Practicing PowerShell in Helsinki

helsinkiI am very happy to announce that in addition to my appearance at the MVP-AllStars conference on 9 June 2015 in beautiful Helsinki, Finland but that I will be following it with a 2 day, intense PowerShell workshop aimed at Järjestelmänvalvojat (system administrators or IT Pros). I think this is going to be a blast and if you are any where in the region, or can hop on a plane, train or ferry, I hope you’ll consider attending.

The workshop is intended to provide enough practical PowerShell knowledge and experience that you can begin using it effectively the next day. Somehow I’m hoping I can cover the following material.

Day 1

  • What is PowerShell and Why It Matters
  • Understanding the PowerShell paradigm
  • The Power of a PowerShell Provider
  • Learning the PowerShell Language
  • PowerShell Remoting
  • WMI and CIM

Day 2

  • Exporting, Importing and Converting Objects
  • PowerShell Scripting Concepts and Security
  • Creating Effective PowerShell Scripts and Functions
  • PowerShell in Action
  • Getting Started with Desired State Configuration (DSC)
  • Questions, Answers and Next Steps

I don’t do many public classes so you won’t want to miss out. You can learn more at Seating will be limited and there is early-bird pricing so please don’t wait.

On the Road in 2015

calendar As 2014 draws to a close it is time to start planning for 2015. Naturally it is still early but I wanted to share with you some of my plans for next year. As always I hope to get out as much as I can next year to talk about PowerShell and demonstrate how it can change your job and career. I’m hoping to get to as many public conferences and user group meetings as my budget can afford. I’ll post and tweet new events as they are confirmed but for now these are a few of my planned outings.

PowerShell Summit North America 2015
I will be presenting at the PowerShell Summit this April in Charlotte, NC. This event is like no other when it comes to PowerShell content. 3 days of intense, hard-core, PowerShell-all-the-time awesomeness. This event generally sells out and I believe 2015 will be no different. There will be a PowerShell Summit Europe next year as well which I’m hoping to sneak into. If you can’t make Charlotte, watch for announcements about 2016 and don’t wait!

Microsoft Ignite
The successor the Microsoft TechEd (and just about every other Microsoft conference), Microsoft Ignite, is practically a given. Especially because it is being held in one of my favorite cities, Chicago. Not sure where I’ll be but most likely you’ll be able to find me hanging around the Pluralsight and PowerShell booths.

MVP All-Stars
I’m very excited to be speaking in Helsinki, Finland on June 9, 2015 as part of the MVP All-Stars event. My session will be on PowerShell in the Enterprise. I’ll be talking about why you should be using and learning PowerShell and demonstrating how it can make your work easier and maybe even bring some fun back to it.

In addition to these in-person events you will also be able to find me throughout the year doing webinars for I’ll be announcing those as they are scheduled.

Finally, I am still open for private PowerShell training classes in 2015. If you organization has a group of IT Pros needing to get started with PowerShell, learn an advanced topic like DSC, or better understand how to use PowerShell in practice with something like Active Directory, please feel free to contact me.

Hoping you have a fantastic 2015 and that our paths will cross.

Change is in the air

Petri_162x87If you have read my blog for any length of time, or followed me, then you know that I have contributed a lot of content to a number of online resources over the years, often on a recurring basis. You may not realize it, but spreading out my workload over several sites can be quite demanding. After a lot of deliberation, I’ve decided to consolidate all of my online writing efforts with the Petri IT Knowledgebase.

The Petri IT Knowledgebase has been around since 1999 and has always been a source of high quality content for IT Pros.  For the longest time it had a domain name. But now you can find it at I will be publishing all of my online content exclusively at Petri where I will be a contributing editor. The site is being re-launched, lots of exciting things are in the works and I’m looking forward to being a part of it. At Petri, I will be primarily responsible for PowerShell related content. But you can expect to see me write about Active Directory, Group Policy, WMI, Hyper-V and Windows Server 2012 (and later).

