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This April is “Learn More About PowerShell” Month with the 2012 Scripting Games, the 2012 Microsoft Management Summit, and the 2012 North American PowerShell Deep Dive!

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s hard to believe that April is almost here already.  Last week we had record high temperatures reaching 31°C (that’s 87.8°F for those of you living south of the border), and the night before last it was -16°C (or 3.2°F).  What wonderful consistency.  Maybe that’s why I like PowerShell so much, because it provides great consistency that just isn’t apparent in so many other places in life (that’s a swell tagline: “Use PowerShell, because it’s more consistent than the weather” Smile).  Anyway, I digress…back to the topic at hand.

This April is “Learn More About PowerShell” month!  Ok, so it’s not official (it’s not like I’m a mayor or anything), but with all of the opportunities to learn about Windows PowerShell in April, it seems like a fitting title, so I’m declaring it that anyway.  Now, where to begin.

2012 Scripting Games

The first Monday in April (that’s April 2, Monday next week) marks the official opening of the 2012 Scripting Games!  The Scripting Games are a great event, because they provide opportunities for beginner and advanced scripters alike to learn more about Windows PowerShell.  There are beginner and advanced divisions, with 10 events in each division.  You participate by visiting the official 2012 Scripting Games page starting on Monday April 2 to see the events that are published so far, and you have one week to submit a solution by publishing a script to the 2012 Scripting Games page on PoshCode for each event that you want to enter.  Note that at the time of this writing, the 2012 Scripting Games page on PoshCode shows information related to the 2011 Scripting Games, so for now just put a reminder in your calendar to check these two links out on April 2.

Once you submit a solution, you can move on to the next event if it is available.  All solutions will be judged by a great panel of expert judges, and once the events close there will be expert commentaries published so that you can learn how different community experts solve these problems with PowerShell scripts.  Watch for my expert commentary to Beginner Event 3 once that event has closed for submissions.

The 2012 Scripting Games will run until April 13, 2012, although you’ll have 7 days from the day that each event is posted, so there will still be some time to compete and get your entries in.  There are many prizes to be won, including grand prizes of full conference passes for TechEd North America 2012 (another great opportunity to learn more about PowerShell), software licenses for products like PowerWF, and more!  Also, don’t delay in getting your entries in, because you’ll barely have time once you’re done to pack your bags for the 2012 Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas if you’re going to that conference!

2012 Microsoft Management Summit

In just 2½ weeks from now, the 2012 Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) will start, and it’s going to be an amazing conference this year.  With the upcoming Microsoft System Center 2012 release, and with Windows 8 currently available as a Consumer Preview in the client and the server varieties (both of which include the pre-release version of PowerShell version 3), there are plenty of new opportunities to scale up your PowerShell prowess and scale out your scripting capabilities while learning how to get the most of these new products and platforms by leveraging PowerShell automation.

At the MMS 2012 conference, there are a total of 13 breakout sessions, 3 instructor led labs, and 5 self-paced labs where you can learn more about Windows PowerShell.  There is also a PowerShell booth that will be staffed by members of the Windows PowerShell team and a few PowerShell MVPs.  I’ll be working the PowerShell booth as will Aleksandar Nikolic, so please come see us and ask questions if you have any.  There will also be other booths for products like the Microsoft System Center 2012 release, which comes with even more PowerShell capabilities than before.  Additionally, there are many companies in the Expo hall that leverage PowerShell in their products and/or provide cmdlets to facilitate automation in their environments, such as NetApp, Veeam, Splunk and Devfarm Software (the company that I work for) to name but a few.  I’ll be working the Devfarm booth when I’m not in the PowerShell booth, so if you look around a little you’ll have a good chance of finding me.

If you’re going to MMS 2012, and you want to learn more about PowerShell, make sure you take advantage of these resources while you’re there.  The knowledge passed on to you through one breakout session, lab, or discussion with someone in the learning center or expo hall takes many, many hours to put together, and getting that knowledge first hand can be a huge timesaver for you in the long run!

PowerShell-related Content at MMS 2012

The following list identifies all of the PowerShell-related sessions and resources that have been announced so far for the MMS 2012 conference for your convenience.  To get the most value out of your conference, make sure you add the sessions, labs, and other items of interest to your schedule so that you don’t miss out on these great learning opportunities.  I have highlighted the sessions most interesting to me in bold in the list below.

