Summary: Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, talks about the Windows PowerShell community involvement with PowerShell Saturday.
Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. One of the great things about Windows PowerShell is the strength of our community. Let’s face it, Windows PowerShell is not exactly the easiest technology to learn how to use. In some respects, it is more difficult to learn that VBScript, Perl, or any other scripting language. Oh, I know anyone can learn how to open a Windows PowerShell console and type the letters gps to return a list of processes, but I am talking about really learning Windows PowerShell.
One reason for the complexity is due to the sheer enormity of information available. To truly master Windows PowerShell is to master everything that is documented on MSDN, and a lot of stuff that is not mentioned on MSDN. I learn new things about Windows PowerShell every single day−and I have been using Windows PowerShell since before it was called Windows PowerShell.
The other day I spent nearly 12 hours working on a certain Windows PowerShell script. It was also the day of the Charlotte Windows PowerShell User Group. To be honest, I thought about skipping the user group meeting because I wanted to complete the script. I knew the Scripting Wife would not let me skip the meeting; and besides, when I work from home, getting out to user group meetings is a great bit of social interaction. One of the members of the user group saw me working on the script and asked me if I needed help. I showed him the script, and talked my way through the script in explaining it to him. He made a couple of really great suggestions that enabled me to complete the script. If I had not gone to the meeting, I might still be working on the script.
So what is PowerShell Saturday?
PowerShell Saturday is a community-driven event that is modeled after the very successful SQL Saturday and SharePoint Saturday events. The emphasis is on bringing together local experts and local people who are interested in a specific technology. For this reason, the event happens in conjunction with the local Windows PowerShell User Uroup. The first PowerShell Saturday was held in Columbus, Ohio, and it was sponsored by the Central Ohio PowerShell User Group. I was fortunate to speak at that event. The cool thing is that the event sold out in 13 days, and twice as many tickets could have been sold as evidenced by the wait list for the event.
The great thing about a PowerShell Saturday event is that it provides a chance for local Windows PowerShell users to work on their speaking skills, and as a result, the content tends to be tailored to the specific audience. In addition, nationally recognized experts also present at the event. Because it is a community event, the scalability of the event is unlimited. The events take place during a time when people are able to attend, and a nominal cost helps to defray the cost of food for the event.
PowerShell Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina
The Charlotte Windows PowerShell User Group decided to host their Windows PowerShell Saturday on September 15, 2012, and it will be the second such event. In the time since the first Windows PowerShell User Group, a domain name has been registered by the community, and a professional website created. PowerShellSaturday.com is now the hub for all future PowerShell Saturday events. The Charlotte PowerShell Saturday site contains the complete speakers list, the abstracts of all sessions, and registration information. I will be making two presentations at the event; and a number of Microsoft premier field engineers, PowerShell MVPs, and community experts will also be speaking. See the speakers site for a biography about each speaker. There are three tracks: a beginner track, an advanced track, and an applied track. See the presentations for more information.
A PowerShell Saturday is about more than 15 PowerPoint presentations−it is about community. Therefore, it provides an excellent chance to see friends and to meet people who are as passionate about Windows PowerShell as you are. I know the Scripting Wife always looks forward to these types of events because it provides her with a chance to see people who she has been tweeting with and to make new friends. In fact, this year we are hosting the speakers dinner at the house that Script built (we are also having a slumber party for many of the out of town visitors, but that is a different story).
The three different tracks are really strong, with a number of excellent nationally known speakers in attendance. If you are in the area, you should register and plan to attend.
Up next, PowerShell Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia
Approximately six weeks after the Charlotte Windows PowerShell Saturday is the Atlanta PowerShell Saturday event. It also is attracting a strong slate of speakers. I know a large number of people who are planning to attend both events. I will also be speaking at the Atlanta PowerShell Saturday event. It will provide me a chance to stop by my favorite computer store while I am in the area. (The Scripting Wife is also planning a stop at the Microsoft Retail Store to see if she can purchase a Surface device.)
After Atlanta, where will PowerShell Saturday be?
I have been talking to a number of people about hosting PowerShell Saturday events 004 and 005. If it works out, the locations will be really cool, as will be the presentations (because I know some of the local experts in each potential location). It also remains to be seen whether I will be able to speak at those events. The great thing about community is that it is not up to one company, one individual, or one user group. Although, when we have a PowerShell Saturday event in Hawaii, I think I will make every attempt to speak at that event.
Bookmark the PowerShell Saturday website, and check it frequently for information about upcoming events.
Join me tomorrow when I will talk about more cool Windows PowerShell stuff.
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