Azure Advent Calendar

Background

The Azure Advent Calendar is a collaboration for members of the International #AzureFamily to contribute a video and blog post about a topic of their choice related to the Azure Public Cloud, which was brought to life by Richard Hooper (aka Pixel Robots) & Gregor Suttie two recent UK Azure MVP’s that make up 23 Azure MVP’s out of a total 164 UK MVP’s of which I am one of in the Cloud and Datacenter Management category.

It is fair to say that over the course of the 25 days of Advent there are a number of great sessions lined up with 3 taking place each day. totalling 75 sessions of content ranging from 30mins to 1hour each across a wide range of Azure specific content.

For more details and direct links to each of the sessions taking place you can access them in the handy table on the Azure Advent Calendar  website or directly subscribe on the Youtube Channel.  You can also find them via doing a twitter search for #AzureAdventCalendar

My Joint Contribution

This year my contribution is a joint contribution with Rik Hepworth, Chief Consulting Officer at Black Marble ( Azure MVP | @rikhepworth | Blog ) discussing some of the wider aspects of Governance, coming from a more general sense than just the Azure sense, although we will cover some of the components that have been covered in prior sessions of the Advent Calendar. Rik & I are 2 of 6 Microsoft MVP’s at Black Marble, covering areas including Azure, Cloud & Datacenter Management, Developer Technologies, Office Apps & Services & Windows Development.

Between us both we have seen how organisations have adopted the cloud in a number of very different ways, often depending on their size as an organisation and their maturity when it comes to developing, building, testing, deploying and managing their various forms of software.

The video will be available on the Azure Advent Calendar YouTube Channel and the direct link to the video is as below (which you’ll be able to watch sometime today December 24th)

 

We mentioned a number of items in this session and you can see many of them as per the below links

Azure Governance Docs – https://aka.ms/governancedocs
Azure Cloud Adoption Framwork – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/cloud-adoption-framework/
https://azureadventcalendar.com/
Jack Tracey – Azure Governance – https://jacktracey.co.uk/community/azure-advent-calendar-2019/
Wesley Hakkman – Azure Blueprints – https://www.wesleyhaakman.org/azure-advent-calendar-azure-blueprints/
Ignite Governance Sessions – https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions?t=%257B%2522from%2522%253A%25222019-11-03T08%253A00%253A00-05%253A00%2522%252C%2522to%2522%253A%25222019-11-08T19%253A00%253A00-05%253A00%2522%257D&g=%255B%2522on-demand%2522%255D&q=governance&s=%257B%2522name%2522%253A%2522translate.refine.label.sort.relevance%2522%252C%2522type%2522%253A0%257D
Satya Vel Session on Azure Governance – #BRK2021 – https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/81583?source=sessions
Rik Hepworth’s Session on Azure Governance – #BRK1035 – https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/78682?source=sessions
Azure Arc – #BRK3327 – https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/83989?source=sessions
Azure User Groups – https://techielass.com/azure-meetups
Sarah Lean – @techielass – https://twitter.com/TechieLass/

 

Summary

So far this has been a great event for all those involved and for the wider community to gain insight into just how big the Azure Cloud really is. I hope that those that watch mine & Rik’s contribution around the importance of the need for some governance in the cloud.

Please spread the word to everyone you know in the Azure space using the hashtag #AzureAdventCalendar & #AzureFamily

My First Ignite, Speaking and Attending – Done & Dusted – Pt1

This post is going to be all about Microsoft Ignite and my experience as both a 1st time attendee & a 1st time speaker. There’s going to be a lot to read so I highly recommend you go get a brew sorted (tea, coffee, beer, wine etc) before sitting down to read this post which at over  2600 words is quite a read, and this is just part 1 of 2 which focuses on the lead up to Ignite & not Ignite itself which will come in Pt2 of this series.

What is Ignite

Microsoft Ignite is Microsoft’s flagship conference, which hit Orlando, Florida, USA, November 4th to 8th (with an optional Pre Day on the 3rd) and with any big conference it never starts on the first day but for those of us in the wider technical communities and travelling from all over the world to get to attend them it can start as early as the week beforehand.

