MacTech Conference 2014: Sessions
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MacTech Conference 2014: Sessions

Sessions Overview

The Conference begins at 10am on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014; 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, November 5th and 6th, and there's Pre-Conference Workshops available the day prior (Tue, November 4th). The conference sessions will wrap up on Friday by 5pm.

NOTE: These are simply SOME of the sessions we're releasing information on.
Many more sessions, labs and interaction opportunities will continue to be added over the next several weeks.

Sessions are held back-to-back, maximizing content and packing in all that we can. And, there will be an assortment of vendor QuickTalks™ and No worries, however, there's plenty of breaks and networking time as well.

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


Sessions Chairs


Conference Sessions Chair
Edward Marczak, MacTech Magazine

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.


Host
Neil Ticktin, MacTech Magazine

Neil not only plays host for all MacTech events, but aids the session chairs for all MacTech events (over 60 events since 2010). Neil has been the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of MacTech Magazine since 1992. With both a technical and business background, Neil has authored hundreds of articles including most of MacTech's well known benchmarking articles on productivity applications, virtualization, and performance products.



Pre-Conference Workshops


Apple Certification Exams
v.2

Prior to MacTech Conference, Apple Certification Exams will be available during the "Pre-Conference" activities on Tuesday. On Tuesday morning, our testing partner and local Apple Authorized Training Center, v.2 Consulting, will offer a study hour and exam session on-site. Testing will conclude by 1pm (if not earlier), so that you can also attend the Microsoft Office for Mac Accreditation in the afternoon. See the Apple Certification page for more information.


Microsoft Office for Mac Accreditation
Bobby Toledo, Microsoft

Prior to MacTech Conference but at the same venue, the 2014 Microsoft Office for Mac Accredited Support Professional course and exam will be available during the "Pre-Conference" activities on Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoon, Microsoft Trainer Brian Govatos will take you through the ins and outs of Office for Mac, Office for iPad, and Office 365, followed up with an exam. Those attending have time to also attend the morning Apple certification prior to this session. This pre-conference workshop is included, at no additional cost, in your registration for MacTech Conference. See the Microsoft Office Accreditation page for more information on this workshop.


OS X Server for Server Experts
Sean Colins, CoreQuick

This optional, full-day workshop takes place the day prior to MacTech Conference 2014. This hands-on, fast-paced day will be full of learning about OS X Server. Join us for a full day collaborative workshop guided by lynda.com author Sean Colins in which you and several dozen people who are probably already your close friends take a whole day to dig deep into OS X Server. You'll find out about how to administer OS X Server's many services, the serveradmin command line tool, tips and tricks, the primary services, and more. See workshops for more information on this workshop.


Quick Start: Swift, Objective-C & Cocoa for iOS & Mac
Simon Allardice, lynda.com

This optional, full-day workshop takes place the day prior to MacTech Conference 2014. This hands-on, fast-paced day will be full of learning Apple's new programming language, Swift, together with the tools for creating applications on iOS and Mac. Quickly get up to speed with the up-to-the-minute best practices for modern app development on Apple platforms without prior knowledge of Swift or Cocoa. See workshops for more information on this workshop.


Security
Christian Woodward, intuitive.io

This optional, full-day workshop takes place the day prior to MacTech Conference 2014. This hands-on, fast-paced day will be full of learning about Security. This workshop will not only help you to understand the underlying technologies of secure encryption that's pervasive through our daily lives in email, the cloud, when shopping and countless other ways. It will also give you insight on how to protect your data, let the right users in, and keep the right users out. Learn about the technologies that underlie our false sense of security, how it works and what you can do to manage that security for yourself, your organization and your users/clients. See workshops for more information on this workshop.


The Automation Mindset: Scripting, Command Line, and More
Scott Neal, acmeFoo

This optional, full-day workshop takes place the day prior to MacTech Conference 2014. This hands-on, fast-paced day will be full of learning about automation and scripting. In this one-day compressed course, learn the basics of Automation using Automator, AppleScript, and Xcode. It won't make you a full-blown programmer, but you'll have the basics you need to not only work with other scripts and modify them in useful ways, but also write your very own scripts from scratch! See workshops for more information on this workshop.



Session Descriptions


Apps vs. Business: Which are you building?
Joe Workman

Simply creating an application and placing it on the App Store is typically not enough. In fact, only the rare few make a living from their pet project via the App Store. But what else is required? A business. I'll talk about the differences between a developer, just developing an app and creating a sustainable business.


Autopkg - Beyond the Basics
Allister Banks, Montefiore Medical Center

In this presentation we'll pick up where recent talks from the developers of autopkg leave off, and highlight newer features of the project. We'll briefly go over bootstrapping, some interesting benefits you can get out-of-the box, and ways to jumpstart making your own recipes. How and why to take advantage of certain features, and newer ways to help improve others recipes that you're interested in will also be demonstrated. There's so much activity in this area that everyone should be able to take away something of use.


Better Living Through Science Fiction
Vanessa White, New Relic

How can science fiction improve your life? I'll be taking a page from series like Star Trek, Dune, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to reinforce best practices and behaviors for day to day life, and questions unanswered by 42.


BREAKING "BACCHANTE"
Andy Ihnatko

In 1894, a statue of a dancing woman was unveiled at the Salon of Paris. It became one of the world's most famous and successful works of art, hailed for its beauty, technical excellence, and a major break from conventional sculpture. It was praised by critics and became an enormous commercial success for its artist, for whom it solidified his position as one of America's three most important sculptors. In 1897, "Bacchante And Infant Faun" was banished from the city of Boston, its intended permanent home, carried out in a flower-strewn wooden box after only a few weeks of public display and a year of loud protests from Boston's preachers, the leaders of the Temperance movement, and even Harvard art professors who complained about "That drunk, naked dancing woman." Along the way, "Bacchante" became national news, and Boston, a Puritanical laughingstock. How and why did this happen? And how did "Bacchante And Infant Faun" make its way back to Boston a hundred years later? I've spent the past year looking for answers. The story of "Bacchante" seems to have a lot of relevance to anybody who's trying to communicate new ideas to a wide audience. Also, I might have located a major piece of artwork that's been described as "missing" since 1901.


Communication Tools At Walt Disney Animation Studios
Matt Schnittker, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Social media and mobile communication apps have become ubiquitous. However, these tools don't always adapt well to the enterprise where company information needs to be kept secure and user access is tightly controlled. In this talk I'll review some of the internal tools we have developed for use at the studio where HTML5 allowed us to support Android, iOS, Linux, Mac and Windows.


Communities Made Easy ^H^H^H^H Less Complicated
Kelly Guimont, MacObserver

Communities can be tricky because they involve people. There are lots of ways to not only build a community, but grow and maintain one. Kelly shares some tips and tricks and even gets you (yes, you!) excited about joining one.


Designing Secure Systems With TLS
Anthony Vcherushniy, Google

This talk will cover the basics of encrypting data in transit using the Transport Layer Security (TLS; formerly SSL) cryptographic protocol. We'll see what it takes to keep your communications private when traversing the Internet, consider important implementation sharp edges and review recent security disasters like Apple's infamous "goto fail" bug. You will also learn how Google's many Macs guarantee safety from prying eyes and meddling eavesdroppers -- from innocuous captive portal networks to advanced persistent hackers. I'll also introduce open source code you can use to secure your OS X fleet and applications.


Documentation - Why All The Cool Kids Are Doing It
Rich Trouton, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Documentation is many things: surrogate memory, teaching tool, an emergency tool, and vacation-saver. One thing it is not is spontaneously generated; somebody needs to write it! This session will cover why you should have documentation, when it needs to be created, and how to compose documentation to best address different potential audiences. The session will also discuss tips and tools, with the goal of helping you quickly create documentation that answers others' questions without their needing to interrupt your train of thought or your vacation.


Dr. Swiftlove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Error
Brent Royal-Gordon, Groundbreaking Software

If you're moving from Objective-C to Swift, you'll soon discover that some constructs you used to casually write won't even compile anymore. It feels like Swift is putting barriers in your path-but usually, those barriers are keeping you away from pitfalls. Learn why Swift is so picky and how you can work effectively within the new rules to write cleaner, safer code than you ever have before.


Emotion-Intelligence
Boisy G. Pitre, Affectiva

What if your iPad or iPhone could detect your emotional state and respond in a way that enhances your day? What if an app could deliver soothing content when you're feeling upset, or play your favorite song when you're feeling happy? Every day, in multiple settings, we express ourselves through our emotions. Emotions are not only innate to our ability to communicate thoughts and ideas to others, but can also be a gateway to new experiences with our devices. We will explore these ideas and possibilities in this brave new world of emotion-intelligent apps and devices.


Everything is Terrible
Sam Marshall

A deep dive into the provisioning and code-signing process. How provisioning profiles are created, what information do they dictate to iOS devices, what is "code-signing" what benefits does it provide, how are code signatures stored, and what are code signatures used for. This talk aims to demystify the process behind one of the more convoluted processes in development.


