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.
|Conference 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.
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.
|Apple Certification Exams
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.
|Mastering Auto Layout
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 Auto Layout and its increasing importance. Starting with OS X 10.7 Lion and iOS 6, Apple introduced Auto Layout to help us better manage changes in screen sizes and our user interfaces. Auto Layout promises to fill the gaps left by autoresizing masks. In theory, it should completely eliminate the need to programmatically layout our view hierarchies. Furthermore, Auto Layout lets our views adapt to internal changes — this means our views can automatically adjust their size in response to changes in their content. This is a hands-on workshop. Students will get experience adding, modifying and debugging Auto Layout constraints through a series of lab exercises. See workshops for more information on this workshop.
|Microsoft Office for Mac Accreditation
Brian Govatos, 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.
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.
|Using Amazon Web Services
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 Amazon Web Services. When it comes to Amazon Web Services (AWS), there are lots of choices. “Cloud computing” refers to the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the net. You get to rely on others to implement, maintain and manage — and you get to do so with lower cost, pay-as-you-go pricing, rapid deployment and increased reliability. Amazon Web Services is one of the most used set of services. You’ll walk away with some real world examples, and uses. Specifically, you’ll see how to create instances, set them up, and deploy them. You’ll also see how you can interface with common infrastructures that you may already have in place. See workshops for more information on this workshop.
|Apps vs. Business: Which are you building?
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.
|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.
|Communication Tools At WDAS
Matt Schnittker, Walt Disney Animation Studios
I currently manage a mobile development group writing HTML 5 apps. This will cover some of the apps we’ve built for mobile communication and how communication is different in Feeds, Forums, and Chat.
|Designing Secure Systems With TLS
Anthony Vcherushniy, Google
This talk will cover the basics of encryption of data in transit using Transport Layer Security (TLS; formerly SSL). We’ll see what it takes to keep your communications private when traversing the Internet, consider important implementation sharp edges and recent security disasters like Apple’s infamous “goto fail” bug. You will also learn how Google’s many Macs guarantee safety from prying and meddling eavesdroppers — from naive captive portals to determined state actors — by introducing open source code you can use to secure your OS X applications.
|Diving Into Assembly Language
Gwynne Raskind, Chaotic Moon Studios
Why is assembly language useful to you? Take a trip into basic assembly language.
|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.
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
A deep dive into the provisioning and code-signing process. How provisioning profiles are create, 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.
|How Do I Contribute?
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 aren’t Git-specific. Writing code is only part of it!
|How Swift Saves You From Yourself
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 wonít 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.
|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
|It’s a secret for now. More energy than you can imagine.
Kelly Guimont, TUAW
Kelly is one of the most energetic, and enthusiastic individuals in the industry. Peek into her insight into the media, the community, and more
|It’s a surprise.
Graham Gilbert, pebble.it
Pebble.IT has grown a great practice out of providing the right services in the right way. Graham will share his technical insights that are part of what has made Pebble.IT what it is.
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.
|MDM for Masses
Charles Edge, Jamf Software
The plethora of ways to manage your mobile devices – and “mobile” includes laptops, too – is ever increasing. What features are available in an MDM? What should you be looking for? How can you get the most from your investment in MDM infrastructure? All of this will be answered and more.
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)
|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.
|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
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?
|We’ll tell you soon, but greatness will ooze from the room.
Ryan Grimes, HoosierMac Consulting
Ryan’s unique perspective has given him unique insight. Hear him share what he’s learned, and how it can help you
|We’re not telling, but awesome as always.
Andy was MacTech’s first speaker, and has spoken at every MacTech Conference. Always insightful, incredibly funny, he’s one to listen to.
|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.
|Xcode for non-Apple devices
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
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.