Our DNA is written in Swift

Professional WWDC Ticket Alert

You want to be first in line when WWDC 2013 finally go on sale? That should happen any day now. Now there are many ways how to get informed. Homebrew or professional, your choice.

Last year I relied on WWDC Alerts which promised to send SMS as soon as their ticket detection script saw that tickets have gone on sale. I did get the SMS, but about an hour late. Thankfully my friends on Twitter informed me in time to grab one of them. Besides their reported unreliability the makers of WWDC Alerts so far have not responded to my inquiry if they are planning to track this years WWDC sales as well.

Then there is a new professionally organized alert service which I like the most.

If you are like me, then “all of the above”.

Being engineers many of my colleagues have created monitoring scripts that scrape the WWDC page and look for changes. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to find these on GitHub or build their own. I for one prefer services that have done the work for me. In the case of Pingdom they have a vested professional interest in providing a reliable alert service.


The traditional monitoring method method is to set up an alert on Pingdom which you can do for free with the normal account. I set mine to check on every minute and look for the string “WWDC 2012. June 11-15”. I have a strong feeling that this text will disappear from this page once Apple updates it for the 2013 WWDC.

Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.36.14 AM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.36.02 AM


As soon as these conditions are no longer met I should get notified on on the selected channels. Checking my settings also reminded me that I hadn’t connected my iOS device via the Pingdom iOS app. I also set up my contact such that Pingdom will also tweet the alert via @Cocoanetics. So you will be informed if you follow me on Twitter automatically.

My second thought was to employ for monitoring changes. But I missed the fact that they only scrape the configured sites once per day. So most likely tickets will be sold out when you get their e-mail alert.

WWDC Blast

All those options pale in comparison with the professionalism that can be had from WWDC Blast. Any kind of monitoring system’s effectiveness depends on you noticing any alert notification. And this is their flaw. If you are on the wrong coast of the USA or someplace else on our geoid that we call home, then email, push notifications or SMS won’t cut it.

What you really want is a friend who constantly refreshes the WWDC page and calls you the second there is action there. WWDC Blast is exactly that.

You can sign up for free to get in a queue that at them time of this writing was around 600 people. These guys are not leaving anything to chance. They employ SMS and voice gateway Twilio to blast out thousands of SMS in parallel. And such fidelity costs a bit of money. Which is why the are offering two kinds of premium service as well:

  • you can jump ahead of the queue, $1 per 10 spots
  • you can get a phone call

We Europeans like to sleep at night, and I know from my experience as On-Call support person for an Austrian Cellular Network provider that you can easily sleep through hundreds of SMS. What you really want is this wakeup call.



As you can see I jumped the queue and I also enabled SMS and Voice. Sparing no expense!

Now the magic part when having an iPhone running iOS 6 or higher is called “Do Not Disturb” (DND). The WWDC Blast staff has published a guide how to download a vCard with all the phone numbers they provisioned for easy addition as a favorite contact. Then the faithful phone call will be able to ring your phone sitting on your bedside table even late at night. Or if you didn’t add it to favorites then it will break through DND by calling you multiple times. Just like any normal wake-up call.

At the time of this writing the vCard’s phone numbers where missing the international “+” prefix making them useless outside the USA. But it took me a only a minute to add that. In addition to that you can add the main e-mail address used by WWDC Blast to your list of VIPs. So your iPhone will tone an additional chime when the notification email arrives.

Or A Friend Calls You …

I have shown how to easily set up an alert with Pingdom or how to get a DND-breaking phone call from WWDC Blast. If neither is good enough for you …

Announcing Cocoanetics WWDC Alerts! For a mere $500 I will personally call you the instant that I have bought my own ticket. Submit your order by PayPal-ing $500 to 🙂

That reminds me: I am open for sponsorship deals for this year’s conference. This is the first time I am trying to bring my employee and I can offer many things in exchange for you bearing a share of the cost.

Categories: Apple


  1. Your Pingdom solution has one problem. The text string for WWDC 2013 will probably not be “WWDC 2012. June 11-15″ Even the most sophisticated solution will fail if you get the year wrong.

  2. This is reverse. it is exactly BECAUSE this text will be different which causes the Pingdom test to fail and cause notifications.