June 2, 2020, PowerShell Conference Europe opens for the 5th time in Hannover, Germany. Here is a quick walkthrough for this year’s event.
Learning New Things
As an experienced PowerShell professional, you know its awesome automation capabilities.
At the same time, you probably spent numerous hours googling for tricky answers, came across unexpected astonishing tricks and capabilities that you didn’t know exist, and may still have questions that none of your colleagues could fully answer. There is just so much you can do with PowerShell, and almost every month something new is added somewhere in the ecosystem.
You may have the best colleagues or the most experienced trainers, yet there is no one in the world who knows it all, let alone knows it best.
Just take a look at the tip of the knowledge iceberg, and check out these three lines:
Install-Module -Name ImportExcel -Scope CurrentUser -Force
$Path = "$env:temp\report.xlsx"
Get-Service | Export-Excel -Path $Path -Now
In virtually no time, it turns any PowerShell data into a beautiful Excel report. You don’t even need Microsoft Office to be installed. Maybe you knew this, maybe you use it all the time.
But what if you didn’t? If you did not know about the ImportExcel module before, how much extra work would that have cost you?
If you never used Install-Module before, and the things in its background, know about PowerShellGet, release pipelines, private repositories, and how to combine Git with the PowerShell Gallery, psconf.eu could be worth a rewarding visit. Any of these items are covered one way or another.
This example is just the tiny tip of the iceberg. Sometimes it’s just a matter of hinting a powerful module that can make your day. Often, though, it’s a bit more complex to bring you to the next level, and add new skills. Check the agenda below, the speakers, and their sessions. Chances are there are tons of topics just waiting for you to improve your skill set and tickle your intellect.
Melting Pot of Creativity
There is not the one almighty super trainer that can teach everything in one class, and the more you know the harder it gets to learn new things in standard classes anyway. But there is one place where you can meet them all: psconf.eu!
That’s why five years ago, we decided to create the PowerShell Conference Europe: to bring together bright heads and experienced folks and set the stage to have a great time together.
Each year we invite 40 renown top experts to deliver expert talks from various areas. Top people. Like James O’Neill who coincidentally co-created the wonderful ImportExcel module (together with Doug Finke) that I used in the sample above. A conference and place to learn about super useful work done by others. To meet the people behind them and say “thank you”. To ask (any) question, even if it is super hard and tricky, and still get the best answers.
Here is a list of our PowerShell Gladiators for this year (preliminary with a few more to be added):
Even these 40 people don’t know everything. This conference is not about these 40 invited speakers delivering their talks unidirectional to you. There talks act as a starting point, to get the thinking started, to get discussions going.
We’ll again have a lot of valuable content taking place and being generated in coffee breaks, in lunch break sessions or by asking questions. This conference is a 4-day learning experience for advanced PowerShell professionals. Help steer PowerShell into the right direction and be a part of it. You can make a difference!
Plus, in some sense an opportunity for companies to reward hard working individuals. If you are the boss and thinking how could I say “Thank you”, sending your automation crew or successful consultant or script guru to psconf.eu could be an idea.
Here’s a video from last year so you get a better impression:
To sign up and reserve your seat, or to get a proposal for your boss, please visit the registration page (https://psconf.eu/register.html).
This year, we are working on a delegate jacket. It would help us a lot if you decided to sign up before March 15 for a number of reasons, including not to have to guess jacket sizes. Anyone signing up by March 15 gets a guaranteed jacket size and make sure you get one of the limited seats. Anyone else gets a best-effort jacket size, and we are doing our best at extrapolating jacket sizes.
The Specs: Conference & Training Hybrid
psconf.eu is a lot of things:
– Classic Conference: We experimented over the years with the number of sessions and parallel tracks. We wanted to make sure you can always pick a session that matters to you and build a dense agenda while at the same time not missing too much.
Four days turned out the best trade-off between getting out of work and consuming adequate content and justifying the travel.
Three tracks turned out to be the best trade-off between having rich choices and not missing too many other sessions, so psconf.eu runs 4 days, on each day you have a choice of three parallel sessions.
– Focused Sessions: We tinkered with session lengths and found that 45 minutes of session time plus 15 minutes of Q&A is the perfect way for speakers to focus on the beef yet dig deep enough, and delegates to stay focused.
– Coffee Break Talks: We started with just a few traditional coffee breaks only to find that Coffee Break Talks are the perfect ending for every session; personal talks with the speakers, professional discussions among delegates provide extra value. A quick walk, a smoke, or checking emails may be your way to guarantee that you are ready for action once the next session starts.
At psconf.eu, there is now a coffee break after every session.
