Category Archives: PowerShell Summit

IRON SCRIPTER TOURNAMENT at PowerShell Summit North America 2014


I hope you’re getting excited about the Summit!

Monday night, don’t forget to bring your fully-charged laptop to the evening reception, where we’ll be having a one-hour (max) IRON SCRIPTER tournament, complete with an IRON TROPHY.

We will accept a maximum of about 50 entrants, although we encourage people to work in small teams. Here’s how it’ll work:

  1. You’ll be handed assignment sheets detailing the evening’s Theme Ingredient. You’ll have to prepare three courses: Appetizer, Entree, and Dessert. You’ll also receive a blank scorecard.
  2. There will be color commentary as people get started and as they work on their entries. We’ll have someone, probably with a microphone, looking over your shoulder. Be prepared.
  3. Once you complete ALL THREE COURSES, you’ll find one of our 5-6 judges and have them score you. You’ll receive 1-5 points in each of 4 categories: Taste, Presentation, Creativity, and Use of Theme Ingredient. You’ll then go find two other judges, for a maximum of three judges per entrant. Notice that we will have more judges on-hand that you will need to visit – we’re hoping that’ll expedite judging for everyone. However, there are no time bonuses – “first in” doesn’t get any better consideration than “last in,” except toward the end the judges may start to get cranky and belligerent.
  4. Judges are expected to be COMPLETELY BIASED. They may discriminate based on everything except your skin color and gender – meaning they’re going to be relying on their own preferences and personal tastes to determine your score. Judges are also likely to be drinking, which will hopefully make things even more fun.
  5. Your completed three-judge scorecard will be handed in to our able assistant(s), who will tally your final score. That’s simply adding up all the points you’ve been given – a maximum of 60 points, if we’re doing the math right.
  6. The person/team with the most points WINS. We fully expect a tie. But… after one hour of coding, we’re done. If you’re not finished by then, you’re out. Frankly, it should take you 30 minutes if you know your stuff.
  7. The tiebreaker, if needed, will be a SUDDEN DEATH VERBAL ASSIGNMENT. The first entrant with the (a) correct (b) nicely formatted (c) cool entry will win the IRON TROPHY.

There is no such thing as “cheating.” That is, if you can look it up, fine. If you can make it up, fine. “Whatever.”

There is to be no whining, no arguing with the judges, and much cheering. We are going to be laying out an incredible spread of food. We’re buying the first case and a half of wine, and a half barrel of local beer – after that runs out, it’ll be a cash bar. We have the room until 9pm, so we hope you’ll stick around, enjoy the show, and start making and renewing your PowerShell community connections.

Remember that the tournament will be only the first hour-ish of the evening – from there, it’s mix mingle, and have fun!

Capturing the Goodness! Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


OMG THE SUMMIT IS ONLY A WEEK AWAY!!!

As you pack your gear, consider how you’ll be capturing the awesomeness that our speakers will be presenting.

If speakers want to share their session materials, they may – we’ll post (right here) anything we’re given. Most speakers will probably permit audio and/or video recordings (please ask first), which you’re welcome to make and, with the speaker’s permission, share. If that’s your plan, keep in mind that power outlets will be limited, so you might want to work with a device that can have an extra battery or something.

Notepaper works well, too, and you’ll need to bring your own.

And of course, if you have a tablet or something and want to take notes on that, go for it. Again, spare batteries are the order of the day, as you shouldn’t expect a power outlet to be handy.

Due to the expense and logistics, we are not making official recordings of any sessions. We know everyone wants them, it’s just an expense we couldn’t take on this time. But if the speaker is okay with it, we’re not stopping you from doing so. Maybe team up with other attendees and trade off recording duties? If you do record and share videos, let us know, and we’ll be happy to publicize the URL and get you some mad YouTube h1tz.

PowerShell Summit N.A. 2014 – Budget


As part of our commitment to being a transparent, community-owned organization, I wanted to share the basic budget for the upcoming Summit. Now that registration is cut off, we have most of our final numbers. Keep in mind that, at live events, things “on the ground” can change quickly – so these are, at present, only our expectations “going in.”

  • $113,833.51 in net registration fees. This is after paying credit card transaction fees.
  • -$398.00 for event insurance (already paid)
  • -$76,466.04 for the venue, which includes A/V, F&B, room rental, etc. (already paid)
  • -$9,335.01 for speaker lodging (hotel)
  • -$3,000 for professional event management (including travel for the event manager)
  • -$1,490 for our registration web site (already paid)
  • -$1,710.51 for deposit on the European Summit
  • -$7,500 for speaker reimbursement

That last number is presently the big question; we have some speakers who paid for their registration, and we need to reimburse them. That’s probably about $4,000. We have another $2,500  in promised travel offset fees to speakers doing 3 sessions. We’re trying to reimburse additional travel expenses for other speakers so they’re not totally out of pocket; the final number may be more than $7,500.

Right now, that puts us at an event profit of roughly $13,933.95. Again, some of that may end up going to additional speaker reimbursement; the rest will help fund PowerShell.org ongoing activities (like Azure hosting and so forth; I’ll share a full annual operating budget in June, but it’s about $17,000 per year). We have about $20k in payments coming up for the European Summit.

We have approximately $92,000 on-hand; much of that will go to the expenses above that are still pending. We should end April with around $65,000 on-hand – a lot of that comes from earning back a $40,000 pre-payment for the N.A. Summit that we made in fiscal 2013-2014. We’ll use some of that $65k to cover the remaining $20k fees on the European Summit; the rest of our cash-on-hand will help provide deposits for the 2015 N.A. Summit, and to fund ongoing operations for 2014-2015. We’re in good financial shape – we’re making a bit more than we need, but not very much – which is right where we want to be.

The good news is that, between the Summits and our generous corporate sponsors, we’re on track to actually find the $17k wish-list budget we’ve put together (which we’re still researching and tweaking; as stated, I’ll share the full thing in June). That means we’ll be able to start spinning up services like the VERIFIED EFFECTIVE program, monthly TechSession webinars, and so on.

Get the Scoop! Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


We’ve got almost 200 folks ready to converge on Bellevue in a couple of weeks, and we’ve prepared a final edition of the Attendee Guide that you should download and review. Bookmark the URL, as any late-breaking changes will be published there as well.

Take the time to actually READ the Attendee Guide, too. It’ll help you have good and accurate expectations for what’s ahead, and help avoid any last-minute disappointments. We’ve jammed a lot of information in there, but it’s all useful, and we’ve tried to keep it all as concise as possible.

See you in two weeks!

PowerShell Summit NA 2014 Attendee Information


The following information was provided to attendees via e-mail, and is being posted here as a backup.

We’re getting close!
We wanted to take a moment and make sure you have everything you need to succeed for the PowerShell Summit North America 2014. First, be sure you’re visiting http://powershellsummit.org for full event details. Things may change leading up to the event, and we’re not sending out emails every time.  Most specifically, make sure you’re checking http://powershell.org/wp/category/announcements/powershell-summit/, because any official announcements or changes will be posted there. Or, you know, live in ignorance. I hear it’s bliss <grin>.
We truly can’t wait to meet all of you – and we know you’re going to have a great time.
 
PAPERS, PLEASE!
Please print and bring your PowerShell Summit confirmation. If you can’t find it, please contact us for your confirmation number BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME. Also bring a government-issued photo ID to pick up your badge. Other useful documents can include your payment receipt (printed). We know some of you were paid for by someone else at your company, so it’s important we be able to make the connection to YOU when you show up.
 
