PowerShell Saturday: Raleigh 2019

September 01, 2019 0 Comments Community

The Research Triangle PowerShell user group (RTPSUG) is hosting a PowerShell Saturday event in Raleigh, NC on September 21st and 22nd. It is an event we have been planning for about a year and as the event draws closer; I wanted to share my thoughts I have on the event, the community, and how both can be a benefit to you.

Two years ago, I started attending the user group’s meetings. A trip later that year to the PowerShell Summit inspired me to help with the group’s admin activities. It was a transformative moment for me I didn’t expect. I thought I would help with simple tasks and that would be it. The group gave me an opportunity to serve as its leader and helping in that role has been a fantastic experience!

So what’s does this have to do with PowerShell Saturday?

The PowerShell Saturday event is the brainchild of my co-leader and friend, Phil Bossman. It was Phil who wanted to create an event for the local community in Raleigh and surrounding areas. I was apprehensive about producing a Saturday event when Phil mentioned it. But after running the group’s planning activities for a while, creating a bigger event seemed more palatable. In hindsight, I am happy that we produced the event. People will get great value from the weekend of activities and discussions with fellow community members.

Phil wanted to take our one hour meeting format and give people the opportunity to see a “bunch of meetings in one day.” Our Saturday event is that idea. We have 18 speakers who will give 50-minute sessions throughout the day. Each hour attendees will have three choices of sessions to attend. By day's end, attendees will have chosen six sessions and also attend one session we have for all attendees. However, we believe the most beneficial part of this and all conferences is the hallway track!

What is the hallway track?

Most people sign up to come to conferences because they expect to see great content. Often conferences are presenting the latest iteration of products and services or possibly showcasing newly available products never seen before. These are great reasons to attend a conference; the content presented is often hard to find elsewhere. But what many people realize later on is that the connections established can be equally, if not, more valuable than the content itself. The hallway track is the unpublished part of the event that occurs in the hallways between sessions. That’s the time when you meet people with similar ideas. That's also where people have met future employers and people who will help solve a future problem. These people become the connections you rely on to help you succeed on future endeavors.

Conferences present a unique opportunity to meet people in the same walks of life as you. You’ll find people who struggled with the same issues you do at work. Maybe they have the answer to a problem you just can’t seem to figure out. They also are the people who are interested in furthering their careers. It is an excellent opportunity to meet people who can impact your own career and open up opportunities you didn’t know existed.

The RTPSUG leadership has focused on creating space at every one of our meetings to have freeform discussions on any idea that attendees choose. We allow enough time for people in the room and online to chat with each other about whatever they enjoy discussing. Our focus is on presenting great content first, but meeting others and sharing ideas is also important. This idea of community discussion is also going to be part of our PowerShell Saturday event as well. We’ve allotted time for people to step away from sessions, meet others, and just talk casually. We call it “birds of a feather”.

I had many opportunities afforded to me just because I talked with the people in the room and asked about taking part! I have shared my thoughts on multiple occasions and then someone realized I had something to offer that could help them and vice versa. When I started attending meetings, I never dreamed that opportunities such as taking part in a book, leading a user group or writing articles for well-known websites would be options. Yet, those opportunities and others are now some of my greatest achievements.They all started by engaging with fellow community members.

Going back PowerShell Saturday, Phil and I are trying to give that opportunity to others through this event. We want people to come and meet one another, share ideas, solve problems, learn some cool stuff but most important, make connections. Those connections and the ideas shared have a funny way of turning themselves into something greater.

I mentioned earlier about the 18 speakers. We have great content available for attendees, and the speakers are the real stars of the day. We have people from different backgrounds and skill sets sharing ideas that they thought would be useful to share with others. These people are volunteering their time because they believe they have something valuable to share. These are fellow community members who live and breathe this stuff all day long just like you. While I am at it, let me tell you more about the event we are hosting.

We will host our event at the Wilson College of Textiles on the NC state university campus in Raleigh, NC.

We spread the event over two days and each day has a different focus. On Saturday, we have a full day’s worth of content, and we let you choose what you want to see. Attendees can go to any session they like and they don’t have to pre-register for anything. Once you buy the ticket, how you spend your day with us is your choice. We’ll feed you a light breakfast, lunch, and snacks. We’ll have opportunities to talk with others and meet as many people as attendees are comfortable networking with. You will get to see some awesome content and we’ll send you home with some great swag from our event.

Our Saturday event lineup is as follows:

PowerShell 101 – Intro and Fundamentals

  • Use Default Formats to Improve Your Quality of Life – Jeremy Smith
  • Filtering Files at Scale – Mark Hutchenson
  • PowerShell 101: Arrays – Wes Carroll
  • PowerShell Streams and Using the Right Write-* Cmdlet – Justin Gehman
  • The Ins and Outs of Error Handling – David Littlejohn
  • Why you should be using PSReadline everyday – Jeffery Hayes

PowerShell Tools – Advanced Scripting and Tools

  • GitHub for PowerShell Users – Bryce McDonald
  • Using Dbatools To Automate Database Migrations – Joshua Corrick
  • Don’t do what I did! Avoiding Azure $urprise$! – Michael Teske
  • Why can’t we be friends? Command Line Utilities + PowerShell = ❤ – Ryan Leap
  • What to do when .NET isn’t enough – Jason Walker
  • Don’t Reinvent Another Wheel if You Don’t Have To – David Stein

DevOps & Security – DevOps, CI\CD and Security

  • PowerShell Security 102? – Jon Fox
  • Securing PSRemoting – James Petty
  • Crossing the Divide – A System Administrator’s Path to DevOps – Dave Carroll
  • Securing Windows 10 with PowerShell Compliance items in SCCM – Jon Warnken
  • Gaining 20/20 vision during an incident with PowerShell – Fernando Tomlinson
  • Code. Commit. Deploy. Starting your 3 step journey to utilizing Pipelines – Stephen Valdinger

On Sunday, we have only one speaker. Fernando Tomlinson will present six hours of targeted content on PowerShell, Cyber-ops, and security best practices. Mr. Tomlinson is the training director for the US Department of Defense in Augusta, Georgia, and is a frequent speaker in the security community. He also has released several open-source tools to help people educate themselves on good security practices. Again, we’ll have breakfast, lunch, and snacks for our Sunday attendees.

We are also working on a social event for Saturday evening. Attendees can spend time together at a happy hour setting at a local pub and continue the conversations from earlier in the day. There will be an opportunity for attendees to have dinner and drinks and unwind after a full day of technical content.

I hope that you see the value of attending an event like our PowerShell Saturday. It's the first of its kind in the Raleigh area, and this will not be the last! We already have plans for next year’s event, but we need you to come and join us. We offer two different ticket options and have negotiated a discounted rate for out-of-town guests. You can find out all the information for the event including the list of sessions and speakers at our website. Tickets start at $75 and can be purchased online.

The PowerShell News Podcast recently interviewed Phil and I about our event. The interview is 45 minutes and covers much more info about our event, our user-group, and what makes our event unique. I invite you to give it a listen for more great information on our event.