Reading this post from Jim Luther wishing WWDC a happy 35th birthday set me thinking about what a remarkably long time that is for a conference to run without a name change.

My first in-person WWDC was in 2008 when the iPhone SDK launched and the App Store debuted. I also apparently saw Sam Altman demo his app, although I’ll admit I don’t remember that! Attending the event was fantastic, and it kept bringing me back to San Francisco and eventually San Jose year after year for well over a decade. Over the years I heard stories of earlier and earlier instances of the conference, including tales of the early days of Stump the Experts and busses from San Francisco to Cupertino when the bash was held inside the central grass-covered area inside Infinite Loop.

Wikipedia disagrees with Jim on when the conference was renamed to Worldwide Developers Conference, claiming 1990, but I’ll take Jim’s word for it given his involvement!

There aren’t many developer-focused conferences that have run for 35 years without a name change. SIGGRAPH and GDC spring to mind, but are there others? I couldn’t find any.

I wrote about naming things last week, and getting the name of a conference right for the long term is hard! You can’t use the name of any technology, language, or anything else that might go out of date. I think they did pretty well with the name they settled on.

Anyway, happy birthday WWDC. I’m sure that the finishing touches are being applied to the plans for this year’s event and Tuesday’s iPad event got me in the mood to find out what Apple has been up to for the last 12 months, and what we’ll be up to for the next 12! I can’t wait.

Dave Verwer  






Framework Developer @ PSPDFKit – Design API that will affect hundreds of apps, and create UI used by millions of users. Collaborate globally in a small team working on the leading document SDK for iOS, macOS and visionOS. Make the most of a flexible schedule, and attend annual retreats at exciting places around the world. – Remote (Anywhere)


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And finally...

Talking of the hard problems in computer science. It turns out it’s not naming things, cache invalidation, off-by-one errors, or any of the others you’ll have heard. It’s harder than all of those things!