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I've been catching up with a few podcast episodes from WWDC this week and found myself listening to Rob Elkin and Mike Lee on the MacVoices podcast being interviewed by Chuck Joiner.

Today it's completely accepted that you can be in San Jose during WWDC and expect to have just as fulfilling an experience as the people inside the McEnery Convention Center. That was certainly not the case back in San Francisco when AltConf (or AltWWDC as it was called at the time) started.

I remember really questioning whether it would be worth travelling all the way to California (it's 6,000 miles for me!) when I first linked to it back in 2012. I bought a ticket to the main conference that year as back then you still had almost 2 hours to make a decision after tickets went on sale. I was (and still am) privileged to be able to afford, and get value from a full conference ticket, but so many other people are not in that situation. I definitely didn't have had the vision that Rob and the folks at Appsterdam had back then.

It took them many years of organising events, with all sorts of "hiccups" along the way but the team persevered. Once it was accepted that you could have a worthwhile time at WWDC without a ticket, the floodgates really opened. Other conferences started popping up and it's now seen as 100% normal to be in the city that week without a ticket. That's incredible. It's also almost entirely because of the creation, and consistency of AltConf.

So go and listen to the podcast, or watch it on YouTube. Get the background on how it all started from two of the people behind it. When you're done, maybe even consider sending the team a quick tweet thanking them for what they do every year. I'd like to say my thank you here. You're all amazing and you've forever changed the face of WWDC week for the better. 😍

Dave Verwer

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