Microsoft Ignite is big (& then some) at over 30 thousand attendees! Many of the partners, attendees & speakers fly in from every single part of the planet so you can be guaranteed to run into ever increasingly diverse population of attendees, though there’s certainly room for diversity at conferences like Ignite to grow.

With over 1500 sessions (which you can search for on the Session Catalog), mainly about almost all things in the world of Microsoft technologies, for techies there’s something for almost everyone. However there’s also a number of sessions spread out across the week in the Diversity & Inclusion track as well, a track I hope many of those reading will watch sessions from as there were a number of fantastic sessions in this track, details of which I will go into a little later on.

In the Beginning

In my case however, it started all the way back in July when the MVP & RD Call for Content opened on July 9th and whilst I had a vague idea after a few days of umm’ing & arr’ing on what I wanted to submit on, I gave myself time to mull over it before deciding I would submit.

Once I had decided I was going to submit, I firmed up what my not 1, not 2 but 5 different session submissions would be, split across a variety of technical and non-technical sessions & over the coming weeks I polished them off before finally submitting them on the night before the finalised extended closing date for submission on August 6th.

Over the course of the following weeks I moved on with day to day life and waited patiently until acceptance emails started to go out on Tuesday August 20th.

Whilst acceptance emails started to go out around 6 PM UK Time (UTC +1 at the time) & lots of people were already announcing they’d been accepted for Ignite, I received the below stating I’d been accepted for 2 sessions 🎉

So I’d had 2 of those 5 sessions submitted accepted, however, I decided to hold back on announcing that I had been accepted until at least the following day, for a few reasons

  • I had to come to terms that I had been accepted to speak at Ignite, Microsoft’s biggest Technical Conference.
    • Whilst this seems like a given considering I submitted, it still was a huge shock to be accepted, more so on the topics that I had been accepted for.
    • It’s worth pointing out that submitting a topic is not the same as committing to present said topic, you only really can commit once you’ve been accepted & you have come to terms with being accepted and all that comes with presenting a session. Once you’ve done that you can then confirm your acceptance to present that session. Which is why it’s important that organisers don’t just put you on the line up as soon as they send out the acceptance of your session.
    • However I personally would also have liked a bit more time to mull over session acceptance as the acceptance email indicated that we had until Friday 23rd August to pull out. I would seriously recommend that event organisers give at least a full weekend in future for speakers to be able to work out all the logistics around the session, including whether it’s actually feasible or not when they aren’t dealing with their day to day workloads so they can properly relax and think things though (or in my case whiteboard it)
  • I had to be confident in my ability to deliver these sessions.
    • Whilst this again seems like a given, I was very much feeling the onset of Imposter Syndrome, because whilst I think I know a fair amount on the accepted sessions, there’s always this pit of doubt within me about my knowledge, something that I find incredibly difficult to shake off.
  • I had to feel comfortable with the idea of presenting at such a big conference
    • Prior to this I had presented at Techorama & the London leg of Ignite the Tour, which in comparison are what I would classify as medium sized conferences.
    • Both events had drained me a little due to their size & I was worried about how this would transpire to an Ignite sized event.
  • I had to feel comfortable attending such a big conference
    • This in itself was the biggest of the factors for me as over the years I’ve started finding larger crowds less and less comfortable to be a part of, so I had to feel comfortable in myself that just being at Ignite would not over stress and over stretch me, at least not too much.
  • How would agreeing to this, and the stresses of putting together sessions impact me & my mental health in the coming weeks & months
    • Did I feel I could cope with this on top of my day to day workload.
    • Did I feel that in accepting I would adequately stretch myself in a way that I would be overall comfortable with & not over stretch me.
    • At the end of the day my own mental health will always come first & whilst I know my own warning signs, I am not afraid to pull out of sessions because of my own mental health. Something I’ve only ever done once.

Once I had mulled over things, I then had a quick chat with my boss and fellow MVP Rik Hepworth about my concerns, mainly to voice them out loud to someone other than myself & gain some additional feedback on them, particularly as he’s a seasoned pro when it comes to the bigger events and I wanted to hear about the experience from someone close to me that I both know & trust. After that conversation I felt more comfortable and confident & decided that yes I would go forward with my sessions. That’s when I then announced I was going to speak, as you can see below.

