.m. PDT (GMT-7), otherwise you won’t be eligible for the lottery.
How do I find out if I won the lottery?
Apple will notify you whether of not you won a ticket to WWDC in the lottery by Monday, April 7 at 8:00 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) / 5:00 p.m. PDT (GMT-7).
How much will a ticket cost if I win the lottery?
US$1600. Actually, it’s US$1599, but I won’t let you fall for the ol’ “price ending in ’99′” trick.
Don’t forget that there are also the costs of meals, travel, and accommodations. The Pickwick, the cheap-and-cheerful choice of many people who go to conferences at Moscone (it’s a short walk away), will run you about $220 a night at the early bird rate.
Is it worth going?
I’m going to have to go with the Standard Consultant’s Answer: “It depends”. Much of the material covered at WWDC sessions appears in Apple’s own documentation as well from other online sources, and Apple makes videos from WWDC sessions available on its Developers site (Steve Hayman informs me that the videos of sessions go up on the same day). If you’re going just to learn iOS/Mac OS programming, save the $1600 + hotel and travel costs and wait for the session videos to appear in Apple’s Developers site. If you really want to learn iOS/Mac OS programming that week, take the week off, pick a tutorial or project, and code, code, code.
The reason to go to WWDC is the actual in-the-flesh experience itself. I’d have loved to have had the chance to catch a real “Stevenote” in person, and hey, even a Tim-and-Craignote might be fun to see in real life as well. There’s also the open access to Apple engineers for in-person Q&A. And finally, there’s the chance to network with iOS and Mac OS developers and other techies, and the opportunities that can arise from that sort of thing (never, ever underestimate that!).
I think the “Is it worth going?” question was answered pretty nicely by this guy, who posted the following to a MacRumors discussion forum back in April 2009:
If you learn enough to increase your sales by around $10/day, or make enough connections to get (or contract out) a few dozen hours of consulting work, or find some new business partnerships or opportunities, attending could be more than worth it.
Plus, if you are selling apps, the tax deduction likely pays for a healthy percentage of the business cost (but ianal & ianacpa).
You’ll probably also want to read the Quora question “Why should a developer go to WWDC?”.