Author Archives: PowerShell.org Announcer

About PowerShell.org Announcer

This is the official account for PowerShell.org and sponsor announcements.

Final PowerShell Summit NA 2015 Inventory Available


An additional 35 seats have been opened for PowerShell Summit NA 2015, as of 10am PT 2015-01-11. This will be the final block of inventory available for the event, which will host around 140 total people.

If you click over and there are no registration options, it’s because it sold out.

VERIFIED EFFECTIVE Exams to be Held at PowerShell Summit NA 2015


Although we have decided to discontinue the online VERIFIED EFFECTIVE exams (as outlined previously), the organization has decided to offer the exams as a live, proctored event at the PowerShell Summit North America 2015. If all goes well, this could become a regular Summit offering.

Details:

  • You must be registered to attend the Summit.
  • There is no additional charge to sit the exam.
  • You may not already hold a valid VERIFIED EFFECTIVE certificate.
  • You will be given a written assignment and 45 minutes to complete it.
  • You must bring your own laptop running any version of PowerShell (v2+).
  • Your laptop must be capable of running on battery for the duration of the exam.
  • You may use the Internet and other online resources; you may not discuss anything with anyone else.
  • You must either bring a USB flash drive to turn in your work. The drive will be returned to you immediately.
  • Grading will happen overnight, and you will be notified via e-mail. If you pass, you will be able to use the VERIFIED EFFECTIVE website to download an e-certificate. We will plan to maintain the e-certificate website through at least the end of 2016.

This offering will be limited to 65 people. Although there is no charge, you will be required to pre-register to ensure we do not overcommit the room capacity. Registration information will be sent via e-mail to all registered attendees on April 1st, 2015. Registration for the exam will be first-come, first-served.

We will not be able to accommodate individuals who are not registered to attend the Summit. That policy may change in the future, but for now that’s the policy and there will be no exceptions. We have not yet made a decision about offering this for future Summit events – this is a trial, and we will gauge interest and results before making further decisions or commitments.

This exam will be the VERIFIED EFFECTIVE PowerShell Toolmaker program, in which you will be asked to write one or more advanced functions that comply with a set of specifications and exhibit a specified set of behaviors.

The day prior to the exam offering, a lunchtime briefing will be given for anyone taking the exam. During the briefing, you will receive specifics about the exam process, the grading criteria, and so on.

[UPDATED] PowerShell Summit N.A. 2015 – Additional Capacity


UPDATED: We’ve moved the date to January 11th in the below; we’ll need some additional time to get the capacity opened up, and moving a bit past the holidays was needed.

We will be opening approximately 35-40 additional spaces for PowerShell Summit N.A. 2015. This change will be made sometime in the evening of January 11th, 2015, and the additional spaces will be first-come, first-served. Registration will be via PayPal only at this stage. There will be no additional capacity released after these spaces are taken.

The Future of PowerShell.org’s VERIFIED EFFECTIVE Program


As many of you know, we’ve offered a VERIFIED EFFECTIVE exam program to help formally vet someone’s skills as a PowerShell “Toolmaker.” The exam focused on your ability to create advanced PowerShell tools that follow standard shell practices and patterns. We made the exam available to Association of Windows PowerShell Professionals members, meaning anyone who attended a PowerShell Summit could participate; you could also purchase exam credits a la carte.

We’ve unfortunately had very little uptake on the program. Fewer than 20% of those eligible to take the exam ever registered to do so, and of those who registered only 10% actually took the exam. We did have a pass rate in excess of 90%, but with such a small sampling we don’t feel it’s statistically significant.

The program takes real, monetary resources and human time to run, including a full Windows virtual machine that has to be spun up to grade the exams (scripts are graded using an automated process that actually runs them in a sandboxed environment), and including dedicated time from a small panel of experts who review each exam submission. Those resources could be better deployed to help provide benefit to a much larger portion of the community, and so we are announcing the phase-out of the VERIFIED EFFECTIVE program.

Effective February 1st 2015, all existing vouchers will be cancelled, and no new ones will be generated. That means, effective February 1st, there will be no new exams administered. If you have a voucher with applicability beyond that date, it will no longer be valid. If you paid for that voucher a la carte, please contact us for a refund.

The website allowing you to generate a completion certificate will remain online until January 1st, 2016. By that time, most existing certificates will have expired. If you completed the exam, you should download and archive your certificate prior to that date. On January 1st, 2016, the program will be completely removed.

We knew going into it that this program might not get significant uptake. Not being offered by Microsoft reduces its visibility and, to a large degree, its credibility with employers. Offering an exam of this nature is expensive and resource-intensive, and for a small organization like ours that means passing on a significant cost to candidates, which many cannot afford. Further, Microsoft has continued to blend PowerShell into all of its IT Pro-centric certification exams, so PowerShell does indeed have some domain-specific coverage in the certification space.

We are instead going to work with the folks at Smarterer.com to formalize, beef up, and publish their crowdsourced PowerShell exam. That exam is in its infancy, but PowerShell.org is already in communications with the Smarterer team to create a more reliable, formal exam that incorporates the community’s best ideas about how to verify someone’s PowerShell effectiveness.

Thanks very much for your support, and we look forward to serving you in new ways in 2015!

PowerShell Summit North America 2015 Registration Information


Registration for PowerShell Summit North America 2015 will begin on October 30, 2014, and continue through March 30, 2015. Visit the main Summit page for registration links, event dates, and other information. The event will be at Microsoft’s offices in Charlotte, NC.

Please note that we will only be accepting around 100 registrations. Payment is via PayPal; if you cannot pay via PayPal, please contact Summit at PowerShell.org for alternate arrangements (such as check). However, leave plenty of time – we must receive your payment by 30 March 2015 in order to process your registration.

We understand that some of you need specific communications about the event, so that your organizations can understand its value as a training opportunity. Please contact us via e-mail and we will be happy to assist by providing the appropriate brochure or other information.

Accepting Topics for PowerShell Summit North America 2015


We are still accepting session ideas for PowerShell Summit North America 2015, to be held in April 2015 in Charlotte, NC. However, time is running out – so if you’d like to submit (speakers get to attend for free, although we aren’t able to cover other expenses), then you need to get on the ball!

  1. Go to http://eventmgr.azurewebsites.net/preregister/account/PSNA15/2015-NA-Speaker. Create an account.
  2. You can always return to http://eventmgr.azurewebsites.net/event/home/PSNA15 to login and access your abstracts.
  3. Click Abstracts
  4. Click Submit Abstract

Provide a title and description; descriptions must be 50-250 words. Set the Status to “Ready to Review” when you are ready to send your session to us for consideration.

PowerShell Summit Europe 2014 – Status


As of this post, we have filled slightly over 50% of our capacity for the PowerShell Summit Europe 2014. Registration closes September 15, 2014. If we do not reach at least 45 attendees (we’re at 26 now), then it is unlikely we will have a 2015 event in Europe.

We do plan to record all sessions. Recordings will intercept the speaker’s laptop output on its way to the projector, meaning it will be a high-quality, high-definition recording. A room microphone should do a good job of capturing speaker audio, and an acceptable job capturing Q&A, discussion, and other room audio. These recordings will be posted on the PowerShell.org YouTube channel within a few weeks of the event conclusion. We do not plan to include instructor video, although for select sessions we may experiment with doing so. You should not have high expectations for that, as it will be standard-definition, composite video of fairly low quality. It will be added to the projector feed, and will not replace the projector feed.

We will create a blog post here containing any other session materials that speakers make available to us. Again, that will be made available within a few weeks of the event conclusion.

We will have a designated Sunday pre-mixer location, announced right here on PowerShell.org, for folks who arrive Sunday afternoon or early evening and who want to hang out for a few hours.

Monday night will feature a DSC Hackathon, a lightly competitive group event where we’ll seek to create and debug a new DSC resource that’s been in-demand from the community; suggestions will come both from direct community requests and from the PowerShell team’s internal “to do” list. We will provide opportunities for offsite participants, although the event will happen in real-time based on the Amsterdam time zone. There will be no accommodation for folks in other time zones – you’ll just need to be awake at the right time.

Tuesday night will consist of an informal pub crawl, with several nearby places designated as stops.

As a note, we have fielded several request in the vein of, “are there plans to hold a Europe Summit in __(insert country name here)__?” The answer is “no,” as we simply have not begun planning a future event. Note, however, that we’ve received a roughly equal number of requests from pretty much every major country in the European Economic Community, and we will definitely not be holding the next event in all of them at once. If there’s evidence that folks simply won’t travel outside their own country or immediate region, then a pan-European Summit may be impossible to support going forward. We will instead rely on local enthusiasts running PowerShell Saturday or local PowerShell Forum events, and will try to support those to the best of our ability. It’s our deepest hope that an annual all-Europe event can be successful, and it is our intent to rotate it through suitable cities throughout Europe each year.

Video: An Entertaining Evening on the Art and Science of Writing Scripts in PowerShell


Cody Konior brought us this:

An entertaining evening on the art and science of writing scripts in PowerShell targeted especially for beginners.

Interspersed with live demos, we’ll glance through the basics such as variables, loops, and the pipeline, then briskly overview modules, remoting, a little SQL, and email control. All sample code will then be combined to solve* a “totally realistic scenario” with a Rube Goldbergian nightmare.

This is a once-off event of fun and frivolity not to be missed.

* Best practices not guaranteed.

Watch the video on YouTube.

PowerShell Summit 2014 Europe Registration Open Today


If you’re reading this, then registration for PowerShell Summit 2014 Europe should be open.

Please be sure to create an account using the attendee’s e-mail address, even if someone else will be paying. Summit attendance and all AWPP benefits are tied to the attendee e-mail address. Read the FAQ on the registration website if you need to pay by alternate means (other than PayPal), and contact Summit@ via e-mail if you have registration questions.

