I had a great time at WWDC this year, meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. Those experiences are the ones that matter the most to me. The newly announced tech is interesting and fun, but ultimately fleeting and ephemeral.

Tomorrow’s hardware will become yesterday’s obsolescence before we have time to fully appreciate it, or the mental and physical labor that produced it. Our code will be rewritten, overwritten, and refactored before we have time to fully understand it, or recoup the long hours spent debugging it.

Many will thank Apple for the new APIs they’re bringing us, but I’m more appreciative that they provided a space to bring us together. WWDC is one of the only times so many people from the iOS/macOS/Swift community are in the same city at once. It’s an excuse to finally make that long trip to California. From NYC, from Berlin, from India, from Australia. (And many more.) It’s often the one opportunity I have to visit with certain folks in real life — as sacks of meat and bones rather than digital bits streaming through the Internet ether.

What I’ll remember most are the conversations in the hallways and outside of the convention center. Unexpectedly running into friends on the streets of San Jose, sometimes late in the evening. Sharing a meal with them. Sitting in the park on Market Street discussing anything other than tech.

The relationships we forge and cultivate beyond these screens are what will last beyond another new operating system that replaced the one from last year.