Summary: Guest blogger, the Scripting Wife, discusses how to set up a Windows PowerShell User Group in your area.
Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. Today I am happy to say that there is a very special guest blogger. That is right. The Scripting Wife has sent in a blog post to share. This blog grew out of a common question that was asked at the Scripting Guys booth at Microsoft TechEd 2012 in Orlando, Florida, “How can I set up a Windows PowerShell user group?” Teresa became so adept at answering that question that she decided to write a guest blog to share her insights.
Teresa Wilson, aka The Scripting Wife, is well known in the Windows PowerShell community for her encouragement of new scripters and her enthusiasm for helping in any way she can. She has been a student of Windows PowerShell and used as an example in the last two Scripting Games purely to help beginners and encourage others to participate. She also helps with the administrative work in the Charlotte PowerShell User Group, with Windows PowerShell MVP, Jim Christopher as the leader. One other contribution she makes is as the booking agent for the guests on the PowerScripting Podcast with Windows PowerShell MVPs, Hal Rottenberg and Jonathan Walz. Of course, we all know her main role is keeping me organized.
Teresa helped with at Scripting Guys booth at TechEd 2012 last week, and she has a new best friend from the closing party at Universal Studios. Here is a picture to show you her friend. (Thanks to Jason Hofferle for taking the picture.)
Note There are two Hey, Scripting Guy! blogs that also provide relevant and useful information about setting up a Windows PowerShell User Group. The first one is, Practical Tips for Starting a PowerShell User Group. The second is Mark Schill Discusses PowerShell User Groups.
Additional Note: The resources in this post are being updated to the current available resources as of May 2014.
Take it away, Scripting Wife…
Hello everyone. As Ed mentioned, I am overflowing with information and with new friends who I met last week at TechEd. One of the questions I heard several times was a request for an easy-to-follow list of items to accomplish for starting a user group. Ed has published a couple of blogs in the past, but none of them are really a list that you can check off. I spent most of my working years in accounting roles, so a list makes perfect sense to me. Today I will give you the list as bulleted items, then I will provide some explanation.
- Create your user group name and register it at PowerShell.org
- Create a twitter account for the group
- Sign up at Microsoft Technical Community
- Sign up at GITCA
- Sign up at INETA
- Register at O’Reilly User Group
- Sign up at Manning Publications
- Sign up at Pluralsight
- Find a location to host the meetings
- Identify and contact sponsors
Registering your group at PowerShell.org will start the ball rolling in several ways. One, if you email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, I will make sure to let Hal and Jon know about your new group, and they will promote it on the PowerScripting Podcast. Second, when you have the information on the PowerShell.org site, people in your area will see that there is a user group forming in your location, and they can start to sign up as members. This will provide you with resources that you may not have known about. For example, maybe someone works at a company that has a meeting room you can use—that solves your location item right off the bat.
Sponsors are not my strong point but I do have some ideas. Typically, local recruiters and training companies make good sponsors. Also software companies whose products are related to Windows PowerShell are great sponsors. Do not forget publishing companies other than O’Reilly, which was mentioned in my list.
Spread the word. You know your hometowns better that I do, so go out and contact the IT departments at the businesses in your area. Do not forget schools and universities. Not only will the schools have an IT department; they will also have students who may want to join to learn more.
When you have some contacts, you will want to start thinking about ideas for how to structure your group. For example, Jim Christopher is the leader of our group, but his philosophy is that it is not his user group—it is the members’ user group, and his role is the facilitator.
Our group started with the idea that we would have a speaker one month and then conduct a script club the next month, and continue alternating each month. When the Scripting Games happened in May, we had several members who participated in the games and really learned a lot. The group asked about having a mini Scripting Games at our next meeting, and that is what we did. They loved it so much that we are doing a mini games again in July. After that, we will see if that is how we continue. It is all about learning and sharing knowledge in whatever fashion your group wants to use.
I hope I have provided some useful information here in a concise manner. Please be sure to drop me a line if I can be of any further assistance. I am @scriptingwife on Twitter, and my email address is email@example.com.
Thank you, Scripting Wife, for your useful and informative blog.
I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.
Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy