With tickets to WWDC 2013 selling out in mere minutes, Apple has reportedly been reaching out to select developers who couldn't secure tickets in time and offering them another chance to purchase tickets to Apple's annual developer conference.
Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater Software sent out a tweet on Thursday afternoon noting:
Adding a bit more detail to the story, Eric Dolecki explained on his blog how Apple contacted him:
I pick up and a nice guy tells me he's from Apple Developer Support and that they noticed that I tried to purchase a ticket today and that the transaction didn't go through. I told him that was true. I thought the next thing out of his mouth would be an apology or something – just to be nice. He then proceeds to tell me that he's got good news – a ticket has been reserved for me in my name and that I'll be receiving an email from Developer Support within 12 hours with instructions on how to purchase the pass. He thanked me for supporting the platform, etc.
It remains unclear just how many other developers were contacted by Apple, but MacRumors notes that a number of other developers have stories which match Dolecki's.
While developers who weren't able to purchase tickets to WWDC can still watch online video feeds of developer sessions, there's arguably no adequate replacement for the opportunity to meet face to face with more than 1,000 Apple engineers and network with fellow iOS and OS X developers.
Going forward, developer interest in WWDC is only bound to increase as Apple's iOS ecosystem becomes more popular and profitable with each passing quarter. To that end, developing a system that fairly doles out WWDC tickets to interested developers is increasingly becoming a problem without a clear-cut solution.
One solution worth pondering was put forth by Erica Sadun and has Apple abandoning the first come, first serve WWDC ticketing system and implementing a lottery system:
So why not switch to a less intense lottery system? Sure, the results are still random, but distributing purchase requests over a week or month surely would avoid the technology-based limits created by so much demand at a single moment (not to mention sleepless nights caused by time zone differentials).
Another, and admittedly much bolder solution, comes from the aforementioned Jalkut who writes that WWDC may have worn out its usefulness altogether.
As the sheer number of Apple developers increases, the capacity of WWDC remains the same. The goals of the conference both for Apple and for developers are increasingly unmet as the number of developers who would like to be educated, indoctrinated and communed with far outweighs the number of developers who actually can be.
The whole point of the conference needs to be rethought, and the goals addressed from scratch using new approaches. As the greatest challenge for WWDC is in scaling to meet demand, I think it's obvious that the rethought WWDC should be considered in terms of digital solutions. Call it WWDC if you like, but it needs to take place 365 days a year instead of 4. It needs to serve 300,000 developers, not 5,000. And it needs to take place online, not within the cramped confines of a small convention center in San Francisco.
WWDC 2013 is slated to kick off on June 10, 2013.