Have you always liked the idea of scripting and automating, or even dipped your toes in a bit, but felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start? I was there a few years ago when I was asked to switch to our Automation/QA team. Are you someone who’s taken the leap and uses PowerShell scripts on a regular basis but feels like there is so much more to learn? Then you're going to really benefit from this post. Today, I'm going to share how my experience at the PowerShell Summit 2019 provided me with some helpful insights and tips here at PDQ.com
Did you know the PowerShell Summit has options for you? The definition of a summit is the highest point of a hill or mountain. The PowerShell Global Summit is the gathering of PowerShell and DevOps professionals in one place to learn, teach and improve on their skills. There is no greater height when it comes to PowerShell. I attended the PowerShell Summit for the first time and I was blown away by the options. I wish I would have known about this 2 or 3 years ago! They have OnRamp options for those new to PowerShell and are eager to learn.
Imagine literally being taught the basics of using PowerShell by the best in the world. They can teach you what mistakes to avoid, understanding fundamentals from the start, without any guesswork and how to get started. I’m talking hands-on and even in some cases one-on-one help with some of the best PowerShell minds. They are there to answer any questions and man, do these people know their stuff. Although I was unable to attend the OnRamp program I heard great things from several people I talked to who attended. I highly recommend you look at this program and consider it for next year. Interested? Check out the PowerShell Global Summit OnRamp Program.
As someone who has only been using PowerShell for the past few years, I felt comfortable with the basics, but man did I feel small compared to the experts around me. There were talks about complex things I’ve barely even heard of before, such as implementing your own operator within PowerShell. I quickly realized how much I still have to learn. The best part? I didn’t meet a single person there who wasn’t willing to explain subjects on my level, answer my questions, and even give resources on how I can get started on a particular subject.
I was lucky enough to run into Missy Januszko, one of the directors of Summit Content. We talked about how I was liking the Summit on an Intermediate level. She mentioned that the OnRamp program went so well that they will be adding a new Intermediate program for next year to more easily find content geared for that level. Check out the next up-coming Summit.
I was amazed by all of the different presentations. In several cases, my biggest issue was picking which one to choose. Here are some of the topics I really enjoyed.
Adulting 101: This presentation discussed how to create and manage finances and financial planning using PowerShell. Turns out you can use PowerShell to more easily calculate equations that would normally go over the average person’s head, such as calculating Monthly Payments.
Serverless Functions and Automation: Imagine creating a PowerShell script, uploading it to Azure and using it as its own App or Function in the cloud that you can call whenever you need, or better yet automate. Something that’s always running for you in the background that you don’t need to worry about including hardware maintenance.
Side Sessions: There were multiple smaller side sessions about varying topics. One of which was with the PowerCLI team. You could ask them questions about current cmdlets and even make a feature request for a new cmdlet right there in person.
All of these talks felt personal and it was easy to get your opinion out there in public. It felt as if your voice was heard and wasn’t lost in a post somewhere.
Something that was surprisingly beneficial was the social networking aspect. I am not a social networking guru. I have to be intentional in social instances, especially when I don’t know someone. I talked to around 8 people that week who either were in the same shoes I am in now or where I used to be. It was both helpful and encouraging to find people that have had the same issues within their jobs, and how they fixed their issues. I was able to get very helpful suggestions from others as well as help others with solutions they’ve never heard of. I had so many conversations for instance about our PDQ.com products. People were using them, but in most cases were not fully utilizing their full potential. That 10-minute conversation saved them 100’s of hours of manual labor.
So what am I getting at? Give it a try! Get yourself out there and learn something new. You don’t have to be the best at something or learn it faster than others. Use PowerShell in your daily work routine and get plugged into the community and you’ll be surprised not only how much it will help your job, but how it can further your career. Go to a Summit or even a local meetup (If you’re in Salt Lake City I would love to see you at our meet up) and learn something new. Maybe someday you’ll wake up and you’ll be as smart as you hoped you’d always be.