The third edition of the PowerShell Conference Book is now available and on sale at the discounted price of $19.99. But you need to hurry because the discounted price is only available until Friday evening!
What is the PowerShell Conference Book?
The book is designed to be a representation of what it’s like when you attend a conference. Traditional books have a singular topic, such as “Windows Server 2019” or “Mastering Ansible”. But this book is not geared towards a single topic. Instead, much like a conference, it’s a collection of ideas all focused around a general theme. All the chapters are related in some way to PowerShell and DevOps.
The book contains over 20 different chapters, each written by a different author. The authors of the book are community members and subject matter experts who have graciously donated their time and knowledge for a good cause. Each chapter is similar in length and focus to what it would be like if you attended a conference and listened to the author present their topic to a live audience, except now it’s in written form. Imagine if you were able to capture those sessions and lock them into a format that you could refer to over and over again. It’s a conference in a book format!
The essence of community in a book
As a former contributor to volumes 1 & 2 of the book, I can tell you that these authors have worked VERY HARD to get their work ready for publication. The process started about six months ago when these authors had to submit chapter proposals to a selection committee, much like presenters have to do for a conference. Those CFP’s were “pitches” to help explain and sell their topic with the hope they would be selected for inclusion in the book. Once selected, the process to publication can take as long as three months for an author.
The process requires the authors to submit their work to a group of editors who are also community members. Endless revisions and edits take place so that you, the reader, get the most value and an awesome experience from this book. And in true technical form, the entire book is written in markdown and all work is submitted, edited, formatted and managed via a GitHub repo. For many of these authors, writing technical content is not something they do regularly, but they invest time and effort to be able to share information that they believe can help people master a topic. Not only do these authors need to write their content, they need to learn the process of contributing to a shared GitHub repository.
The authors are not compensated at all for their time or knowledge. So why do this? What’s the purpose?
DevOps Collective and the On-Ramp Program
The project and time invested by the authors and editors are to help fund a great cause: The DevOps Collective On-Ramp program. The program and this website are parts of a non-profit organization called “The DevOps Collective”. The non-profit is dedicated to education and community in the DevOps field. It is the legal entity behind the PowerShell Summit, the Automation Summit, the On-Ramp program, the PowerShell.org website and other items such as eBooks, free webinars, community events and more.
You may be familiar with the PowerShell summit that occurs take place in Seattle every year in April. It’s considered the premiere event in the US for upper tier content related to PowerShell, DevOps and automation. The On-Ramp program is a guided, hands-on week long class that occurs at the same time as the Summit. During the day, the on-ramp attendees attend class and join the summit attendees for lunch, dinner and general sessions attended by the entire conference (i.e. keynote). It’s a week of intense learning and helping attendees prepare for careers in infrastructure, automation and DevOps.
On-Ramp is taught by some the industry’s leading PowerShell instructors. It’s more than just an introduction to PowerShell as a technology; On-Ramp is also an introduction to the PowerShell community and ecosystem. By blending classroom time with time in Summit’s general sessions, keynotes, and social events, On-Ramp attendees can supercharge their entry into the broader world of DevOps and IT automation.
The conference book supports the On-Ramp program, but you may be wondering how…
The money earned from book sales goes towards scholarships for the On-Ramp program. 100% of the proceeds from book sales are donated to the program. So what does that mean? The money raised is directly used to pay for people who cannot afford to buy a ticket to the On-Ramp program. When I say “buy a ticket”, that means the cost of the conference ticket, hotel room for a week and also includes breakfast and lunch. All told that represents about $3000 dollars per person.
In previous years the sales of the book were able to pay for nearly 10 people to the attend the On-Ramp program each year! Remember these are people who are changing careers or looking to get their start in the field. The winners are people who submitted an application to be considered for the scholarship and had to outline details about their knowledge and background and what they had hoped to achieve in the field.
Why should you buy this book
This book is written, edited by and for the community. Twenty authors have taken a topic they’re passionate about and have formulated their topics into something they believe can help you learn and get better at infrastructure and DevOps. This year’s edition covers four areas: Systems Management, Tips & Tricks, DevOps and PowerShell Language Features. You can see a full list of topics at the book website.
For many of these authors, getting their chapter published is one the greatest accomplishments of their careers. For the people who will receive a scholarship from the proceeds, it’s an opportunity to benefit from expert tutoring and mentoring from some of the best in the industry and possibly a star to a better career. For you, it’s an opportunity to get an amazing reference volume that you can use to tackle new areas of learning and go back and reference for years to come.
The book is on sale for $20 until Friday. For most of us, that is not a major purchase. Imagine how much knowledge you can get for the cost of dinner with friends. Imagine the good you can do by taking that $20 and putting it towards helping someone get started in our field! Please consider purchasing this book to further your knowledge, support the community and give someone else a chance in this community down the road. More details about the book can be found at the book publisher’s website.