MacTech Conference 2011: Speakers and Sessions
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MacTech Conference 2011: Speakers and Sessions

Sessions and Speakers Overview

The Conference begins at 10am on Wednesday, Nov 2; Registration opens at 8am. There will be 3 days of solid sessions with lunch and breaks provided. Dinner and evening activities will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 2 and 3. The conference will wrap up on Friday by approximately 1pm. Some attendees may choose to take advantage of optional activities on Friday afternoon.

We start off the conference with an entertaining keynote by the legendary Guy Kawasaki. "We're thrilled to have Guy as our keynote speaker. Time and again, his books are not only insightful, but his exploration of concepts makes it easy for anyone to apply them to what they do. Guy's latest book, Enchantment, not only meets but exceeds that level," said Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, MacTech Magazine.. "At the last MacTech Conference, 100% of attendees said that they would recommend the conference. Having Guy speak is just one of many steps we're taking to make MacTech Conference 2011 live up to their expectations."

"This page contains a list of some of the amazing people that will present and be in attendance at MacTech Conference 2011 (but expect a surprise guest or two). Some of the incredible topics that will be covered are listed below," said Ed Marczak, Sessions Chair and Executive Editor, MacTech Magazine.

Sessions are held back-to-back, maximizing content and packing in all that we can. No worries, however, there's plenty of breaks and networking time as well.

Sessions are organized into:

Joint sessions are given to the joint developer/IT audience. Breakout sessions are given in either the developer or IT tracks. To keep things fast-paced and action packed, MacTech Conference uses our QuickTalk™ format -- 5 minute sessions that give you all that you need to know. While session start times may not align between tracks, attendees are welcome to attend either track, space permitting.

Note: All times are approximate. All sessions, speakers and descriptions are subject to change at any time without notice.


Sessions Chairs


Edward R. Marczak, MacTech Magazine
Conference Sessions Chair and IT Track Sessions Chair

Ed is the Executive Editor of MacTech Magazine, the author of several books, and Worldwide Mac Operations Dude at Google. Ed heads up overall conference session content, as well as the IT track.



Steve 'Scotty' Scott, iDeveloper.tv, NSConference UK
Developer Track Sessions Chair

Scotty joins MacTech Conference 2011 as part of MacTech's acquisition of the NSConference US event. Scotty heads up sessions for the developer track.





Joint Sessions


Guy Kawasaki
Keynote: Enchantment

Guy Kawasaki is the author of the New York Times bestseller Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, and the former chief evangelist of Apple. Hear Guy's insights on Steve Jobs and specifically, what he learned from him. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College. See additional information at http://www.guykawasaki.com/about/



Chris Rojas, InterHacktive
Making Robots!

Learn about making robots using the Arduino. Starting with a short intro about Arduino and what kind of stuff can you make. Then we'll jump into the basics of how to code for the Arduino. We'll discuss simply making an LED blink and reading data from a sensor to moving the servos via serial input from a computer and finally to writing an app with a GUI to do something with the sensor data and moving a pan/tilt head around.



Daniel Jalkut, Red Sweater Software
Serving Two Masters

This talk will cover my solution for automatically allowing Mac App Store users to run self-sold editions of my software. In light of the sandboxing issues coming up, it will be especially pertinent for developers to understand how to provide an "escape route" for Mac App Store customers in case the requirements and restrictions of the store become too much. I'll cover the technicalities of supporting the above-mentioned migration path with some commentary about the difficulty of balancing pleasing Apple with pleasing our end-user customers.



Jan P. Monsch, Google Switzerland GmbH
Mac OS X Hardening for Corporations

Many Mac techs--users, admins and developers--believe that the platform is invulnerable to security issues, despite seeing continual evidence otherwise. This talk will show several of the ways that OS X is vulnerable--from code issues and compiler options and issues of 64-bit, to social engineering, malware and targeted attacks--and ways to counter those vulnerabilities.



