PSConf – Where even the speakers will be learning!

So to set the scene a little there has been some discussions between some of the Speakers about what PSConf will be like for them and I’ve been revisiting the schedule to determine which areas are of the most interests in my opinion to the following categories of attendees



Possibly new to IT and looking at understanding what has in the last 2+ years become a much more critical component in IT systems administration



Potentially has been using PowerShell mainly in a supporting manner for one of the core Microsoft technologies that have embraced it – SharePoint, Exchange, Active Directory etc. and is now looking to further their skills across a wider scope of technologies



Most likely have been using PowerShell for day to day systems management of multiple technologies and is not afraid to get into the nitty gritty of how it all works under the hood and very much likely to be handing experience back to the community via Blog posts and technology conferences like PSConf.


So I decided that really this was much more than just a Simple Tweet – so this had to be a blog post.


Firstly as a speaker there are always some additional benefits to those presented to the general public – like the pre / post event shindigs which are always a great opportunity to have some further discussions on a technical level or even on a more personal level. Having been to the SPSLondon events I enjoyed the ability to understand the variances to the community and realised rather quickly that at 25 I certainly was in the lowest age bracket but that did not stop me having an enjoyable time whilst there.

As a speaker at events I am very aware of the fact that the events are for the community and that giving to the community means much more to me than finances – I do these off my own back and will do so for (hopefully) many years to come so that I can continue to learn from the Community in how they are advancing their skills on a day to day basis.


However back to the point behind this post – as an Attendee of one of the 3 levels i suggested above this event will be a great event due to the variation of levels of content being presented and I’m reading through the schedule (see below) and I am really wishing that I had the ability to split into 2 to attend multiple sessions as the content being delivered here will be of top quality and is really not to be missed.




Now there are a hell of a lot of great sessions but the ones that I feel will be the most benefit to the newcomers to PowerShell would be the following

Day 1

Understand where PowerShell is now and what the Future holds for PowerShell – A must for all Attendees

Gather an insight into the power that is available to IT Admins when using PowerShell Desired State Configuration – The main underlying topic behind the PowerShell Conference

As a SharePoint Person I feel that this one had to be included – With Office 365 organisations that would never have thought of deploying SharePoint will now be looking to take advantage of this immersive platform and this should be an ideal session to show the power that is available when you combine SharePoint & PowerShell

Day 2

For me one of the biggest issues when learning how to code/script in PowerShell is that it can become a messy nightmare rather quickly and this session should be useful for all looking to understand how PowerShell code/scripts can be easily read for when you come back to it or when you pass it to another colleague (or even the community)

One of the most talked about topics at the moment outside of the PowerShell world is the Open Sourcing Models taken by different organisations (Microsoft included) and this should be a great session to introduce the benefits of Source Control and Collaborative programming

  • Manage Office 365 and Azure AD with PowerShell by Jaap Brasser

As more and more organisations, especially start-ups, are looking at ditching the On-Premises servers this should be a great session for those now looking to manage this technology and will be very much worth attending.






Now in a similar manner these are the sessions that I feel will benefit those in the Intermediate category

Day 1

  • Building PowerShell GUI Tool Solutions by Dr. Ferdinand Rios

Anyone that is not a PowerShell person loves their GUI (Graphical User Interfaces) – and this sessions will show you how to can create these yourself using PowerShell as the underlying technology behind them

A more in depth look at how Infrastructure as code as solution can be really adopted within an organisation to bring real time benefits

As Azure is becoming more and more prominent for organisations to take advantage of this should be a very interesting session looking at how making using of the reusability of PowerShell to provide a much more useful and consistent model for implementing solutions quickly and at scale.

Day 2

This for me is one of the most important sessions of the weekend and rightly so as within this session you will be learning from one of the PowerShell Product team – A rare opportunity and not to missed.

  • New PowerShell security features and threat management by Jaap Brasser

PowerShell has unjustly been given a reputation as being an unsecure technology and within this session you will learn about the most recent additions to the PowerShell feature set and will leave this session with a much clearer and more focused view on the way that PowerShell is a much more secure as a technology and how it integrates with other security technologies as well.