I had Anna Chu (Community Lead for Microsoft Ignite) respond (who I was lucky enough to meet and have a good long chat to at Ignite)

and also Shona Bang (ex lead of Diversity & Inclusion, now rebranded #HumansOfIT & lead of the D&I track at this years Ignite) comment – with Shona giving away what one of my sessions was going to be on, (again I was lucky enough to meet Shona and have a good long chat to at Ignite too!)

Looking back at this point I am really glad that only 2 were accepted, you can read more about the sessions that were accepted (inc links direct to the videos) in my prior post Speaking at Microsoft Ignite, but not about tech, as there is a lot of work that goes into a deck & in a future post I will detail just how much work I put into my decks.

However, whilst in the run up to Ignite I had one of the other sessions I had submitted for Ignite, Making Operational Azure Management a Breeze, selected on September 27th for a UK based conference called Evolve, which was happening on Monday October 21st 2019.

Now I had 3 sessions to pull together with only 3 full weeks until Evolve & 5 weeks until Ignite.

Oh well this will be fun, I started to think to myself. #ChallengeAccepted

However I had also come to terms in the prior few weeks my sleep cycle was starting to be more worrisome than it had been previously. So I took myself to the doctors, explained the situation to them in detail (always tell your doctor the full story!) particularly as my sleep hasn’t been fantastic for best part of a decade, thanks to 100+ hour working weeks at McDonalds in my pre-IT career days in early 201x’s (yes only this current decade) & working 2 jobs (days & nights) for into late 2014, and was prescribed some sleep aid medications. I can safely say that having these have helped my sleep no end & whilst I expect my sleep cycle will take some time (& some additional lifestyle changes) to properly kick back into a more regular rhythm, I can already tell there has been some improvement in it, however this could be entirely psychological, something I am currently pondering over in more detail & intend to discuss this with my doctor over the coming months.

Roll forward to the evening of Friday 18th October, after a particularly bad week with sleep (I’d run out of my sleep meds) , I get home after what was reasonably long day and open up my three decks & corresponding Onenote’s to work out how much I had left to do. That’s when panic set in. I realised I had much more than I had thought left to do and had somehow miscalculated how long was left till Evolve, thinking I still had another week left and not just the weekend.

So here comes panic mode, and whilst in panic mode & whilst I know I shouldn’t, I end up telling myself things like

  • I can’t do this
  • I should pull out of doing this
    • I actually started writing emails to pull out of both Evolve and Ignite. Emails I later deleted!
  • I was stupid to agreeing to do this
  • I won’t enjoy myself doing this
  • I wont agree to do this again

However, all that is happening is the side of me that thinks I am destined to fail is coming to surface & this is common when levels of stress are high and end up inducing panic. Luckily, I know what this looks like and more importantly feels like, because I’ve regularly put myself into that kind of situation and over the years have come to realise ways that help me ride out the panic, with activities like walking to the shops, getting a long bath/shower, playing a frame or 5 of snooker (on the table I have at home) & chucking on one of my many calming tracks on Spotify being just a small selection of the things that help be de-escalate the stress of the situation. Heck finding a toilet and locking the door for 2-35 minutes can be the simplest way to let the situation de-escalate when I am out and about.

Once de-stressed, I revert to my more typical growth mindset of

  • I can and will do this
  • I just need to focus on what I need to do now to succeed in doing this
  • I agreed to do this because I know I can do this
  • I have previously enjoyed doing this, so I will do so again
  • Therefore I will agree to do this again
  • I will likely go through this cycle again, but it’s an important cycle to stretch myself to grow as an individual

 

If I had slept well that week, I wouldn’t have had a short (in the grand scheme of things) 2 hour meltdown about it. Thankfully a nice long soak in the bath and a new album on Spotify did wonders and set back onto the more happy path I needed to be to get shit done. This is just a simple example of what bad sleep can do to you (well me), leading to easier levels of less than usual rational thinking.

Rolling on from Friday evening to Sunday morning & the deck for Evolve is now completed, Monday comes along and I deliver the session at Evolve which I think went down well & I was able to crack on with more of my Ignite Decks and get myself back on track to where I wanted to be.