The account you create on the registration site will also provide access to the full agenda, session surveys, and other important items. Please remember your registered e-mail address and password. We suggest using a personal e-mail address to avoid high-powered spam filters at work. Save your confirmation e-mail, as you will need to print it and bring it on-site to the event.

All memberships are nonrefundable.

Remember that we have only 60 total attendee slots; that number cannot and will not expand, so please don’t wait until the last minute and then e-mail asking if we can accept “just one more” person. We can’t.

VERIFIED EFFECTIVE #PowerShell Exam Now Open to Everyone


Our VERIFIED EFFECTIVE Windows PowerShell Toolmaker exam is now open to everyone. The cost is $250, as the exam includes both automated grading and a human review element. Passed exams are considered valid for 2 years, and include an online confirmation that employers can use to check your status.

Visit http://VerifiedEffective.org to begin. Log in using one of the social network buttons provided, and then select the option to Purchase Exam Credits. You’ll walk through a couple of screens that explain how it works, provide you with an exam voucher code, and then walk you through the payment process. Your voucher code is activated once you pay – kind of like a gift card at a retail store. This is done so that you can give the voucher to someone else (e.g., if someone is paying for your exam).

Once you have an activated voucher code, you can redeem it anytime within one year. Redeeming it lets you review your selected program’s guide and prepare for your exam. Then, you can begin the exam anytime you want. The Toolmaker exam allows 6 hours to complete your exam assignment.

Good luck!

Public Beta for PowerShell “Toolmaker” VERIFIED EFFECTIVE Exam


We are preparing to open VERIFIED EFFECTIVE “certification” exams to the public for the first time, and are looking for 1-2 beta testers. If you think you might be interested, start by reading the Program Guide for the “Windows PowerShell Toolmaker” program:

Toolmaker Program Guide

The Program Guide explains how the program works, and what the exam entails. You take the exam online using your own computer.

If you think you might be interested, contact “Exams” at PowerShell.org via e-mail. Note that you will be required to pay the full program fee of $250 via PayPal; that payment process is part of what’s being tested. Once you pay, we would expect you to begin the exam and complete your exam assignment within two weeks.

Because this is a beta test, we could decide to allow you additional time to complete your exam assignment, based solely on our observations of the behavior and performance of the system. We might also allow a retake of a different assignment scenario should that prove desirable to us from a systems and testing perspective. In the end, if you pass, you will receive a digital certificate; if you fail, you will not receive a certificate, nor will you receive any feedback on your performance or submission.

This offer is open to anyone, globally, but will be limited to the first 1-2 people who respond.

The VERIFIED EFFECTIVE exam is already open to PowerShell Summit North America 2014 alumni who registered before Feb 1, 2014. Use your Summit confirmation code as an exam voucher code, and contact “Exams” at PowerShell.org (via email) if you encounter any problems in using your voucher code or taking your exam.

VERIFIED EFFECTIVE PowerShell Toolmaker Exam – Open for Summit Alumni (Read Carefully)


We’re now ready to open the VERIFIED EFFECTIVE Windows PowerShell Toolmaker exam to early registration (registered before Feb 1 2014) attendees of PowerShell Summit North America 2014.

To begin, visit VerifiedEffective.org. Log in using one of the provided social networks, and then enter your Summit confirmation code (starts with “PSNA2014″) as an exam voucher. If you’re immediately returned to the same screen, then your registration did not qualify you for a free exam. If you forgot your confirmation code, we cannot assist. Please check your Summit badge, or your original confirmation e-mail. If your confirmation code is definitely from before Feb 1, 2014, but is not working, please contact Exams at PowerShell.org for assistance.

You have until the end of 2014 to redeem your voucher and start your exam – this offer expires after December 31, 2014.

Once you redeem your voucher code, you can take as long as you want (until December 31st 2014) to review the Program Guide and learn about the exam. Once you begin the exam, you will have 6 hours to download your assignment, complete it, and upload your results. Grading can then take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on how busy we are at the time. This is a pass/fail exam (as described in the Program Guide) and you will not receive feedback on your submission.

At this time, we are not offering exams to anyone else. However, that time will come, probably later this year. Keep in mind that all attendees of PowerShell Summit Europe 2014 will receive an exam voucher, and we will also offer exams to non-attendees. We’re ramping this up slowly to make sure it goes well. We appreciate your patience.

PowerShell Summit Recordings


We’re nearing the end of our IndieGoGo fundraising campaign, and are pleased to announce that we’ve met our funding goal. Including offline donations, we will be able to purchase enough equipment to record the PowerShell Summit sessions and post those recordings to YouTube. We’ll begin with the Europe event in September!

This is a truly humbling and momentous milestone for PowerShell.org. The generosity of the PowerShell community has simply been amazing. We’ve had five donations of $1,000, which helped push us over our goal incredibly quickly. Combined with numerous smaller donations, you’ve made it possible to record and preserve the unique content offered at the Summit.

The campaign officially closes on June 1st; additional contributions will go toward ancillary equipment like shipping cases, upgrading our microphone plans, and so on.

You can see the list of contributors here. Our thanks to all of them!