– Great Environment: Don’t be mistaken: listening to dense sessions for a whole day is hard work. It is fun but it still exhausting. That’s why we make sure attendees get recharged whenever possible: no typical “conference sandwich” but instead a variety of healthy and yummy freshly cooked food, classical and vegetarian. Fresh fruits and biscuits in the afternoon. And big rooms with fresh air.
– On-Premises AND Cloud: PowerShell was born on-premises but is now also in the cloud. The word “also” matters to us: cloud and DevOps turned into buzz words with many focusing entirely on these while increasingly neglecting “on-premises”. Not for us: you find sophisticated sessions and experts both for on-premises tasks and cloud tasks, so you can pick what matters to you and learn new skills where appropriate.
While we love “the latest & greatest”, solid knowledge for realistic every-day tasks and topics are just as important and part of the agenda.
– Evening Event: Over the years we watched delegates personally grow and becoming experts in their area, so this event is not unidirectional and just about the 40 renown speakers but also about the 300 delegates: interacting, discussing, exploring, and learning from each other are key, including networking and building professional international relationships.
Beyond the technical sessions at daytime, we organize an official evening event to kick things off, to “break the ice” and provide the setting to get to know each other. It’s perfectly OK to just eat and drink, or just listen. However, if you attend the conference all by yourself and are open to get to know new people, you definitely can.
This year, we’ll be at castle Königsworth, an ancient city castle with a big hall and a number of smaller rooms including the bar and fireplace room, perfect for hanging lose, discussing PowerShell ideas, or founding new user groups. Dinner and drinks included.
On the following days, typically groups form on their own and successfully tackle Hannover night life independently.
– Authoritative First-Hand Information: Get authoritative firsthand information from the people making PowerShell and the services around it.
– PowerShell inventor Jeffrey Snover will be with us again, as is part of the PowerShell Team around Steve Lee and Joey Aiello.
– We welcome Bruce Payette, the key developer of Windows PowerShell, and Christoph Bergmeister, one of the open-source contributors to both PowerShell 7 and the VSCode extension.
– Amazon (AWS) sends Angel Calvo, a former PowerShell Manager and now General Manager at Amazon Web Services.
– Microsoft Germany sends Miriam Wiesner, security program manager for Microsoft Defender ATP, and Friedrich Weinmann, a premier field engineer for security. Both talk about securing PowerShell and your enterprise.
– Community: PowerShell is driven by a vibrant, creative and very friendly community. If you are already a member of a PowerShell user group, you know how caring the ecosystem is and how the community shares work through modules, blog posts, podcasts, and more. So psconf.eu is the annual place to meet in person, think up new plans, and just hang out and relax among people that share the passion.
If this community is still new to you, psconf.eu is a perfect starting place to meet the gang and many of the key members in person, find a user group near you, or get help founding one yourself. Don’t worry to attend this event if you feel you are a bit shy. You never walk alone (unless you want to), and there are plenty of opportunities to get connected.
– Session Recordings: A significant amount of effort each year goes into session recordings. We don’t turn the conference into a huge video tutorial but want to make sure each attendee can recap sessions with a video. We make all of these videos freely available (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxgrI58XiKnDDByjhRJs5fg) after the conference on a best-effort basis. They can’t capture the many discussions, side events and personal talks. But they are very helpful to rewind through some of the topics and sessions and refresh the memory.
Below please find the preliminary agenda. There are still some blind spots while we are waiting for the PowerShell Team to finalize their sessions. Since PowerShell 7 is released this year, you can guess some of their topics.
Click a session to open a popup with the session abstract!
A month prior to the conference when the agenda is finalized, we make available a conference app that you can use to start building your personal agenda and navigate the sessions during the conference.
Community Module Authors
Chances are you are using community-authored PowerShell modules in your daily work.
Below is a quick list of popular PowerShell modules published by this year’s speakers. psconf.eu would be an excellent time to meet their creators, ask questions, toss in ideas, or just say “thank you”:
– Universal Dashboard: Adam Driscoll is with us this year and presents his Universal Dashboard (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/UniversalDashboard) to create breath-taking web-based helpdesk UIs. He’s also an expert for building your own PowerShell hosts and has created the PowerShell extension for Visual Studio (https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=AdamRDriscoll.PowerShellToolsforVisualStudio2017-18561). One of his lesser known PowerShell modules is Snek (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/snek), a wrapper around Python for .NET.
– TypeToUml: Anthony Allen has created TypeToUml (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/TypeToUml) to create UML diagrams from .NET types and in his talks sheds lights on PowerShell scoping and plenty of reusable code to not have to reinvent the wheel all the time.