At this point there was just 13 days until Ignite and a fair amount of travel ahead for work in between it all & I still had so much more that I wanted to get into my decks, particularly my Mental Health deck, that I was now looking at my OneNote and moving things from the “must talk about” pile to the “maybe next time” pile so that I could fit it all in.

There’s so much more that I would have liked to talk about but by this point I had already spent many hours in rehearsals, edits, amendments and far too much time in MS Paint too! I couldn’t realistically afford to add in another run of heavy content amendments so started on polishing the session and really getting to know the session flow properly, particularly as this had been the deck I was most concerned about, because whilst I can write and talk about tech, building a deck and talking about a non-technical subject like Mental Health felt 100x harder, perhaps because overall this is a more important topic, so I felt additional stress to “get it right”.

Travel Time

You would think that after a fair amount of travel over the years that I would have my routine down to a tee and be 100% ready, sorted out for my travel & be all prepared, packed the night before with all the alarms set as needed to make the hour long drive to the airport to catch a 10am Sat morning flight. I however crashed on the Friday night when I walked though the door before I had set alarms, I had however been smart earlier on in the week and done extra washes throughout the week, so I was ahead of myself and could easily pack when I woke up at 5am that morning. Rushing around at 5am internally yelling at myself “shit did I pack that”, “shit where is that” and “I’m just going to miss the plane” is certainly one way to wake yourself up in a hurry. Then again so is a can of Red Bull and a cold shower.

Roll on a few hours, it’s past 7am, I have dumped the car off at airport parking, and I’m now sat in Manchester Airport with a pint (of cider) in hand and doing a run through of my Mental Health deck whilst trying to pass the time. I am now at the stage where I am genuinely happy with the deck but need to iron out a few niggles with it, and what better than almost 3 hours to do so at the airport.

But maybe the trusty Surface Book 2 has other ideas

Luckily it has lasted beyond Ignite, but it’s not far off from needing replaced now I don’t think, which is a shame as I really like the keyboard on this device as it’s so easy to type on.

However travelling to Orlando was nice and simple with a direct flight there which I have to call out Virgin Atlantic for such a lovely flight. It certainly was one of the easier and more comfortable of the flights that I have done over the years.

Once I got out at Orlando it was pretty smooth and simple enough getting though and out of Airport Security, registered for Ignite at the Airport and then went about arranging an Uber to my hotel. Once I had dumped bags off I went off in search of the convention centre which was a good 40 minute walk from my hotel and a good way to stretch the legs after the long flight.

Anyway I think that is enough for now and I hope you will join me in part 2 of this post when I will go into a day by day recap of the what the event was like, which I intend to try and get out early next week.

Speaking at Evolve Conference

You can tell that the end of year conference season is coming up as we’ve just wrapped up PSDayUK, which was a resounding success!

Then this week there are a number of events currently going on, and with some of the Black Marble team, currently at Future Decoded, and some more of the team currently at Techorama Netherlands, this week as well, the office has seemed somewhat quiet.

Then next Saturday (12th October) there is DDD @ Microsoft Reading (which I am attending) and then in just a short few weeks is Evolve Conference, where I will be speaking on Making Operational Azure Management a breeze.

So with just under 3 weeks to prep for this session, alongside preparations for my 2 Sessions that were selected for Ignite as blogged about in Speaking at Microsoft Ignite, but not about tech, there’s a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it, before the additional element of adding some work for Hacktoberfest I can see this being a VERY busy month, and that’s without factoring in the working week.

But I do love it and I will be looking forward to (maybe) a quiet last 6 weeks of the year.

Speaking at Microsoft Ignite 2019, but not about tech

Yet again I’ve had another acceptance on a session that I have submitted to a conference, this time to Microsoft’s flagship conference, Ignite, this year taking place between November 4th – 8th 2019 in Orlando, Florida.

 

I’ve been accepted for 2 sessions, a 45 minute Breakout session and a 20 minute theatre session, both of which will be brand new to me sessions, and whilst both are completely non-technical, they are incredibly important topics in the Diversity & Inclusion track, something that I have been trying more and more to be better involved with.

