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What a great week!

I have been wanting to attend this summit for years and it just never got on my short priority list. This year was different and to be honest, it took DSC and DevOps to get me there. I love PowerShell, have been a fan for a very long time. Since my first reading of the Monad Manifesto back in 2004 I have been using, learning and talking about PowerShell.

This summit is a great opportunity for anyone, IMO. From NooB to expert there is something to take away. For me, I imagine I am not unlike many. I have some areas where I feel I have developed some expert level skills and others, not so much! There is always more to learn and there are always different approaches to pick up from one of the many attendees.

Some highlights for me, other than great breakfast and lunch discussions, were the people. I want to call out a few presenters who I think helped make this a great summit. This is not a complete list at all.

Jason Helmick (@thejasonhelmick) – I attended a few of his sessions on DSC and creating Pull servers. Jason is surely an edutainer. He is funny, engaging, involves the audience. He has a great expertise in the area but has a balance of self-deprecating humor that brings him down to the level of us mere mortals. He provides insight into how things ‘should’ work and how they ‘actually’ work. Important distinction as we work with so many new and evolving technologies.

Don Jones (@concentradeddon) – I wasn’t able to attend his core sessions but he is clearly the defacto leader of this group. He runs the ship incredibly well and is a motivator in the community. His call to action at the end of the week to get people blogging on was great. Having gone through his books on PowerShell a while ago I felt other sessions were more important to me, but, if you haven’t seen Don present make it happen. YouTube is pretty polluted with his sessions. And if you are new to PowerShell his ‘month of lunches’ books are just a great place to get going.

June Blender (@juneb_get_help) – did a great session on Pester and testing PowerShell in general. Very informative and a very seasoned communicator and presenter (she mentioned that she would spend “7 minutes, actually 6 minutes and 42 seconds” on a topic. Is there ‘too prepared’?). She, in case you are not aware, works for Sapien, the makers of PowerShell Studio, and many more tools worth a look. I had lunch at a table with her twice and she is so engaged and helpful. Great community member. Possibly my biggest take away from the summit was that I need to dive into Pester and get some testing skills under my belt (not my strong suit… yet!).

Microsoft Team – too many to talk about. I had the pleasure of working at Microsoft for many years and many of the folks I worked with are now on PowerShell or DSC or just simply close by. Mark Gray (@grayzu) is an old friend of mine and it was so great to see him talk about “DSC Under the Covers” with one of the devs on the team (Travis). Mark is super passionate about DSC about what is going on in Azure and has a very deep background in Group Policy, he gets it. Great to see him shine and hear of some of the great work going on within the team. Many devs and field folks, David, Michael, Travis, Dan, more, more and more.

Kenneth Hansen, Angel Calvo, Erin Chappel, all shared the view from the top, or at least higher up! Erin was my boss for a while when I first joined Microsoft and has evolved her career over the years to take on more and more. Her scope and deep knowledge of Windows Server scenarios is pretty unparalleled and being able to spend time picking her brain and hearing her present is a great opportunity.

The Microsoft team did a lightning round of demos, I think 19 in all. There were so many opportunities for the demo gods to send bolts of lightning down… and it never happened. This was an amazing string of demos and the coordination (thanks @concentradeddon) was incredible. Now, the most amazing, for me, from the PS/DSC team is the incredible representation of women engineers. Clearly a much higher representation of women in engineering than most of us see on a regular basis. Great job Microsoft, this is so important.

Ashley McGlone (@goateePFE) – great presenter, super deep in PS automation especially in Active Directory. If you haven’t seen the sessions Ashley and Jason did for Microsoft Virtual Academy, run, do not walk, and check them out. Ashley has a section of that MVA on AD forensics, he did that session at the summit and although I did no attend that one I know it was great. he provides scripts (as most presenters do) as take aways which are helpful to get you going in a certain area or honestly as a learning tool.

There were so many great presenters, and so many great attendees to meet it is hard to summarize. I have some posts on specific sessions and learning that I will complete this week. I am working on a diary and some updates that are going to dive into areas of specific interest to SDM Software. I am also working on a short editorial on “Cattle vs. Pets” which really pushed the limits of over used metaphors for the week! So, not complete but wanted to call at least a few of the folks who made this a great session for me.