State of the Org, ending 2013

I wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a very happy new year, and to do a sort of wrap-up of 2013 from PowerShell.org's perspective.

We started 2013 with a bang, including our first-ever PowerShell Summit North America, held on-campus at Microsoft in Redmond. We'll be returning to the Seattle area in April 2014 for PowerShell Summit North America 2014, and are planning the first PowerShell Summit Europe 2014 in Amsterdam in September. For the N.A. show, we need about 50 more Summit attendees to break even, and can accommodate about 100 more than we've currently got registered.

We ran a very successful Scripting Games that kicked off just as the Summit was ending. Thousands participated, tens of thousands of dollars in prizes were handed out, and most importantly the Games made the transition from being a much-loved child of the Microsoft Scripting Guys to being a community-owned event that can hopefully continue forever. We've got the first Winter Scripting Games in a loooong time starting in just a few days, in fact.

In the wake of The Scripting Games, we ran a summer-long series of Great Debates, and your comments on those informed the first-ever Community Book of PowerShell Practices, now offered as a free ebook.

PowerShell.org, Inc. closed its first fiscal year at the end of June 2013, and financially we lost just a bit of money. Don't worry - that was always more or less the intent; we're not running the corporation to make a buck, but rather to more-or-less break even. At the moment, we have $29,988.25 in our checking account, most of which is earmarked for Summit 2014 expenses.

We're now providing hosting services for about 17 local and regional user groups, giving them a spot to post upcoming meeting dates, post-meeting file attachments, and other details. We're hoping this helps raise awareness of the efforts they're all making to have a strong local PowerShell support system in place.

2013 also saw the PowerScripting Podcast become a welcome part of PowerShell.org. Host Jon Walz also got his first MVP Award, a long-awaited and well-deserved honor that he now shares with co-host Hal Rottenberg. Everyone appreciates the hard work they do, and we at PowerShell.org wanted to make sure they had the resources to keep doing it (equipment ain't free), so we offered to help out when they needed, and they graciously accepted. We're delighted to be working with them.

PowerShell.org played an important role in developing Microsoft's official entry-level PowerShell training, course 10961, by giving the authors (e.g., me) a place to survey folks about topic, level of coverage, and more, and to solicit feedback on the "A" and "B" revs while updating the course for PowerShell v4. This site (and all of you) also played an important role in selecting topics for the advanced-level training, course 10962, which will be developed in 2014. Finally, you all helped provide feedback for Microsoft Courseware Marketplace course 55039, which covers PowerShell scripting and toolmaking. When you see a survey posted here, jump in - it makes a very real difference in some very important projects!

2013 was also the year we Moved to Azure, spinning up an Azure-hosted CentOS VM that's now running the site. It's gotten faster, is a bit easier to maintain, and is a heck of a lot more highly available thanks to Microsoft's cloud hosting.

I'm extremely proud to have had so many folks jump in and help out this year. Dave Wyatt, Matt Penny, Matt Johnson, Mike Shepard, and Nicholas Getchell have all taken on curator roles for the free ebooks we offer on PowerShell.org. They're doing a wonderful job in making sure those titles stay updated - so much so, that we're now just linking to the books' GitHub repository, where you can download the DOC files directly. Dave Wyatt has also been posting some incredibly detailed and informative blog posts that I hope you're reading - I really appreciate his contributions here. I also want to thank Matt Tilford, Chris Hunt, and Mark Keisling, who have taken on editorial duties for the TechLetter newsletter. Our aim is to put out a solid, informative, technically deep monthly offering and these guys are absolutely on the job. I hope you're subscribed, because if you aren't, you're missing out. Finally, MVP Steven Murawski has made PowerShell.org his home for Desired State Configuration (DSC) blogs and code, and he's been prolific. His employer, StackExchange, has been an early adopter of the DSC technology, and Steven's been sharing pretty much everything he's learned.

We've had some transitions in 2013. Board member and co-founder Kirk Munro has had to step away from day-to-day duties with PowerShell.org, although he remains a member of the board. Board member Jason Helmick has stepped into a second-in-command position, and is more or less running the North America Summit from an operational perspective. Jason earned his first MVP Award this year, giving us an all-MVP Board that also includes myself, Jeffery Hicks, and Richard Siddaway.

I'm extremely proud of everything we've accomplished. I'm delighted that so many folks are jumping into the forums and offering answers to questions - it's a massive relief on my own workload, and there are some damn smart folks offering their help to the community for free. In fact, we plan to recognize some of them in our first-ever PowerShell Heroes award, scheduled for January 2014. We're also going to make good on a promise I made when we started this site: our above-and-beyond contributors are going to become part-owners of this community with an award of stock in PowerShell.org, Inc. That'll give them some concrete control over the community they're helping to build. Look for that mid-2014, when we near the end of our fiscal year.

For 2014, I'd like to thank our returning sponsors, SAPIEN Technologies and Interface Technical Training. These folks give a lot, financially, to help make this site work. Please show them your appreciation in every way you can. In 2014, my company, Concentrated Tech, is also coming aboard as a sponsor, and I'll be offering my first-ever public PowerShell training.

I think 2014 should be a great year, both for PowerShell.org and for the broader PowerShell community that we're trying to serve. If you're new here, or you've just been lurking, please jump in and help. Write an article about something you learned, answer a question in the forums, or volunteer to help out. We're all in this together, and the stronger a community we all make together, the more we'll be able to support each other when needs arise.

I look forward to serving you in 2014!

Don Jones
President and CEO

 

 

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About the Author

Don Jones

Don Jones is a Windows PowerShell MVP, author of several Windows PowerShell books (and other IT books), Co-founder and President/CEO of PowerShell.org, PowerShell columnist for Microsoft TechNet Magazine, PowerShell educator, and designer/author of several Windows PowerShell courses (including Microsoft's). Power to the shell!