The first session “Mental Health: It’s time to talk” is going to be an interesting and fun talk to plan, and planning has already started, including planning what tech I need to used to be able to pull together some statistics to share in my session.

The session description is as follows Microsoft Ignite Session BRK1033

The second session “Mentoring: Is it your most powerful networking tool?” is a short theatre session covering my own experience with mentoring and how I am excited with the new mentoring app as detailed in this blog post on Tech Community

The session description is as follows Microsoft Ignite Session THR1044

 

As I mentioned in a previous blog post on my Reflective thoughts on 2018 and a look ahead at 2019  I intend to be doing more and more technical and non-technical writing & also where possible more non-technical presenting as part of a personal long term goal to reduce the stigma of talking and writing about Mental Health, because like many millions out there Mental Health Affects Someone Like Me.

 

You can follow my Mental Health blog site over at @mhasl_me and if you are interested in helping writing content at all then please head to the site at https://mhasl.me and fill in the form linked to on there.

I’m looking forward to getting these 2 presentations put together for a number of reasons, including the following

  • These are both non-technical topics that are both really close to my heart, and well one that you could say is more close to my head than my heart, but it is something that I want to use my technical & non-technical skills where I can for good and this feels like a good extension of where I can start.

Whilst I am looking forward to the next 2 months of planning and presentation refinement, I will also be looking forward to taking some much needed downtime afterwards to decompress properly as  event’s like Microsoft Ignite and other conferences can be draining, especially with the International travel and change of body clock due to the time zone difference.

 

That’s all for now, but I have a few more posts in the works, so expect another new post from me soon enough

Time for a Lick of Paint

After a good few years with the last rather dated look of this blog as per below

I felt that it was time for a bit of an update.

Though this also coincided with some software updates that I needed to implement as well so I thought I’d do a rolling update of theme, software and plugins and luckily most of it went ok (this time round)

Let me know what you think in the comments

Speaking at Ignite on Tour London

You can tell that it’s the beginning of the conference session confirmation season as I’ve had another acceptance on a session that I have submitted to a conference, this time to the London leg of Microsoft’s Ignite on Tour conference on Feb 26th – 27th at the Excel London.

The session that I will be delivering is a new to me session called “Using Azure for Good – the story behind mhasl.me” and is a “from the trenches” story of the technological and architectural decisions made along the way behind the delivery of a completely new blog site that I am in the process of building and hope to finally release in the upcoming weeks.

The session description is below.

Description

In this session I will cover the technical background of a new site that I have developed for sharing stories related to many different aspects of Mental Health and how it is something that affects someone just like you or me.

In this session I will cover

  • Architectural decisions and why I made the decisions I made.
  • The Technicals behind the site and the components used as part of the building, maintaining and development of the site, from Azure DevOps to Azure Resources and how I built a repeatable deployment of the Resources that made the site a possibility from the get go.
  • Security Decisions that I made along the way and why I chose them.
  • Lessons learned along the way
  • And lastly why I think this is a topic that in tech we need to talk more about

 

As I mentioned in a previous blog post on my Reflective thoughts on 2018 and a look ahead at 2019  I intend to be doing more and more technical and non-technical writing with this new blog site as part of a personal long term goal to reduce the stigma of talking and writing about Mental Health, because like many millions out there Mental Health Affects Someone Like Me. You can follow the site’s progress via Twitter over at @mhasl_me and if you are interested in helping writing content at all then please head to the currently deployed placeholder site at https://mhasl.me and fill in the form linked to on there.

I’m looking forward to getting this presentation put together for a number of reasons, including the following

  • This is my first conference talk at a Microsoft run conference. This in itself brings a number of interesting challenges, not least ones related to and centred around my own Mental Health, especially around anxiety and my management of nerves. However this is a (mostly) fun challenge, including setting a tight time boxed deadline to actually get this up and running which means I have to actually start kicking in PDD – Presentation Driven Development as coined by @daviwil and noted in https://twitter.com/BrucePayette/status/723513244342751232
  • The technical side of this is filled with a number of interesting & complex challenges, mainly because in my own desire to  that should have a number of interesting decision points along the way, with a number of them already made and make for a number of different choices, not least in IaaS vs PaaS vs a mix.
  • The non-technical side is a topic that’s really close to my heart, and well one that you could say is more close to my head than my heart, but it is something that I want to use my technical & non-technical skills where I can for good and this feels like a good place where I can start.

