The main part of the conference is three solid days: all day Wed, Thurs and Fri, Nov 15-17, ending at 5pm on Friday. Session categories and full session descriptions are below for the main conference. See full speaker bios and Pre-Conference Workshops pages for their details.
Sessions are held back-to-back, maximizing content and packing in all that we can. In addition to the sessions listed below, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in labs and birds of a feather discussions. No worries, however, there’s plenty of breaks and networking time as well!
Sessions cover a variety of topic categories. Here’s a way to understand the sessions, with sessions listed in alphabetical order with details below the categories.
Advanced Mac Troubleshooting: Launch Daemons and Agents
by John Kirn
Further strengthen your Mac support skills by delving deeper into how third-party launch daemons/agents work and how to reverse engineer what they do. Advanced topics that John Kirn will cover include: 1) Overview- Understand how launchd loads launch daemons and agents, what each are used for, and where they come from. 2) Create- Instructions for building a simple launch daemon and agent, illustrating how the different property list keys work (Label, ProgramArguments, KeepAlive, Sockets…). 3) Dissection- Learn how to read the property list keys for any launch daemons/agents to determine exactly what each does. 4) Modify- How to manipulate launch daemons/agents using the Finder, command line, and Lingon X. 5) Troubleshoot- Methods for determining if a third-party launch agent/daemon is causing a Mac problem, and what these problems look like. 6)The good, the bad, and the ugly- John will share a list of third-party launch agents/daemons that he’s collected over the years, broken down into the categories of: Necessary, potentially troublesome, and highly suspect.
Cyber Security is dead. Long live Cyber Resilience!
by Chad Calease
The promise (illusion) of 100% Cyber Security is gone. While we continue to support the concepts of defense and prevention, Cyber Resilience goes beyond those measures to elevate your team’s awareness and emphasize strategic response for when incidents occur. Because they will occur. Making sure you’re prepared when they do is what Cyber Resilience is all about.
Against the Current: Lessons in Growth & Ambiguity
by Meg Ciliberti
What happens when the team you support virtually doubles within a year? Most of us would prefer to be keeping our heads above water, when the reality is your team is barely staying afloat. In this session, Meg will share how IT grows at Shopify, as it scales at a rapid pace. **Water wings not provided**
The Apple of your EFI - An updated analysis of the state of Apple’s EFI Security Support
by Pepijn Bruienne and Rich Smith, Duo Labs
Duo Labs conducted an extensive data analysis on the state of Apple’s EFI security from two main perspectives: analyzing all EFI update released by Apple since OS X 10.10.0 through macOS 10.12.6, and an analysis across over 73,000 real-world Mac systems to compare the actual state of their EFI security against the expected state. Our findings cover a range of anomalies and security issues with the security support provided by Apple for their EFI firmware, more worryingly our analysis shows significant deviations in the real-world state of EFI firmware in Macs compared to the expected state which causes us to suspect a more systemic issue causing the failure of new EFI firmware that is supposed to be automatically installed alongside an OS update. Alongside our findings in the form of a technical paper we are also releasing a tools and API’s to enable admins and end users to have far greater visibility to the state of the the EFI firmware on their Apple systems and to understand the security implications that it may contain.
AppleScript Objective-C: The “Whatever Device” Language
by JP Wade
Have you ever sat back and scratched your head and wondered “How to I get this out to my user base?” Have you wanted to move your scripts into something that has a GUI? Have an idea that you want to quickly take from paper to prototype to functional demonstration? AppleScript Objective-C is the flexible language that can meet those needs. Last year we took a beginners look at ASOC. This year I will demonstrate the potential of how flexible this programing language can be.
Technology Preview: Cross Platform Automation Magic for iOS and macOS
by Sal Soghoian
Business: Making the Most of Your Opportunities
by Brian Best
Is there something you’ve been thinking about doing but you are holding yourself back? Or did you make a move but it’s not turning out like you hoped? Join us for a discussion, including some stories about opportunities missed and delayed, and things that didn’t exactly work out as desired but how they can work out in the end. Share your stories with the group and we’ll all help each other get over your concerns and inspire you to take the next steps.
Codesigning Flaws in macOS
by Thomas Reed
Think code signing protects apps against tampering in macOS? Think again. Due to the way code signing works on macOS, it doesn’t provide nearly as much protection as most people assume it does.
Command Line is your Toolbox
by Leon Lincoln
Many find the command line daunting, when in reality it can be a lot more familiar when you realize that nearly every GUI utility is using the command line behind the scenes. What are the essentials you need to know about using the command line as a toolbox? How do you look at a system to see what it really has on it? What is the OS doing? Once you master these, you can use the information in so many different ways. This session stands on its own, or compliments the “Command Line for Troubleshooting” session that follows.