GET THE GUIDE
Please take a moment to download the latest agenda and attendee guide from http://bit.ly/2014NASummit. And bookmark that, too – you’re going to want to be able to grab any last-minute changes directly. We’ll have printouts of the grid on-site, but an electronic copy is so much easier, right? We won’t have the ENTIRE Guide available in print form on-site. The Guide is being updated pretty regularly as we firm up plans (like our meal menus), so it won’t kill you to check back now and again as the Summit approaches. There have been a couple of last-minute session changes, so I’d grab the latest just before you leave for the Summit.
WHEN YOU ASSUME
Now would be an EXCELLENT time to develop some realistic and accurate expectations – and the best way to do that is by reading the Attendee Guide. For example, do you know how much on-site parking costs? It ain’t free, and it ain’t included. You can help avoid nasty surprises by reading the Guide. The Guide is also the best way to make sure you’re not missing any of the little surprises we’re cooking up. Let the Guide be your guide. Trust in the power of the Guide. And make sure you’ve downloaded the latest copy!
 
KNOW WHERE TO GO
The entire Summit is happening at The Meydenbauer Center (www.meydenbauer.com) in downtown Bellevue, WA. If you don’t know where that is, now would be a good time to consult your favorite mapping software. We’ll be on the 4th floor. Pay attention to the agenda grid (it’s in the Guide) regarding meal times and whatnot.
 
MAKE SURE YOU CAN EAT
If you have any dietary restrictions that you’ve not told me about directly, now’s your absolute last chance to do so. Send me an e-mail, and make sure you get a reply from me. If you don’t get the reply, then I didn’t hear from you. We’re preparing about 2-3% of our food for vegetarians; anything else isn’t going to exist if you don’t ask for it. The attendee guide will give you an idea of what we’re planning, menu-wise. If you’re not sure, ask me now. The attendee guide also lists meal and break times; if you need (for example) a continuous intravenous supply of coffee, we aren’t going to be able to accommodate that, and you should make appropriate arrangements for yourself. Extra coffee is $68/gallon from the events center. Yeah. We know. (There are soft drink machines on site, if you need one – bring cash for those.)
DOUBLE CHECK YOUR FLIGHT AND STUFF
If you’re connecting on your way to Seattle, make sure you bring a carry-on with a day’s worth of clothes in case your checked bags go to STL instead of SEA. Don’t put medication and important stuff in checked bags. You know the drill. Read up on the TSA’s latest nonsense in advance (www.tsa.gov) so you’re prepared. Assume the trip will not go well, and have plans in place to deal with it. We want you to make it in one piece. If anything happens, drop me an e-mail so we don’t worry about you. We will, otherwise. We’re like that. If you are connecting through SFO, please watch your flight carefully – they’re doing runway work that is resulting in delays and cancellations. Even if your aircraft is coming to pick you up via SFO, keep an eye on it.
TECH STUFF
Don’t expect a plethora of (or any) power outlets, and expect only minimal Internet connectivity in the building. Event centers charge a TON for those services (literally $1000 per 1MB of bandwidth), and we couldn’t afford much. Besides, you’ll be far too busy absorbing everything our amazing speakers are going to deliver. But, we wanted you to have a realistic expectation about this. Maybe leave the laptop back in the hotel room.
BRING SOME CASH
We will have “cash bars” in the evenings, so make sure you… you know… have some cash. They don’t take plastic. Drinks aren’t crazy outrageous ($8-$12 for the most part, which includes tip). But we’ve pretty much got all your meals covered (even a hot item per person for breakfast every morning), so your expense report shouldn’t be too bad.
 
HOLLER IF YOU NEED ANYTHING
A quick e-mail can bring quick (nearly instant) answers about your Summit questions. AskDon’t assume.
See you in a couple of weeks!

PowerShell Summit NA 2014 Registration CLOSED


Registration for the PowerShell Summit North America 2014 is now closed. Due to advance planning requirements at the venue, we will not be accepting any late registrations. We can continue to accept transfers or substitutions, but there will be a $25 administrative fee applied. All registrations are final and non-transferable at of April 20th, 2014.

Attendees: Please check your e-mail. An informational notice went out to you all on Sunday afternoon, and a follow-up went out today (April 14th). That same information will be available right here on PowerShell.org in the “PowerShell Summit” category – so please be sure to read everything.

The Attendee Guide is available also – please take a moment to download it and review the important information it contains.

PowerShell Summit NA 2014 Shirts Available


If you’re attending PowerShell Summit NA 2014 (or wish you were), we have some new logo items for purchase! Buy ‘em now and wear ‘em to the Summit, including a baseball jersey and a polo shirt. Visit our Zazzle store to buy (or the Canadian store, to save a bit on shipping if you live up there).

Note that the items may take about 24 hours to become visible, so check on April 15th in the afternoon if you don’t see them immediately.

See you at the Summit!

Summit Session Change


Paul Higinbotham’s session on threading in PowerShell has been changed, because his content would have overlapped with other sessions. Instead, Paul will be presenting:

PowerShell Debugging Enhancements
A number of script debugging enhancements were added to PowerShell 4.0 and the WMF 5.0 preview release. In this talk I will discuss these new debugging features and demonstrate how they work. This will include the new support for remote debugging, debugging workflow scripts, debugging PowerShell jobs, ISE enhancements for remote debugging, and the new “Break All” command.

We’ll update the schedule grid and abstract document.

ONE WEEK LEFT TO REGISTER: PowerShell Summit N.A. 2014 & Precon


This is a reminder that registration for PowerShell Summit North America, and the Sunday pre-con with Don Jones, will end on April 14th. After that, we will accept registrations on a space-available basis, with payment on-site by credit card or check only (must be a US card of check), with a $50 service fee applying.

So, you know, don’t wait any longer, if you’ve waited this long.

Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


Remember that Summit registration ENDS in just about 10 days. If you’re already registered, here’s some incredibly important information you need to know.

First, be sure you’re visiting http://powershellsummit.org for full event details. Things may change leading up to the event, and we’re not sending out emails every time.  Most specifically, make sure you’re checking http://powershell.org/wp/category/announcements/powershell-summit/, because any official announcements or changes will be posted there. Or, you know, live in ignorance. We hear it’s bliss <grin>.

PAPERS, PLEASE!
Please print and bring your PowerShell Summit confirmation. If you can’t find it, please contact summit at powershell.org for your confirmation number BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME. Also bring a government-issued photo ID to pick up your badge. Other useful documents can include your payment receipt (printed). We know some of you were paid for by someone else at your company, so it’s important we be able to make the connection to YOU when you show up.

GET THE GUIDE
Please take a moment to download the latest agenda and attendee guide from http://bit.ly/2014NASummit. And bookmark that, too – you’re going to want to be able to grab any last-minute changes directly. We’ll have printouts on-site, but an electronic copy is so much easier, right? The Guide is being updated pretty regularly as we firm up plans (like our meal menus), so it won’t kill you to check back now and again as the Summit approaches.

KNOW WHERE TO GO
The entire Summit is happening at The Meydenbauer Center (www.meydenbauer.com) in downtown Bellevue, WA. If you don’t know where that is, now would be a good time to consult your favorite mapping software. We’ll be on the 4th floor. Pay attention to the agenda grid (it’s in the Guide) regarding meal times and whatnot.

MAKE SURE YOU CAN EAT
If you have any dietary restrictions that you’ve not told me about directly, now’s your absolute last chance to do so. Send me an e-mail, and make sure you get a reply from me. If you don’t get the reply, then I didn’t hear from you. We’re preparing about 2-3% of our food for vegetarians; anything else isn’t going to exist if you don’t ask for it. The attendee guide will give you an idea of what we’re planning, menu-wise. If you’re not sure, ask me now. The attendee guide also lists meal and break times; if you need (for example) a continuous intravenous supply of coffee, we aren’t going to be able to accommodate that, and you should make appropriate arrangements for yourself. Extra coffee is $68/gallon from the events center. Yeah. We know.

DOUBLE CHECK YOUR FLIGHT AND STUFF
If you’re connecting, make sure you bring a carry-on with a day’s worth of clothes in case your bags go to STL instead of SEA. Don’t put medication and important stuff in checked bags. You know the drill. Read up on the TSA’s latest nonsense in advance (www.tsa.gov) so you’re prepared. Assume the trip will not go well, and have plans in place to deal with it. We want you to make it in one piece. If anything happens, drop us an e-mail or tweet so we don’t worry about you. We will, otherwise. We’re like that.