On a side note, but still semi related, I have signed up as a #MindCampaigner and you can too at https://action.mind.org.uk/be-mind-campaigner

 

mind

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.staffordshire.police.uk/media/3270/mental-health-words-icon-clear-2/image/stess_3.png?resize=208%2C208&ssl=1

(Image above copied from link to this article – https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/article/2051/Personal-Safety )

 

I’m looking forward to the next 4 weeks ahead, but I am also looking forward to a few days downtime afterwards to decompress properly afterwards too.

Speaking at TechoramaBE

Looking through my emails & twitter on Sunday I was pleasantly surprised to see these two items popup

Followed closely with the following email

TechoramaBE

From everything I have heard about Techorama, it looks to be a good conference and I am certainly looking forward to visiting Belgium 🙂

This is the first of many submissions that I have made, but the 1st that I can accept and attend as I was also accepted for DevOps Pro Europe in Lithuania (another on the to visit list) but this unfortunately clashes with the MVP Summit so I’ve had to turn that one down 🙁

Looking forward to getting back into the swing of technical presentations yet again.

Heres to a fun filled 2019.

For more info on where I am presenting / attending you can see Find Me At & you can see Where I’ve Presented or Where have I been for a historic overview

 

PSDay 2019 – Call for Speakers

As promised in my last post – I wanted to let you know that the Call for Speakers for PSDay 2019, to be held on September 30th, at etcVenues in Birmingham, is now open.

The Call for speakers form is located over on Sessionize & we are looking for sessions for topics as listed is this post from last years PSDay Call for speakers and to be of 60 minutes in length for the main conference sessions, however unlike last year we are also accepting submissions for the post-conference Workshop Training day that we intend on putting on Tuesday 1st October 2019, also at etcVenues. More details on the Workshop Training day will come in a following post.

We currently have a cut of date of the beginning of May 1st for sessions (UTC) with a view to announce the speaker schedule around the week of PSConfEU. I would also suggest that the abstract you submit does not need to be perfect, at least on initial submission, as we have allowed for the sessions to be amended after initial submission.

Part of the reason for this is that we will come back to submitted sessions in the early weeks of May and start to reach out to speakers to either confirm or polish off their abstract in those coming weeks, prior to us announcing the full line up of speakers by mid June.

We are also currently in the process of working out what sponsorship packages of the event will look like and I would say until we release a further post on what these look like if your organisation would be interested in sponsoring PSDay then please reach out to me in this interim period, whilst we iron out what the sponsorship package would look like.

I am looking forward to PSDay & I am looking forward to seeing you there as either, an attendee, a speaker or a sponsor.

If you have any questions at all please reach out and I’d be happy to answer.

Update

Some things to note as I am expecting questions on this to crop up, we currently do not think that we will be able to help with speaker costs, however this may change, so please if you submit something and may be looking for assistance with cost’s please add this in as an additional note so that we at least have some awareness of this and can try and plan to accommodate where possible. This is far from a guarantee that we will be able to assist, but allows us to try and gauge how things pan out and if we many need to adjust costs if/when we feel we are likely able to help support those speakers that may need additional assistance and I envision that this will be looked at on a case by case basis alongside the sessions submissions.

Tickets should go on sale in stages in the upcoming few weeks – more on this once we have managed to have a further organisers discussion in the next week or so and I will blog about it when they go live.

Update 2

Regarding Travel into the UK after Brexit – This is something that I have not looked into and therefore I would suggest to all that may ask about it to just keep an eye on what happens at this stage and consult your own governments documentation guidance into as this will likely be the most up to date and will have the right information available as to how it may / may not end up affecting you.

Info Share about PSDayUK 2019 – What’s to come?

This year, we as the collective behind the UK PowerShell & DevOps User Groups, are running the third PSDayUK event, the only Conference that is totally Dedicated to PowerShell here in the UK & will be held on Monday September 30th at etcVenues, Birmingham.