Command Line for Troubleshooting
by Leon Lincoln
Now that you have an understanding of command essentials and know what your system is all about, how do you use the command line to troubleshoot a system that is misbehaving? What tools and utilities are built into each system? How do you use the command line to troubleshoot SMB? Learn the tricks and tidbits that the masters use at the command line to figure these issues out. This session stands on its own, or compliments the earlier “Command Line is your Toolbox” session.
Dive into APFS
by Tim Standing
APFS: the biggest architectural change to Mac OS since Apple moved to Intel processors over 10 years ago. With this talk, you’ll get an overview of some of the features of APFS and how they differ from HFS Extended — the file system we’ve been using since 1998. We’ll go over some use cases for APFS and look at how it can solve specific problems for laptop and desktop users. Lastly, we’ll look at what is going on “under the hood” with an APFS volume. This talk will give you the information you need to create more robust APFS volumes on the storage hardware you are using.
Docker on macOS
by Dave Elliott
A lot of people have heard of Docker. Some people are aware you can use “Docker for Mac” as a development platform for containerized apps. That’s all great, but don’t stop there. My session is geared to start thinking about Docker usage for every day tasks, not just “DevOps” containers. We’ll cover Docker basics, show an install of Docker for Mac, and then get into the fun stuff. Need your custom LAMP stack at a moments notice? Need a linux based tool only sometimes and don’t wanna mess with a VM? Yeah. You can do that!
Don't Forget the New Admin
by Kelly Guimont
This session is for admins both new and old in the industry. People new to the Mac admin community often struggle to find resources, assistance, and best practices. People that are deeply ingrained in the community can often forget what it’s like to be new. Let’s come together and share all the knowledge!
File Sharing Performance and Function Optimization
by Sean Colins
Apple seems to think all file sharing has moved to cloud sharing like DropBox, iCloud, Box and Google Drive, but we know it hasn’t. File sharing with our Macs is still a dilemma. We struggle with performance and functionality between our creatives and the on site file sharing storage we provide. In this presentation, learn how to tune your network and file sharing servers to provide the best speed, function and reliability to your users running High Sierra. Understand how different suites of applications, and file types behave when shared over varying protocols and how volume formats at the file server level impact the files they host. Learn how to best educate your users to avoid data corruption, slow file transfers, and more.
How to conduct a successful new client on-boarding (and keep them for the long haul)
by Max Buxton and Derek Braunschweiger
Clients say many things. Your job is to figure out what someone’s needs are even if they are saying something completely different. This is especially a challenge when bringing a new client on board. It all starts with a client interview, where you ask the right questions, and you use the right method to not only get the information you need, but enable your client to feel that they’ve been heard. Once you’ve completed the interview, how do you translate that into a needs assessment and a procurement list? What projects should be attacked first? Which can wait? And, how does this differ for new vs. existing clients? This session is co-presented with Max Buxton, and stands on its own, or compliments the “Proposal Presentations” session that follows.
Imaging is Dead: Now What?
by Greg Neagle
Recent developments in the Mac world mean that installation workflows, not imaging workflows, are the future of consistent Mac deployment. Greg will discuss the Apple and third-party tools available to replace traditional imaging workflows with flexible, consistent, and repeatable workflows based on installing macOS. We’ll also speculate where this might all lead in the future.
The iPad for Mac Curmudgeons
by Joe Kissell
Let’s settle this whole Mac-vs.-iPad debate once and for all (or at least until the next new models appear). Your customers and clients want to know which platform will best serve their needs, or whether they should plan to use both for the foreseeable future. iPads outsell Macs more than two-to-one, and lots of people are now using the iPad as a primary (or only) computer. But the two platforms still have meaningful differences, and not everyone is a candidate for an all-iOS lifestyle yet. On the other hand, those of us who have been die-hard Mac users for decades may have biases that don’t accurately reflect current reality. Joe Kissell knows he needs a Mac, but he challenged himself to discard his assumptions and see if he could stretch the iOS platform enough to run a complex publishing business entirely on an iPad Pro. In this session, Joe shares the results of his research and experiments, showing just how far you can push an iPad, what to do when you run into a wall, what advice you should offer customers today, and what to look forward to in the near future.
Managing Macs with DEP
by Todd Ness
Apple’s DEP and MDM are now a clear part of the current and future of Mac management. Once seen as only needed to manage iOS devices, macOS is increasingly able to be managed with MDM, and in some cases, it’s required. I’ll talk about the issues surrounding DEP and MDM, including the pros/cons, and where it’s going. If you’re confused about DEP and MDM, or still in the deployment phase and trying to push the boundaries, this talk is for you.
