Our journey to WWDC18.
Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is held annually in San Jose — bringing developers from all around the world together to discuss and learn about new Apple developer technologies.
Apple awards 350 scholarships to students from around the world. To apply for these scholarships, candidates must create a Swift or Xcode playground which demonstrates technical accomplishment and creativity. Also required is an essay titled “Beyond WWDC” detailing how you share your passion for coding with others.
This year, two Canberra Grammar Students won scholarships to the conference Dylan Turner and William Loughton — both in Year 10 at Canberra Grammar School.
This is following on from the successes in previous years of Code Cadets from Canberra Grammar School being awarded scholarships to WWDC — with five of our students being awarded scholarships to WWDC 2017 (out of ten in Australia), two being awarded scholarships to WWDC 2016 (out of eight in Australia), and three being awarded scholarships to WWDC 2015 (out of six in Australia).
This write-up of WWDC 2018 is from the perspective of Dylan and Will.
After the long flight from Australia we arrived at WWDC, ready for a great week. Things kicked-off on the Sunday morning with registration at the McEnery Convention Centre. Following that was the scholarship orientation. The location of the orientation was kept secret — all we knew was getting onto busses departing the convention centre at 9:30am. To our surprise and delight, we arrived at the brand new Apple HQ — aptly named Apple Park (also known as the “Spaceship Campus”).
We started with lunch at Caffe Macs within the campus, before being taken to the Steve Jobs Theatre where we had presentations from different Apple executives.
The final talk was from Apple CEO Tim Cook who congratulated and encouraged us all. After the talk we were taken out into the foyer and got our scholar’s photo. Some of us were also lucky enough to get selfies with Tim Cook as he left the theatre!
We then had an opportunity to talk to a range of Apple engineers, learning about how they started at Apple and what’s their role at Apple. We then hopped back onto the bus to the convention centre.
We spent the rest of the week at the conference learning about new technologies, attending sessions presented by Apple engineers, and learning from the best to better our own projects in the labs.
We also took a part day off from the conference to visit some friends of the Code Cadets who work at Google and Facebook — having some special tours of the campuses.
WWDC 2018 was an unforgettable experience and adventure. Not only did we learn new and exciting technologies to incorporate into our apps, of equal importance was the opportunity to meet with other students from around the world with the same passion as ourselves — making new lifelong friends. We are also filled to the brim with new knowledge that we are looking forward to sharing with our peers back here in Canberra during our IT classes and Code Cadets sessions.
A very big thank you to Apple for hosting an amazing WWDC. Special shout out to Mr Purcell at Canberra Grammar School for all his support and advice in the lead-up to, and during, WWDC — having attended the past ten WWDC’s himself.
— Dylan and Will