aApple WWDC’17 Student Scholarship — from Dream to Reality by@VIRAL

aApple WWDC’17 Student Scholarship — from Dream to Reality

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Aviral Agarwal

This is my story of how I got the Student Scholar Award and my experiences through out the Dub Dub Week and some advices for anyone going in next coming year.

If someone says Dreams don’t really come true then I can prove they do come true.

Getting a Scholarship is tough but one should keep trying. I was rejected for WWDC15 and WWDC16 and now I know why I was rejected. Learn from mistakes. Apple likes good and innovative projects which are simple, addictive and have a purpose and most important they should be good looking.

This year half of the students are below 18. So if you think you can’t make it? You should reconsider and apply.

check out https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/scholarships/ (For Next year)

Also for inspiration and to know what kind of apps Apple selected this year : check : https://github.com/wwdc/2017 and also search on Youtube.

I created Happoji which is a cute emoji game and is simple yet addictive. The goal of the game Happoji is to click on Happy emojis which gives positive points while preventing to not click on the Sad emojis as they give negative points. The concept of the game is to look for positivity around.

I also Open-Sourced it as I learned a lot from other projects : https://github.com/Aviral190694/WWDC-2017-Application-Selected-Happoji

Few things to do after getting the scholarship :

  1. Make sure to update your Bio. People do really check ;)
  2. Follow WWDCScholars and try to find other scholars. We had a Slack, Telegram, Facebook and many other groups and they help a lot and are super fun at times :D (I remember us all discussing about what we are going to get this year and those debates. We finally got Apple TV this year also Jony Ive stickers on Telegrams are super awesome!)
  3. Follow @EEhare . She heads our scholarship program and she helps a lot and is Awesome. She will actually reply to your tweets and help you to resolve any issues you have. Also WWDC email team work hard. They reply real quick and will help you with everything.
  4. Download all the apps related to WWDC. We had WWDC official app. Parties for WWDC (Most Important). We had wwdc.family app as well
  5. As I mentioned WWDC Parties app. Keep a look on all the parties and other confrences around. Do visit them to learn and for awesome Swags and Food + Drinks!

I got the Scholarship and travel assistance(125 students get that). You wont believe but Apple paid for my tickets upfront and the whole trip costed me 200$ only.

To the Indian students and people who have ESTA. Please take your US Visa status seriously. One student got rejected this year and 2 of the indian student were lucky to get the Visa after getting rejected for the first time. Make sure to take every document and prepare a bit for Visa interview beforehand or you can get trending on Twitter like one of the scholar Harshit! (I hope Rahul and Harshit are reading this.)

Fast forward to my first flight. Yes first flight to the US. Emirates was pretty cool. Make sure to take proper rest after reaching your Hotel or Dorm.

Day 0 : June 4th — Badge Collection and Orientation

WWDC officially starts on 5th but you can get your badge and jacket on 4th. Be early as the lines are long but all the wait is worth it. Getting your DUB DUB badge in your hands is one great feeling.

For scholars, Apple have a special Orientation day and its the best of all. I got to meet Tim Cook and Esther hare!

At the Orientation, Apple have few small sessions. We had a great session on Apple pencil. A brief on how Apple made it, Its hardware and problems they faced also they told us how a student can make most of WWDC which I will also point out later.

Eshter Hare started the Orientation followed by Tim isted, Assana Fard and the team. One quote Assana noted and I follow as well is : “If its easy you are doing it wrong”

Also you have a group picture and Tim Cook will magically come in between so make sure to keep your phones charged and camera ready and also pens if you want his autograph plus you get to meet a ton of Apple senior engineers who will talk to you and you can ask them anything you like. They are so humble and have vast knowledge (Make sure to talk to many folks there and try to get there Twitter handles or email)

Also as the orientation day ends you will get to know fellow scholars so try to hang around with few and you will also get a goodie from Apple. (We got Apple TV)

Apple Tv with WWDC jacket which one gets after the Badge!

WWDC 5 days! I will summup all the days so that it won’t get more boring.

WWDC starts with Keynote. This year we scholars had seats reserved for us and we got a royal entry! Keynote was great and had so many announcements.

We also got to hear to Michelle Obama also make sure to attend Lunch time sessions. They enlightened me!

Everyday we had Sessions and Labs, Filler events like lunch time sessions and collecting Pins was a big thing. Daily different parties from different companies like MapBox,Firebase, Github and others.

Talking of Sessions : (For students) Do not focus more on attending sessions. You can watch them later as they will be available online, attend them if you are very interested or you have nothing to do. Check https://github.com/ohoachuck/wwdc-downloader to download WWDC17 videos easily.

Labs : Attend as many labs as you can. Go to labs even if you dont have much clue. Talk to people around and you will definately learn a lot.

One general advice I would like to give is. Try to go to WWDC with an app you have in store or semi built so that you can show it to people and get feedback. Everyone will appreciate you more if you have something with you. Make sure to go to the User Interface lab and Accessibility lab which are appointment based. How to get an appointment? Be ready at 7 am to register and do not fill any form and click Submit as fast as you can because all the appointments will be filled by 7:01 am. So Be quick.

