Thinking About Going Down the Mac Road

the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
So in exploring career options I am thinking about going down the Mac road. My Mac died, but before that I loved the thing and I will definitely be getting an Air at some point. Plus with the Mac Mini Server being so cheap I figure I should have the server certs covered. Thoughts? Anyone doing Mac work?
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  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 Member Posts: 1,186 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Please don't waste your money on this! If anything just study the material the certs are worthless. That is all.
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Member Posts: 1,860
    generally I would think they are worthless too, but I know my work is considering using iphones and ipads instead of blackberry, so for help desk or desktop support, you may see some need for Apple certs
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  • SponxSponx Member Posts: 161
    I have had an: iMac, iPhone, Air, iPad, MBP, etc... I have always loved them.. However, I would never use them for my day to day operations; however, they are a lot of fun for networking, sharing, streaming, etc... But when it gets down to it for business and work: I use Windows.
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  • petedudepetedude Member Posts: 1,510
    I was a Mac fan for about 10 years. This changed when I put Ubuntu 10 on an old home laptop and bought an Android tablet. Who needs Apple when you can get nearly the same experience elsewhere for lots less dough?

    Anyway, as to the certs: The reality is, Apple products are becoming more popular and are starting to sneak into the enterprise the way PCs did a few decades back. There are lots of third parties now building the integration pieces Apple is unwilling to build, so it's becoming easier to get Macs to play along in the corporate world. OS X is built on a Unix-like core and should be (note I didn't say "is") more inherently secure than older Windows implementations, not to mention easier to port solid freeware applications to.

    It could be useful to have Apple certs in a few years; it's just tough to tell yet. A few years ago when Apple had entrenched niches in multimedia this was indeed the case; it would have been good to have Apple certs then for certain mixed environments. Now that multimedia is not as dominated by Macs, we'll have to wait to see how far Apple sneaks in before we know how useful the certs really are.
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  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    Until Apple gets serious about the enterprise market, there's no point in going for Apple certs. And that piece of crap that is Mac OS X server is in no way ready to dethrone Active Directory based implementations.

    With that being said, Apple mobile devices are a whole different ball game. Those are working their way into the enterprise like it or not.

    Apple desktops and server solutions? Production companies and smaller business are about all that's going to deploy them. The IT department of your average big corporation is going to veto that infrastructure from the word go.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    I am the "Mac guy" at my workplace even though I am no expert and absolutely hate those machines. We have a few MBA, MBP and iMacs for design, marketing and to test our SaaS product on them. I use a MBA because I have to support them, not because I want to. I get a lot of pleasure out of shooting people down when they come to drool over the MBA and I tell them I use because I have to. I gotta admit I looked at the certs at some point since I was stuck learning them but found out that there's no demand in my area therefore zero ROI.
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas Member Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I gotta admit I looked at the certs at some point since I was stuck learning them but found out that there's no demand in my area therefore zero ROI.

    Agreed. Why spend money on something with no ROI? Reading the books would be useful, but not spending several hundred dollars. I have books on lots of interesting technologies, but I try not to get caught up in the collect every certification mentality.

    The closest things to a MAC at work are iPhones and iPads which I don't support. It's easy to get caught up in chasing this cert or that cert. You need to make a plan for a year out and stick to it though. I know it's easy for me to get caught up in all the different cool technologies. When I do this I don't become an expert, but rather a generalist.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    If you are trying to make yourself different from the pack of Windows IT people I say go for it. I heard Linux certs were worthless when they first started coming out but I knew a few who got them and they did pretty well with them. You have plenty of people who at the time were putting down Linux experience which was mostly running it on their desktop as dual boot but as companies started rolling out Red Hat Servers the need to separate yourself from the masses made Linux certs help you overcome the HR firewall.

    Now if your looking at small business and medium sized business support I think you can do pretty well. I know a lot of tech support personnel who can't overcome their Mac bias and go out of their way to trash it because they don't want to learn it like what happened when I worked for a company and they brought in Red Hat. Linux got trashed heavily but it is hard to avoid now a days.

    We are getting iPads here and iPhones and the admins are spending more time finding ways how they "Cant" integrate them, why not be the guy who "Can" integrate them?

    Seems like an opportunity to stand out from the crowd imo.

    Now for the certs? Bleh I would get them with the understanding that they are official certs from Apple but I would focus on the real world integration with Linux products and Windows. The certs are just something to impress HR and managers and get you noticed.
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Apple has a "mobility" program that is actually somewhat worthwhile. We had an engineer go through the program recently, and there was some useful information. Being knowledgeable about mobile device management is always going to be useful in the sysadmin field. The days of BES are pretty much over, so it's worthwhile to know about your options with iPhones.

    Mac certs are next to worthless. Mac is now a very tiny portion of Apple's business, and their business market share has not significantly changed in the past decade. Apple might actually be trendy, but Macs aren't. Sure, if expands your skillset for desktop support, but almost no one uses Macs as servers -- Linux and Windows both make better directory servers even in a Mac workstation environment. Linux/UNIX certs are much more useful, and if you know UNIX and Windows you can pickup any Mac-specific differences easily.

    If you need to work on Macs professionally, be able to do so, but I wouldn't waste my time on certification. The "Mobility" stuff from Apple is more likely to have real market value at this point.
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