Type and Level Title Speaker(s) Coordinates
Instructor-led Lab
300/Advanced
SV-IL306 Introduction to Windows PowerShell Fundamentals Dan Reger Monday, April 16,
12:00 PM to 1:15 PM
Venetian Ballroom A
Breakout Session
300/Advanced
SV-B317 Top 10 Things Every Systems Admin Needs to Know about Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Dan Stolts Monday, April 16,
3:00 PM to 4:15 PM
Venetian Ballroom G
Instructor-led Lab
300/Advanced
SV-IL307 What’s New in Windows PowerShell 3.0 Lucio Silveira Monday, April 16,
4:30 PM to 5:45 PM
Venetian Ballroom A
Breakout Session
300/Advanced
CD-B334 Understanding Console Extension for Configuration Manager 2007 and 2012 Matthew Hudson Tuesday, April 17,
10:15 AM to 11:30 AM
Venetian Ballroom G
Breakout Session
400/Expert
CD-B406 Configuration Manager 2012 and PowerShell: Better Together Greg Ramsey Tuesday, April 17,
11:45 AM to 1:00 PM
Venetian Ballroom G
Instructor-led Lab
300/Advanced
SV-IL304 Managing Windows Server “8” with Server Manager and PowerShell 3.0 Michael Leworthy Tuesday, April 17,
11:45 AM to 1:00 PM
Venetian Ballroom A
Instructor-led Lab
300/Advanced
SV-IL307 What’s New in Windows PowerShell 3.0 Lucio Silveira Tuesday, April 17,
2:15PM to 3:30PM
Venetian Ballroom A
Breakout Session
300/Advanced
SV-B319 Windows PowerShell for Beginners Jeffrey Snover,
Travis Jones
Tuesday, April 17,
4:00 PM to 5:15 PM
Murano 3301
Breakout Session
200/Intermediate
SV-B205 Overview of Server Management Technologies in Windows Server “8” Erin Chapple,
Jeffrey Snover
Wednesday, April 18,
10:15 AM to 11:30 AM
Murano 3301
Breakout Session
200/Intermediate
SV-B291 Manage Cisco UCS with System Center 2012 and PowerShell Chakri Avala Wednesday, April 18,
2:15 PM to 3:30 PM
Titian 2203
Instructor-led Lab
300/Advanced
SV-IL306 Introduction to Windows PowerShell Fundamentals Dan Reger Wednesday, April 18,
2:15 PM to 3:30 PM
Venetian Ballroom A
Breakout Session
300/Advanced
SV-B313 Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V FAQs, Tips, and Tricks Janssen Jones Wednesday, April 18,
4:00 PM to 5:15 PM
Murano 3301
Instructor-led Lab
300/Advanced
SV-IL304 Managing Windows Server “8” with Server Manager and PowerShell 3.0 Michael Leworthy Thursday, April 19,
8:30 AM to 9:45 AM
Venetian Ballroom A
Breakout Session
400/Expert
SV-B405 Advanced Automation Using Windows PowerShell 2.0 Jeffrey Snover,
Travis Jones
Thursday, April 19,
10:15 AM to 11:30 AM
Veronese 2401
Breakout Session
300/Advanced
AM-B315 SharePoint as a Workload in a Private Cloud Adam Hall,
Michael Frank
Thursday, April 19,
10:15 AM to 11:30 AM
Titian 2206
Breakout Session
300/Advanced
SV-B312 Don Jones’ Windows PowerShell Crash Course Don Jones Thursday, April 19,
11:45 AM to 1:00 PM
Venetian Ballroom G
Breakout Session
300/Advanced
SV-B315 Managing Group Policy Using PowerShell Darren Mar-Elia Thursday, April 19,
11:45 AM to 1:00 PM
Murano 3301
Breakout Session
300/Advanced
FI-B322 Virtual Machine Manager 2012: PowerShell is your Friend, and Here’s Why Hector Linares,
Susan Hill
Thursday, April 19,
11:45 AM to 1:00 PM
Titian 2206
Breakout Session
400/Expert
SV-B406 PowerShell Remoting in Depth Don Jones Friday, April 20,
8:30 AM to 9:45 AM
Bellini 2001
Hands-on lab
300/Advanced
SV-L302 Active Directory Deployment and Management Enhancements N/A Hands-on lab, available in the HOL area
Hands-on lab
300/Advanced
SV-L304 Managing Windows Server “8” with Server Manager and Windows PowerShell 3.0 N/A Hands-on lab, available in the HOL area
Hands-on lab
300/Advanced
SV-L305 Managing Network Infrastructure with Windows Server “8” N/A Hands-on lab, available in the HOL area
Hands-on lab
300/Advanced
SV-L306 Introduction to Windows PowerShell Fundamentals N/A Hands-on lab, available in the HOL area
Hands-on lab
300/Advanced
SV-L307 What’s New in Windows PowerShell 3.0 N/A Hands-on lab, available in the HOL area

2012 North America PowerShell Deep Dive

As if all of these PowerShell learning opportunities weren’t already enough, there’s even more you can do in “Learn More About PowerShell” month.  At the end of April, a week after MMS is finished, the 2nd annual North American 2012 PowerShell Deep Dive conference will start.  This conference is second to none when it comes to learning more about PowerShell.  The sessions are fantastic, and the conversations perhaps even more so.  What makes this conference unique is the focus on shorter, 35-minute sessions that quickly drill into a specific topic and give you a ton of information on that topic.  There are also short, 5-minute lightning rounds which give speakers an opportunity to quickly show off one of their favorite aspects of PowerShell.  The 35-minute format, 5-minute lightning rounds, and the depth of the content in these sessions are unique to this conference, and you won’t get the same value for PowerShell content anywhere else.  Add to that the evening script club-style events and it’s really an experience that is second to none.  I highly recommend you consider attending if you’re already using PowerShell and want to take your skills to new heights.  You can still register for this great event on the registration page for The Experts Conference (TEC).

This conference takes place in sunny San Diego from April 29th until May 2nd, and it gives you 3 days of 100% PowerShell content.  I’m fortunate enough to be attending this conference as well, and I’ll be giving sessions about proxy functions and about WMI and PowerShell.  If you do attend, please make a point to say hello and introduce yourself if I haven’t met you already.

Here’s a quick look at the content that is being presented at the PowerShell Deep Dive this year:

Title Speaker(s) Date
FIM PowerShell Workshop Craig Martin Sunday, April 29, 2012
Keynote Jeffrey Snover Monday, April 30, 2012
8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
When old API’s save the day (pinvoke and native windows dlls) Tome Tanasovski Monday, April 30, 2012
10:30 AM to 11:05 AM
Get Your Game On! Leveraging Proxy Functions in Windows PowerShell Kirk “Poshoholic” Munro Monday, April 30, 2012
11:10 AM to 11:45 AM
Using Splunk Reskit with PowerShell to revolutionize your script process Brandon Shell Monday, April 30, 2012
1:00 PM to 2:15 PM
Lightning Round Determined at event Monday, April 30, 2012
2:20 PM to 3:05 PM
Remoting Improvement in Windows PowerShell V3 Krishna Vutukuri Monday, April 30, 2012
3:10 PM to 3:45 PM
New Hyper-V PowerShell Module in Windows Server 8 Adam Driscoll Monday, April 30, 2012
4:15 PM to 5:30 PM
Formatting in Windows PowerShell Jim Truher Tuesday, May 1, 2012
8:00 AM to 8:35 AM
PowerShell and WMI: A Love Story Kirk “Poshoholic” Munro Tuesday, May 1, 2012
8:40 AM to 9:15 AM
PowerShell as a Web Language James Brundage Tuesday, May 1, 2012
9:45 AM to 11:00 AM
PowerShell V3 in Production Steve Murawski Tuesday, May 1, 2012
11:15 AM to 11:50 AM
Lightning Round Determined at event Tuesday, May 1, 2012
11:55 AM to 12:30 AM
How Microsoft Uses PowerShell for Testing Automation and Deployment of FIM Kinnon McDonell Tuesday, May 1, 2012
1:45 PM to 3:00 PM
Job Types in Windows PowerShell 3.0 Travis Jones Tuesday, May 1, 2012
3:15 PM to 3:50 PM
Creating a Corporate PowerShell Module Tome Tanasovski Tuesday, May 1, 2012
3:55 PM to 4:30 PM
Cmdlets over Objects (CDXML) Richard Siddaway Wednesday, May 2, 2012
8:00 AM to 8:35 AM
Build your own remoting endpoint with PowerShell V3 Aleksandar Nikolic Wednesday, May 2, 2012
8:40 AM to 9:15 AM
PowerShell Workflows and the Windows Workflow Foundation for the IT Pro Steve Murawski Wednesday, May 2, 2012
9:45 AM to 11:00 AM
Incorporating Microsoft Office into Windows PowerShell Jeffery Hicks Wednesday, May 2, 2012
11:15 AM to 11:50 AM
TBD Bruce Payette Wednesday, May 2, 2012
11:55 AM to 12:30 PM

Wow, that’s a lot of PowerShell!  With all of these opportunities, whether you’re trying to learn PowerShell without incurring a huge expense, or travelling to conferences to learn more about technologies there, there’s definitely something for everyone in what looks to be an awesome “Learn More About PowerShell” month.

Good luck, wherever your learning adventures take you!

Kirk out.

The 2011 Scripting Games have begun!

April 4, 2011 Leave a comment

2011_ScriptGames_GREEN_SPONSOR (2)

Today marks the beginning of Microsoft’s 2011 Scripting Games.  The Scripting Games are a great way to have fun learning more about Windows PowerShell.  There are even great prizes available to be won.  There are 10 events, with a beginner and an advanced category for each event.

To participate, all you have to do is:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the information on the 2011 Scripting Games page.
  2. Register by signing in to the 2011 Scripting Games page on PoshCode.org.
  3. Keep your eye on the Hey, Scripting Guy! blog to see when new events are posted (both the beginner and advanced Event 1 details are available now!).
  4. Publish solutions to any events you decide to do on the PoshCode.org contribute page.

That’s pretty much all there is to it.  You can participate in both the beginner and the advanced categories, or you can spend all of your time focused on one category.  You can enter solutions for all events in a category, or you can cherry pick the events you have time for and enter only those.  You can start today with the first event, or join in later once the competition is already underway.  There are really no limitations on how much or how little that you have to participate in the Scripting Games.  Some prizes are available for the highest ranking participant, but others can be won simply by participating in a single event, so throw your hat into the ring and learn more about PowerShell while having fun and you might even win something.

Quest Software is an official sponsor of the Scripting Games again this year, and we have contributed many licenses of PowerGUI® Pro to the pool of prizes to be won.  If you’d like a chance to win one of the licenses that are available, all you have to do is participate in the Scripting Games by entering at least one event.  The more events you participate in the more you will increase your chances of winning.  Participating is easy, so you really should consider taking the time to give it a try…you just might learn something.

Good luck!

Kirk out.

2008 Scripting Games Statistics

March 23, 2008 1 comment

Now that the 2008 Scripting Games are over, I was wondering how the various scripting languages broke down in terms of individual participation.  I contacted fellow MVP Marco Shaw about this a few weeks ago because last year he wrote a script that would generate a nice chart using PowerGadgets showing the breakdown of the 2007 Scripting Games participation by division for each country.  He had been working on running his old script against this year’s results, and was kind enough to let me have his work in progress to experiment with myself (thanks Marco!).

After tweaking the script off and on (more off than on) over the past few weeks I’ve managed to get the results I was looking for.  The following screenshot shows two charts from the results of each of the last two years of the Scripting Games, all generated using PowerGadgets.  The charts on the left show the breakdown of individual participation by country for the top 10 countries (where the top 10 countries are defined by those with the most unique participants across all divisions), sorted alphabetically.  The charts on the right show the number of unique participants in each division.  The 2007 results are on the top, and the 2008 results are on the bottom.

ScriptingGamesStatisticsDashboard

The results are pretty interesting.  Not surprisingly, the charts show that PowerShell is growing in popularity.  Last year there were 1/3 as many participants in the PowerShell categories as in the VBScript categories.  This year that gap has narrowed, with PowerShell participation climbing to just under ½ of the VBScript participation.  The charts also show that there were only two changes in the top 10 participating countries since last year, and that VBScript wasn’t the scripting language of choice in all top 10 countries in either year.

In addition to the charts that are output, my updated version of Marco’s script also outputs some general statistical information for the years that it is being run against.  From this I can see that the number of individual participants has increased from 510 in 2007 to 709 in 2008, with the number of active participants (where an active participant is defined as one that participated in 5 or more events) increasing from 378 in 2007 to 563 in 2008.

The script used to generate these results can be found here.

All in all, the Scripting Games seem to be increasing in popularity year over year which is likely a trend that will continue as PowerShell and other scripting languages continue to gain traction.  It will be interesting to see how things pan out next year!

Kirk out.

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P.S. One of the many things I was involved in while I wasn’t blogging during the month of February was the 2008 Scripting Games.  A while back Scripting Guy Greg Stemp invited me to be a guest commentator for this years games (thanks Greg!) and I was assigned Advanced Windows PowerShell Event #5.  While I unfortunately didn’t have time to participate in the other events this year, I did find some spare time during a train trip to Toronto so I wrote my solution for the event on the train.  The games are all done for this year, but if you’re interested in my solution, it can be found here.

P.P.S. I’m trying out using Windows Live SkyDrive as the site from which to share ps1 files.  If you have any problem viewing the script file I’ve linked to in this article, please let me know.

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