Workshops

The MacAdmins Conference registration includes a day of workshops, held on July 10th, 2018. Breakfast, lunch, light snacks, and dinner will be served during the day. These workshops are built to help attendees gain a solid foundation in a focused aspect of system administration.

This year we are pleased to be offering 6 workshops sessions to choose from.

A deep dive into users & groups management API on macOS
Speaker: Yoann Gini
Level: Advanced, BYOD
Length: Workshop – Full Day

More and more, LDAP based directory service tend to be legacy, all of us are looking for a new and mobile way to manage our users and endpoints. Binding a Mac to a domain seems counter intuitive for most of now. With this workshop, you will learn how macOS handle users & groups, and different source of users & groups, to the point of creating your own source of identities.

Workshop Details


Mac Management – State of the Union: Admin Tested, User Approved!
Speakers: Robert Hammen & Ben Bass
Level: Fundamental, Lecture
Length: Workshop – Full Day

Geared to new or new-to-the-platform Mac admins, this foundational workshop will provide an overview of the most commonly-used commercial and open source tools and utilities that you may find useful for managing your Mac fleet. We’ll also talk about how the Mac management landscape continues to change, including the fundamental changes across macOS 10.13 and the forthcoming macOS 10.14, and have time for Q & A.

Workshop Details


Minimum Viable Security: Achieving Security & Getting Rid of Auditors with Free & Open Tools
Speakers: Guillaume Ross & TBA
Level: Intermediate, BYOD
Length: Workshop – Full Day

Getting the “right” level of security can be complicated, as every company has a different threat model. Getting a good level of security, using good, free tools, which are often open source, is an effective way to increasing your security maturity level a lot, while also preparing answers for auditors, so you can save time on compliance efforts. Being compliant will not make you secure, but being secure will save you time on proving compliance! In this workshop, we will use multiple tools to implement many of the CIS Critical Controls, and correlate against compliance requirements such as PCI DSS and HIPAA.

Workshop Details


This workshop session features 2 half day workshops:

Time Management for the Mac Admin
Speaker: William Smith
Level: All Levels, BYOD
Length: Workshop – Half Day

William Smith loosely cover ideas from the O’Reilly’s book “Time Management for System Administrators” while adding his own experiences and revelations with managing his workload over the past 30 years, across seven jobs. He’ll show how he translated these skills to today’s electronic calendar, task and note-taking tools. And show how he went from stressed in the workplace to confident in his career.

Workshop Details

Yes, Virginia, you DO need soft skills.
Speaker: Pam Lefkowitz
Level: All Levels, Lecture
Length: Workshop – Half Day

Session 1: Change Your Focus, Change Your Future, Adapting a Lean Canvas for Success
Session 2: Be The Hero: Writing Assessments That Are More Than Assessments

Workshop Details


Utilization of Command Line in Mac OS 10.13
Speaker: Avery Chipka, Alexander Adams, & Michael Doenges
Level: All Levels, BYOD
Length: Workshop – Full Day

Join us for a full day of learning the essential skills needed to be comfortable utilizing command line in macOS 10.13. Regardless of your experience level, this workshop will provide you with new skills that you will be ready to put to use as soon as you get back from the conference.

Workshop Details


Best Practices Deploying Apple Devices
Speakers: Apple Inc,
Level: All Levels, BYOD
Length: Workshop – Full Day

Apple devices can transform your organization and how your employees and students work. They can significantly boost productivity and give your employees and students the freedom and flexibility to work in new ways, whether in the classroom, the office, or on the go. Embracing this new way of working leads to benefits across the entire organization. Users have better access to information, so they feel empowered and are able to creatively solve problems. By supporting macOS and iOS, IT departments are viewed as solving real-world problems, rather than fixing technology and cost-cutting. Ultimately everyone benefits.

Workshop Details


Workshop Details


A deep dive into users & groups management API on macOS
Speaker: Yoann Gini
Level: Advanced, BYOD
Length: Workshop – Full Day

Abstract: More and more, LDAP based directory service tend to be legacy, all of us are looking for a new and mobile way to manage our users and endpoints. Binding a Mac to a domain seems counter intuitive for most of now. With this workshop, you will learn how macOS handle users & groups, and different source of users & groups, to the point of creating your own source of identities.

Description: Open Directory API is the system used to interface your Mac with any kind of directory service (Plist based, AD by Apple, AD by Centrify, eDirectory…). This API is “documented” by Apple, not that well but still public and usable.

This is called Open Directory but this is not Open Directory Server. Don’t get it wrong, it’s client side only and not related in anyway to macOS Server.

During this workshop we will look at the users & groups API behavior on macOS and how to use it for different purposes (user authentication, augmented accounts, dynamic right management, etc.).