TECH STUFF
Don’t expect a plethora of (or any) power outlets, and expect only minimal Internet connectivity in the building. Event centers charge a TON for those services (literally $1000 per 1GB of bandwidth per day), and we couldn’t afford much. Besides, you’ll be far too busy absorbing everything our amazing speakers are going to deliver. But, we wanted you to have a realistic expectation about this.

BRING SOME CASH
We do have “cash bars” in the evenings, so make sure you… you know… have some cash. They don’t take plastic. Drinks aren’t crazy outrageous ($8-$12 for the most part, which includes tip). But we’ve pretty much got all your meals covered (even a hot item per person for breakfast every morning), so your expense report shouldn’t be too bad.

Evening Events! Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


We’ve got THREE awesome events lined up for the Summit.

SUNDAY EVENING, we’re all going to hang out at Blue Martini, a bar at the Brevern building, right next door to the Meydenbauer Center where the Summit is being held. This is a pay-your-own way mingling, and a chance to connect with folks before all the fun begins Monday morning. If you’re attending the Sunday pre-con, it’s also a chance to decompress and re-tox. Details in the Attendee Guide.

MONDAY EVENING, we’re holding an hour-ish-long IRON SCRIPTER tournament. It’ll be fun, a chance to flex your PowerShell muscles, and an opportunity to be a little clever. We’ll present a three-course challenge, with scoring for Creativity, Use of Theme Ingredient, Presentation, and Flavor (functionality). The first case of wine and half-barrel of beer are on us, as is a lavish assortment of local cuisine. A cash bar will be available for follow-up drinks.

TUESDAY EVENING, we’re going directly from the afternoon’s Product Team Lightning Demos and into a Product Team Mix ‘n’ Mingle, where you’ll get to have follow-up Q&A with the team members you just met at the demos. Again, we’re buying the first round and a big spread o’ food, and a cash bar will take us into the evening.

Then, on Wednesday, everyone leaves. Sad face.

Power and Internet! Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


We want to make sure Summit attendees have an excellent experience, and we believe part of that is having good expectations about what the event will offer.

We’re NOT in a Microsoft-owned office building this year, so there are two important things – well, three – that cost a LOT of money: Internet and power. The third is coffee.

We will have a shared 5Mbps WiFi network, which means you may experience slow connections. Don’t show up expecting to remote desktop into your computers back home. PowerShell Remoting, maybe, since it’s so low-bandwidth, but RDP may struggle. Skype may struggle. Etc. That bandwidth unfortunately costs us thousands of dollars per day, so its all we could do. BTW, that was a tongue-in-cheek dig at RDP.

We will also not be running power hither and yon, and you may not drape your power cord across walkways. So plan to put the laptop away. Maybe take notes on that fancy Surface or iPad, with their all-day battery life?

Coffee we will have, hopefully in abundance. Tea, too. But if you’re a gallon-a-day drinker, try to spread it out over the day! We’ll have cold soft drinks in limited supply during the afternoon break and lunch, and the Center does have vending machines. Bring some cash. They charge us about $4.25 for a can of soda, so again, we had to budget.

We’re also thinking we’re all in the wrong business, and that we should open a convention center. Seriously, coffee is almost $70/gallon. And that’s in Seattle, where the stuff comes out of the faucets, practically.

These costs, incidentally, are not out of line for a convention center – if anything, they’re pretty reasonable. Comparatively. Which is why major conferences cost so much to attend.

Food! Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


As you get ready to attend PowerShell Summit North America 2014, start looking forward to the amazing meals and evening events that we have planned!

Yeah, the amazing technical content, too. But, food!

The Attendee Guide outlines our three days of breakfasts and lunches (four days if you’re attending the pre-con session), as well as our two big evening events. We’re laying on quite the spread, so that our IRON SCRIPTER contest is FUN, and that our Product Team Mix ‘n’ Mingle is INFORMATIVE. And fun. We’ve also got morning and afternoon snack breaks scheduled to keep you refreshed and recharged.

