Pre-Conference Workshops

All new for 2016 are several optional, certifications and pre-conference workshops — half-day for a study group and Apple Certification Exams in the afternoon, and several full-day Pre-Conference Workshops.

All pre-conference workshops take place on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at the same hotel as MacTech Conference, and should be reserved in advance. The workshops are small group, interactive and hands-on. Student to teacher ratios are typically 15:1 or better.

Where appropriate, instructors may require you to bring a computer with specific, and freely available tools or software installed. See each workshop description for details.

 
Full-Day Workshops
All take place on Tue Nov 15, from approximately 9am-6pm. Lunch included. Early Bird Pricing: $299, (Normally $499)

Half-Day Certification: Apple Certifications (Registration closed)

 

You can register for the pre-conference workshops when you register for MacTech Conference (it’s an option on the conference registration form). Or, if you are already registered for MacTech Conference, simply contact MacTech customer service to assist you.

Note: Workshops may require minimum participation levels.
All times are approximate. All sessions, speakers and descriptions are subject to change at any time without notice.



Home Automation Workshop: Apple Style

Hands-on Foundational Course for Techs
Workshop taught by Adam Schechter and Thibault Maury, Precision Audio Visual

This year’s MacTech Conference has the first-ever Home Automation workshop from an Apple point of view. This small group, hands on course will give techs the foundation they need to work on Home Automation and Internet of Things (IoT) projects via Apple devices.

But Home Automation isn’t just about making cool stuff happened – one of the biggest issues with IoT of any type is security. Workshop attendees will be exposed to IoT security best practices and concerns, as well as how to look for problems in advance of them happening.

In this workshop, we’ll cover:

  • Platforms: Who are the players, and how do they differ?
  • Devices: How do they differ? How do they communicate?
  • Hands on: What do these devices look like?
  • You’ll partake in an interactive project assessment that should mirror real world
  • Go through the process of deciding which products meet your project
  • Design a Home Automation network with proper security in mind
  • Troubleshooting
  • Open discussion and Q&A

You’ll walk away from the day with a baseline understanding of Home Automation, how to approach system design, address security issues and more.

What attendees need to bring: Laptop with El Capitan or macOS Sierra installed.

Sessions and General Schedule

The Conference begins at 10am on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016; 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 16th and 17th, and there’s Pre-Conference Workshops available the day prior (Tue, November 15th). The conference sessions will wrap up on Friday by 5pm.

Sessions are held back-to-back, maximizing content and packing in all that we can. And, there will be an assortment of vendor QuickTalks™, vendor forums, labs and birds of a feather discussions. 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.

Speaker bios are listed on the speakers page with more speakers being added as get closer to the event. And, for an idea of the overall topics, see the topics page.

More to come…

While this is already an incredible line up of topics and speakers, there’s even more to come. Interested in presenting? Use the “call for speakers” application form.



Ready to register for MacTech Conference?
Do so now as space is very limited for ALL pre-conference activities. Register now. Or, if you are already registered for MacTech Conference, simply contact MacTech customer service to assist you.



 
 

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi Design & Troubleshooting
Workshop taught by Jeanette Lee, Ruckus Wireless

WiFi is everywhere, and yet you obviously don’t see it. You assume it will be wherever you go, and will work, but does it? Learn about what it takes to make WiFi work well, and understand what you need to do to “do it right.”

Why does one Wi-Fi network succeed and another fail? All Wi-Fi is not created equal, but we all equally want good wireless!

The goal is to make a Wi-Fi System Engineer or network manager as ‘smart as possible’ regarding Wi-Fi and user-authentication in a day. We presume the attendee understands the basics of Wi-Fi and the ‘basics’ regarding networking terms.

Who should attend? Network integrators, network consultants, school districts, higher education organizations, enterprises looking at deploying or upgrading their Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Topics covered include:

  • Everything you wanted to know about Wi-Fi, but were afraid to ask
  • 2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz
  • 802.11n, 802.11ac
  • interference
  • channel-planning options
  • strategies for airtime fairness, band-steering, beamforming, client load balancing, etc.
  • Engineering Wi-Fi networks to meet coverage and capacity needs.
  • A Wi-Fi site survey
  • Best practices for deploying and validating a Wi-Fi installation.
  • Wi-Fi user authentication. Authenticating enterprise users, BYOD devices and guests (WPA2, DPSK, Captive Portal, 802.1x Radius, Google Apps, FaceBook, subscriber gateways, WISPr)
  • Wi-Fi security, a look at known Wi-Fi vulnerabilities and how to engineer a 100% secure Wi-Fi network
  • Location based services: Using your WiFi network to locate WiFi clients.
  • Troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks and some of our favorite third-party Wi-Fi management and troubleshooting tools

What attendees need to bring: A laptop with OS X installed (Yosemite or later)



Ready to register for MacTech Conference?
Do so now as space is very limited for ALL pre-conference activities. Register now. Or, if you are already registered for MacTech Conference, simply contact MacTech customer service to assist you.



 
 

System and Workflow Automation Workshop

Establishing the mindset and removing roadblocks in scripting, command line and more.
Workshop taught by Scott M. Neal, Mindset Garden/AcmeFoo

You see all the cool stuff about automating things through scripting (whether command line, Automator, AppleScript, Python, etc.), but you haven’t been able to apply those concepts to your own uses as you would like to because it feels daunting, or you regularly hit roadblocks.

You don’t need to be a programmer to be an effective automator. It’s all about the right approach, the right tools, and knowing where to go when you hit a roadblock.

This workshop is a crash course in Automation–the basics that you need to be able to walk away with your own solution at the end of a single day. As a hands-on workshop, you’re encouraged to bring your own scripts, or ideas you want to tackle, and work through the issues.

