We won’t be participating in Apple’s developer-focused Worldwide Developer Conference this year, since the sessions are purely for programmers and, apart from the keynote that’s being streamed to the public, are all under NDA. But we’re already making plans for travelling to MacTech Conference 2014 in Los Angeles in early November, where we’ll be running yet another Take Control Tech Up (see “MacTech Conference 2013 Abounds with Networking and Fun,” 11 November 2013) to test the technical knowledge and all-around geekiness of the attendees. (Can you believe that no one remembered, without help from Google, what company made the popular TrailBlazer line of modems?) Tonya’s also planning to give a talk this year, a rare occurrence.
MacTech Conference 2014, now in its fifth installment, continues to focus on what works while introducing new elements each year. The new bits are still under wraps, but the time-tested aspects of the conference include a 3-day schedule from November 5th through 7th with new speakers, more sessions, more labs, pre-conference workshops on November 4th, and both Apple and Microsoft certification exams.
As in previous years, MacTech Conference isn’t a general-purpose conference; it’s targeted at Apple developers and IT professionals, with a pair of tracks focused on each audience. Specific session titles haven’t yet been published, but the speaker list is worth a look. Plus, although I haven’t yet been able to extract any details about special activities, past conferences have melded the highly technical talks with a whole lot of fun, including Tesla Model S test drives, the bridge from the Enterprise-D, a reception under the Space Shuttle Endeavour, and a behind-the-scenes trip to Disney Animation Studios.
MacTech Conference 2014 costs $1,499 for on-site registration, but if you register before 15 June 2014, it’s only $899. The full-day workshops are similarly discounted for early registration. The conference will once again take place at the Manhattan Beach Marriott, and you do want to stay there if possible, given the morning and evening events (not to mention LA traffic). Rooms start at $189 per weeknight, dropping to $149 for weekend nights.