– EzLog: Arnaud Petitjean makes well-formatted PowerShell logs a snap with EzLog (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/EZLog) and shares freely his module KeeRest (https://github.com/apetitjean/KeeRest) to expose a KeePass database via a Rest API. He’s from France and has published a number of French books on PowerShell. At the conference, he focuses on secret management: how to build a secure Rest API to expose passwords, and how to manage access permissions.
– ArmHelper: Barbara Forbes published ArmHelper (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/ARMHelper) which provides functions to help with the deployment of ARM templates. Barbara is an Office365 and Azure expert and shares her know-how at 4bes.nl. Her talks at the conference help you discover Azure PowerShell Functions and find out how you can run some of your PowerShell tasks in the cloud.
– PSScriptAnalyzer: Christoph Bergmeister is one of the master minds behind the PSScriptAnalyzer that analyzes PowerShell code in real-time and is responsible for squiggle lines in VSCode. If you ever wanted to extend the cleverness of this engine, or add your own rules and have the engine check your corporate PowerShell formatting rules, this is the chance to get the know-how first-hand.
– PowerShell IoT: Daniel Silva is one of the most prominent PowerShell IoT lovers and with his module (https://github.com/PowerShell/PowerShell-IoT) illustrates how to use PowerShell to control devices and build your own smart home. At the conference, Daniel helps you expand your skills in two directions: learn more about IoT, and embrace C# even if you are not a developer and happy with scripting.
– RDExSessionInfo: Evgenij Smirnov created RDExSessionInfo (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/RDExSessionInfo) to get extended information on RDS sessions. At the conference, he talks about consuming low-level APIs to extend PowerShell’s capabilities.
– Kubectl: if you never heard of “Kubectl” or Kubernetes (https://kubernetes.io/docs/reference/kubectl/overview/), then Felix Becker and his module PSKubectl (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PSKubectl) may be a great starting point: kubectl is the command line to manage Kubernetes which is becoming the industry standard to orchestrate container deployments. PSKubectl wraps this inside PowerShell. If this made you curious, join Felix’ talk about PSKubectl. If containers and clusters aren’t yours, join Felix shedding light on the secret treasures of the PowerShell formatting system.
– MicrosoftGraphAPI: Jakob Gottlieb Svendsen is our LEGO robot specialist with many more talents. He wrote MicrosoftGraphAPI (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/MicrosoftGraphAPI) to manage the Microsoft Graph functionality from PowerShell. At the conference, he’ll be talking about PowerShell on Raspberry Pi, and the making of his Azure-connected green house.
– ImportExcel: James O’Neill (working with Doug Finke) has probably created the single most useful community module there is: ImportExcel (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/ImportExcel) makes importing and exporting Excel data/xlsx files a snap and does not even require Office to be installed.
James talks about becoming a PowerShell parameter Ninja, and on how to use multithreading in PowerShell to speed up tasks and do them in parallel, using his module Start-Parallel (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Start-parallel).
– PSVersion: Ever wanted to turn the PowerShell version number into a meaningful friendly name? Then use PSVersion (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PSVersion) from Jan Egil Ring!
In his talks, Jan focuses on Azure Functions in a hybrid world, and Azure Policy Guest Configuration which in some respect works like Group Policies in the cloud and across domains and platforms.
– ADCSTemplateParser: Senior cloud architect Jan-Henrik Damaschke created ADCSTemplateParser (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/ADCSTemplateParser). He also worked on asynchronous PowerShell logging (https://www.itinsights.org/PowerShell-async-logging/) which is highly interesting: don’t let writing logs slow down or block your scripts! He’s explaining his module and concepts at one of his talks. His second talk focuses on real-time communication (basically the stuff done by messengers like WhatsApp) via SignalR and Azure Functions.
– PowerForensics: Security expert Jared Atkinson published PowerForensics (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PowerForensics), a digital forensics framework for PowerShell. At the conference, Jared talks about detection engineering to uncover hacker techniques, and ways for enterprises to approach intrusion detections and responses at scale.
– Pester: This module is so important, it is part of Windows. The latest version is available at https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Pester. Pester is maintained by Jakub Jareš and is a PowerShell testing framework to make sure a script does what it is supposed to do, and won’t break when you add new things to it. At the conference, Jakub introduces version 5. If you have any question about Pester, make sure you bring it.
– ArcAdminTools: Co-founder of the Polish PowerShell user group Mateusz Czerniawski has published a collection of useful admin tools called ArcAdminTools (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/ArcAdminTools). At the conference, he talks about Azure Log Analytics (ALA) and sheds light on Microsoft Graph and what you can do with it.
– AADInternals: Dr. Nestori Syynimaa is a leading Office365 expert and has created AADInternals (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/AADInternals): It utilizes several internal features of Azure Active Directory, Office 365, and related admin tools and can be used as a Azure AD hacking and pen-testing tool. With his intimate knowledge of Azure and Office365, Nestori talks about Azure AD security and how it can be attacked and abused.