This workshop will require developers skills. You don’t have to be an experienced developer, but you’ve to be able to interact with the foundation framework in Objective-C and be comfortable async programming. Teaming by two is recommended. If you can’t code at all, you can team with someone who can or still come to learn, you might not be able to do the practice side but still be able to learn a lot of thing on how macOS handle your users & groups.

To follow this workshop, all attendees will need a virtual machine running macOS 10.12.6 with Xcode installed. 10.12.6 is mandatory due to some bugs and complexity in macOS 10.13 with APFS. And a virtual machine is more than recommended since you might brick your device by playing with the directory API.


Best Practices Deploying Apple Devices
Speakers: Apple Inc
Level: All Levels, BYOD
Length: Workshop – Full Day

Abstract: Apple devices can transform your organization and how your employees and students work. They can significantly boost productivity and give your employees and students the freedom and flexibility to work in new ways, whether in the classroom, the office, or on the go. Embracing this new way of working leads to benefits across the entire organization. Users have better access to information, so they feel empowered and are able to creatively solve problems. By supporting macOS and iOS, IT departments are viewed as solving real-world problems, rather than fixing technology and cost-cutting. Ultimately everyone benefits.

Description: Apple devices can transform your organization and how your employees and students work. They can significantly boost productivity and give your employees and students the freedom and flexibility to work in new ways, whether in the classroom, the office, or on the go. Embracing this new way of working leads to benefits across the entire organization. Users have better access to information, so they feel empowered and are able to creatively solve problems. By supporting macOS and iOS, IT departments are viewed as solving real-world problems, rather than fixing technology and cost-cutting. Ultimately everyone benefits.

Setting up and deploying Mac, Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone throughout your organization has never been easier. With a complete set of tools from Apple and a third-party mobile device management solution, your organization can easily deploy Apple devices and content at scale.

  • Mobile device management (MDM) allows you to configure and manage your devices and wirelessly distribute and manage your content.
  • Using Apple School Manager (for education) or Apple Deployment Programs (for business) with a mobile device management (MDM) solution gives you greater flexibility and control over your deployments.

Mac Management – State of the Union: Admin Tested, User Approved!
Speakers: Robert Hammen & Ben Bass
Level: Fundamental, Lecture
Length: Workshop – Full Day

Abstract: Geared to new or new-to-the-platform Mac admins, this foundational workshop will provide an overview of the most commonly-used commercial and open source tools and utilities that you may find useful for managing your Mac fleet. We’ll also talk about how the Mac management landscape continues to change, including the fundamental changes across macOS 10.13 and the forthcoming macOS 10.14, and have time for Q & A.

Description: There are a multitude of tools and workflows that you can use to manage your Mac population. The challenge is in learning about the different solutions, their strengths and weaknesses, and determining the right ones to use in your environment. In this lecture-style workshop, Robert and will provide an overview of various commercial and open-source tools designed to solve problems for Mac admins.

Apple is evolving macOS at a much faster rate, as the past year has been filled with fundamental changes to the OS, as APFS – the new Apple File System – along with UAKEL (User Approved Kernel Extension Loading) and UAMDM (User Approved Mobile Device Management), and the effective end of imaging, has demonstrated. We’ll discuss these changes, what’s potentially coming in macOS 10.14, and give you some future points to consider, while also taking questions from the audience.


Minimum Viable Security: Achieving Security & Getting Rid of Auditors with Free & Open Tools
Speakers: Guillaume Ross & TBA
Level: Intermediate, BYOD
Length: Workshop – Full Day

Abstract: Getting the “right” level of security can be complicated, as every company has a different threat model. Getting a good level of security, using good, free tools, which are often open source, is an effective way to increasing your security maturity level a lot, while also preparing answers for auditors, so you can save time on compliance efforts. Being compliant will not make you secure, but being secure will save you time on proving compliance! In this workshop, we will use multiple tools to implement many of the CIS Critical Controls, and correlate against compliance requirements such as PCI DSS and HIPAA.

Description: Getting the “right” level of security can be complicated, as every company has a different threat model. Getting a good level of security, using good, free tools, which are often open source, is an effective way to increasing your security maturity level a lot, while also preparing answers for auditors, so you can save time on compliance efforts. Being compliant will not make you secure, but being secure will save you time on proving compliance! In this workshop, we will use multiple tools to implement CIS Critical Controls, and correlate against compliance requirements such as PCI DSS and HIPAA.

In this workshop, we will use tools such as:

  • Graylog, for centralized logging and threat detection.
  • osquery, to augment our endpoint instrumentation and implement File Integrity Monitoring.
  • Security Onion, to implement security at the network layer.
  • Chrome for Business
  • Vulnerability Scanning and testing tools

For this workshop, we will use mostly Linux virtual machines, for the ease of preparing labs. Most tools are cross-platform and the knowledge will be applicable to any environment.


