As you hopefully know, we’ve opened the Call for Topics for PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit 2019. I know sometimes people struggle with ideas, and so I wanted to offer a few.
First, know that you’re more than welcome to submit multiple ideas. In fact, we encourage it, because it gives the Content team a bit more flexibility. You’re also welcome to present multiple sessions, although prepping for more than a couple can be pretty intense, so you need to consider it pretty carefully.
One category of sessions we need is Intermediate. We actually use the word Practitioner, and we define the audience as someone who’s made it through Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches and Learn PowerShell Scripting in a Month of Lunches, who uses PowerShell pretty frequently, but hasn’t made it to niche or expert-level topics yet. Many of the topics this audience needs are “evergreen” in that we probably need to present them each year, although we welcome different speakers and different perspectives. Ideas include:
- Best Patterns and Practices for Advanced Functions
- Best Practices for Module Development and Distribution
- Creating and Managing an On-Premises Module Repository
- Managing PowerShell Security Features (with an emphasis on logging)
- Getting Started with Pester for Automated Unit Testing
- Best Practices for Error Handling in PowerShell Commands
See, for many people, these aren’t “sexy” or “hardcore” topics, but they’re ones desperately and almost continually needed. You only have to look at our own Forums here at PowerShell.org to see how often these ideas come up. For that matter, consider browsing the forums for topic ideas! I mean, based on what I’ve seen this month alone, a session on, “Querying and Modifying AD Objects Using CSV Files” would hit a sweet spot pretty hard!
We’re also actively looking to build out DevOps content, which can mean stepping away from PowerShell. We recognize that few attendees actually work in a DevOps environment, so “hardcore” stuff like Kubernetes, Hashicorp tools, and so on are probably not going to be popular. However, there are DevOps techniques that any PowerSheller can use in their environment, even if their company isn’t fully DevOps. CI/CD tooling, for example, can be appropriate for anyone. And that doesn’t need to focus just on VSTS – plenty of companies would prefer on-prem solutions like Team City, Jenkins, and the like.
DevOps topics can also include cross-stack admin ideas, like a session on learning Python, which is a great cross-stack scripting language that can complement PowerShell well. Again, sessions that 80% of the world could find applicable in their daily lives is the watchword.
Finally, I’ve had some personal thoughts about sessions I’d like to see. For example, PowerShell’s language was always designed to provide a “glide path” into C#, but we rarely have a “Building Compiled Cmdlets” type of session. This could focus on the patterns involved. Say, rebuild the Get-Service command. That’s not a difficult command, everyone understands what it already does, and the actual .NET code is pretty minimal. So you could focus on the structure of these, rather than getting into the nitty gritty of .NET. And you could have an “Introduction to C# for PowerShell People” session, to help someone who’s looking to move some of their activity to the next level.
I hope that helps trigger some ideas of your own. Remember, the Call for Topics is open now and it’s not only a great way to give back to the community, but to get free admission to Summit and a bit of money toward your travel expenses!