Rich Warren
Managing Multiple Data Formats in the iCloud

Every iCloud has a black liner. iCloud storage provides an exciting new technology for syncing application data across all our iOS devices, our Macs and even our PCs. Tools, like the UIDocument class, make iCloud-based serialization nearly transparent. If you're using Core Data, the system can even automatically manage conflicts. But, it's not all sunshine and light. What happens if you update your application and change the data format? Data migration is never easy, but we've dealt with this problem in the past. The iCloud, however, adds a new complication.Users might not update all their devices at the same time. If they make changes on the new device, the new data format will be pushed to devices still running the old version. Our old application needs to respond appropriately to the new data. Ideally, we should allow our users to use multiple versions for a considerable length of time. After all, if we are supporting multiple devices, it may be a while before we can release updates across all platforms. Since the iCloud is a new topic, we don't yet have bottled solutions to all these problems. The MacTech conference will be one of the first opportunities to discuss these issues in public.



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Developer Track


Aaron Hillegass, Big Nerd Ranch
Going Mobile

Aaron Hillegass is a developing pioneer, who is frequently listed as a top influencer in the Mac community. On the heels of his latest book, The Big Nerd Ranch Guide to iOS, he is prepared to speak about the latest trends in app development for the iOS platform. He's got great historical perspective to bridge the past to the future -- what can iOS developers expect with the latest Apple announcements? Where is the industry going? What can individuals do to stay competitive in the marketplace and position themselves for job opportunity and professional growth. And, he can provide relevant, real-world tips for developing apps that integrate with other platforms and call upon the cloud!



Andy Ihnatko, 10,000 Nuns and Orphans
The Press, And How To Humor Them

You, the developers, want more people to find out about your great apps. It starts in to motion a complex chain of events that ultimately and ideally results in fame and riches. We, the people who write about technology, like nothing more than to discover new things that get us truly excited about our career choices and eager to translate that excitement into words. It sets into motion a simple chain of events that results in our making our deadlines. You are therefore in a good position to achieve your own goals while at the same time helping us to achieve ours. Take a behind-the-scenes look at how writers approach their jobs and it'll help you figure out how to put the right thing into the hands of the right person at the right time. And once that happens, you can properly champion it to avoid the worst possible reaction an app or product can get from a writer: "I'm sorry; I just don't get it."



Andy Lee
The Ten Dirty Words and How to Use Them

In 2003, I came up with "The Top Ten Cocoa Words That Sound Dirty But Aren't." By finding APIs via this arbitrary way, we talk a random stroll through Cocoa, which can stimulate curiosity and lead to new discoveries and new questions. What would you guess NSInsertionPosition is for? (I incorrectly guessed text editing.) It can also be worthwhile reviewing familiar ground. We all autorelease -- some of us every day -- but it may still be possible to learn a thing or two about it. I will talk about the proper use of each word in the list.



Boisy Pitre
Interfacing the Mac to the Real World

In this talk I will discuss issues related to interfacing external devices (from temperature probes to weather instruments to data collectors) to the Mac and the considerations for developers. The contents would be technical and touch on USB and legacy serial interfacing, IOKit and example code demonstrating how developers would talk to such devices on the Mac.



Brendan Clavin, Tethras
Internationalizating iOS and Mac Applications

This session will describe everything you need to know about internationalizing and localizing a Mac or iOS application, submitting it to Apple, and getting your app into the hands of the non-English speaking consumers of the world. Xcode and ibtool will be front and center during this presentation. How to correctly set up your project for internationalization will be covered. Testing the localizability of your app through pseudo-translation will be demonstrated. Avoiding common mistakes and issues when localizing your app will be discussed. Learn about the opportunities that exist in the international arena, and how you can unlock global sales by localizing your apps.



Jacob Gorban, Apparent Software
How to grow your business with limited budget

Two years ago my indie Mac software business had one application and about $500 of monthly revenue. Fast forward two years, we have 4 Mac apps and revenue which allows me to live off it and my partner to have a significant additional income. All this with limited investments from the family reserves. This session will encourage you think creatively about your cash-limited business. From finding business partners and selecting products, to partnerships, acquisitions, bundle sales and other marketing activities. It will cover strategic business thinking, considering alternatives, and practical tips, based on experience and on research of other successful Mac software businesses.



James Wilson, Lithium Corp
Beyond the Gradient

This talk that will examine the importance of what the eye doesn't see in iOS and Mac application development. The adoption of deeply tactile (beyond point and click) interaction and cloud-based storage and synchronization are two key emerging trends in applications. Both require the developer to look beyond creating a glossy, pretty user interface and to instead focus on how their app makes the user feel when they use it. Will the user enjoy the sensation of using your application, become magnetically attracted to it and trust is with their data? These are things you can't engineer with smooth gradients and a UI polish alone. Leveraging third-party sync methods such as DropBox, MobileMe and generic protocols such as WebDAV may shorten your time to market but you're trading off the confidence that would come from knowing the underlying sync method was built for and understands the data your are custodian for the user.



