Jamf has posted its Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC) 2022 session videos on YouTube — 152 videos in total. Videos and session notes for my presentations are below. Handouts include Read Me annotations on most pages with written information presented in the video.
With most conferences I attend, I try to submit a presentation proposal hoping that it will pay for part of my attendance costs. And I try to speak on something new when possible just to learn or expand on something that interests me.
Sometimes, I submit a presentation and then submit a “safety” presentation just in case the first one doesn’t get accepted. And sometimes, both get accepted. That’s double the work, but I usually don’t want to have to pick one over the other and so I do both.
This year, I submitted a 1/2-day workshop proposal for “Time Management for the Mac Admin” and then submitted another 1/2-day workshop proposal for “Hands On with the Jamf Pro API” that I’d present with my co-worker Josh. The first one was accepted (yay!) but not the second. Gretchen, one of the conference organizers asked that we re-submit it, though, as two sessions. And that got accepted.
OK, that may have been a bit much, especially since I’m a procrastinator. But they were still both something I wanted to do and didn’t want to have to choose between them. I’m glad I did both and glad they’re both done. Putting together a presentation means a lot of staring at my laptop screen and a lot of staring into space as I’m thinking about what to put on the screen. It’s exhausting and stressful. But I later find it rewarding when everything’s over.
I think now I’ll go read a book. Or just sit and think without looking at my laptop. Or just sit.
Slides and videos (where allowed) from more than 70 presentations and workshops will be posted on the Resources page. You’ll have a few months worth of lunchtimes to fill. 2019’s conference is the same week July 9-12.
Our Marketing group at Jamf is busy putting the final polish on the silverware, pulling the plastic from the furniture, airing out the spare bedrooms in the Minneapolis Hyatt and making hotdish. Lots of hotdish.
Next week is JNUC 2017!
Minnesota’s state fair, one of the largest and best attended fairs in the U.S., is nicknamed the Great Minnesota Get-Together. For me, JNUC is the Great Mac Admin Get-Together. It’s the largest gathering of Mac and iOS administrators in the world with this year’s registration setting a new record at more than 1500 attendees from around the world.
The keynote on Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. CDT will be live-streamed for folks who can’t attend the conference. You can still be a part of the event remotely.
Get the app
In the span of three days (four if you’re a Jamf Integrator or Client Advisory Board member), Jamf and friends of Jamf are presenting over 100 sessions and mini events. If you haven’t already, get the conference app.
The first thing you should do is tap on the menu button in the upper left corner (those three horizontal lines), tap the settings button in the upper right corner (the cog wheel) and choose Edit Profile. For crying out loud, put something in there! And include a picture of yourself. Conferences are a great way to connect with people. Be sure to de-select the “Set Profile to Private” option to let folks find you. And the app allows for private messaging, even if you choose not to share too many details about yourself.
Explore the app. You can choose your sessions ahead of time and when the session is done, complete the survey at the bottom of the session window to give the presenters some kudos or constructive criticism. Connect the app to your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. If you post photos and messages through the app, they’ll appear on the media screens throughout the conference area.
For those who prefer not to tap in their life details on a small keyboard, sign up and sign in on your favorite Mac.
What’s the skinny for next week?
I’m looking forward to the whole conference, but here are a few events I’ll be sure to attend.
Meet and greet
Tuesday morning, I’ll be one of your official Walmart door greeters. That means I’ll be waking up around 5:00 a.m., hitting a nearby Starbucks for two venti chais and then driving to the Hyatt to arrive by 6:30 a.m. Just to meet you as you come in the door.
Open Distribution Server session
This session was just recently added to the schedule. Bryson Tyrrell will discuss his open source project Open Distribution Server (ODS) as a replacement for the Jamf Distribution Server (JDS) that Jamf is sunsetting.
MacAdmins Podcast LIVE @ JNUC 2017 mini event
Emily, James, Tom, Pepijn, Charles, and their guests will review the first day of JNUC and discuss other events in the Mac admin community. If you haven’t listened to their podcast, you’ll find it over at macadmins.org. Catch up on the 55 episodes you missed and then come the next one recorded LIVE!
Dinner with my peeps
JNUC is one of a couple times a year I get to see all or most of my co-workers in my group. We’ll go off to a local restaurant to talk shop and write some scripts or something. It’s what we do.
Moving Beyond “Once Per Computer” Workflows session
Hey, that’s me! I’m presenting this Expert session at 2:45 p.m. in the Northstar Ballroom. I like to sub-title my presentations sometimes. Here’s a slide to tease you.
Modern Packaging and Distribution Workflows Panel
I’m really excited about this one because Jamf is bringing in some smart people to sit on this panel. Paul Bowden with Microsoft joined the Mac admin Slack community a couple years ago and probably has some of the best experience making a major software product meet our deployment and management needs. Along with Paul will be Ben Toms, who’s probably the only person to ever get away with displaying a porn star during a JNUC presentation. He’s also a Jamf Nation dean for his help on the forums. And Charles Edge… who doesn’t know Charles? He’s a prolific writer, speaker and great boss.
SplashBuddy JumpStart mini event
Here’s another one I’m really anxious to see. François Levaux-Tiffreau is presenting a 1-1/2 hour workshop on SplashBuddy. This is his open source project inspired by the IBM presentation at JNUC a couple years ago. As part of provisioning a device, SplashBuddy will appear to the end-user and provide a visually pleasing and informative messaging window that indicates progress as the device completes its setup.
Volunteer Time Off
One of the great things about working for Jamf is they encourage volunteering and they offer two days of volunteer time off to spend with any non-profit charitable organization. While we’re all together in town, my Professional Services group will spend a half day Friday volunteering at Second Harvest Heartland to pack food for families in need.
Macbrained Twin Cities Stickers
The best part of JNUC is getting to see old friends, make new ones, visit with my customers and hang-out with my PSE group. I love the energy and enthusiasm in the #jnuc channel on the MacAdmins Slack team. Come say hello! I’ll have some laptop stickers from our Macbrained Twin Cities group. Or find Brian LaShomb, Brad Schmidt, Bryson Tyrrell or John Wetter.
Come for JNUC. Stay for the tots.
This was my fourth MacAdmins Conference, which means I’ve had the opportunity to attend half the conferences since it started in 2010. That’s not a record and I know plenty of folks who’ve attended most or all of them. But it does give me perspective to see some of its formula for success.
Invariably, a few of us will start a discussion after dinner and realize we’re the last ones left in the room. (Leslie, Bryce, Brad, Brian and Pete.)
Part of that formula is that it’s fairly eco-system agnostic. It doesn’t try to cater to people using Chef, Jamf, munki, Puppet or any other automation or support tool (although munki is covered in a few sessions here). A lot of the sessions are modular and the majority are about specific toolsets that can plug in to whatever management system a Mac administrator is using. Most other sessions focus on best practices followed by a handful discussing security, personal development and management.
Another part of its success is the team that organizes the event every year. Because this isn’t a for-profit event, groups like Sales and Marketing aren’t involved. There’s nothing to sell, nothing to promote. The conference is a passion not a profession for Dave, Gretchen, Rusty, Brett, Jonathan and Justin. These are people who do the same work as the attendees they attract to the conference. Because of that, it feels genuine. I’m sorry to see this was Justin’s last year on the organizing committee. He’s getting more involved in his role as a manager and needs to move on to focus on that.
The critical part of this formula, though, is the attendees themselves. The Mac admin community is worldwide and broad in scope, but it’s close. Those who attend this or any conference become even closer as they get to meet, socialize and make friends. With so many avenues of social media, there’s little disruption to conversations across time. Conferences are a good place to put a face with an online name but they easily turn into reunions with old friends after attending just a few.
For the benefit of our careers, we go to learn. I think the best reason for attending this or most any conference is best summarized in this tweet I recently saw in my timeline.
Slides and videos from nearly 50 presentations and workshops are on the Resources page. 2018’s conference is July 10-13. Watch them. Learn something. And considering attending next year.
I was a Jamf customer for nearly 10 years before becoming a JumpStart Integrator and later an employee. Friday’s release of a marketing piece (now retracted) comparing Jamf to free and open source software (FOSS) was a surprise to many Jamfs as well as the community at large. Don’t let this mistake set your opinion about Jamf’s culture and values.
How many remember Jamf when its employee total was two — just Chip Pearson and Zach Halmstad? I do. I remember meeting them at a local user group around 2005 where they were taking every advantage of opportunities and events to put themselves out there to build this new business around “Mac management”. They were some of the early visionaries that believed Apple in organizations was going somewhere and those organizations would need help making Apple succeed.
Jamf’s values of selflessness and relentless self-improvement started with Chip and Zach, and in their first years of hiring employees, they brought in folks like Jason Wudi and Sam Johnson who personified those same values. Jamf’s culture was shaped by these and other original Jamfs. Early customers will remember calling for support and getting one of them on the phone. Placing someone “on hold” meant covering the mouthpiece and “researching a solution” meant leaning back and yelling across the room, “hey, how did we fix that thing…?” While they were pretty low tech and wearers of many hats, they were honest and made a concerted effort to do everything they could to help their customers, who were often on a first name basis with them. Every day I try to reflect what they started a dozen years ago because I share those same values.
I remember wanting to work for Jamf several years ago, but I wasn’t a developer and didn’t see myself as someone they’d want to hire. Eventually, they grew large enough to warrant a Human Resources department, a Marketing department, Sales, and other internal groups not directly related to development or support. For the longest time, most employees fell into two camps — a University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire graduate or former customer. Anyone who used Casper (rebranded as Jamf Pro) or knew someone who worked for Jamf wanted to work there. We saw their values.
Jamf suffers from its own success, though. The struggles of starting a new company built and revealed a lot of character in its employees in those early days. Culture today is very different from culture back then because most of us never knew those early struggles. That’s just going to happen considering how quickly Jamf has grown. And with this marketing piece comparing FOSS unfavorably to Jamf, we’ve let that show. However, I don’t believe Jamf’s values have ever changed. Chip and Zach are still here. So are Wudi and Sam and many early Jamfs. And so are folks like me who saw those values and wanted to come work here years ago and appreciate working here today.
As Bryson Tyrrell reminded us internally, we believe in “Jamf AND not Jamf OR”. Yesterday, something slipped through from us that shouldn’t have. But it was our values that pulled it back and apologized for it. We’ve had a great internal discussion about our very core beliefs and, while painful, it’s something a company that has grown as quickly as Jamf must be reminded of from time to time.
I hope anyone who knows me, who knows anyone I mentioned or who knows any other long-term Jamf will accept that so long as we’re here, we’re going to work to promote the same culture and values that brought us here in the first place.
Tech conferences are both energizing and exhausting at the same time. For five days at PSU 2016 MacAdmins Conference, I got to spend time with friends from here in the Twin Cities area, visit with long-distance friends (some I hadn’t seen in 2-3 years), eat lots of food, let someone else make the bed in the morning and absorb much smartness.
My favorite takeaway from this year, though, was getting to present a session about administering Office 2016 for Mac with Paul Bowden, a developer with Microsoft. He’s become a good friend over the past eight months since I first met him and has fit into the Mac admin community so well I’ve heard more than once, “He’s one of us.”
Paul’s time at the conference was brief. He arrived late Wednesday in State College, Pa., and then left shortly after our presentation Thursday morning to take his wife Laura on an Amish buggy ride before flying home to Washington that evening. It was their 2-day getaway spent mostly traveling.
Just a few minutes after Paul arrived, I waved over some folks I knew wanted to meet him. Before long, he had a small crowd that was anxious to meet and thank him for all his work and guidance. Even better, they all got to see the personality behind the avatar in the #microsoft-office channel in Slack. The next day about 150 attendees in our presentation got to see him and be the first to hear about some brand new features he’s developing for Office. I love how someone thought about getting Paul to sign his flip chart drawing!
Jonathan Leung, a program manager for OneDrive at Microsoft, also attended the conference. We connected at the Tuesday evening event and I remarked that as a non Mac admin he probably didn’t get much of what he was seeing. He agreed and said something to the effect, “I’ve learned that munki and AutoPkg are important and Greg Neagle is a pretty big deal here.” During my presentation with Paul, I asked Jonathan to stand up. I think folks really appreciated how Microsoft is involving itself with the Mac admin community when they saw him too.
Below are links to the PDF as well as the original Keynote file for our presentation, which include notes and talking points.
The conference organizers recorded most of the sessions and will post them in a few weeks. I’ll add an update here letting folks know when they’re ready.
2017’s conference is scheduled for July 11-14. (more…)
Today, I start a new job with a new company. After more than three years with 318, Inc., as a consultant, I’m moving to Minneapolis-based JAMF Software as a Professional Services Engineer. JAMF is a company I’ve known more than 10 years with many people I’ve known nearly as long.
In a call with my former boss late last week, I told him coming to 318 was a needed kick in the seat of the pants for me. Ten years with my employer before that had made me complacent and I didn’t realize how much I needed a new challenge. In my first month with 318, I learned more than I’d learned in the prior year.
And while with 318, I had a wonderful and very rare opportunity to spend a year on a major iPad deployment project as an embedded engineer working on behalf of Apple. That gig came to a close this past August and then I returned to civilian life at 318. Half my time for the next few months was spent conducting Casper JumpStarts on behalf of JAMF and I really enjoyed that work. Moving to JAMF just makes sense. I’m proud to be a part of the 318 alumni who’ve gone on to work at Apple, Puppet Labs, Sony, Amazon and JAMF Software.
However, I’m just one of several people where 2015 was a time for change. Through personal friendships and through the Twin Cities Mac Admins group that a few of us started last January, I know of six others who changed jobs.
One moved to a different school district to take a management position.
Another moved to a different school in a completely different country—Switzerland—for an opportunity to see the world.
The third moved on to support a much larger group of Macs with a major retailer.
One quit his company after 18 years to continue doing what he loves—development—at another organization with a very different and distributed work model.
And the rest… went to JAMF, one of whom is starting his “zero month” with me today.
These are all good moves. Everyone is moving on to a new challenge in one way or another. The best advice I ever received about changing jobs (and advice I pass along to anyone I know changing jobs) is “It’s not worth it if it doesn’t scare you a little.”