JAMF Software and Perl Class, Mark 3

My first go at this was with Dr Forr, my long time Perl mentor and friend. While working together we convinced the boss, his brother, to open up our office as a lab for a series of open to the public classes, more or using the same format and overarching plan I've jotted down for this proposed go.

Generally, our focus was Unix and Perl, especially - though not exclusively- for people completely new to programming. Or completely new to computers - it was the '90s. That was a real thing.

Since then, I've resurrected the gist in several forms, to create one-week boot camps for colleagues, for a semester or two with the Minneapolis Community Education program, and so on. Pretty much whenever I can put time, interest and a couple of dozen terminals into the same space I can be counted on to dust off some old example projects for inspiration and dash off a new syllabus.

As I mentioned on my blog, I recently completed a gig with United Health Group which I really enjoyed. In that role I was I working with the Infrastructure Release and Mac Engineering teams to industrialize distribution of software and software updates for managed Macintosh assets. Wearing that hat, in October I had the opportunity to attend the JAFM Nation User Conference. ( is

Given I was coming in with roughly six weeks of exposure, it's worth noting I was already something of a partisan for the Casper tool-chain.

Especially, I relish the 'first class citizenship' perl scripts get -- I found that pretty much anywhere a shell script would be accept a perl script was explicitly supported, with clear documentation as to arguments and environment to be expected in the run-time. Needless to say, this was very helpful to my project, enabling me to automate sometime like 80% of what looked like the routine grist and generally leaving me feeling like a stud.

The photo of RT was taking right before the opening keynote by Chip Peterson.

By the end of the keynotes I was thinking I ought to be working for these folks, and that feeling didn't diminish as I got to know the conference and membership. The workshops were almost exclusivity community learning focused, and I tended toward the most chaotic packed-room-of-grizzled-veterans sessions. Of these the most exceptional, were a pair that focused on shell scripting "Script FU" and "Son of Script Fu", or something like that. These were great because so many of those who attended spoke and many of the discussion points were addressed by example on screen.

Talking about the talks, especially about the pair around bash scripting for system management, several others had also noticed that several of the 'see how much easier it can be with X instead of pipeline commands' examples are make even easier with Perl. Quite a few to the point of trivial, in fact. By the end of the convention had made contact with an author and a couple of JAMF team-members and was actively drumming up interest for a series which JAMF would consider sponsoring, to the tune of facilities, beer and pizza.

In the weeks that follow the JAMF User Conference, unfortunately, were something of a flurry and all too rapidly have turned into the months since the JAMF User Conference. Finally I have followed though on my promise of posting on the JAFM forum, and I've even sketched a plan. I would gratefully welcome input regarding either.

I've heard from a friend currently in a undergraduate technology architecture program that a few of his mates may be interested if this gets off the ground, and a few have reached out to express interest on various social media. Here's hoping my procrastination hasn't nixed whatever positive buzz there may have been for this.

Perl for industry. Perl for the dead!

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user-pic Perl. Yes, have some.