We're looking for a few good PowerShellers to help us keep the community on track!
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.
Richard Siddaway has decided to step away from PowerShell.org and The DevOps Collective. Most recently, Richard has been known for his management of content at PowerShell Summit North America, PowerShell Summit Europe, and later, PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit. Before that, however, Richard was one of the founders of PowerShell.org way back in 2011-2012, along with myself, Jason Helmick, Kirk Munro, and Jeffrey Hicks. It's quite fair to say that we all needed one another's support and expertise very much in those early days, and Richard was particularly key in helping us put together the two European Summit events. Richard's very much entitled to one of our Community Hero Challenge Coins, which have been awarded to only a small handful of people who have made sustained, long-term community contributions: Jeffrey Snover, Jason Helmick, Angel Calvo, and Kenneth Hansen. Richard's definitely in rarified company, and it's well-earned.
I want to introduce you to the new PowerShell.org!
While we're still doing a little test-and-adjust work, I'm pretty confident that everything in the new theme is working. I'd also like to point out some hopefully useful new things we've done with the site.
First, we've still got pretty much everything you've been used to - our friendly and helpful Q&A forums, our community-authored articles, and more. Incidentally, if you'd like to be a writer here at PowerShell.org, we welcome you. Let us help you get some eyes on whatever it is you're creating, whether it's a short tutorial, an article about an open source project you contribute to, or whatever. Drop a line to our webmaster@ email alias and we'll hook you up with authoring rights.
I'll note that our Events Calendar is currently offline; the old plugin was antiquated, and we need to find something more suitable. That's ongoing.
We do have some new stuff, though. You'll find Groups right at the top of every page, and that takes you into our new discussion groups. These are designed to foster open-ended, freeform discussion threads, unlike our more problem/solution, issue-oriented Q&A forums.
Click on your avatar at the top of the page, and you'll switch into your new profile (incidentally, if you don't like your avatar, you'll need to register your email address with Gravatar.com - that's who we pull images from). You can leave a quick Twitter- or Facebook-style status update, letting everyone know what you've been up to in the PowerShell world. We hope it'll be a great way for you to update the community on your activities. Along those lines, you can specifically follow whomever you like in the community, so that their updates will bubble up to your feed. Again, your profile page is the key to accessing all that new functionality.
Once you've friended someone, we also now have private direct messages. From your profile, click Messages and then Compose to start creating a new message.
It's worth spending some time poking around and see what else is available - there's quite a bit of functionality. For example, from your profile page, choose Settings and then Email - there are quite a few email notification options that you can opt into, if you want to keep up without having to visit the site continually.
I'll note that photo uploading from your profile page is a little touch-and-go - that's one of the things we're still figuring out.
Let me give you a reason to really populate your profile: We're working to make this a central location for you to showcase everything you've accomplished in the community. Kind of like a very specialized LinkedIn profile, your PowerShell.org profile will eventually include recognitions for contributions, achievements, and more. It'll be something you can show to colleagues, hiring managers, and peers to help show the positive impact you're making and the milestones you're reaching. Now's the time to start!
We're working hard to bring more functionality to PowerShell.org that can help you keep up with our fast-moving world, and we hope you'll find it all useful. There's still more to come, and we always welcome your suggestions in the Web Site Feedback forum!
We recently re-launched all of our free ebooks at https://leanpub.com/u/devopscollective. These books have all been authored by a variety of people, myself included, and most were originally authors in Word. As we translated them into Markdown (which is what Leanpub uses for its source), a few snafus tend to come up here and there.
We're pleased to announce the re-launch of our Free eBook Store, now hosted exclusively on Leanpub. This re-launch includes 7 titles translated into Spanish by community contributor Alvaro Torres.
All eBooks are free, although you can also choose to pay any amount of $5 or more, which becomes a donation to The DevOps Collective, Inc. Leanpub offers a web-based reader and, if you "buy" the book, options to download in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF formats.
We used to dual-publish on Leanpub and GitBook; GitBook no longer supports ebook downloading (they're online-only, now) and Leanpub now offers a free online reader mode, so we're moving exclusively to Leanpub. Leanpub does offer a smartphone app as well, which you can use to manage your entire Leanpub library.
Don't forget that all of the books' "source" is hosted at GitHub in public open-source repositories. You're welcome to fork the repos, submit pull requests, and so on. Note that we don't provide technical support for the books at GitHub; please use the Forums for that. Further, while everyone appreciates suggestions for improving the books, what we really appreciate are community members who can fork the repo, implement their suggestions, and submit a pull request!