Jeff Biggus, HyperJeff, Inc.
Accelerate Your Code!

The goal of the talk would be impress on people that using the accelerate framework is worth the effort. I try to introduce the (pure C) framework in such a way that it takes away the initial shock and confusion that most people feel when confronted with it and give them clear ways to think about why and how to use it. When done right, one's code is not only faster and takes up less battery life, but is more elegant, debuggable, future-proofed and allows for features an individual developer wouldn't want to implement themselves. I will include several demos of using the framework, presenting the code with and without using it for contrast, along with benchmarks. I'll try to make the examples eclectic: imaging, audio, scientific, general data stuff. I also have some custom crib sheets that help decoding the (vast) function lists available. There's also some new stuff in iOS 5 as well. There are also a lot of nitty gritty details that I have worked out that I can save others time with. Example code is kept simple but realistic.



Marcus Zarra, Cocoa Is My Girlfriend
Flexible JSON Importing

This session will discuss the current issues with data importing, the amount of code and maintenance required; not to mention the performance issues. Once the problem is explained then the solution will be discussed. Specifically a JSON to Core Data importer that is performant, runs on a separate thread and reads the model structure from Core Data to determine how to consume the JSON.



Nathan Eror, Free Time Studios
Using Core Animation to Build Modern and Attractive Interfaces

More than ever, how an app looks, feels and responds is just as important as what it does. Far from simple eye candy, graphics and animation are a crucial aspect of app design on Mac OS X. In this session you will gain a deep understanding of graphics and animation for Mac OS X using Core Animation, and arm yourself with the tools to create gorgeous, modern apps that will delight your users and stand out on the app store. Core Animation is about much more than animation. It is a completely new and modern way of building interfaces, and this session covers the most important apsects of this powerful framework. You will start by learning about the 2D geometry of Core Animation layers, how to style and draw layers efficiently and how to create rich animations and transitions. We will also delve into the design and performance characteristics of Core Animation giving you the knowledge to avoid problems like choppy animations and other graphical slowdowns.



Peter Hosey
Recognizing Bugs in Cocoa Applications

When a Cocoa (or Cocoa Touch) program goes wrong, the arcane messages and even complete lack of behavior that occur often leave new Cocoa and Cocoa Touch programmers mystified. I'll show you how to recognize each type of bug, and how to hunt it down and fix it. This session will cover common bugs and code errors. It will be useful for newer Cocoa developers as well as more experienced devs (as we always make mistakes).




Saul Mora
Effectively Using Instruments

During the lifecycle of building an app, a developer will always sense that an app is "slow", or that it's using too much CPU, or network or more importantly in mobile devices, battery power. You may have also heard about issues like memory leaks. Instruments is a tool provided by Apple as part of their normal developer SDK, and is ideal for identifying these problem areas. Instruments helps to identify problem areas in your applications that you may not expect are problems by using tools to measure various aspects of your code while it's running. We'll go through some real work examples of how we've used instruments in our development cycle to find memory leaks, memory hogs, and other general performance issues. We'll also use Instruments to fine tune other aspects of our sample application such as the screen rendering time, improving table view performance, and improving fetches from and saves to a Core Data store.



Tim Isted
Core Data and the Big Five

Most applications written for Mac OS X or iOS have data persistence needs, perhaps keeping track of millions of related objects in a project manager, or just storing a simple high scores list in a game. Core Data makes data persistence easy once you know how it works, but the framework itself has a steep learning curve. The first part of the talk aims both to help newcomers to understand the general concepts and primary classes, as well as give Core Data experts useful content in terms of performance, optimization, and a few tips and tricks to help when things go wrong. The second part of the talk offers a detailed look at how to take advantage of the new features offered in Core Data by Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5. You'll see how to work with concurrency, order, encryption and the new persistent store options, and find out how to synchronize your data across platforms by tapping into iCloud.



