Anyone else slightly irked at students being banned from the Keynote
this year? This will be my third consecutive year at WWDC. For the
past two years, I've always lined up ridiculously early with my
fellow attendees. This year, I was planning on lining up and sitting
with two former students I've met in previous years. Unfortunately,
their companies paid for them to come out as regular attendees.
They're allowed into the Keynote -- I'm not.
I understand where Apple is coming from. Record numbers create huge
logistical problems, vis-à-vie the "Campus" Bash being moved next
door to Yerba Buena Gardens. Apple has always touted that students
have the same privileges as their fellow attendees. In fact,
students usually get the added bonus of Student Sunday -- but that
didn't happen this year. Even though attendees pay upwards of $1600
for a ticket to WWDC, surely the large majority of attendees are
being sent by their employers -- this isn't a personal cost to them.
Although students get a "free" ticket to WWDC, they have the burden
of paying thousands of dollars out of their own pocket for both
travel and accommodation.
Although I'm extremely grateful to Apple for the opportunity to
attend WWDC, I'm disappointed with the way students have been pushed
aside this year. Apple could have communicated this decision to
their future software developers earlier than the day before the
Keynote. Apple's website still makes several references to the fact
that students may "attend all sessions and special events during the
week of WWDC." The website clearly defines the Keynote as a "special
event." Apple employees at the Member Services desk couldn't even
tell me how students were going to be handled tomorrow morning, when
and where we would be queued, or even how many of us there are.
I still plan on waiting in line tomorrow morning with my fellow
attendees beginning well before the sun rises. I just hope Apple
comes to its senses in time and at least lets those of us waiting in
line for countless hours into the Keynote. (That, or give all of us
poor students a free iPhone ;)
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