Weekend Scripter: 2012 PowerShell Scripting Games Advanced Winner TechEd Report

Doctor Scripto

Summary: The Windows PowerShell 2012 Scripting Games Advanced category winner writes about his experience at Microsoft TechEd in Orlando.

Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. Today I wrap up the weekend with the Advanced category winner of the 2012 Scripting Games, Rohn Edwards, and his memories from Microsoft TechEd 2012.

Rohn Edwards has been a system administrator since 2006. He primarily works on Windows operating systems. A lot of his work involves automated operating system and software deployment via Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. He started learning Windows PowerShell about a year ago when he realized that it can do things that are not even possible in VBScript, and he has not looked back since.

The following photo shows Rohn Edwards, Lido Paglia, and Jeffrey Snover at TechEd.

Photo at TechEd.

Here’s Rohn…

The first word that comes to my mind when thinking about TechEd 2012 is “WOW!” This was my first TechEd, but I certainly hope that it will not be my last. If you have never been to one, I do not think I can explain just how much fun and learning are crammed into such a short amount of time.

Weeks before the conference, I started to get an idea of how big it was going to be when I was looking over the online catalog that showed the sessions, workshops, and labs that were being offered. There was enough content there to keep a developer or IT professional busy for months—but the conference would only last for four days! The schedule I picked out had several time slots that had multiple sessions in them. There literally was not going to be enough time in the day just to see the live sessions that were at the top of my list! I was very relieved to find out that most of the sessions and labs were going to be available online after the conference, so I did not have to worry about not having enough time.

When the conference started, there was literally never a dull moment. An interesting breakfast with Lido Paglia, the other winner of the Scripting Games, on Monday morning got everything started. As a matter of fact, every meal kept the pace of the conference going. No matter who I sat with, the topics of conversation were always interesting. After eating with Lido that first morning, we found the table that Ed and Teresa Wilson (the Scripting Guy and the Scripting Wife) were sitting at, along with some other scripting enthusiasts. Here we are in a photo—left to right: Dan Cruz, Lido Paglia, Rohn Edwards, Scripting Wife (Teresa Wilson), Will Murphy, and Jason Hofferle.

Photo at TechEd

We sat and talked with them until it was time for the keynote speech. The keynote was an incredibly interesting, information-packed speech that included several speakers and live demonstrations. The TechExpo booths opened after that, and it was HUGE! There were vendor booths and booths set up by Microsoft for their products and technologies. I really enjoyed exploring the floor and talking to the people in the vendor booths.

I enjoyed the Microsoft booths a lot. They gave people the ability to get almost any question answered about specific Microsoft products. If the people staffing the booths when you stopped by couldn’t answer a question for you, they could tell you when to come back so that the person who knew the answer could help you out.

Of course, my favorite booth of all was the Scripting Guys booth. Lido and I found ourselves stopping in whenever we could find the time. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to talk to other people who shared my enthusiasm for Windows PowerShell and scripting in general. I also enjoyed being able to finally meet and talk to some of the people whose blogs and books I have been reading for the past several months. It was really amazing to be able to talk to the people who literally taught me everything I know about Windows PowerShell.

All four days were crammed with events from the early morning to late at night. If I wasn’t eating, I was at one of the breakout sessions listening to Microsoft developers talking about their products or experts talking about something in their field, working one of the hands-on labs, or spending time on the TechExpo floor. The last event was the icing on the cake! We were treated to an amazing closing party at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park with free food and rides!

Overall, it was an incredible experience. I got enough new information about Windows Server 2012, Windows PowerShell 3.0, and SCCM 2012 SP1 to keep me busy for a while—and I still have several more online sessions to watch and labs to complete. I will definitely try to go to as many more TechEd events in the future as I can. If you’ve never been to a TechEd, I can’t recommend it enough! Hopefully I’ll be able to make it to New Orleans next year and I’ll see you there!


Thank you, Rohn, for taking the time to write this report. I also want to say that it was great to meet you, and to have the opportunity to hang out with you for a few days. Awesome job on the Scripting Games this year. And now I formally invite you to be a judge for next year’s games. It is only about 10 months away, so it is time to begin organizing the games. You in?

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at scripter@microsoft.com, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.

Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy