Most of the world sees the annual WWDC as one of several fixed occasions where new and exciting stuff is announced or released. But the meat of this Worldwide Developer’s Conference (as the name suggests) is about training.
Being able to attend the WWDC is the dream of many new iPhone developers, as the numbers have shown. 60% of the total 5200 attendees to this years WWDC have never been to the conference before. But attending is expensive. Besides of travel and hotel expenses the ticket alone costs in the vicinity of $2000. Who can really afford to spend a month’s salary on this conference sacrificing a week of vacation time in tandem?
When I got Apple’s notification two days ago that the session videos are now available for sale my heart jumped and my brain got fuzzy thinking whether I should take the plunge and spend $299 for just the iPhone stream or $499 for both iPhone and Mac. So finally after checking my savings and finding several excuses for spending the money like “It’s training and that’s priceless” I spend 429 Euros on the complete package.
Some people get their activation code right away, for me it took 24 hours plus a complaint e-mail. Maybe I am on some sort of watchlist, titled the “wait until he complains” list? In any case, 5 minutes after I mailed the european ADC support my code arrived and so finally I could make the activation.
Once you have activated you get to go to a special VIP section on iTunes where your videos are available for download. So are the presentation slides in PDF format. These are also counted on the frontpage. Really there are 86 Mac videos and 69 iPhone videos.
The videos itself are 640×400 resolution H.264 in m4v containers with optional English subtitles. So these are great to take with you on your iPhone and watch while shuttling to/from work. And you will have to, because the average session is over 45 minutes, so I estimate that there are 116 hours of content.
If you do the math the cost is about 7 Cents per Minute of training. I don’t know anywhere that you can smarten up your iPhone and Mac development for that cheap. Even Dr. Touch (aka me) charges 41 Cents per Minute, $25 per hour for one on one training.
The videos are kind of a cross of the beautiful keynotes we are used to be getting from Apple and the Stanford iPhone development “meat”. In fact I am so happy with my purchase that I might stay at home next year as well, if I can expect to get the knowledge offered at WWDC 2010 the same way, by means of video download.
Oh, wait, I remember now that WWDC attendees get the videos included with the price of admission. But one thing you don’t get in the videos is the chance to mingle with other developers and maybe establish some great contacts. But then again, I already have 200 developers on my list and way more development work than I can handle by myself.
The main problem that I am facing is that I don’t know enough people whom I could outsource development work to that I can trust to get it done in equal or less time than me. I need more developers to smarten up, the WWDC videos are the fast track to do so. The price tag is sort of a built-in seriousness filter. Only people serious about improving their development skills would be willing to spend it. I am glad that there is a price like this (which I can almost not afford) because it will definitely give me a leg up over the competition who is not willing or able to spend the money.
If you now think that all of this sounds like an advertisement then this is because it is. Even though I don’t get paid by Apple (I wish!) if you get smarter because of this blog or this recommendation then this is to the benefit of both of us. Just remember who gave you the nudge when you count the money that your fantastic new app is streaming into your bank account.