Get on board with Docker
Pepijn Bruienne, University of Michigan

Few will argue the point that Docker has been one of the fastest rising stars on the tech firmament over the course of the past twelve months. Big players such as Red Hat and VMware have gone all-in on the concept of application containerization as pioneered by Docker. But just in case you haven't, here's what you've missed: virtualization is old news and containerization is what's new. By leveraging a host's Linux kernel, base networking and disk I/O, Docker is able to much more densely pack self-contained applications without the traditional overhead of a full virtualized OS. In this session we will take a closer look at how it all works and how Docker will benefit you as either a Mac IT professional or as a developer. Nautical puns included.


Getting Security Right the First Time
Andrew McDonnell, AsTech Consulting

Whether your team is a cast of thousands or a cast of personas you've adopted, it is not easy to align incentives between technology, business, and security. Motivations to make a cool thing or amass a vast fortune are straightforward enough, but rarely does anyone get an idea for how secure an app can be before thinking up what it is going to do. I can also say from experience that privilege escalation and SQL injection were not on my computer science curriculum. It's no surprise, then, that security is a consideration that often arises only when everything else is worked out. By then, any security impact that can be made will be hideously expensive. It doesn't have to be that way. Let's talk about how we can do better.


How Do I Contribute?
Tim Sutton

Git and GitHub have changed the way we can collaborate with others on code-based projects, but it can be intimidating at first. How does this all work? We will cover the basics of Git and how to escape some of its pitfalls, and we will review some of the tools and processes available to those wanting to start or contribute to an open-source project, which isn't Git-specific. Writing code is only part of it!


I, For One, Welcome Our New Robot Overlords: Accepting Automated Testing into your Heart.
Steve Malsam, MEDL Mobile

One team's story on how they implemented automated testing, and how you can learn from their mistakes.


IT, The Hacker Way - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Mike Dodge, Facebook

During the last 4 years I have been at Facebook working to manage our fleet of 10,000+ Macs. Sure we have our stuff together now, but that wasn't always the case. Come hear about what I have learned working at a startup that became enterprise in size in just a few years, but maintains the hacker culture at heart. PS: there will be cake


Keynote
Andy Hendrickson, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Experimentation is a necessity for innovation. Learning from the outcome is the key to moving forward. Through experimentation you can maximize technology discovery and use that to propel artistry into new territory. Join Andy Hendrickson, Chief Technology Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios as he shares his insights, ideas and personal perspectives on leading innovation at the Studio.


Learning AWS
Nathan Toups, rojoroboto

This session is all things Amazon Web Services. Whether you are a developer building out a scalable backend for your App or a sysadmin diving into cloud infrastructure, it's more important than ever to learn principals behind "Infrastructure as Code" and cloud infrastructure systems philosophy. This lab will consist of a series of session and lab modules meant to cover the fundamentals of AWS tools, security, deployment, and infrastructure. To get the full impact of the lab, attendees will need to have basic command line skills and have at least a beginner's understanding of ssh and git. All labs will be run on a "free tier" AWS services when possible.


Mobile App Monetization
Jon Flanders, OpenX

Everyone has their own opinion about how best to monetize your app in the App Store - but one thing that most people agree on is that you need to start your monetization plan at the same time you start developing. This talk will cover the current state of monetization and will cover some tips to try to optimize monetization early in your application lifecycle.


Munki 2
Greg Neagle, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Join Greg for an introduction to the new features in Munki 2 and a review of the overall capabilities and features of Munki, the popular open-source software management system for OS X. Workshop participants will also gain hands-on experience setting up a basic, functional Munki repository


Take Control Game Show
Tonya Engst, TidBITS

Solidify the knowledge you've gained during MacTech Conference by participating in the Take Control TechUp, an event that will quiz conference attendees on the topics covered in a wide variety of sessions. This interactive session will pit you against your fellow-conference goers to see who best remembers the technical content from our expert-level talks. (with Adam Engst)


Take Control Game Show
Adam Engst, TidBITS

Solidify the knowledge you've gained during MacTech Conference by participating in the Take Control TechUp, an event that will quiz conference attendees on the topics covered in a wide variety of sessions. This interactive session will pit you against your fellow-conference goers to see who best remembers the technical content from our expert-level talks. (with Tonya Engst)


Think Like a Publisher for Fun and Profit
Tonya Engst, TidBITS

Explore how a publisher's mindset can improve your blog, book, brochure, podcast, or other publication. Whether you're creating a series of user help files, writing marketing copy for your app, or seeking advertisers for your podcast, thinking like a publisher can save time and improve your product. TidBITS co-publisher Tonya Engst will share specific tips and guiding principals that you can apply to nearly any publishing project to have more fun and get better results.