I went to both User Interface lab and Accessibility lab and they opened my eyes. I had no clue about Accessibility features that IPhone have and it was a delight to learn from them. User Interface lab was awesome. I personally want to build a carreer in UX. We had a 30 min session which I feel was over in like seconds. I divided my session in two half. I asked the executive to tell me about the app in 15 minutes and then I talked about the design approach and whats the right way to think and design an app. The learning and experience from that one to one session somewhat changed the way I look at Apps now and how to approach an Idea.

Also please go to App store and marketing labs (which I missed becuase of the confusion. You dont need any appointment for them but its better if you do. I still literally curse myself for missing them :/)

Fellow Scholars :)

It looks like WWDC is about sessions, Labs and learning about Apple. No. That is something you can do while sitting at your home. Talk to as many scholars as you can. Learn and hear to the incredible stories they have. What they faced and how they got there. What new stuff they are working on! This also goes for everyone. Talk to everyone at the conference. WWDC is all about building connections so make sure to get out of your comfort zone and talk to as many folks as you can and make sure to connect. Try to have some hardcopies of your Resume which you can give to people who are interested in giving jobs and business cards and Apple Wallet Card(It looks cool when you ask someone to scan your card using an IPhone) to others.

I met so many fellow scholars and I learned quite a lot from everyone. Talking to people who come from different countries was one of an experience and I am still in contact with a lot of them. Try to add each other on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and wherever you can. We also got an Official picture in the WWDC App. I still miss a lot of scholars :/

Collecting Pins and Fillers(After WWDC Day ends) :

WWDC this year has one special thing PINS. Everyone loved collecting pins from a Student to 20+ years experienced devs. Everyone was looking for them and I had great stories with pins. From doing a Boomerang to running around the center for pins! Apple employees missed the pins this year. They were only for attendees and they still feel bad about it :p

Parties and WWDC Pins. I still miss 3 of them!

There were a lot of parties daily. Make sure to register to them(Use Parties App). They are great as you met so many developers and you had games and drinks and exclusive food + swags.

Also try to go to AltConf(I missed) which is also good and have great developers and sessions. A lot of scholars went there and got tons of swags which included a Fidget Spinner as well :D

WWDC BASH

One word! WOW. It was WOW. Amazing Food. Amazing view and weather. Fall out boys and that Aura. Everyone danced. Played fun games and enjoyed the day. It filled everyone with joy and I cherish those moments deeply. You should see few videos below to get the feeling.

Music at WWDC

Music at WWDC is dope. Apple picks great songs which keeps playing. Few of our great scholars made a list of songs and shared. You can get the list of songs here : Thanks to @ishaandeveloper https://play.spotify.com/user/ishaanprasad/playlist/3nTy2gPOhfslPcc7RzdLZx?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open

or if you are not on Spotify!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dUMNYB_rc8wM7F2NtLOypv-RbWjtKeqKN8arqfQlOiw/edit?usp=sharing

Finally I am going to end like WWDC ended. It was an amazing experience and every student should definitely apply for WWDC18. Every hardwork is worth it if you get a scholar award. Before ending the Super long post. Few last pointers for scholars.

Benefits of being a Scholar:

  1. You get a Red lanyard for your ID which is only given to Scholars. So we highlight in the crowd and everyone looks up to you.
  2. We have a special Scholarship lounge and its comfortable and only accessible to students. Bonus — A lot of Apple executives visit scholarship lounge. One Apple engineer and speaker Bill Dudley teached us Neural Network in the Scholarship lounge and I also got to meet John Geleynse which I find as the best moments of WWDC. He told us his story and how he became Senior Director at Apple and how he felt when he rewrote Humam Interface guidelines. He gave feedback on design to a lot of scholars and his suggestion did made a difference.
I was lucky to have a picture with John Geleysne

3. Every Apple engineer will talk to you nicely and congratulate you on your scholarship. Being a student gives us opportunity to ask doubts however silly they are and They will sit with you and teach you as well. I went to a lot of labs with stupid questions but came out with some great points and a lot of engineers teached me new things.

Few Advices for scholars :

  • As I mentioned earlier. Try to be at WWDC with a project. It can be anything, A published app or just a parttime project you are still working on, but having something before hand will help you to go to labs and you will feel more confident.
  • Smile a lot, it helps to break the ice. I got a lot of pins just becuase of smiling.
  • Talk to people and show care. Communicate with people as much as you can and listen more to them. You will get a lot of befenits and a lot of opportunites!
  • Listen to everyone and keep you eye open.
  • WWDC is a busy place and there are lot of things and other events going on all together. Do not try to get everything. Focus one thing at a time and do it properly. Like I noted a lot of things above. Do not try to do everything. I missed a lot of events which is fine. Keep yourself hydrated and take proper rest.
  • Go for Labs more than sessions. Ask whatever doubts you got even silly questions. They are happy to help. You will learn something like I did.
  • Last and most important. Have fun.

I hope you enjoyed the post and to my fellow scholar if you are reading this. I hope it gets you a smile. If you like it show love and if you want an edit and if there’s some mistakes. Let me know :D

Apply for next year. Ping all the scholars for help. Ask doubts on Apple forums and take help from wherever you can. Best of luck for WWDC18 and I miss WWDC17 and I will always cherish moments I spent there.

Thank you Apple and everyone for making this dream come true :). A shout out to my Boss Vishal Bhargava for helping me out all these years!

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