Facebook F8: Day 1

Facebook F8 Day 1

For those of you who don’t know, Facebook F8 is Facebook’s annual developer conference located in San Francisco, where developers from around the world gather for two days to learn all about Facebook’s new APIs, technologies and products as well as its vision for the future.

As you make your first step foot into the Fort Mason Center when registering for Facebook F8, you proceed to a counter where you give your name and ticket QR code. The whole registration experience is simple, fast and friendly. After receiving your F8 badge, you make your way down to the main three buildings, which are named Herbst, Cowell and Festival. The main keynote has always been hosted in Herbst.

If you want to get a good seat for the keynote, you have to arrive before 8:00 AM; after that, a somewhat disorganized crowd gathers around the entrance to Herbst. People gather around, causally talking and pitching ideas to one 1 another or talking about a startup they are working on or at. As soon as the doors open to head into Herbst, the crowd quickly goes from a calm and relaxed environment to a frenzy within seconds in order to be the first in the door and get the best seats closest to the stage where Mark will be speaking. There is no orderly line and everyone is fast walking and sometimes even almost sprinting. Its the fastest you will ever see developers move and almost unnatural to watch. Mark comes on stage at exactly 10:00 AM, not a minute before or minute after. Everyone has their phones out, selfie sticks and cameras aimed at the stage trying to get the best possible shot of Mark. The keynote usually lasts just over a hour and then F8 kicks off in full gear.

After the Keynote finishes, Mark surprises all the developers who attended F8 with a free Samsung Gear VR, Bluetooth remote control and Samsung Galaxy S6 128gb phone to go along with it all. It was a smart move by Facebook as it now has 2000+ people that have the tools it needs to start building things for Oculus, which could in return produce talent for Facebook. Getting back to the event after the keynote has wrapped up, lunch is served and you can play with the latest Facebook tools and gadgets in a garage. Sessions start shortly after, and the Oculus line fills up within minutes. The rest of the day is composed of more sessions, including how to build a Facebook Messenger Bot and how to build an Account Kit. Throughout the first day there are also guest speakers, most of which work at Facebook, such as the Facebook CTO and COO. F8 is never short on food as there is always free snacks you can pick up in bins and refrigerators by session entrances.

As soon as the first day wraps up at Facebook F8, the after party begins. A live band, Chvrches, plays as you eat delicious food, marking the end of the first day at F8.