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IT Track


Allen Hancock, Mac Consulting Group, Inc.
Leveraging Knowledge and Moving Past Hourly Pay

Hourly pay is one way to assess, and be paid for, the value related to the skills we've cultivated. However, being able to answer difficult questions quickly should not mean we are paid less. We'll review strategies which can allow us to get paid for being available, knowing the answers, and sharing them with our clientele. We'll look at tools to allow us to work smarter, offer subscription-based support, and how managed services can be a win-win situation.



Charles Edge, 318
What the...? They Moved My Cheese!

Our careers are inextricably linked to the whims of C-level executives. And they're linked to the whims of Apple. Both are changing, and a lot. So what is next for us? Are we meant to spend the remainder of our careers helping users restore iPods? Are we going to be doing screen replacements for iPads at the Starbucks down the street? If you stay up late at night thinking about this crap then it's only natural. This isn't going to be a gripe fest. Instead it's going to be a pragmatic look at what is in store for us in the coming years, or at least those of us who don't want to be asking for people's receipts at Wal-Mart. Not that there's anything wrong with checking people's receipts, it's just we don't want to get replaced with very small RFID-enabled shell scripts!



Gary Larizza, Puppet Labs
Meet my Mac Collective: You Will Be Assimilated.

You know, the Borg didn't have it all bad. They were a collective of cybernetic organisms that all responded to a single command very rapidly and with near zero latency. In my opinion, there's a damn efficient Op at the other end of that Cube, and I bet he ran a piece of software like MCollective. MCollective (The Marionette Collective) is a framework by which to build server orchestration or parallel job execution systems. Essentially, it allows your Macs to simultaneously execute or reply to a command that is sent from anywhere. Want to know which of your machines has a certain IP address? Send out a query and receive your answer in milliseconds. Need to know which machines are out of warranty? That's another query. Maybe you need to know who has a particular printer configured on their machine. You get the drift. I'll talk about getting mcollective up and running, customization and sample queries. Try it once and you'll be hooked. Resistance is Futile.



Greg Neagle
Apple Software Updates on a Linux box?

An introduction to "reposado", a new open-source project released by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Reposado allows you to host Apple Software Updates on the hardware and OS of your choice. The presentation will introduce attendees to "reposado", a set of open-source tools that allow one to replicate the key functionality of Apple's Software Update Service, and adds additional capabilities: 1) Run the service on any hardware/OS combo that supports Python 2.5+ and a web server. No need for OS X Server or Apple hardware (though you can use those as well). 2) Easily maintain multiple catalog "branches" to enable an unstable/testing/release workflow for deploying Apple Software Updates from a single reposado instance. 3) Easily continue to offer "deprecated" updates when your organization is not yet ready to release the latest versions of Mac OS X, Safari, iTunes, etc. If your organization is reducing its dependence on Apple server hardware and software in the data center, reposado is a tool that can help!



Harald Monihart, Axel Springer AG
Creating Images is So 2010

This session shows how we solved the problem of initial machine deployment at Axel Springer by not creating images any longer, but rather, using the systems that ship from Apple. Our support team patches the systems from Apple to talk to our backend infrastructure to install additional software and to make sure that the machine's setup is according to our corporate standards. I'll share our pathch process and custom infrastructure that helps us achieve a new level of ease when deploying machines.



Harald Wagener, Google, Inc.
Life after Xserve

The Xserve is no more - but that doesn't mean an admin can't have control over their Macs. In fact, we may not even need the Xserve or OS X Server. This will be a two part talk about replacing common Xserve / OS X Server functionality by way of open source products. Part one will describe to setup a basic imaging service. Part two will address customization work specific to the NetBoot service.





John Randolph, Google, Inc.
Simian

Co-presenting "Simian" with Justin McWilliams.







Justin McWilliams, Google, Inc.
Simian

Managing a large fleet of Macs--or any fleet of Macs--may be the bane of the administrator, but it's something that must get done. At the very least, insight into one's fleet makes the difference between a great admin and a so-so one. This talk will cover Simian; an open source, App Engine-based server for Munki. More than just a server for Munki, Simian collects data on all machines that check in, allowing an administrator to have a deep view into their Mac fleet. We'll show you what Simian is, what's involved in getting it running, and the benefits that it brings.