NoMAD and the Future of Directory Services
by Joel Rennich
Find out where NoMAD is going and how it can free you from the burden of having a directory service at all! Joel Rennich, the creator of NoMAD, will discuss methods for creating and manipulating local accounts via MDM without AD or other directory service required. Allow your IT staff to become admin users without having any account for that user. Also learn about leveraging authentication mechanisms beyond the Kerberos and LDAP and how you can add two-factor authentication into your workflow.
Proposal Presentations: What to say, What not to say, and making the customer happy
by Max Buxton and Derek Braunschweiger
You’ve done the work of interviewing your client, and establishing what their needs are. The next step is that you need to get the procurement list approved so that you can move forward. This means that you not only need to explain your approach, often in non-technical terms, but that you also need to “make the case” to the client as to why this is the right solution. This session is co-presented with Derek Braunschweiger, and stands on its own, or compliments the earlier “How to conduct a successful new client on-boarding” session.
Putting in Place Great Ticketing Systems
by Mary Conahan
If you had an opportunity to build from the ground up a Service Desk Implementation, what would it look like? What do you want to solve? What would make it productive across the organization. This session is useful for both those starting from scratch, or modifying an existing system, or even purchasing one off the shelf. And, it will give you an idea of the structure and resources that you will need to consider when putting a ticketing system in place, and give you confidence that you are covering your bases.
pyobjc: the frogor way
by Michael Lynn
Apple ships both python and pyobjc with macOS. Learn why using them together can do amazing things on your Macs and why it’s Mike Lynn’s favorite combination for automating the impossible.
Easy Responsive Web Sites With Bootstrap
by Jim Rea
Santa: The open source binary white/blacklisting security project
by Matt Doyle
Santa, the open source binary white/blacklisting security project from Google has seen interest and adoption in the Mac community. One missing piece has been a centralized policy server. How do we work around this? There are some surprises to how this server allows users to manage themselves, so, attend this session and find out!
Simian at GitHub: The Co-Evolution of Culture and IT
by Lillian Ho
Welcome to the jungle! The company is seven years old, and just made its first IT hire six months ago. You’re getting ready to scale from 200 to 700 employees and beyond. How will you adapt to your habitat and choose the right toolset for your environment? This talk will explore the forces of natural selection in startup culture and finding the right fit to survive — and thrive.
Finding Your Process
by Matt Schnittker
Finding the right level of process and structure for IT teams can be challenging. Although I don’t think there’s necessarily a “right” answer that fits every team, I’ve certainly tried lots of different things and I think some things worked better than others. In this talk I’ll cover some of my own lessons learned and some of the basic principles I use with my own team. These principles help lay down a structure and ground rules for the team to operate from.
by Scott Neal
Swift Playgrounds is a revolutionary app for iPad that makes learning Swift interactive and fun. It requires no coding knowledge. Come learn about this innovative way to learn more about Swift.
Talking Security with Your Clients
by Ben Levy and Phil Goodman
In this session, Los Angeles consultants Ben Levy and Phil Goodman will discuss the issues of security for a client, and the types of things you should be discussing with a client when talking about security. The end goal is to be able to deliver a presentation on security that is intended not for techs, but instead to be able talk security with your clients. This collaborative session will go over the presentation, and the group will participate in expanding and evolving the message to sharpen the concepts and their explanation. At the conclusion of the session additions and changes will be incorporated and then the entire presentation and notes will be made available to session attendees to take home, further enhance, adapt or evolve as desired and then delivered to your own clients.
Unleash the Power of macOS Through Command Line
by Avery Chipka
You have mastered the art of being a Mac Admin with the graphic tools provided to you in Sierra, its time to dive under the hood and master the power of Unix sitting under the hood. This intermediate, hands-on session will provide you with an introduction of Mac Administration from the command line. During this session, you will be introduced to making modifications to enhance the performance of your machine, using features of applications like Server.app and Disk Utility that can only be accessed through the command line. Additionally we will look at the utilization of MacPorts and HomeBrew which will add a whole new set of tools to your arsenal of administration resources.
We're Building Up to Something, but What?
by Charles Edge
Do you have a consulting firm? Work in IT at a company? Apple sure has been making our lives interesting over the past few years. Let’s sit down and go through an analysis of Apple trends. And more importantly, what those trends mean to you! In this session, we’ll look at the past, present, and future of the Apple platforms, including macOS Server, client management, application distribution, and the ecosystems that Apple devices live in. The goal here is to help you future-proof your deployments so you can keep up with the massive changes that seem to come with every new release of the Apple operating systems and devices!
Note: All times are approximate. All sessions, speakers and descriptions are subject to change at any time without notice.