No WWDC Ticket? Check Out AltConf Instead


The indie dev lab at Altwwdc 2012.
The indie dev lab at Altwwdc 2012.

If you didn’t win the lottery for Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, you’re in good company. For the third year in a row, AltConf is hosting a get-together for the rest of us.

Formerly called AltWWDC, the conference will boost Fog City’s already-high nerd quotient by hundreds of developers who didn’t get the golden tickets. AltConf will be held in parallel to WWDC at the Children’s Creativity Museum in Yerba Buena Center near Moscone West — which means that haves and have-nots will be waiting at the same stoplights and heading to the same bars after hours.

The  speaker line-up — still in progress – already features a bunch of interesting outside insiders: former Apple engineer Michael Lopp, Brianna Wu of indie dev studio Giant Spacekat, developer and Cocoa-devoted podcast host Saul Mora and former NeXT developer Aaron Hillegass.

“We’re looking to start turning AltConf into the festival of WWDC that will last years into the future,”  Rob Elkin, a London-based software engineer and one of the four founders, told Cult of Mac.

Apple runs the WWDC tickets on a lottery system for 5,000 coveted spots, but, hey, most of us didn’t stand a chance of getting in.  Elkin says Alt attendees tend to be a mix of people participating in WWDC and want a break and devs who come to town without a ticket looking to hang out with with like-minded developers. 

Last year, Cult of Mac reporters met with dozens of developers from all over the world who hoped to hit it big or sharpen their skills. AltConf also touches the hot topics Apple won’t cover – like last year’s talk from historic developer Andrew Stone that digressed into Steve Jobs’ relationship with the NSA. (Stone is returning to give an as-yet untitled talk.) Also, the keynote breakfast is like a midnight showing of Rocky Horror for programmers.

And, just like the previous editions, sponsors are happy to shell out a few clams to be part of the Applesphere. This year’s shindig is proudly supported by DiskAid, FastSpring, Telerik, Sauce Labs and Smile Software.

Aside from the usual schmoozing and boozing, Elkin says he plans on making a pilgrimage to the mothership. “I  always rent a car and do a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and pop in to Cupertino/Mountain View for the usual visits to the Apple store and Computer History Museum,” he told us.

Image: Reza Malayeri


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