WWDC 2008 will be my fourth time attending as a student. So for all the student developers out there here are some tips. The goal of a student is different from those sent by their companies. For us WWDC is an opportunity to get internships or jobs at some of the top software development companies. [singlepic=6,425,350]

For inside the conference:

  • Checkin on Sunday,as students we get there a day early, use it to check in. You’ll be glad when you are first in line for the keynote instead of first in line to get your badge.
  • Bring a laptop.This is a must, as somebody said last year “going to WWDC without a laptop is like sending soldiers to battle withbananasinstead of guns.”
  • Put your name on your power adapter and bring your extension cable for it. This is a must for so many obvious reasons, but all I have to say is that I ended up with somebody else’s poweradapter, and you do NOT want to find yourself in a session a power adapter that may be incompatible with your generation of laptop. When you are constantly compiling code your battery does not last long.
  • Take advantage of the sack lunch sessions. These are usually non technical talks done by invited guests such as Guido van Rossum or somebody from Pixar. These sessions are “big picture” and among the most memorable.
  • Take notes, but don’t take notes alone, getSubEthaEdit.Nothing beatscollaborativetext editing. I actually got a job interview at Apple by chatting with one of my fellow note takers.
  • They give you a really nifty bag, don’t use it. Everybody is using that really really cool bag and I know too many people who have lost theirs amongst theconfusion. I had to beg for a new bag my first year after mine was taken. Also it’s usually a messenger bag and for all that is going on a backpack is better.
  • There is no need to stock up on Odwalla Juice, they never run out and it is delicious, oh so delicious.
  • Have severalcopiesof your resumé ready; there is a student job fair.This is a major networking opportunity. I have never left a WWDC without a job interview with at least two companies, one of which was Apple.The old timers will go on and on about how “WWDC is going down hill,” smile and nod, try to steer the conversation on how to get into a mac software company.
  • Have an elevator speech ready.You won’t have much time to pitch yourself during an impromptu interview. Practice on your 3 minutespielon why you are a good fit for an awesome company. Did you do research? do you have a pet project? both of these are good things to talk about in your elevator talk.
  • The best session is Stump The Experts.Get there early, it fills up. If you want a t-shirt the easiest way is to ID a walk in song (I have 2 hats and one t-shirt thanks to paying attention to the walk in songs).
  • Don’t waste your time playing video games.WWDC has a great showcase of the best of Mac gaming, it is very easy to get sucked in while playing Doom on a 30” Apple Cinema Display with Bose simulated surround headphones. I missed many manny sessions my first year due to this deadly combination.


For outside the conference:

  • Go to WWDC parties.I remember the WebKit launch party was pretty awesome, these are both educational and social opportunities. We are all nerds, we talk about code all the time, just sometimes its nice to do with a beer in your hand. This year somebody made a list of some here. Again these are really good opportunities to meet developers and network.
  • San Francisco was made for walking. You have a lot of time on Thursday and Friday as the conference winds down, use this time to see the sights.
  • The Moscone Center has good food, just not always for lunch. If you aren’t going to a sack lunch there are several goodrestaurantswithin two blocks of the conference. If you want to skip lunch go check out the Metreon just across the street or Mel’s Diner, on Mission, southwest of 4th.
  • The ****House of Nanking**is the best chinese food I’ve ever had.**
  • Do NOT wear the shirt they give** you,**or any apple bling for that matter, we all have it, it does not impress anybody there. Graphic tees are cool tho…
  • **Stop by the Apple Company Store. **Last year the Developer Bash was in Yerba Buena Gardens, not 1 Infinite Loop, but its worth catching the train down for. It is the only place you can get Apple coffee mugs, Appletoiletseat covers, Apple… you get the idea.

Most importantly HAVE FUN.Be social and the jobs will find you.

Be sure to check back, I’ll be updating this list throughout the week.