In this one-day compressed course, learn the basics of Automation using Automator, AppleScript, Command Line and Xcode. It won’t make you a full-blown scripter or programmer, but you’ll have the basics you need to not only work with other scripts and modify them in useful ways, but also to write your very own scripts from scratch!

Scott M. Neal will happily plant the “Automation Mindset” into your brain, allowing you to see the big picture about Automation, from scripting to command line to basic programming (and much in between).

What attendees need to bring: Laptop with Yosemite, El Capitan or macOS Sierra installed.
What attendees are encouraged to bring: Scripts or scripting ideas that you’d like to tackle.



Ready to register for MacTech Conference?
Do so now as space is very limited for ALL pre-conference activities. Register now. Or, if you are already registered for MacTech Conference, simply contact MacTech customer service to assist you.



 
 

Introduction to Munki: Getting Started and Hands-On

Using flexible open-source tools to manage Mac software installs
Workshop taught by Greg Neagle, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Munki is the most popular open-source software deployment tool for OS X. It’s in use at organizations small and huge. This full-day workshop is led by Greg Neagle, who developed and open-sourced Munki in early 2009. Greg will not only introduce you to Munki, but will walk you through a hands-on experience in deploying and managing software installs using Munki’s web and client tools.

In this workshop, you’ll learn Munki’s capabilities by setting up a local Munki server on your laptop and using it to manage some software installs on that same laptop. You’ll come away with a working knowledge of how to set up and configure Munki, how it works, what it can do, and how it might be useful in your organization.

Topics covered will include:

  • Server setup
    • Server filesystem layout
    • Adding software to a Munki repository
    • Using catalogs and manifests to manage software installs on machines
  • Client setup
    • Client preferences options
  • Exploring Munki’s core features, including, but not limited to:
    • managed installs
    • managed uninstalls
    • managed updates
    • optional installs
    • unattended installs
  • “Advanced” Munki features:
    • Munki’s dependency model: linking installations together
    • Forcing installs after a “deadline”
    • Conditional items
    • Pre/post-install and pre/post-uninstall scripts
    • Configuration profile support
    • “On Demand” items
  • Integration with AutoPkg
  • Customization of the client software
  • Third-party helpers and add-ons for Munki

More on Munki

Munki is a set of open-source tools that, used together with a webserver-based repository of packages and package metadata, can be used by OS X (macOS) administrators to manage software installs (and in many cases removals) on client Macs. Munki consists of client-side tools written largely in Python. Munki’s “server” can be any web server.
Munki can install software delivered as standard Apple packages, software from disk images, and knows how to install many Adobe products. In many cases, Munki can also remove the software it has installed, and Munki knows how to update software too. Munki also supports user-chosen “Optional Software” installations and removals. Finally, Munki can be configured to install Apple Software Updates.

Munki focuses exclusively on software deployment, so it may be your first step towards one of the commercial solutions – or it may be your long-term solution if all you need is software deployment. Munki can also be used in conjunction with other tools, both open-source and commercial, which provide solutions for other facets of Mac management such as imaging, inventory, remote assistance, and preference management.

What attendees need to bring: A laptop with OS X or macOS installed and several gigabytes of free space, or a virtual machine running OS X with several gigabytes of free space. You’ll also need an admin login for the laptop!



Ready to register for MacTech Conference?
Do so now as space is very limited for ALL pre-conference activities. Register now. Or, if you are already registered for MacTech Conference, simply contact MacTech customer service to assist you.



 
 

Using Swift (Registration closed)

Rapid Start for iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS
by Nick Walter, madeupbypeople.com

A hands-on, fast-paced day learning Apple’s new programming language, Swift, together with the tools for creating applications on iOS, Mac and Apple Watch. Quickly get up to speed with the latest developer tools and current best practices for modern app development on Apple platforms.

The day includes:

  • Ramping up in Swift: what you absolutely need to know
  • The latest improvements to the Swift language
  • Creating applications in Xcode
  • User Interface Design for iOS, tvOS and watchOS
  • Quickly laying out a UI using Storyboards, Scenes and Segues
  • Application architecture – “how to think” when creating best-of-breed apps
  • The best ways to include artwork in your application
  • Tips and tricks for using Xcode to speed up your development time

So if Apple development is something you’ve always wanted to do, but never quite gotten around to – or if you’ve been doing it for a while but want to review the fundamentals and current best practices – this is your workshop.

What attendees need to bring: a laptop with the latest version of Xcode (free from Apple’s App Store).

Prerequisites: You don’t need to be a working programmer, but some knowledge of programming concepts is expected – the more, the better. Knowledge of Swift is not assumed.



Ready to register for MacTech Conference?
Do so now as space is very limited for ALL pre-conference activities. Register now. Or, if you are already registered for MacTech Conference, simply contact MacTech customer service to assist you.



 
 

Accreditations/Certifications (Registration closed)

Apple Certification Exams
Study Group and Exams by MacTech Conference Testing Partner, Creative Resources Technology Group

Prior to MacTech Conference but at the same venue, Apple Certification Exams will be available during the “Pre-Conference” activities on Tuesday. Prior to the exam, our testing partner and local Apple Authorized Training Center will offer a study hour and exam session on-site. The study session begins at 2pm on Tue, November 15th.

All registered attendees to MacTech’s 2016 Events are welcome to register for the study group and an exam. The price is normally $349, but you can register early at $249. Space is limited.

What attendees need to bring: A laptop (not an iPad) with a web browser.

See additional information on the Apple Certification Exams page.



Ready to register for MacTech Conference?
Do so now as space is very limited for ALL pre-conference activities. Register now. Or, if you are already registered for MacTech Conference, simply contact MacTech customer service to assist you.