Why You Should Attend the PowerShell Summit

powershellorg-logo As you might be aware, registration is open for the PowerShell Summit North America 2015 to be help April 20-22, 2015 on the Microsoft campus in Charlotte, NC. You may be wondering why you should attend or even if you should attend. To begin, take a few minutes to read the Summit 2015 Education brochure.

Then let me add my thoughts on the subject.

First and foremost, if your day job involves PowerShell in any way and you are looking to learn more about PowerShell to do your job better or advance your career, then you should attend this conference. Given Microsoft’s move to larger conferences, finding hardcore PowerShell content is going to get harder and harder. The PowerShell Summit is intentionally small and intense. Sessions are rapid 45 minute presentations on topics that you won’t find covered at other conferences.

The speakers are all active and highly visible members of the PowerShell community. Probably many of the same people you follow on Twitter. Or if they aren’t speaking they will most likely be in attendance. This includes many PowerShell MVPs such as myself, Don Jones, Jim Christoper, Jason Helmick and Richard Siddaway. But wait…there’s more!

In addition, the PowerShell Summit includes presentations from members of the PowerShell team from Microsoft, including Jeffrey Snover. I’m not promising you’ll get an inside peek into anything new, but you will learn more about PowerShell that you ever thought possible. Even better, due to the intimate nature of the conference it is easy to chat with presenters, including members of the product team. In fact, it is encouraged.

I tell attendees that if you have a PowerShell question that doesn’t get answered at the Summit, assuming you ask it, it doesn’t have an answer. This is *the* place to get all of the practical, real-world and ready-to-use PowerShell knowledge you need to keep your boss happy.

Even if you feel you are just getting started with PowerShell, I would still encourage you to attend. There will be plenty of content to get you to the next level. And sometimes it helps to know where you can go with PowerShell, even if you aren’t ready yet.

If you are a seasoned PowerShell veteran, there’s always something new to learn. And access to the Microsoft team is priceless. Jeffrey Snover and the team are genuinely interested in how we are using PowerShell, what isn’t working and what do we still need. Your experience at the conference could help direct the future of PowerShell.

Registration is limited so you don’t want to wait to attend. Follow the registration link on the conference site to get started.

If you’ve attended a past Summit and found it useful, I hope you’ll post your experiences and reasons for attending in the comments. I hope to see you in Charlotte.

New Petri Author

New Petri Author

I trust many of you are familiar with the Petri web site. This has long been a very valuable site for IT Pros. You can always find a wealth of reliable and practical information. Starting in December, I will be adding my voice to the mix. I will be contributing content that I hope you find valuable and worth your time. I expect my articles will be wide ranging, and not limited to Windows PowerShell. With the impending arrival of Windows 8 there will be much to write about. I hope you'll join me for the ride.

Petri IT Knowledgebase

One of the world's leading MCSE and IT related knowledge bases with thousands of Windows, Exchange, and Virtualization related tips, tricks and how-to articles.

NetPoint Pro Review

My first work for Windows IT Pro has been released. In the August 2010 issue I wrote a review on Netpoint Pro. In short, I think many small to midsized companies should take a look, but I hope you’ll take a moment to read the full review. It will only take a few minutes.


Earlier this year I wrote an article for REDMOND Magazine about the new backup features in Windows Server 2008 R2. I’m not going to re-hash the article here except to say it includes some sample scripts on using the WBADMIN command line tool. One of the scripts is an old-school batch file.

The batch file included code to create a directory that included a time stamp, like \\mycompany-dc01\backup\RESEARCHDC\12152009_132532 where the last portion is the month, day, year, hour, minute and second. My original code parsed out these values from the %TIME% variable.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take into account situations where the time mght not have two digits like 1:00AM. In those situations the code tries to create a folder like \\mycompany-dc01\backup\RESEARCHDC\12152009_ 10000 which fails because of the space. To correct this I needed to add a line to check for the space in the variable, %h% and if found, define a new value with a leading 0.

This sort of thing is much, much easier in Windows PowerShell, by the way. But regardless, I now have an updated batch file.
[cc lang=”DOS”]

You can download the batch file here. Rename it to .bat.

PowerShell vs Jesus

Ok. I decided it’s time I finally weigh in on this with more than 140 characters. I’m sure you’ve seen, in forums, Twitter and other social media comparisons between Windows PowerShell and some other shell of choice. Typically the “other” shell is LInux based and the comparison is thrown down as a challenge, “Which is better?” or “Who would win?”  Usually the one posting the challenge is coming from a non-PowerShell perspective and assuming their choice is superior and beyond reproach.

Well, from their perspective it most likely is. But that’s not PowerShell’s fault. These challenges are inane, in my perspective. It goes beyond apples vs oranges. Sure, apples and oranges are both round (more or less) fruit, but that’s it. PowerShell and X are both console-based shells, but that’s it. PowerShell is an object based shell designed for managing WIndows systems. X is usually a text based shell used for managing Linux. The real question is “Which is better WIndows or *nix?” Which is equally a silly question.

The “better” OS is one that meets you or your organizations needs, budget and requirements.

Before anyone thinks I’m 100% in the PowerShell camp, let me state that I’m a firm believer in the right tool for the job. If I can accomplish a task or solve a problem faster with a simple batch file and a resource kit tool over PowerShell, I’m going with what gets me home faster. If I have a Linux server farm to manage I’m going to use the right tool set and shell.  Ditto for a Windows base data center.

My other issue with these type of challenges is that typically, and it goes both ways, the person posing the question doesn’t have enough experience and exposure to the other shell. If they did, they wouldn’t be posing the question in the first place.

So can’t we all just get along and accept the fact that there are different shells, tools and operating systems that all have their place in the big, bad world of information technology. If you think there is a limitation in PowerShell or X, then ask the appropriate community for guidance. If I’m trying to figure out how to do something in bash, I have no qualms in asking for help. I’m not going to say, this is a piece of crap because it can’t do xyz. I want to learn.

That’s enough soap box for now.  The floor is yours.