WWDC is the big event of the year for Apple developers. This year’s gathering was no exception. I’ve been going on and off for twenty years; my first was in 1990 at the San Jose Convention Center. Much has changed in two decades. I was there for the System 7 rollout, and yes I met Sculley. That was during the interregnum while Steve planned his comeback. Old stuff.

This year’s WWDC was awesome by all accounts, even if there was no free phone from Apple. It’s probably hard to seriously modify the juggernaut that is WWDC, but there are signs that things are getting better. Without naming names, Apple has hired many fine indie developers and empowered others from within the organizations. In addition, several popular sessions were offered a second time in their entirety (not recorded/replayed). One unexpected treat was the opportunity to meet with App Store review team personnel, a shift from last year’s no-questions-allowed talk on the same subject.

As I’ve gone over to iPhone and iPad development full-time, I did not miss the Mac sessions too much, but one wonders what’s in store for the future. It was odd that the keynote did not touch any non-iPhone topic at all. I’m not worried about the viability of the Mac platform, but I’m concerned about the division of the developer communities. Will there be specialized developer conferences in the future?

In any case, this year’s event was a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet many new ones. Although I don’t drink nearly as much as my compatriots, I did attend my fair share of the parties. This is the true advantage of WWDC: your chance to hang out with most (not all) of the best and brightest in the Mac and iPhone worlds. In addition to demoing my app to hundreds(?) at the Mobclix/Chomp/SGN Mashup,  I was lucky enough to get a write-up in TUAW, and an unscheduled consultation with John Geleynse. All in all, a great week indeed.

Can’t wait for next year!