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MacDevOpsYVR 2024 conference recap

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SimpleMDM|July 3, 2024
News Article 2 Background
News Article 2 Background

We love this time of year. Between Apple announcing the latest features coming to MDM at its Worldwide Developers Conference to summer conferences that have team members jet-setting across the country, we’re lucky enough to enjoy it all firsthand with some of the biggest and brightest minds in the community. And what better way to start than in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia for the 10th year of MacDevOpsYVR, hosted at Simon Fraser University by the charismatic Mat X.

This is the 8th year of SimpleMDM sponsoring the event. We're thrilled to see this community continue to thrive, and we’re so happy to be a part of it.

Read on for our biggest takeaways from this year’s conference. 


At the heart of the MacDevOpsYVR conference is the tight-knit MacAdmin community. Whether it's their first time attending or they've been coming since the conference started 10 years ago (🤯), attendees emphasized the value of establishing relationships and learning from their peers.

This year’s conference included three full days of learning and networking with local and international MacAdmins and industry-leading speakers. With a full day of workshops, nearly 20 educational sessions, quick talks, and endless opportunities to catch up with friends both new and old, MacDevOps is the ultimate gathering for those passionate about macOS management.

What sets MacDevOps apart is its commitment to sharing learnings with a larger community than just those in attendance — organizers live stream the entire conference and share sessions on YouTube afterward, ensuring that knowledge and insights reach far beyond the physical event. Attendees receive an invite to a Discord server for real-time updates, interactive Q&A sessions, and, the best part, the most amazing graphics to recap each session.

An illustration recapping the MacDevOpsYVR session on terraforming SimpleMDM by David K.

Graphic credit to Ashton Rodeniser, Mind’s Eye Creative

Open source 

Open source was a central theme of the conference, with many speakers highlighting how they use open-source tools in their workflows and encouraging contributions to these projects. Greg Neagle, creator of Munki, emphasized the importance of contributing to open-source projects. He shared valuable insights on writing effective bug reports when reporting issues, demonstrating changes when submitting pull requests, and discussing new features with maintainers before starting the work. 

Other notable open-source projects that were mentioned throughout the conference include:

  • Munki: A widely used tool for managing software installations on macOS — a staple in many MacAdmin tool kits due to its reliability and extensive community support. 

  • AutoPkg: A framework for automating the packaging and distribution of macOS software into management systems like Munki. 

  • SwiftDialog: A tool for creating interactive dialog boxes on macOS. 

  • SOFA: Also known as MacAdmin's Simple Organized Feed for Apple Software Updates. 

  • UpgradeBuddy: A system to notify users of relevant changes. 

  • PyMacAdmin: A collection of Python for Mac system administration.

  • Ruff: A speedy Python linter and code formatter written in Rust. 

  • Mist: A Mac utility that downloads macOS firmware and installers automatically.

  • And so many more!


Automation lies at the forefront of many modern deployment processes, transforming how MacAdmins manage their Apple devices. With many sessions covering this topic, speakers shared everything from supercharging CI/CD pipelines with tools like GitHub and AWS to making the most of MDM APIs to streamline common device management workflows such as certificate generation and profile assignment. Automation is key to driving efficiency and scalability. 
David Kraushuber, longtime SimpleMDM customer and senior system administrator at FREENOW, joined us all the way from Hamburg, Germany to showcase his latest project — Terraforming SimpleMDM. He discussed his team’s motivations for automating processes and adopting infrastructure as code (IaC) and also highlighted the SimpleMDM workflows that were most valuable to automate, including device onboarding and offboarding, hardware ordering and exchanges, inventory updates, and Munki. 


At MacDevOps, Mac security and compliance took center stage on the final day with educational sessions focused on a variety of topics, including methods to identify vulnerabilities and in-depth examinations of security measures, such as the Apple Keychain. 

Stuart Ashenbrenner from Huntress gave a presentation titled The (mis)Education of macOS Security Internals. He introduced tools available on macOS, such as file quarantine, Gatekeeper, TCC, XProtect and XProtect Remediator. He also shared some advanced tools and techniques for investigating macOS security mechanisms in depth. 

We learned about the risks associated with running Electron apps from Mykola Grymalyuk during his talk Electron Security: Making your Mac a worse place. He delved into various Electron features that could be exploited for both malicious purposes and legitimate security research. He then introduced Letricus, his Python library designed to identify vulnerable Electron apps by analyzing their feature states. 

Earlier in the week, Henry Stamerjohann presented on mSCP + Munki + compliance and using the MacOS Security Compliance Project (an open-source framework to provide a programmatic approach to generating security guidance) alongside Munki to achieve a high level of compliance across his fleet.

All these discussions reaffirm that while security has long been a priority for MacAdmins, ongoing awareness and taking proactive measures to keep devices secure remains critical. 

And that’s all she wrote for this year’s MacDevOpsYVR conference recap. I’ll finish up by saying thank you to Mat for making this conference possible and bringing us all together, and thank you to everyone in the MacAdmins community for making it what it is. We can’t wait to be back next year!

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SimpleMDM is a mobile device management solution that helps IT teams securely update, monitor, and license Apple devices in a matter of minutes — all while staying on top of Apple updates automatically.

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