Before I started TidBITS in 1990, I was working as an independent Mac consultant. I was fresh out of Cornell and my College Scholar degree in Hypertextual Fiction (with a major in Classics!) had done squat for teaching me how to run a consulting business and work with clients. I managed acceptably for a couple of years until we moved to Seattle in 1991, when I decided I’d have better luck focusing on TidBITS than building a consulting practice in a city where I knew no one.
What I wish I’d had back then, though, was the upcoming, a one-day conference that takes place the day before (but is unaffiliated with) Macworld Expo. If you’re already planning to attend , which is extremely useful for consultants as well, thanks to the access to vendors on the show floor and the , MacTech Boot Camp offers the sort of training you won’t find anywhere else on the day before Macworld Expo’s show floor opens (that’s Wednesday, 26 January 2011).
 include topics on building your brand, working with clients, best practices for hardware and software deployment for consultants, making remote consulting work, and finding the support resources that you need as a consultant. Some of the content is technical, but what’s more important is that all of it is focused on the job of being a consultant or support professional. I don’t know all the presenters, but I was pleased to recognize a few names, including Ivan Drucker and Caroline Green from New York City, to whom I’ve referred people on a few occasions when the situation required on-site assistance.
MacTech Boot Camp will take place on 26 January 2011, from 9 AM through 6 PM, at the Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco. costs $395 through 18 January 2011, or $495 after that; lunch is included. There’s also a study session and exam for becoming Apple Certified on the day before MacTech Boot Camp (Tuesday, 25 January 2011); it costs an additional $199.  is available for students.
And if you haven’t already signed up for Macworld Expo itself, you can use to get a $15 expo pass for the show floor, or, even better, 10 percent off conference passes.