With the loss of MacHack/ADHOC and, more recently, both C4 and the IT track at WWDC, the Apple world is at a bit of a loss for highly technical conferences aimed at IT professionals and developers. Sure, Macworld Expo has the useful MacIT Conference track, but Macworld doesn't put all the conference attendees together in a single hotel and provide an immersive experience for networking and further discussion, as did MacHack and C4.
That then, is the goal of the MacTech Conference 2010 in Los Angeles - to create an immersive technical conference at which developers and IT professionals can learn more about key tools, technologies, and techniques related to the Apple product ecosystem. And, despite Apple's emphasis on the iOS these days, the MacTech Conference won't be ignoring the Macintosh.
Along with a keynote from the inimitable Andy Ihnatko and two separate tracks of sessions from well-known members of the IT and developer communities, the conference will include all meals to maximize the informal networking opportunities that are often as valuable as the formal presentations.
Plus, the first evening will feature an exclusive group visit to Griffith Observatory, complete with a behind-the-scenes talk on how planetarium animation is created and a chance to look through the observatory's 12-inch Zeiss telescope. The second evening will include food and entertainment at Jillian's, along with bowling as part of the MacTech Bowl fund-raiser to help 5th graders take field trips to Griffith Observatory.
The three-day conference will kick off at 10 AM on Wednesday, 3 November 2010, and will run through Friday afternoon, 5 November 2010. Attendee spots and hotel rooms are limited and will likely sell out, if the quick sellouts of recent C4 and WWDC conferences are any indication. Conference registration costs $899 and includes food, a MacTech Magazine subscription, and all the sessions, but through 22 July 2010, a limited number of early bird passes bring the cost down to $699. A limited number of partial and full student scholarships are also available. Travel and hotel rooms cost extra, of course, and a limited number of rooms at the Sheraton Universal (where the conference will be held) are available to attendees at the conference price of $169 per night, plus taxes.
Although I don't believe I'll be able to make it this year, our own Matt Neuburg is scheduled to be one of the presenters, and speaking as someone who took classes from Matt during college, he always puts on a good show.