– cChoco: Paul Broadwith is a DSC expert and has created the extremely successful cChoco (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/cChoco) DSC resource to use Chocolatey with DSC. At the conference, Paul is tackling two extremely hot topics: using SSH for remoting instead of WinRM, and how to automate the setup of brand-new computer hardware using Boxstarter.
– PSWriteColor: Przemysław Kłys is a “discovery” of last year’s psconf.eu. He had never talked before at large conferences, yet his sessions rocked last year. Meanwhile, he is a regular speaker at large conferences and has published a great number of modules (https://www.powershellgallery.com/profiles/Przemyslaw.Klys), for example PSWriteColor (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PSWriteColor): a wrapper around Write-Host to create beautiful colored output. At this year’s conference, he’ll use his set of free tools to create Active Directory and Office365 auto-documentation to word, excel, and HTML. Definitely a must-see.
– DBAchecks: Rob Sewell co-authored DBAchecks (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/dbachecks) together with Chrissy LeMaire: A testing framework for SQL Server to ensure it is (and continues to be) compliant with your requirements. And as a database admin, of course you’ll know dbatools (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/dbatools), the community tool filled with commands to easily automate database deployment and administration. Rob was in charge of the psconf.eu call for papers and manages the speakers. At the conference, he is talking about PowerShell Notebooks, part of Azure Data Studio, and how useful they can be for you.
– PSHTML: Stephane van Gulick defines himself in one sentence: “I love computers”. He is into DevOps, but also into HTML. His module PSHTML (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PSHTML) can be used to create stunning reports and build entire responsive websites. At the conference he’s sharing how he discovered PowerShell classes and how you could benefit from classes, too.
– ISESteroids: Dr. Tobias Weltner originally created ISESteroids (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/ISESteroids) to make his life easier while adding missing functionality to the built-in PowerShell ISE. Soon, public interest turned this into a commercial-grade product for anyone working with Windows PowerShell and the PowerShell ISE. Tobias has started the psconf.eu conference and lives in Hannover.
Many of us have learned PowerShell using books, and we are humbled to have a number of renown PowerShell book authors from around the world with us. If you have learned by reading one of the books below, and still own your copy, bring it to have it signed by the author:
– Windows PowerShell 5.1 Biblia
PowerShell Deep Dives
Bartek Bielawski talks about PowerShell classes and how you can author DSC resources with it. He also helps you find your way into Git and as a team work with scripts in a safe and structured way.
– PowerShell Core et Windows PowerShell
Windows PowerShell : Fonctionnalités avancées
Windows PowerShell : Guide de référence pour l’administration système
PowerShell Deep Dives
Arnaud Petitjean talks about managing secrets such as passwords and access permissions
– PowerShell in Action
Bruce Payette is a founding member of the PowerShell team and now with AWS. At the conference, Bruce will explain some of the more mysterious moving parts of the PowerShell architecture like PSHost, threads, and runspace pools. He’ll focus on how they work and how they differ in remoting, and if you ever attended one of his talks, you know the tons of practical and undocumented tricks that come with it.
– Windows PowerShell 5 – kurz und gut
Thorsten Butz is a PowerShell trainer and “on-premises” fan, and at the conference talks about querying Wikidata with a glimpse of SPARQL.
– PowerShell 5: Windows-Automation für Einsteiger und Profis
Windows PowerShell: Grundlagen & Scripting-Praxis für Einsteiger – alle Versionen
Dr. Tobias Weltner is running psconf.eu and delivering PowerShell trainings throughout Europe.
Get Your Seat!
Don’t wait for too long and get your seat! In the past three years, psconf.eu sold out every time.
To sign up and reserve your seat, or to get a proposal for your boss, please visit the registration page (https://psconf.eu/register.html).
Signing up early has a number of advantages (for us, but also for you):
* Hotel accommodation is still reasonable, and there is a variety of flights available to Hannover Airport
* You have the guarantee to get a seat
* We are working on a PowerShell delegate jacket. Obviously, the jacket needs to go to production at some time. Anyone signing up until March 15 gets his or her guaranteed jacket size. We order jackets based on gender, so yes the jackets do look good for female delegates as well! Of course, we do our best in extrapolating jacket sizes and types for the rest but anyone signing up later gets a best-effort jacket size and type.
* Signing up early makes life for us a lot easier.
What if you signed up early and can’t come? While conference tickets are never refundable (or else a conference would be impossible to organize), they are transferrable at no cost.
We are looking forward to seeing you at the PowerShell Conference Europe 2020!