Summary: Guest blogger Don Jones, PowerShell MVP, talks about PowerShell.org.
Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. I was thinking about the PowerShell Summit and contacted PowerShell MVP Don Jones to ask him for a blog post to share information about PowerShell.org and what exciting things are happening over there. Take it away, Don.
By the PowerShell.org Team
If you haven’t yet visited PowerShell.org, it’s worth your time. The site is the successor to PowerShellCommunity.org (PoshComm.org), and its main purpose is to serve as a Q&A site for all things Windows PowerShell and to help newcomers locate some of the other great resources that are out there. Started by Windows PowerShell MVPs Don Jones and Kirk Munro, the site is now owned by a standalone corporation, PowerShell.org, Inc. That corporation is unique in that it’s specifically intended to be community-owned: anyone can buy shares in it, and thereby, gain a vote in the makeup of its Board of Directors (currently Jones and Munro, along with Jason Helmick and fellow MVPs Richard Siddaway and Jeffery Hicks). That makes PowerShell.org the first community owned-and-operated online resource for Windows PowerShell!
While the discussion forums are clearly the site’s most obvious resource—in just a few months, there are almost 3,000 posts from almost 600 members with an average time-to-answer measured in hours not days—there’s a lot more to offer. For example, there are two free ebooks—Secrets of PowerShell Remoting and Creating HTML Reports in PowerShell—that are available for anyone to download with no registration and no login required. There are news articles and blog posts, including an aggregation of the most useful and frequent Windows PowerShell blogs from across the Internet. There are links to local user groups and PowerShell.org even hosts group pages (like http://powershell.org/groups/us/philadelphia/) for any Windows PowerShell user group who wants one—all at no charge. There’s also an events calendar (managed by community member Will Steele).
The goal of the site is simple: We want to help people find answers, and if those answers aren’t on PowerShell.org, we want to help them get to where the answers are. We don’t want to duplicate what’s being done so well elsewhere in the community, but we do want to help people find what’s out there. For example, while we have domain-specific forums related to Windows PowerShell and Active Directory, SQL Server, SharePoint, IIS, and so on, we don’t have one for VMware PowerCLI. That’s because VMware’s own forums are doing such a great job—we just link to those instead. That, we feel, is what community is really all about: working together to help each other.
In fact, everyone who helps run PowerShell.org has been tremendously gratified at how much working together has really come to pass. Post a question in the forums, for example, and there’s a good chance a Windows PowerShell MVP like Don or Kirk will answer. But there’s an equally good chance you’ll hear from a SharePoint MVP or an Exchange MVP or a SQL Server MVP… or that your answer will come from another helpful site member. We won’t be surprised, in fact, if PowerShell.org’s forums help create a few new MVPs in the future—we’ve certainly got some folks who are really generous with their time in helping their colleagues. We even get the occasional visit from a Windows PowerShell team member, like the ever-helpful June Blender, who works on the documentation team.
Software developers have known … well, pretty much forever that community is important. Whatever your job is today, your community becomes your career. It’s where you get answers to make your job easier—and it’s often where you make the friendships and contacts that will help you move that career forward. PowerShell.org is off to a fantastic start: In October 2012 alone, we saw more than 13,000 hits from more nearly 9,000 visitors.
We hope you’ll take a few minutes to join us. Look around, ask a question, and maybe offer some advice or an answer. We look forward to meeting you!
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