I will still be blogging here and I will continue to create courses at Pluralsight. You will still find me at conferences like TechEd (or whatever it gets renamed) and the PowerShell Summit. I’ll still be doing PowerShell-related consulting and training on my own as well. Naturally, all of my existing content “in the wild” will remain where it is.

In most regards, nothing really changes other than the fact that you only have one place to check for my latest work. I hope you’ll come along for a great ride.

I Wanna Be Like You

orangutan Growing up, one of my favorite Disney movies was their adaption of The Jungle Book, and perhaps my favorite scene was King Louie’s production number “I Wanna Be Like You.” I think what really makes this song work is that we all have a desire to be like someone else, perhaps a role model or someone who is living a life you’d like to have. I’ve been living my life as an IT Pro for quite a while now and I must have crossed a threshold because I often am asked, “What can I do to become like you?” So I thought I’d share some thoughts on the subject.

First, let me state out right that what I do isn’t an easy way to make a living. I work for myself, from home and certainly put in more work hours than I would at a “normal” IT job. While working several projects at the same time, I am also developing future work plus dealing with all of the paperwork like invoicing, bookkeeping and taxes. Perhaps most importantly, I am able to do what I do because my family supports me and my wife has a good job with benefits. If you are the sole provider for your family, you might want to reconsider a life like mine unless you have substantial savings or lottery winnings.

Still with me? Ultimately I think if you want to pursue a career like mine it all comes down to reputation. I can only do what I do because I have spent years establishing a trusted name, reputation or brand. Whatever you want to call it. I did this by blogging, getting speaking engagements at conferences, finding opportunities to write online, contributing to forums. Anything that would demonstrate I was competent and trustworthy. Actually, it is more than that. You need to demonstrate to your community, that you are at the forefront based on quantity and quality of your contributions. That is the secret I think to becoming a Microsoft MVP, which I’m also frequently asked. Being an MVP definitely helps with your credibility and reputation, but it is a bit of a chicken/egg proposition. All I can tell you is that you have to put in the time demonstrating to your community and Microsoft that you are a valuable asset and a leader.

Today, social media is a much bigger presence than it was when I first started. You should be contributing valuable content on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google Plus and more. This takes active work on your part and it will take time.

You also need to find avenues for more substantial efforts through writing, training, or presenting. There are many user groups looking for speakers. You can even start locally. Find places where you can contribute written material. It probably won’t pay much but it gets your name out there. Submit session proposals to conferences. Not comfortable speaking in front of people? Then create video clips and build a following. At the very least, blog and blog frequently. One important point about content: quality counts. It may seem obvious, but don’t post or create something that is a re-hash of a help document or something without explanation. The whole point about reputation is that you need to demonstrate that you know what you are talking about. So don’t post a blog entry with a 1 line PowerShell command. Explain it. How did you arrive at? What are the alternatives? Why is this a good solution? In some ways, this is like good customer service – you have to exceed expectations.

All of this takes time, probably even a few years. And even then, don’t expect to take 1 month vacation in the Caribbean every year and have a 6 figure salary. I’m not saying you can’t set that as a goal, but know that will take a great deal of time and work to reach that level. Personally, the journey has been just as rewarding as where I am now. I’ve met some terrific people along the way like Don Jones and Mark Minasi as well as IT Pros who have attended my conference sessions and training classes. I like what I do now and appreciate the flexibility of being able to work almost anywhere. But I had to pay my dues and you will too, but hopefully you now have a better idea of how much that will cost.

If you are starting down this path, I’d love to hear your story, your plan or any words of advice you have for others.

PowerShell MVP Again

MVP-Logo-small I am happy to say that I have been renewed for my 8th year as a PowerShell MVP. I am honored to be in such great company with other MVPs. I am also extremely grateful to members of the PowerShell community and I suppose beyond that, who find my work useful or at least worth a few minutes of their time. As with renewal, I feel empowered and challenged to bring you even more PowerShell related content, whether it be blog posts, Prof. PowerShell columns, online webinars, training courses or conference sessions. Thank you for your trust in me. Now I guess I’d better get back to work.