Weekend Scripter: Ten Ways to Continue the Spirit of the PowerShell Scripting Games

Doctor Scripto

Summary: Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, answers the question about how to continue with the spirit of the Scripting Games. Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. I know it is the weekend, at least in Charlotte, North Carolina in the southern portion of the United States. But hey, I have been really busy this week, and I am behind on answering email sent to scripter@microsoft.com. So, I thought I would take today to answer one of my emails. Here we go… Hey, Scripting Guy! Question Hey, Scripting Guy! I have to tell you that I am sort of in a daze. In fact, you might even say that I am becoming depressed. The reason? The 2012 Scripting Games are over, and I do not know what to do with all my spare time. I was used to going to work every day and checking out the Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog, reading about the Scripting Wife, keeping track of all the comments on the blogs and twitter…and now it is all over. Can you do another Scripting Games? I have really taken my Windows PowerShell to the next level, and I do not want to lose that momentum.   —EB  Hey, Scripting Guy! Answer Hello EB, Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. I can tell you for a fact, there will not be another Scripting Games this year. We will probably do one again next year, but it took me more than six months of planning for this year’s games, and it would be impossible to do that more than once a year. In addition to my time and efforts, more than 60 Microsoft employees, Microsoft MVPs, and other IT Pros rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to assist with grading and writing expert commentaries and blogs. The Scripting Games are a big deal, and they involve lots of work by lots of people. So, EB, what can you do to continue the spirit of the Scripting Games? There are a number of ways to do this. In no particular order, here is a list.

  1. Join a local Windows PowerShell User Group. There is a master list of Windows PowerShell User Groups on the PowerShell Community Groups site. It lists user groups all over the world. There is even a virtual user group if a group does not exist in your area. Better yet, if a Windows PowerShell User Group does not exist in your area, start one. I have written about Windows PowerShell User Groups on several occasions. In one blog, Microsoft MVP, Tome Tanasovski, discussed why you might want to join a user group. Suffice it to say, joining a local Windows PowerShell User Group is a great way to continue the education you began with the Scripting Games.
  2. Follow the #PowerShell tag on Twitter. Many Windows PowerShell MVPs and other Windows PowerShell community leaders use Twitter, and they all (including the Scripting Wife and me) follow the #PowerShell tag. When you develop a large circle of friends on Twitter, you can quickly become overwhelmed by messages. By using a Twitter client (I am currently using MetroTwit, which sports a nice clean Windows 8-style user interface), you can create search columns that filter out tweets by search tags that people include in the messages. This is great when I am using the Twitter client on my Windows 7 Smartphone. On Twitter, you will see various people mention blogs about Windows PowerShell, videos that they have uploaded, Windows PowerShell User Group meetings, in addition to the general give-and-take of people asking questions. It is a great way to become engaged in the community. By the way, my twitter handle is @ScriptingGuys, and the Scripting Wife’s handle is @ScriptingWife. We would love for you to follow us.
  3. Join the Scripting Guys Group on Facebook. There are over three-thousand members in that group, and it is a great way to interact with people who have similar interests.
  4. Become active in the Official Scripting Guys Forum. I talked about the value of becoming active in the forum in a blog that I wrote about how to learn Windows PowerShell. I gave an example from when I was first studying for the MCSE certification, but the lesson is still applicable. The forum is a great place to ask questions, and also a great place to learn Windows PowerShell better by helping others. There is an old adage (which is true), and it goes like this: “The best way to learn a subject is to teach it.” Answering questions on the Scripting Guys Forum is teaching—and a great way to learn.
  5. Share scripts on the Scripting Guys Script Repository. When you have shared a script with the world on the Scripting Guys Script Repository, you have entered an elite world of scripters because you are now giving back to the scripting community in a real and substantial way. It is also fun because now you get to see how well your script is received by the community. Hey, maybe it will become a Top Ten Script and be mentioned by me in a Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog.
  6. Watch the PowerScripting Podcast. The PowerScripting Podcast is a weekly podcast about Windows PowerShell that is recorded with a live audience. It is a lot of fun, and the interaction in the chat room makes it an enjoyable and substantial learning experience. The Scripting Wife does the scheduling for Microsoft MVP, Hal Rottenberg, and cohost, Jonathan Walz; and therefore, she is in the chat room each week. The advantage of recording live is that you have a chance to ask questions of the host via the chat room. Check it out.
  7. Check out the Scripting with Windows PowerShell site in the Scripting Guys Script Center. This site hosts a number of podcasts and two video series with associated quizzes that comprise a number of learning opportunities.
  8. Peruse the Scripting Community site. I list all of my upcoming appearances there. There is also an interactive map of Windows PowerShell User Groups in the U.S. and other resources.
  9. Read a book about Windows PowerShell. There are a number of very good books about Windows PowerShell on the market. Each book has a different emphasis, and I own many of the current releases. One of the things I hit pretty hard in the Scripting Games this year was Windows PowerShell best practices. Therefore, you may want to get a copy of my Windows PowerShell 2.0 Best Practices book. It was published by Microsoft Press, and it includes hundreds of scripts and dozens of sidebars written by the Windows PowerShell product group at Microsoft and the Windows PowerShell community. (By the way, if you are coming to TechEd 2012 in Orlando, I will be hosting the Windows PowerShell Best Practices “birds of a feather” session with cohost, Windows PowerShell MVP, Don Jones. It will be a great session.)
  10. Read the Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog on a daily basis. The Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog is one of the few blogs that publishes seven days a week, 365 days a year. This provides a substantial amount of new information about Windows PowerShell. In addition to being written in a causal and witty style, the content is excellent (if I do say so myself). Make it your Home page so you do not miss a single episode.  

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


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