Justin Esgar, Autriv Inc
How to Succeed in the App business Without Really Trying

Take your App idea and make it a reality...even if you aren't a developer. This will be an updated and expanded version of the talk I gave at MacTech Conference 2010. I will give a quick recap of what I spoke about last year, but then talk about delegating app development and how to make a living doing this while doing a little work as possible. Once you've crossed over into the world of app development, learn how to utilize social media and task delegation to make a profit with the least amount of time and energy possible. In this session you'll learn how to successfully develop and maintain iPad/iPhone apps while sacrificing only a few hours per week of your time.



Justin Rummel, Qivliq Commercial Group
How Lion has changed Mac OS X: Services, features, and capabilities

Co-presenting "How Lion has changed Mac OS X: Services, features, and capabilities" with Randy Saeks.







Larry Jordan, Larry Jordan & Assoc., Inc.
Media Environments for IT

Media files stand out as a file type. They're huge compared to word processing documents and other 'regular' files. They even can dwarf databases. However, with the ability to easy create movies and other media files, serve them on their own or embed them in other documents, like presentations, we're all becoming party to storing media files. What do you do when you serve a client that will soon, or already does, process these files? How does your network planning need to change? What about storage, backup and retrieval? This session will cover handling large files, using media files as an example.



Nathan Toups, rojoroboto, llc
Building a Strong System Administrator Team

Scaling a system administrator position into a team of system administrators can be quite a challenge. This is precisely the challenge I faced while recently working with a college at a large university. We moved from a single sysadmin position for the Dean's office into a powerful team to prepare for increased centralized services. See what we did to deal with the relevant issues. We will cover system planning, documentation systems, ticketing integration, meetings, and script versioning in an environment that is a mix of Apple Xsan, Xen server clusters, and working with other established university resources.



Randy Saeks, Northbrook / Glenview School District 30
How Lion has changed Mac OS X: Services, features, and capabilities

This discussion will review the major changes between Snow Leopard and Lion, and what it takes to configure these services. There are many changes in Lion--some subtle, and some no so subtle. In either case, though, an admin needs to be aware of the changes and how it impacts them. There are changes in Directory Services, Kerberos, Database Services, Server Control, Machine Management and more. Lion is growing to be a major change vs. little differences that was experienced from Leopard to Snow Leopard. It will be easier to grasp seeing what was once performed is now accomplished by "this new process".



Rich Trouton, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
FileVault 2 Decoded

One of the changes to come with Mac OS X 10.7.x (Lion) has been that Apple has revamped its FileVault encryption solution, changing it from encryption that primarily protected your account's home folder to encryption that protects your whole boot volume. Despite the common name, the two solutions are very different beasts. If you've used FileVault on 10.3.x - 10.6.x for either personal use or at work, be aware that (almost) everything you know about it is changed in FileVault 2 on 10.7.x. This session will cover briefly where we've been with FileVault on 10.3.x - 10.6.x and how Apple has taken the lessons learned from FileVault and applied them to FileVault 2. The session will also cover how to get your own Mac encrypted and decrypted with FileVault 2. Lastly, the session will cover how to rollout FileVault 2 deployments in the enterprise and how to centrally manage the FileVault 2 recovery key across multiple Macs.



Scott M. Neal, Mindset Garden
Ins/outs of Mac OS X Preferences

An in-depth understanding of Mac OS X Preferences, including preference locations, Property List file formats and editing, defaults, and PlistBuddy. This is a concept that some people sort-of understand, but not at the depth that makes them as powerful as they can be. Since property lists are such an important concept in OS X, this session will cover the basics, then share tips for pro-plist management and manipulation.



Zachary Smith, 318
Cocoa for System Administrators

Need a custom solution for your end-users? Production application development may require more time then most system administrators can budget, but small cocoa projects done with elegance can solve problems and extend your end user's experience and solve problems that other interpreted languages may not be able to accommodate. This session will focus on some popular project types such as NSMenu items, Installer Bundles and single purpose applications designed to be intigrated into rapidly developed interpreted scripts.



Zack Williams, Artisan Computer
Version Control for Mere Mortals

This session will cover version control, but with a focus on uses outside of the traditional programming environment. Currently, I use git to manage and share all my customer records, accounting, and document libraries with the people who work with me. I'll cover advantages of version control vs. other options, what's out there, a comparison of various popular version control systems and more. Most importantly, you'll leave this session with enough understanding to start using a version control system yourself.



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