The Scripting Games: Here’s What’s Happening

I know a lot of folks have been wondering about when the next Scripting Games will be. It’s a complicated answer… so bear with me for a minute while I unburden my soul to you. If you prefer to just skip the explanations, you can skip a bit to see what we’re doing, part 1. The Background I’m not sure how long Microsoft’s Scripting Guys ran The Scripting Games, but it goes back at least to 2006. Back then, the focus was on VBScript, it wasn’t until a year or so later that a parallel PowerShell track was started, and another […]


Design the Next Scripting Games

We have some folks working on the next Scripting Games… but we want some feedback from the community to make sure we’re offering something of value. The current plan is to run a series of events, with both Beginner and Intermediate tracks. There will be no “advanced” track; the feeling is that, if you’re advanced, you should be helping out by judging ;). Events will be constructed as a combination of puzzles and real-world tasks, meaning some things will simply test your PowerShell skills, while others will test them in a more production-applicable way. What we need from the community […]


UCS Power Scripting Contest – Unleash the Power of Cisco UCS

Cisco UCS servers (both managed by UCS Manager and standalone rackmount servers) can be managed with PowerShell scripts. Cisco is running a contest looking for the best PowerShell scripts that manage, automate, monitor, and perform tasks like inventory gathering about UCS Servers and other connected infrastucture, like hypervisors, applications, and operating systems. The Cisco UCS Power Scripting Contest is now open and will run until May 11th, 2014. A winner will be announced in the DevNET Zone at Cisco Live on May 20th at 5PM PT. Head over to the contest site for more details on how to win great […]


Julie’s Comments: The Scripting Games – Winter 2014

This post comes to us from Julie Andreacola, one of the members of team Kitton Mittons, who won The Scripting Games – Winter 2014. You’re welcome to submit your thoughts about the Games as well! The 2014 Scripting Games are over and once again, it was a terrific experience. This was my third scripting games and I was blown away with all that I learned. The team approach was very appealing to me as I have been the PowerShell expert at my workplace so I was hoping to find a team where someone knew more than I did as I’m only […]


Closing the Games

The judging is complete for the fourth and final event in the 2014 Winter Scripting Games. This Games was something very different in that we presented 4 we complex scenarios that were designed to be as close as possible to the type of tasks you may have to perform at work. The solutions required multi-file answers – there’s no way you could solve these with a one liner! All of the teams that submitted entries rose to meet the hardest challenge I’ve seen in a Scripting Games – and I’ve taken part of judged all but the first Games. All […]


What Should The Scripting Games Look Like Next Time?

If you’ve been following along with The Scripting Games over the past couple of iterations, you know that we’ve been trying some different, new things. This Winter Games, we did a team-based series of events that threw some really complex scenarios at you. However, we know some folks would like to see the next Summer Games include a less-complex track that perhaps includes a focus on one-liners. (Not that one-liners are an essential part of a work environment, but they’re fun and a good competitive thing – this is games, after all.) So we’re looking for your ideas. Drop a comment, and […]


Testing for the Presence of a Registry Key and Value

There are a number of different ways to test for the presence of a registry key and value in PowerShell. Here’s how I like to go about it. We’ll use an example key HKLM:\SOFTWARE\TestSoftware with a single value Version: Click here to be redirected to the original post of this article on the author’s blog site where you can read the remainder of the article. Related posts: Adding and Removing Items from a PowerShell Array Reporting On Installed Windows Programs Via The Registry PowerShell Tip #1 from the Winner of the Advanced Category in the 2013 Scripting Games Scripting Games 2014 – event submission […]


Using PowerShell Parameter Validation to Make Your Day Easier

A number of entries in the Winter Scripting Games use parameter validation, but some that I have seen may not be using it correctly or to its full potential. Writing functions or scripts require a variety of parameters which have different requirements based on a number of items. It could require a collection, objects of a certain type or even a certain range of items that it should only accept. The idea of parameter validation is that you can specify specific checks on a parameter that is being used on a function or script. If the value or collection that […]


Winter Scripting Games 2014 – Clarifications on Rules and Clarifications

As a note, because we’ve had a couple of requests, there are two things to remember about The Scripting Games. Clarifications on Event Wording Event authors, judges, and other officials are prohibited from providing further explanations or clarifications on the event scenarios. You’ll have to go on what’s in the document. if it isn’t clear, then they probably don’t care about it in terms of judging. Try to document – in your comment-based help – what you did and why, and cross your fingers. The reason for this is that not everyone is reading these posts or the Scripting Games […]


Scripting Games event 1 close

Event 1 is over and the judging is complete. First off congratulations to every team that posted an entry – the events in these games are different and we’ve tried to up the challenge level to account for it being a team based. The high scorers for event 1 are: 1.Troll Bait with 22 points 2.Kitton Mittons with 22 points 3.Aliens with 20 points 4.PhillyPosh with 20 points 5.Thanks4TheInvite with 17 points 6.TecHaH with 17 points 7.Bengals with 17 points 8.TPUG THUGS with 16 points 9.DuPSOGD2 with 16 points 10.Hogans Heroes with 16 points Congratulations to them. Good luck to […]


Reporting On Installed Windows Programs Via The Registry

Quite a common request for working with Windows machines is to report the software installed on them. If you don’t have a centralised system for reporting on client software (many places don’t) then you may turn to some form of scripted method to obtain this information. Most people tend to head to Add / Remove Programs when thinking about what software is installed in Windows. However, not all applications will always populate information in there, depending on how they have been installed. Additionally, to query that information you would typically query the WMI class Win32_Product, however this can lead to performance issues. Click […]


The Scripting Games Winter 2014 – Update on Event 1 Scores

Note that scorecards for the first event will not be accurate immediately on Sunday when judging closes; we have the scores in the database, but they’re not tagged in a way the system can find them. The bug has been fixed, but I need to go through and manually re-tag the first day’s scorecards, and it’s going to take a couple of days. This also affect the leaderboard display. I hope to have it fixed over the weekend. Thanks for your patience! No related posts.


PowerShell Tip from the Head Coach of the 2014 Winter Scripting Games: Design for Performance and Efficiency!

There are several concepts that come to mind when discussing the topic of designing your PowerShell commands for performance and efficiency, but in my opinion one of the items at the top of the list is “Filtering Left” which is what I’ll be covering in this blog article. First, let’s start out by taking a look at an example of a simple one-liner command that’s poorly written from a performance and efficiency standpoint: Click here to be redirected to the original post of this article on the author’s blog site where you can read the remainder of the article. µ Related […]


Adding and Removing Items from a PowerShell Array

Adding and removing Items from a PowerShell array is a topic which can lead to some confusion, so here are a few tips for you. Create an array and we will note the type System.Array: Click here to be redirected to the original post of this article on the author’s blog site where you can read the remainder of the article. Related posts: PowerShell Tip #1 from the Winner of the Advanced Category in the 2013 Scripting Games Scripting Games 2014 – event submission tip PowerShell Tip from the Head Coach of the 2014 Winter Scripting Games: Design for Performance and Efficiency! […]


Testing for Admin Privileges in PowerShell

Sometimes when running a PowerShell script you may need to test at the beginning whether the process it was called from had Windows admin privileges in order to be able to achieve what it needs to do. Prior to PowerShell v4 I had used something along the lines of the following to test for this condition – not the most obvious piece of code ever to be fair: Click here to be redirected to the original post of this article on the author’s blog site where you can read the remainder of the article. Related posts: Introducing the Coaches of the […]