Tools and Techniques for Creating Professional Screencasts
Jim Rea, ProVUE

I've been making screencasts for almost twenty years. In the early to mid 90's I actually created a 5 minute black and white screencast that we distributed on floppies via direct mail! I've always felt that screencasts are often the best way to communicate about software -- both for marketing and training. However, a lot of screencasts I see aren't very well done, which I think is a big missed opportunity. Over the past few years I've developed my own unique workflow for creating screencasts. I actually spend more time in prep and post production than in recording itself. It takes a bit more time, but produces much more professional results, especially as far as narration goes. For me the techniques I use also dramatically reduce the stress level from the "press record and pray" technique that used to be the only way to do it. I used to really have performance anxiety about recording screencasts, but the workflow I've developed makes it easy to fix mistakes, so there's no anxiety, and the result is better as well.


Twisting Munki
Graham Gilbert, pebble.it

Munki is one of the best tools for installing software on a Mac, but it isn't a configuration management system. It does however, share certain traits with them. We'll take a look at how Munki can be used to apply configuration to OS X devices, how we can use some of the mechanisms that Munki provides to ensure that the desired state is maintained and how we can use some of Munki's features to make it behave more like dedicated configuration management tools. Along the way we'll take a look at some methods for applying some of the more common (and some of the stranger!) settings on OS X using profiles, payload free packages and the command line.


Useful Electronics with Arduino for Absolute Beginners
Edward Eigerman, Google

A bare-bones talk on getting started using Arduino to do real-world electronics projects that are actually useful, followed by a hands-on lab where you will build and program a simple one-key keyboard and mouse-jiggler out of common electronic components. Those with electronics experience are invited to attend, but are asked not to heckle.


User Experience and Expectations
Nick McSpadden, Schools of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco

As admins, we have direct control over what the user experiences with their devices. The admin has a lot of power to architect great experiences and set correct expectations for their users. Learn about some ways that Mac admins can improve the overall user experience by making small changes that have a lot of far-reaching effects. Simple profiles and interface tweaks in Finder preferences, browser management strategies, and self-service software portals give users the tools they need to feel empowered and in control of their devices. When users don't have to struggle with their tools or fight against policy, they're more productive and much friendlier. We all like happy users!


Walking the Responder Chain
Andy Lee

In the spirit of picking things apart and seeing how they work, let's pick apart the responder chain. What is it? How does it work? How is it important to your application?


What Exactly Is Mobile Device Management?
Charles Edge, Jamf Software

Sure, we all know that Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a framework for managing mobile devices. And operating system vendors seem more than happy to give us lots of features that we can use to build crazy, complicated MDM solutions. But as goes mobility, so will go the desktop and laptop markets. And what, oh what, are organizations large and small really after with an MDM tool? What does that mean for the future of desktop management? Did Charles bother to brush his hair this morning? These are all questions that will be answered in this riveting session that will almost certainly (and by almost certainly we mean with a 95% margin of error) tell you the future of the industry we are in and what you need to do to prepare for the years in front of us.


Whatís new in Apple IT
Tad Johnson, JAMF

The landscape of Apple IT continues to shift, with growing marketshare, new products and services, and increasing focus from the IT industry. This session will highlight some of the changes we saw in 2014 and look forward to the future of Apple IT.


Wi-Fi Design and Troubleshooting
Jeanette Lee, Ruckus Wireless

This session covers the state of the art in Wi-Fi technology as well as best practices for design, deployment and troubleshooting. Wi-Fi fundamentals as well as deeper dives into how Wi-Fi functions gives you an understanding of how and why Wi-Fi works or doesn't work and how to diagnose the problem.


Workflows for Consultants and IT Departments
Ryan Grimes, HoosierMac Consulting

Is your Consult business or IT department working at full efficiency? Are you utilizing the proper tools to make sure your users don't regret contacting you? In this presentation we will go through the entire customer interaction workflow to show you how to work at peak efficiency within your business or IT support group. We will give you tips and tricks to implement that will help you and your users feel the love.


Xcode for non-Apple devices
Amanda Walker, Google

This talk will cover several ways of doing software development for embedded devices on a Mac using Apple's Xcode IDE. It will cover the major options available with their various strengths and weaknesses, as well as live demos using Xcode to build, load, and debug firmware for a variety of embedded devices ranging from Arduino to ARM-based industrial controllers. Note: while an Arduino board will be used in one of the demos, this is not an introduction to Arduino in general. The talk will assume you are familiar with Xcode.


You Can Even Use The Tail
Michael Lynn

The devices that you already own have more capabilities than you might realize. This lighthearted session will cover some of the unique personal projects I've done that utilize various electronic devices in unusual ways. Be shocked, be amused, and hopefully be inspired to do more with what you have.






 

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