Time Management for the Mac Admin
Speaker: William Smith
Level: All Levels, BYOD
Length: Workshop – Half Day

Abstract: William Smith loosely cover ideas from the O’Reilly’s book “Time Management for System Administrators” while adding his own experiences and revelations with managing his workload over the past 30 years, across seven jobs. He’ll show how he translated these skills to today’s electronic calendar, task and note-taking tools. And show how he went from stressed in the workplace to confident in his career.

Description: Thirty years ago my boss told me, “You don’t find time. You make time.”

Unless we’ve learned the skills for time management, we may feel parts or all of our workdays are out of our control.

  • We have too many interruptions that cause us to miss deadlines.
  • Our plates are so full we forget to follow through on commitments.
  • We’re overworked, stressed and receive low scores on our performance reviews.

Planner books don’t plan. Calendars don’t schedule meetings. Notepads don’t take notes. These are simply the tools of time management. It’s the way an expert uses these tools that sets him or her apart from the administrator who feels overworked and underappreciated.The right time management skills will help you make time to:

  • Meet deadlines.
  • Keep commitments.
  • Drastically reduce pressure at work and improve performance.

I’ll loosely cover ideas from the O’Reilly’s book “Time Management for System Administrators” while adding my own experiences and revelations with managing my workload over the past 30 years, across seven jobs. I’ll show how I translated these skills to today’s electronic calendar, task and note-taking tools. And I’ll show how I went from stressed in the workplace to confident in my career.


Utilization of Command Line in Mac OS 10.13
Speakers: Avery Chipka, Alexander Adams, & Michael Doenges
Level: All Levels, BYOD
Length: Workshop – Full Day

Abstract: Join us for a full day of learning the essential skills needed to be comfortable utilizing command line in Mac OS 10.13. Regardless of your experience level, this workshop will provide you with new skills that you will be ready to put to use as soon as you get back from the conference.

Description: This 4 part session can be attended as a full 300-minute session where the participant attendees all 4 parts, or attended ad-hoc based on their own experience level. For the best experience, all participants should bring a laptop with the current version of Mac OS 10.13 installed.

Workshop Part 1 of 4: Foundations of command line utilization
During this, 75 minute session participants will be introduced to the use of the command line system and basic level commands for getting around the command line system and gaining information about the machine. This session is designed for individuals with little to no knowledge of using the command line.

Workshop Part 2 of 4: Intermediate command line utilization
During this, 75 minute session participants will expand on the skills they learned in part 1 or those which they already have. This session will expand on the commands in the users toolbox and provide insight into leveraging the command line to unlock additional functionality of the Mac Operating System. This session is designed for individuals with some previous knowledge of using the command line and are comfortable with the structure of how command line commands are made, as well as the structure of the file system.

Workshop Part 3 of 4: Managing Remote Systems Via Command Line
During this, 75 minute session participants will learn to utilize the command line for managing remote machines. Including but not limited connecting to remote systems, handling traditional support requests, copy files to and from remote systems, interacting with the GUI via the command line, and more. This session is designed for individuals who are comfortable using the command line interface for traditional tasks, or who have attended parts 1 and 2 of this workshop.

Workshop Part 4 of 4: Mac OS Server Administration From the Command Line
During this, 75 minute session participants will learn to utilize the serveradmin command to manager Server 5.5 without the need for Server.App. Will discuss and demonstrate the benefits of management from the command line instead of through the App and discuss the configuration of server features which are not accessible through the GUI Interface. We will also look at how to make adjustments to server software such and Sendmail, Apache, PHP and similar directly in the command line, allowing for the installation of different server software than what is included in Server 5.4.


Yes, Virginia, you DO need soft skills.
Speakers: Pam Lefkowitz,
Level: All Levels, Lecture
Length: Workshop – Half Day

Abstract: Session 1: Change Your Focus, Change Your Future, Adapting a Lean Canvas for Success
Session 2: Be The Hero: Writing Assessments That Are More Than Assessments

Description: You love tech, you live tech, you don’t know how to do anything but tech. And, somehow, your work still isn’t fulfilling. How do you change your outlook while you change your work? How to know when you’ve had enough. Do you have the power to influence your work life? We’ll explore different ways to find your hot new gig or your hot new client.

When you write an assessment, are you writing a list of purchases? Are you writing a list of demands? Are you writing a wishlist? Are you writing at all? For people who hate to write, we’ll give you some tips and tricks to writing assessments that will sell you, your job, your product, your idea.

As always, bring writing sticks and paper, be prepared to move around, be prepared to practice talking, and be prepared to be introspective. I have been known to bring treats.


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