I have already been asked by a few people about why we have decided to move the event this year, and a small part of that comes down to the overall event financials as running an event like PSDay or even the larger PowerShell Conferences like PSConf Asia, PSConf EU and also the US PowerShell & DevOps summit are not cheap events to run, and that is not including any time that myself and the other organisers put in behind the scenes, above and beyond our day jobs, to bring events like this & the PowerShell User Groups to you all around the UK.

One of the other reasons for the move is that we as organisers of the collective are dedicated to bringing more year on year events like PSDayUK but also other smaller events like hands on workshops as well, and looking ahead, the partnership that we will have with etcVenues should then open up further doors for us as a collective to be able to do so in other cities as well. We had already come to the decision that over the upcoming years we would intend on doing some rotation of where the event is hosted, with a view to have the event take place in some of the other larger cities in the UK, with London, Birmingham and Manchester being 3 of the main cities that we had in mind. It is of no surprise, at least to me and the other organisers, that I suggested that we look to move the vent to take place in Manchester, as after all Manchester is where the revival of the UK PowerShell User Groups first occurred in 2015 as I blogged about at https://blog.kilasuit.org/2015/08/19/coming-to-manchester-october-13th-get-psugukman, However upon further discussion with the other organisers we all settled on looking at Birmingham this year, for 2 real main reasons. Firstly, Birmingham is the second largest city of the UK and what comes with that is a fantastic set of options for travelling to Birmingham, including it being relatively easy to get to via road for those that wish to drive, a very good rail network link for those that don’t, and also there is also the Birmingham International Airport which allows visitors from out of the UK (or even within) to get to Birmingham relatively easily and the Venue itself is only a 5-10 minute walk from Birmingham New Street Station, which means it’s extremely accessible to get to. Secondly as part of the collectives plans for growth we are taking the opportunity at this point in time to expand the UK PowerShell Community by bringing it to Birmingham, and in the last few days we have had some conversations about when we will see a PowerShell Birmingham group spin up and we are trying to see how soon we can get one organised for, with a view for the first week in February. For future details on this please follow PowerShell Birmingham Meetup Group where we will announce the group (twitter account will follow).

This doesn’t mean that PSDay will not return to London in future, far from it, especially as London has been a huge driving force for the UK PowerShell User Group community over the last few years and especially the last year with them managing to secure a reoccurring host & sponsor in Dotmailer, and as I mentioned in my Reflective thoughts on 2018 and a look ahead at 2019 blog post, one of the areas for 2019 for me on a personal level with the UK PowerShell Community is to see it grow even further and there are a number of cities where we will be looking at expanding the User Group community where we can. If this is something that you would like to have an initial chat about potentially standing up a new UK PowerShell community in your city then please feel free to get in touch with me directly easiest is via Twitter and we can go from there, but also have a read of this article on PowerShell.org that I wrote some time ago – So you want to form a User Group? as it gives a lot of good pointers that I found when initially setting up the UK PowerShell Communities. It does need an update and that is something that I will be revisiting in the very near future with some updates.

However, back to PSDayUK 2019, in the coming weeks and most likely around the time that we have the first PowerShell Cardiff Meetup and that I will also be appearing on The PowerScripting Podcast Returns on Jan 16th (technically the 17th at 02:00 UTC 0, but I knew what I was signing up for), I will be posting more information about the 2019 event including, but not limited to, the opening of the call for speakers, for breakout sessions and also post-conference workshop sessions, information about when we will open ticket availability and also details in our calls for sponsors. I am sure that there will be other things that we will announce over time as well.

In the meantime you can find a recap of the 2018 and 2017 events on PSDay.UK and see all the recorded sessions from previous years on the Youtube channel which also has videos from some of our other events as well.

If you have any questions around PSDay 2019, or the UK PowerShell Community please feel free to tweet the psdayuk account for PSDay items, Tweet the getpsuguk account for UK items,  tweet me directly or leave a comment on this post and I’ll get back to you.

I’m looking forward to what 2019 brings the UK PowerShell Community, stay tuned for future updates.