WWDC Signup Was A Big Fail

Apr 25, 2013

Today we tried to signup at work to send 3 folks to WWDC. At exactly the time the signup button appeared we madly tried to sign in and got nothing but a failure messages from Apple's authorization system.

Thirty seconds or so later someone said the sold out sign appeared, less than the two minutes being reported. None of use ever got past the login. In my case I have my login on both my personal account and the companies, so I have to first pick which personna I want to login as. No such choice appeared.

That is, except for the time when I got the screen and it asked me to login as some company I had never heard of. Yes, if I had not been disgusted I could have logged in as an unrelated third party. What kind of crap is this?

The WWDC organizers should be tarred and feathered anyway, as this is no way to run an important conference. If there are limited seats and many requestors the right thing to do is hold a lottery. Everyone signs up at their leisure, gets an entry, and eventually Apple sends an email giving them the ability to sign up if they "won". Simple, easy, fair.

I work for a recognized brand name, and mobile is a big deal here (about the only thing that makes money) and being able to interact with a lot of our peers and others would be a big help. But no one got in, likely due to our corporate proxy being 100ms too slow to get in. Utterly idiotic to give people entry based on ping time. At least a lottery gives everyone a chance to maybe send 1 person. Their 5 person limit per organization is a complete joke. We have 3 iOS accounts, two commercial and one enterprise and no one got in.

So we get nothing out of it. If I had known this maybe I could have flown to where the servers were and wardrived outside.

Getting the random companies' login seems pretty sketchy as well; their systems are that fragile that hammering them (which was their own fault) can lead to security fails? I guess I could have bought those folks a ticket and maybe they would have transferred it to me!

Next year Apple should do this right and hold a nice fair lottery so that everyone can have a chance at least to go. WWDC is a blast and incredibly irreplaceable for the contacts and interaction you get. I was at the first (I think) WWDC in 1986 at the Fairmont but haven't been back since I left Apple before the 1996 one.


Update. Apparently Apple gave a few folks a second chance after "noticing" issues. I guess I'm not on the list :-)