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WWDC – Technical Sessions


The reason most people go to WWDC is for the technical sessions – as a developer it is invaluable been able to learn from the people that made both the developer tools and the API’s that millions of people use daily.

Again, because of NDA, I can’t go into details about the sessions, but I can talk about what I got out of them.

Excluding the session on Tuesday night that I talked about before, and the WWDC Bash on Thursday night, there are four solid days of sessions and labs, taking part Tuesday to Thursday.

The sessions are largely continuations from previous years – they will either continue on from their previous series (sometimes dating back 5+ years) on an API (of course, the past videos are all online) or start from scratch (if the API is new, or occasionally just because they think more people should use it).  They run in any of the numerous massive rooms in the Moscone center, and sessions are usually run by the head developer of a module.  Often they teach you by showing bad code practise and how it affects the user experience (or backend) and then show you coding techniques or just design techniques to improve the UI or program efficiency.  Because of the nature of the presenters, they tend to spray information like a fire hose sprays water, but they are good presenters with a good sense of humour, and what with collaborative note taking it’s not too hard to follow (and remember) what they say.

When I started learning Objective-C, I didn’t know programming theory (i.e. I knew very few data structures, and I didn’t know complexity theory and how to program efficiently).  This meant that, like many self-taught programmers, I didn’t learn the best habits.  I used WWDC this year as an opportunity to learn how to apply what I learnt in TPOP to Objective-C, as well as to get up-to-date on the latest design principles, code styles and Xcode versions (which is constantly evolving to include new time/code saving features).

With iOS 7, 1,500 new API’s were introduced.  No-one is expected to have used even a fraction of the preexisting ones, but this update you an idea of the vastness of Objective-C for iOS.  I took it upon myself to get to grips with customisation of UITableView, as well as two other API’s new in iOS 7, both of which are going to have a significant effect on modern iOS apps.

Thank you to the Computer Science Department at the University of York for helping me attend the conference – I learnt a colossal amount from it.