If you have any dietary requirements, be sure to contact us ASAP to let us know. Make sure you get a reply, because otherwise we didn’t get your message.

PowerShell Summit 2014 NA Attendees: Key Dates


We wanted to quickly emphasize some key days for the upcoming Summit.

  • March 12, 2014 is the last day to reserve a room in our block at the Coast Hotel. That’s where we’ll be hosting early badge pick-up on Sunday afternoon.
  • April 12, 2014 will be the last day to register for the Summit. After that, registrations will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and payment will only be accepted at the door via credit card. There will be a $50 processing fee for those registrations, IF we are able to accept them.
  • April 12 is also the last day you can register for the Concentrated Tech pre-con on Sunday.
  • We’ve provided an updated Summit Attendee Guide (as of March 4, 2014) that includes catering menus, a schedule grid, and other critical information. All attendees should download and review the guide. Download it again before you head to Bellevue, so that you have the latest information.

Please take the time to download and read through the Attendee Guide. It’s full of important information that will help you have the best Summit experience possible. I’ll also remind you to review the Summit Terms and Conditions, which spell out important expectations like the availability of power, Internet, and other services.

We look forward to seeing you in April!

PowerShell Summit North America 2014 – Some More Reasons to Register!


PowerShell Summit North America Registration is in full swing, and we’ve got about 50 more spots to reach our break-even goal. Hopefully, those of you that have been holding off for budgetary reasons are now “weapons free” and can plan to join us in April 2014!

Confirmed PowerShell Product Team Presenters

We’ve confirmed a great set of speakers from the team itself, including Jason Shirk, Lee Holmes, Kenneth Hanson, and Hemant Manhawar. Of course, Shell Father Jeffrey Snover will also be presenting a couple of sessions!

This helps really round out our agenda, along with several special events that we’ve got planned. You’ll participate in a large-scale Iron Scripter event, mix and mingle with team members in Microsoft’s “top of the world” cafe in downtown Bellevue, and rub elbows with PowerShell experts from all over the world during our pre-event mixer.

Become VERIFIED EFFECTIVE™

We’re going to provide a free voucher for a VERIFIED EFFECTIVE PowerShell Toolmaker exam to everyone who’s already registered, and to everyone who registers before the end of January. This is a $250 value, and you’ll be able to take your exam after the Summit is over. VERIFIED EFFECTIVE recognition will be valid for one year. Vouchers will be distributed at the Summit itself, and must be used by the end of June, 2014.

Join AWPP for 10% Off

Effective July 2014, we will be launching the Association for PowerShell Professionals (AWPP). Future Summit events will be open only to AWPP members (your member fee includes Summit attendance, along with other benefits). Anyone who has registered for the 2014 Summit already, or who registers before the end of January 2014, will receive 10% off their first-year AWPP membership, which will also guarantee you admission to the 2015 Summit. That discount will be valid throughout 2014, so you can join at any time during the year. Vouchers will be distributed at the Summit. Your AWPP membership also includes a VERIFIED EFFECTIVE exam, which you can use anytime in your membership year. That means you could easily get verified for two years in a row, at a massive savings.

Save Some Cash on the Summit

It’s sad, but credit card merchant fees pile up. For the Summit, they can be a lot. So if you’d like to pay by company check, we’re happy to help. Just contact treasurer@ this domain, and we’ll be happy to send you an invoice and accept your payment via check. That’ll save you a few bucks.

Don’t forget that we’ve also negotiated killer $109/night room rates at two hotels that are just a short walk from the Summit venue. We’ve also worked out a discounted rate on an airport shuttle from Sea-Tac, so you won’t need a rental car. We’re doing as much as we can to help minimize your costs.

Please, Tell a Friend

If you can’t attend the Summit, or if you plan to attend, or even if you’ve already registered – please help us get the word out. We really do need 50 more folks in order to break even, and we need them to help us use up our hotel room block as well, or the organization will be on the hook for those costs. It’s crucial that we break even on this event if we’re to have more in the future. We don’t have a marketing budget, so the more you can do to help folks realize that the Summit exists, the better our chances for succeeding. Thank you in advance!