Summary: Today we announce the long-awaited winners of the 2012 Windows PowerShell Scripting Games.
Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. Well, the time is finally here. It is time to announce the winners of the 2012 Scripting Games. This year’s Scripting Games involved hundreds of contestants from dozens of countries. They submitted thousands of scripts to twenty events. A blue-ribbon panel of judges then hand graded each of the scripts. Many of the judges took the time to document their observations about the scripts on their individual blogs. The Scripting Wife collected these blogs and wrote a post about them. After the contestants had a chance to write their solutions, a collection of some of the world’s greatest Windows PowerShell scripters wrote expert commentaries on each of the events. During the games, daily prizes were handed out. The prizes came from our amazing sponsors who stepped up to the plate with a raft of really cool prizes.
The competition this year was stiff in both the Advanced and the Beginner divisions. Only a few points separate the top 10 contestants in each division. In addition, the overall grades were up this year over last year’s average scores. This indicates an overall improvement in the quality of the submissions.
If you missed the 2012 Scripting Games, the 2012 Windows PowerShell Scripting Games: All Links on One Page is the place to begin. You are free to write your solutions for the events and compare your results with the expert commentators and your peer’s submissions on PoshCode.
The point of the Scripting Games is not about who is best, who wins prizes, or even the way-cool free pass to TechEd in Orlando. The point of the Scripting Games is about learning. So did the contestants learn? Sure they did. I have seen literally dozens of emails, tweets, and comments on Facebook from contestants who have already applied what they learned to solve real-world problems they faced at work. A great case in point is this post from the Scripting Guys Facebook group.
And the winners are…
As stated earlier, the competition this year was fierce. One thing was certain, however: If a person did not enter an event, they stood no chance of gaining any points. Therefore, all the winners completed every task in their division. I love one tweet I saw that stated, “The Scripting Games are a marathon, not a sprint.” I can add to that—they also required a high level of precision.
There are lots of little details that foiled many otherwise excellent scripts, such as leaving in comments, but forgetting the comment character, or having hard-coded values that are not universally applicable. A few contestants got hung up on time-zone issues, and some missed deadlines—all of these issues happen in the real world. The biggest stumbling block was when people did not follow the requirements for a particular event. In some cases, the requirements were not completely spelled out. In those instances, just like in the real world, the contestants were free to ask for clarification via the blog, twitter, or Facebook, or they could make specific assumptions. When making assumptions about a script, it was a great practice to clearly spell out the assumptions in a comment in the script. This also follows real-world best practices. It is well known that bosses do not always provide clear step-by-step instructions to IT Pros. Often, only a vague outline is provided—or at times, only the end result is half explained. It is up to the IT Pro to clarify expectations, or to make informed assumptions prior to commencing coding. Clarifying requirements was one of the skills being tested in the games this year.
The winner of the Beginner category: Lido Paglia
The winner of the Advanced category: Rohn Edwards
If you missed the games
Here are the steps that you can take to emulate your own version of the Scripting Games:
- Go to the 2012 Windows PowerShell Scripting Games: All Links on One Page.
- Review the Study Guide.
- Review the two series of videos: Scripting with Windows PowerShell.
- Take the two Windows PowerShell Quizzes.
- Review the judging criteria. They form the basis of industry best practices for Windows PowerShell scripting.
- Go back to the All Links on One Page, and choose your category. Click each event, and complete the requirements. Compare your answers with the experts.
What is coming up for our winners?
- The winners from the 2012 Scripting Games will have the chance to appear on the PowerScripting PodCast with the Architect of Windows PowerShell, Jeffrey Snover.
- The winners will be offered a chance to write a guest blog post about their experience in the 2012 Scripting Games.
- The winners will be offered a free pass to Microsoft TechEd in Orlando (travel and expenses are not covered). While at TechEd, they will be interviewed on TechNet Radio IT Time with a Microsoft IT Pro evangelist.
That is it for now. Join me tomorrow for more Windows PowerShell cool stuff. I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at email@example.com, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.
Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy