The 2011 Scripting Games have begun!

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.

PowerGUI® Challenge 2010 Winners!

Several weeks ago on November 15, the 2010 PowerGUI Challenge contest came to a close.  The challenge was great this year and we received a lot of fantastic contest entries, with many in the Script Editor Add-on category that was new to this year’s contest.  Since the close of the contest, myself and the many esteemed judges who had volunteered their time this year for the contest have been busy reviewing contest entries, trying them out to see how they work, looking at the scripts they contain, and assigning scores to each entry.  It has taken a while, but today the last results for the contest came in and I have added up the judges scores and calculated the participation (activity) scores so now I can share the results with you.  Without further ado, here are the winners of the Quest Software’s PowerGUI Challenge 2010:

Most Active Participant James Brundage from Start-Automating who contributed 6 add-ons during the contest including the WMI Spy Add-on and the Demo PowerShell Add-on (1st and 2nd runner-up in the Best Add-on category)!
Second Most Active Participant Phillip Sullivan from MVP Systems Software who published a great JAMS PowerPack, and also threw in JAMS Job Scheduler snippets just for fun!
Best PowerPack Adam Murray for his fantastic
HP Virtual Connect Management Pack!
Best Add-on Denniver Reining for his awesome
Snippet Manager Add-on!

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Most of the winners are new to our PowerGUI contests, but there is one seasoned veteran in this list.  A special kudos goes out to Adam Murray for his hat trick: Adam has taken home prizes in our contest for three years in a row!  In 2009 he won the Best PowerPack award with his IIS 7 PowerPack and in 2008 he won two awards, one for Most Active Participant in the first sprint in 2008 with his SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services PowerPack and another for Second Most Active Participant in the second sprint in 2008 with his WebSphere MQ PowerPack.  Way to go Adam!

If you’re one of the winners, we’ll be contacting you shortly about your prize.

I also have to thank everyone who participated in the contest.  Honorable mentions go to DJ Grijalva for the SharePoint 2010 PowerPack and Gyorgy Nemesmagaci for the Help Browser Add-on.  These were both great entries that made the competition very close.

Whether you participated in the contest or not, I strongly encourage you to check out these entries as well as others by visiting the PowerGUI Challenge 2010 contest folder or by visiting the PowerGUI Library on PowerGUI.org.  The PowerGUI Library contains dozens of Script Editor Add-ons, Admin Console PowerPacks, snippets, other fun items such as desktop wallpaper, and much more.  There’s a lot of really great value waiting for you in that library to make your PowerShell experience even better!

Happy scripting!

Kirk out.

PowerGUI® Challenge: Have you taken the challenge yet?

In 10 days on November 15, the 2010 PowerGUI Challenge comes to a close.  The PowerGUI Challenge is a contest that gives you a chance to win some money while having fun with PowerShell and PowerGUI.  The rules are pretty simple: create a PowerPack or an Add-on for PowerGUI and post it in the contest folder for a chance to win one of the prizes.  The best part is that it is possible to create a contest entry in 10 minutes once you do a little research and watch a few videos.  That’s only 1 minute a day for the next 10 days, or a fun 10 minute break from doing something else that you really don’t want to be doing.  If you want to learn more, here is what you need to do:

1. Review the contest details on the contest page (http://www.powergui.org/contest.jspa).  That should answer a lot of the up front questions you might have and it will highlight a few useful resources (but I’m going to highlight some of the most important ones here as well).

2. Take a moment and watch this screencast that demonstrates how easy it can be to create a really useful Add-on for the PowerGUI Script Editor:

3. Now that you know what an Add-on is and how easy it can be to create one, take a few more minutes and watch this screen cast that demonstrates how easy it can be to create a really useful PowerPack for the PowerGUI Admin Console:

4. Create your Add-ons and PowerPacks and post them to the contest folder once you have them working.  The earlier you post your entries, the more time you will have to collect valuable feedback so that you can polish them up before the contest ends on November 15th, and the more you participate the more chances you have to win (some of the prizes are based on level of participation, others are based on best PowerPack or Add-on).

What a great way to spend time having fun with PowerShell and PowerGUI on those dull, Fall days!

Good luck with your entries, and don’t hesitate to ask questions to myself or any of the other judges!

Kirk out.

Come learn more about PowerGUI® on tonight’s PowerScripting Podcast

Over three and a half years ago, Jonathan Walz posted the very first recording of the PowerScripting Podcast, a podcast that is dedicated to PowerShell.  What started out as a small, solo effort that produced episodes on a not-so-regular basis matured into the best PowerShell podcast around, with two co-hosts (Jonathan Walz and Hal Rottenberg) that continually produce anywhere between 2 and 4 episodes every month!  To date there are 127 episodes available, full of PowerShell news, tips and tricks, and interesting interviews with people who are heavily invested in PowerShell.  It’s really a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about PowerShell during their daily commute, and I highly recommend checking it out.

As the PowerScripting Podcast evolved, so did the way in which it was recorded.  All recent episodes of the podcast are recorded live using UStream, which is great because it gives you a chance to hang out in the chat room and ask questions to the guest being interviewed.  All you need to do is visit the PowerScripting Podcast channel on UStream during the recording, which you can usually learn about by checking out the PowerScripting Podcast blog.  Recordings are typically done between 9 and 11PM EST on Thursday nights.

This time Hal and Jonathan are a little behind on putting out the announcement about the next podcast, but I have the inside scoop so I wanted to share the news to give you a chance to check it out.  Tonight I’ll be hanging out with Hal and Jonathan on the PowerScripting Podcast channel, and I welcome you to come and join me in the chat room and ask questions about PowerShell, PowerGUI, PowerGUI Pro, the PowerGUI Challenge contest, what it’s like being a Poshoholic, or anything else you feel like asking.

Hope to see you there!

Kirk out.

Use-PowerShell | Enter-Contest | Receive-Prize

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!  The 3rd annual PowerGUI® Challenge is about to begin!

That’s right, this year Quest Software is sponsoring yet another PowerShell contest that gives you a chance to win some money by having fun with PowerShell and PowerGUI.  I’m totally excited about the contest this year, because there are more prizes, more categories, more judges, and more possibilities with what you can do than ever before!  If any of your entries make it into the top 10 in the two main categories (PowerPacks and Add-ons), they will be put in front of our incredible panel of celebrity judges for review and suggestions.  Judges this year include Jeffrey Snover, Hemant Mahawar, Don Jones, Jeffery Hicks, Shay Levy, Brandon Shell, Aleksandar Nikolic, and Marco Shaw.  If you’ve read even a little bit about PowerShell on the web, I’m sure a few of those names ring a bell.  Dmitry and I will review the entries and offer our own feedback as well.

Sound interesting?  Here’s what you should do:

  1. Head on over to the PowerGUI Challenge contest page and read all of the details about the contest, paying close attention to the tips and the resources that are listed there to help you out.
  2. If you’re not familiar with them already, take a look at the kinds of things you can do with PowerPacks and Add-ons by visiting the PowerPack Library and the Add-ons Library and trying some of them out (and make sure you install the Authoring Toolkit Add-on if you plan on creating Add-ons yourself – it’s a real time-saver).
  3. Enter the contest!  The only way to make sure you don’t win anything is by not trying at all, and this is a really fun way to discover some of the cool things that you can do with PowerShell beyond regular scripting.

The contest runs from October 15 to November 15, so you have a lot of time to get yourself warmed up before the official start date, and then you can start adding your entries and getting community feedback.  Don’t wait, start learning more about what you can do by experimenting now!

In the meantime, I’ll be providing additional resources to help you out that I’ll announce on my blog as well, so keep your eyes open for more useful contest resources.

As always, don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have any.  As Alan Renouf (one of our winners in last year’s contest) knows, I’m more than happy to provide feedback and answer questions.

Happy scripting!

Kirk out.