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://i2.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.