What makes a great submission for summit

PowerShell Summit

The Call for Proposals(CFP) for the PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit 2022 opens in a few weeks (1-November).

We’ve heard a lot of questions – What topics are you looking for? I don’t know what to propose! and so on. Let’s cover some ways to find topics and hopefully spark some ideas!

Add some spice

First things first: We’re not going to come up with your topic! This bit has some solid advice on mixing things up:

     * I saw a talk with X format and decided to apply it to Y subject.
     * While working on a project, I thought, “Wow! I wish I knew X, Y, and Z before I started!”
     * A conversation with coworkers about X led me to see the potential for a talk on it.

The key here is that there are plenty of ways to add variety to a topic – these certainly aren’t comprehensive, just a few ideas.

Spice up Pester

As an example, if we asked for Pester sessions, there are plenty of ways to come up with a unique Pester talk.

  • Can you use Pester for security things (compliance, CI/CD, vulnerability assessments, etc.)?
  • Can you use Pester for data validation of some sort (e.g. AD, SQL)?
  • Have you used Pester for Infrastructure testing?
  • Might you use Pester for Monitoring? (even if this might not be the optimal way to monitor things)

At the end of the day, PowerShell can be used across a variety of fields, and general-purpose tools like Pester can be used in each of those, in unique ways.

Other spices

So! We used a few specific-ish variations of Pester as an example.  Take a step back and consider PowerShell itself:

  • How do you use PowerShell in different fields (keeping in mind that each field has its own set of sub-fields)? Bonus points if the concepts/ideas/code you include are applicable in a variety of fields.
  • How do you use PowerShell outside of work, or for general productivity (side note: running this CFP would be a _paaaaain_ without PowerShell!).
  • What lessons can we take from other fields, ecosystems, or projects? For example, while these may seem new-ish to some of us, we borrowed and applied to test, CI/CD, and other ideas that have long been integrated into the ecosystems of other languages.

All this said, please don’t think you need something super unique and never-before-seen!

Tried and true

Every day, new folks enter the field or start learning about PowerShell, automation, DevOps, etc. Yes, people have talked about testing and other topics in the past… but guess what? Chances are we’ll still accept some solid talks on important concepts.
So! What are some of these evergreen topics?

  • Release pipelines, including the individual components you might find:
    • Source control
    • Build systems and frameworks
    • Pester and testing
    • Deployment
  • PowerShell modules or advanced functions
    • How to write them
    • Best practices
    • How to distribute and maintain them
    • etc.
  • Using common tools/practices with PowerShell
    • VSCode and extensions
    • Windows Subsystem for Linux
    • Debugging
    • etc.

There’s plenty more. You can probably think about other core topics that folks will always need to learn, re-learn, or catch up on new ideas for.

2022 Specifics

What are we topics are we looking for in 2022. Well as always we are looking for everything! We want to hear your story about how you used ______ in the real world.

Topics we’re looking for

Keep in mind everything we’ve said so far. Don’t overthink it. Show us something _you_ are interested in or working on. A few sample topics include:

  • Monitoring
  • Testing and Pester
  • Azure
  • AWS
  • Regex
  • PowerShell language (I.e formatting, crescendo, etc...)

Topics that will most likely have competition

Every year, we have some topics that have a bit of competition. This year is no different. If you have something to share on these topics don’t let this scare you off, just know there will be a little competition.

  • Kubernetes
  • Working with web APIs
  • Contributing to open source
  • Azure (granted, I _much_ prefer attendee talks to vendor happy-path talks, for what it’s worth)

That’s about it! We have just over two weeks before the CFP opens and now is a good time to start writing them!  We’ll close with a few handy links:

  • 2019 CFP ideas – still applicable, although many of DevOps tools considered esoteric might be worth a proposal
  • 2020 CFP ideas
  • #Conferences in the PowerShell Slack team – plenty of folks willing to chat about or review your proposals in there.  You can also ping [email protected], but the Slack route is faster and has more eyes on it

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