Sunday, March 20, 2011

London PowerCamp is Over – Roll on York

The 2-day PowerShell Power camp is over. The room’s empty and I’ve left the house (and I am home!). A very long two days, but very productive, at least as far as I can tell! Twelve folks took the challenge to give a weekend and jump into the fast flowing fire hose - and made it all the way through. The PowerCamp was promoted via social media – unlike traditional training. The delegates all self-selected and learned about the event via Twitter, Facebook, etc. There were no corporate clients telling their employees to attend. And there was no vendor paying for the class. The delegates all had to give up a weekend – which is always a real challenge these days. So well done group for making it through the weekend!

The objective was to cover as much of PowerShell as possible in 2 days. And we covered a lot!! We had a special guest today, super-star James O’Neill who did a fantastic job augmenting my solo performance discussing not only his most excellent PowerShell module for Hyper-V, but also sharing what he has learned about PowerShell as a result. In some areas we may not agree – the disagreements make great food for thought. Personally, I really enjoyed the session and I am pretty sure all the delegates did too. Those of you attending the PowerShell deep dive in Las Vegas will be delighted with James’s talk there!

This style of training is not for everyone. There are people who learn better by lots of hands on – they need the structure of formal labs and time to play (which in turn requires powerful PCs, plus the setup time and effort necessary). But many experienced IT Pros can learn by listening and watching (and of course developers can to this too although this was not a developer focused event). They learn enough to move them on to the next level and gain the motivation them to do so. They also learn about the excellent PowerShell community and how to take advantage of it. The outstanding qualities of the PowerShell community never ceases to amaze me.

Ultimately, mastering any subject takes practice and that practice has to be on the job. But in two days we covered enough for the delegates to know and see the potential of PowerShell, learn enough of the syntax to move beyond the minutiae of the PowerShell language, and most important, for them to get more excited about PowerShell. One delegate came with a problem he hoped to solve – he goes away (well hopefully!!) knowing the problem is solvable and broadly how to do it. Another spent all of last evening working through the things we covered, and I suspect will do the same tonight.

This training also does not eat into the revenue of my training company clients. Folks that self select and pay a modest amount for 2 days of weekend training are highly unlikely to pay to come on a 5 day 'official’ training course. ALL the delegates this weekend had day jobs that probably precluded them taking that much time off. Neither were they going to pay the ‘official course’ price (and the expenses involved). And the income amounts were sufficiently small that most big training company sales folks would just not bother with pushing (their commission against the low rates I charged just doesn’t make sense). I sure get that.

One cool thing, those very very nice people from Idera and Quest were kind enough to let me give away copies of their PowerShell software. The delegates really appreciated the very kind offer – so a dozen more PowerGui Pro and PowerShell plus users!!!

But at the end of the day, we have a dozen folks who leave with a much greater enthusiasm for PowerShell, equipped to learn more on their own and excited about the potential for PowerShell in their jobs. What a result! It really makes all the work involved worth it.

I’ve now got a couple of days off before heading up to York to do another PowerCamp. There’s still room, if you want to attend. So come along, bring your thoughts, problems, concerns along and I’ll do what I can to make you as excited as this weekend’s group was! York is very central to a lot of key Northern cities, and the transport to/from the event is pretty easy. We’re out to the east of York city at the wonderful University of York. I know it’s a lot to ask you to give up a weekend, but why not – you’ll certainly leave knowing a LOT more about PowerShell!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

It Was The Night Before PowerCamp…

And all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even my mouse.

Well – that’s enough corny poetry for tonight. Tomorrow, the 2-day PowerShell PowerCamp hits London. We have a dozen folks booked up for two long days covering PowerShell V2.0 fundamentals (and as much more as I can cram into 2 days).  This two-day mega-jump-start event has gained more traction than I had hoped for. By design, I’ve only publicised it via social media – via Twitter, my blog, and a few other most welcome retweets, plus Microsoft kindly posted a couple of blog entries. I’m not sure I can boast that this is the first ever social media promoted course, or even the first social media promoted PowerShell course. But it is the first I’ve done, and it’s been exciting. For those of you coming – see you there.

What’s more exciting is that we’re taking this to York next week where we have both a great audience already, and room for more. If you’re serious about getting a jump start into PowerShell, come along. Let me know if you’d like to book a place!