  • How to Unit Test your PowerShell Code with Pester by Deepak Dharmi

Unit testing is a critical component when dealing with any programming language and in this session you will learn how to build and implement Unit Testing into your scripts






Now there are a hell of a lot of
great sessions but the ones that I feel will be the most benefit to the
newcomers to PowerShell would be the following

Day 1

Getting into the real deep understanding of how DSC works and as an advanced session this will one of the most integral to getting the most out of the PowerShell Conference

Day 2

This is a session that to me will allow those that are well versed in PowerShell to look at expanding PowerShell by understanding how to make more use of underlying .NET within PowerShell


This should be an interesting session for those that wish to learn about systems management that doesn’t typically span the Microsoft stack and should give the attendees the needed inform them on how they can leverage API’s for systems that they manage whilst using PowerShell

Now its taken me 3+ hours and countless revisions of the above to get where I feel is the most useful for a singular attendee however this is based on my own personal experience and may not be quite right for yourself but the key take home from here is that everyone that attends PowerShell Conference even including the speakers like myself and even the MVP’s will be learning at this event.

However I would stress that if you were to attend as a group then this really does change everything and gives your organisation some amazing face to face time with the Speakers and other Attendees too.

If you are thinking of attending as a group then there are some discounts available depending on the group size

3 – 5 = 10% off
5 + = 20% off

So please drop myself an email via and I will look to arrange to get you sent a discount code.

Coming to Manchester October 13th – Get-PSUGUKMan


I’ve been pondering for some time about getting a Manchester PowerShell User Group up and running and about a month ago I said to myself – Why not just do it.

So I did !!!

The first Manchester PowerShell User Group – which in keeping with the existing UK PowerShell Get-PSUGUK – is being called Get-PSUGUKMan and although I’m in the very basic stages of getting this sorted I do have a venue sorted and also 1 of 2 sessions already put together with hopefully a second to get confirmed in the upcoming weeks.

I plan that this group will meet either monthly or bi-monthly and will start of with its first meet up on October 13th at SpaceportX in Manchester.

Initially the group will be kept to topics that cover PowerShell as a technology in its own right however as this will be a community event and due to the nature of PowerShell having capability with many other applications we may open this up in time or have guest sessions depending on the whether this seems a suitable course to take.

In the meantime I have set up the following

Get-PSUGUK Yammer Network

Eventbrite Registration Page

@GetPSUGUKMan Twitter Account – Follow for updates on the events

Please spread this around as much as possible as I’m hoping this will be the beginning of more local PowerShell communities across the UK and also the beginning of bigger things for the UK PowerShell community

I’ll hope to see you at the event where I will be starting the night with a discussion point on DSC and will provide some learnings to the group from the PowerShell Conference in Singapore only the month beforehand.

Published: 19/08/2015 18:45

September 12th – A Mammoth day of SharePoint & SQL!


​So in just under 5 weeks we will have upon us a great event.

The combination of a SQLSaturday and a SharePoint Saturday all under the 1 roof at The Moller Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

This isn’t the first time an event like this has happened and it is unlikely to be the last time it happens either – but for me this is a first.

Its a first for a number of reasons – not only is it the first joint SQL & SharePoint event I’ve been to but it will be the first that I’m presenting at!


I will be writing some blog posts that cover the content for at the event and will post these after the event including links to any materials that I will be handing out.

Considering that I really only caught the presenting bug back in April of this year at my Local SharePoint User Group this along with SPSLondon is a big step up in the community events and I am really looking forward to the day and more so to get the response from the audience.

I intend to have a short survey for after the session as to allow me to gauge potential improvement areas – something that I’m very passionate about is giving and receiving feedback and with every event like this I believe that feedback of any type can be used to improve the following sessions.

There will be a lot of really great sessions there and its events like this where I look at the schedule and think “I need to clone myself for the day” so that I can attend all of the sessions that I’d enjoy attending.

For me that is the crux of events like this – its not just a simple divide between attendees and presenters. There is nothing stopping an attendee becoming a presenter and that is where the local user groups are a great starting ground and I would highly advise having a short chat with the organisers of your local user groups (be it SharePoint, SQL, Exchange, PowerShell etc) about giving a presentation to the group.

You may find that you enjoy being a presenter (like i have) and wish to continue down that path or you may find that its not for you. But what i do know is that the organisers of the User Groups will be accommodating of you if you choose to go down that route.

For more details on the SQL & SharePoint Saturday please visit the below links

SharePoint Saturday Cambridge

SQL Saturday Cambridge

I for one would like to see more of these joint events take place even if it is just one a year and a big shout out to Mark Broadbent @retracement for the organisation of this epic event and giving me the opportunity to give back to the community yet again this year.

So lastly if you see me at the event come and say Hi and tell me a little about your reasons for attending.

See you there!


Published: 10/08/2015 02:06