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When Apple's WWDC Is Full, There's Always Appsterdam

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So what are the numbers on Apple’s (AAPL) WWDC, still in full swing at San Francisco’s Moscone Center? The five-day conference that sold out in less than two hours April 25 has 5,200 attendees representing over 66 countries. Whew.  

So what about those who were unable to score the $1,599 golden ticket? Is there a place where WWDC attendees and the ticketless can coexist?

Yep. Head over to Appsterdam.

The grassroots organization from Amsterdam is made up of an international crew of creatives with a mission to provide a cross-section of support for app developers, and now they’ve brought their indie mojo to San Francisco. Their WWDC headquarters are located in the offices of StackMob. Attendees will find a low-key workspace, panel discussions, vegan-friendly lunch options, and several outgoing office dogs. Perhaps the best thing about Appsterdam is that all events are free thanks to sponsors like StackMob, IceMobile, TUAW, and GitHub.

That’s right, no sticker shock here.

The scheduled speakers include Victor Agreda Jr. of TUAW, Danny Greg of GitHub, and Square co-founder Tristan O’Tierney. With many events which welcome developers for Android (GOOG), Windows Phone (MSFT), and even BlackBerry (RIMM), the session topics can range from Building a Backend for your iOS Application in Minutes by StackMob’s Matt Vaznaian, to Making Games for Android, to The Hustle by Nathan Eror of Free Time Studios.

Appsterdam co-founders are Judy Chen and the legendary product engineer and programmer Mike Lee. Chen filled me in on their history via email. “Appsterdam was born from the desire for App Makers to get together with other App Makers in an informal way, regardless of profession, platform preference, or skill level. In Amsterdam we have a free, co-working space for all App Makers to work and exchange ideas.”

Chen continued, “We also run many events catered to different groups of people such as our Weekly Wednesday Lunchtime Lectures that cover technical and non-technical topics, hands-on workshops, social events, and family weekends. Rob Elkin came to visit Appsterdam a few months ago, and loved what we did. He came up with the idea of recreating the Appsterdam vibe with a co-working space at WWDC that would be available for everyone, including the ticket-holders and the ticket-less.”

Virginia-based developer Scott McAlister visited Appsterdam Monday. “I highly recommend it. We indie developers can suffer from lack of socialization in our working lives...Getting out and making connections enhances our lives in many ways. I have made some very good and dependable friends thru other co-working events like Appsterdam. They provide work thru networking. And I have made use of those, but it is the building of relationships that I appreciate the most.”

New York-based developer Benjamin Ragheb attended Monday’s panel featuring original members of the mobile software development company Tapulous which was acquired by Disney (DIS) in 2010. “I came to San Francisco despite not having a WWDC badge, so I was primarily interested in not being alone in my hotel room for most of the day.” He has his eye on other independent events like IndieDevLab.

The organizers plan on making this an annual event, so developers, take comfort in knowing there will always be a home for you at Appsterdam.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.