Please help us spread the word so more people can use these great, entirely-free resources!
I have managed to clear the regulatory hurdles and our OnRamp Scholarship is now open to applicants from outside the US. We will update the application materials and web pages as soon as possible, but there’s no need to wait to submit an application.
There are two caveats:
first, the option to request a laptop as part of your application is not applicable to international applicants at this time.
Second, our airfare limit is $600 USD. We cannot directly book airfare costing more. Unfortunately, we also cannot provide a partial cash reimbursement at this time. That means your air must be under $600 total (which I realize is difficult), or you need to be responsible for the entire airfare yourself. This is a bit of accounting oddness that we should be able to address in the future.
Full information and applications are at the link above.
We're looking for someone who can publish a regular "What You Missed This Week" blog post on PowerShell.org each Friday (excepting the odd week off for vacations, of course).
This is meant just as a roundup of interesting posts from around the web; we know tons of people are blogging in their own spaces, and we'd like to call attention to some of the more noteworthy ones.
This isn't any more complex than a brief blurb for each:
Don Jones shares the beginnings of PowerShell Summit: How PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit Began
PowerShell.org's OnRamp Scholarship needs your help spreading the word: We Need Your Help.
There's no minimum or maximum each week, although I personally suspect more than a couple of dozen posts will overwhelm people. The idea is to curate what's out there, introduce folks who are getting their blogs going (and encourage them to keep going), and give the community some variety in its PowerShell diet.
If you're interested, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org to get hooked up with blogging rights here. As you do so, indicate if you're up for every week (preferred) or every-other (in which case we'll try and find two of you and get you to split even- and odd-numbered weeks). You can also volunteer to be an "aggregator," feeding noteworthy articles to our main round-up-person each week to help them out.
If you've been longing to contribute but haven't thought of a way, this could be a high-impact, low-workload way to jump in and help out!
Back in... gosh, 2009, 2010 or so, an Arizona company named NetPro hosted PowerShell Deep Dive, part of their The Experts Conference event (the first was held in Las Vegas for just 50 people). After hosting two years (I think) though, NetPro was purchased by Quest Software, which moved to close down TEC. I may have those years slightly off, but that's the general sequence.
In 2012, myself, Jeff Hicks, Richard Siddaway, Jason Helmick, and Kirk Munro had formed PowerShell.org, attempting to make good on the basically-defunct PowerShellCommunity.org that I'd started and that Quest now basically owned (and was shutting down).
In August 2012 Jason and I were out in Redmond for a TechMentor conference, and...
Erin Chapple and Kenneth Hansen, who were running the PowerShell team at the time, asked us over to building 43 for lunch one day. They told us that community engagement was huge for them--they needed to know how people were using their product, and what they needed to focus on. They got plenty of engagement at TechEd events, they said, but it was largely beginners; they needed the Deep Dive, or something like it, to stay in touch with hardcore users.
In April 2013, the first PowerShell Summit was held.
"We can't give you any money, though," Kenneth said. And for good reason: they wanted an event that could sustain itself, so that when Microsoft inevitably reorganized and got distracted, the event wouldn't die. To help, they volunteered to get us space on-campus, so our first event was in conference rooms, and they helped guarantee the food deposits. That helped give us a tiny financial pad and some experience, so in 2014 when we moved to Meydenbauer Center, we weren't a brand-new event with an inexperienced team.
Today, Summit is formally owned by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and venue and food deposits no longer have to go on my personal Amex ;). We've built enough operating margin that Summit can pay its own deposits until registrations start rolling in, and the event is essentially self-sustaining--we don't even rely on corporate sponsors, although we're very happy to have them when we can. We've held six events in the US, and two in Europe, which led to the launch of PSConf.eu a few years back.
Jason ran across this page in his journal last night and sent the photo, and with his permission I thought it would be a fun piece of community history to share.
We need your help.
As you may have heard, we’re launching a new “OnRamp” track at PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit 2019. Limited to 40 students, this will be a hands-on class designed to bootstrap someone into the technology and our community. There's a whole brochure about it!
We’re also offering a number of free-ride scholarships designed to cover admission, air, and hotel, to help increase the diversity of our field and community right at the top of the funnel. Half of our scholarships will be awarded to individuals from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in IT, and that’s where we need your help.
We need to get the word out to potential applicants so that they know to apply!