Interview with a Wiki Ninja: Rich Prescott, MCC – PowerShell & Windows Engineering


Today’s interview is with a PowerShell MCC, Rich Prescott! (Click here for all our interviews with Wiki Ninjas!!!)

Rich Prescott – Profile

 

Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?

You got the quote wrong!  It is “Who is your daddy and what does he do?”  Guess I’ll answer it anyways…my name is Rich Prescott and I am currently living in one of the best cities in the world, New York!  I work for a large media company and my main responsibilities include automation and Active Directory.  The scripting allows me to work with a wide range of technologies, including virtualization, storage and monitoring.  There are so many different things that I work on that it is hard to narrow down, but if I had to pick three:

  • Windows Engineering
  • Automation (mostly with PowerShell)
  • Setup & Deployment

 

How did you become an MCC? Do you have any suggestions for other community members who hope to eventually become MCCs?

I was actually awarded with Microsoft Community Contributor recently and honestly, I’m not exactly sure how I got it.  I have a passion for sharing my knowledge with others and fortunately enough, Microsoft provides quite a few avenues for that with TechNet (Forums, Galleries, Wiki and Blogs).  My technological passion is PowerShell and my MCC journey started out on TechNet writing scripts and uploading them to the TechNet Script Center Repository.  After browsing the rest of the links at the top of the Script Center and stumbling upon the other TechNet communities, I was hooked and began contributing to all facets. As far as advice or suggestions for those who wish to become an MCC (the award name hits the nail on the head), find something you are passionate about and contribute to the Microsoft community on that topic in the medium that you are most comfortable with (or all of them!). 

If you are more comfortable writing documentation, start out with the wiki.

If you are more of a troubleshooter, head over to the forums and help out your fellow system administrators/developers with their questions. 

If you enjoy writing scripts, upload them to the gallery.

 

What are your big projects right now?

The most recent project that I just released is a blog post that I wrote for the Hey, Scripting Guy! blog, which was published on January 6, 2012 and is titled PowerShell Community and the Windows System Administration Tool. I am working on certifications for virtualization and the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator.  Whenever I need a break from studying for certifications, I take some time to contribute on TechNet or work on a couple of my PowerShell projects:

Windows System Administration tool 2.0

AD User Creation tool

 

What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?

Nobody is perfect when it comes to documentation, but with the help of multiple people, you can achieve greatness.  As I read that back to myself, it sounds really corny, but there is truth to it.  Even if you are an expert in a specific technology, there is someone out there that knows something about that technology that you do not.  If both of you contribute to the Wiki, you can both learn from it.  And with the number of people contributing on the Wiki, the amount of material to learn from increases exponentially.

 

What are your favorite articles you’ve contributed?

Feature Requests for TechNet and MSDN Profiles and Social Platform Tools

  • I’m impressed that Microsoft still finds ways to listen to their customers (and updates it with results).

TechNet Profile Achievements

  •  This was one of the first articles I created and seeing how well it turned out keeps me coming back for more.

Windows PowerShell Survival Guide

  •  This article is just massive.  I was impressed the first time I ran across it.

Windows PowerShell ISE Add-On Tools

  • This article has been included in the PowerShell ISE v3.

 

Who has impressed you in the Wiki community, and why?

Ed Price – How do you keep up with all of it?  If not a Wiki ninja, you are a Wiki beast.

The portuguese-speaking community – If the english-speaking community doesn’t pick it up, we’ll be out-wikied soon.

 

You’ve done fairly well on the Wiki. Do you have any tips or recommendations about editing or authoring articles?

As I mentioned earlier, find something that you are passionate about and start there.  The rest will follow.  A little bit of basic HTML knowledge never hurt anyone either.

 

============================== 

For those of you who haven’t seen Rich’s Gallery contributions (PowerShell scripts), you should go check them out!

Check out the comments below for more Q&A with Rich Prescott (you might want to come back to see that conversation unfold)!

Thank you to Rich! We’ll see you in the TechNet community!

   – Ninja Ed  (Blog, Twitter, Wiki, Profile)

 

Comments (10)

  1. Ed Price - MSFT says:

    I'm continuing the interview in the comments as I see more questions to ask!

    Rich, what does Arposh mean? I think I've seen you use the word in a few of your fantastic PowerShell projects.

  2. rbprescott@gmail.com says:

    One of the common standards when creating custom PowerShell cmdlets is to prefix the cmdlet with a unique string, so that it does not conflict with anyone elses cmdlets.  Using that concept, I took my first initial and the shortname for PowerShell (PoSh) to create Arposh, which is a phonetical amalgamation of the two (R + PoSh = Arposh).  I use it when naming some of the tools that I release so that it is easier to find them during searches.

  3. Ed Price - MSFT says:

    Ah! I thought it might be your handle from something. This makes a lot more sense. Thanks! I think tools with unique names like this are also easier to remember in general.

  4. tonysoper says:

    Nice work Rich! True dis: "The portuguese-speaking community – If the english-speaking community doesn't pick it up, we'll be out-wikied soon" – Say hello to H&H Bagels for me,used to live around the corner from the bakery in Hell's Kitchen.

  5. Ed Price - MSFT says:

    I have more questions for Rich:

    In what forums do you spend most of your time?

    Do you see or use a synergetic approach between the Forums and Wiki?

    Thanks!

  6. rbprescott@gmail.com says:

    The majority of my time is spent in the Official Hey Scripting Guys forum, as I am a moderator for that forum.  I also subscribe to the Windows PowerShell, Server/Client, and Setup/Deployment forums. My experience covers a wide range of technologies and I like to use the forums as a way to keep my tech skills fresh in my mind.

  7. rbprescott@gmail.com says:

    As for a synergetic approach between the forums and the wiki, one way that I get ideas for Wiki articles is by browsing the forums for oft-asked questions and then creating a Wiki article on that topic.  That way, any time that the question is asked in the future, I can simply link to the Wiki article.  There are a number of others way to link the two, but I'll leave that for a future discussion.  🙂

  8. hassan sayed issa20014 says:

    Congratulations

  9. Anonymous says:

    Welcome back for another analysis of contributions to TechNet Wiki over the last week.

    First up, the

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