The PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit Manual for Summiteers
The PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit Manual for Summiteers
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The PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit Manual for Summiteers

Introduction

Welcome! If you’re reading this then you are either planning to attend the Summit, or are wondering what it’s all about. Either way, the best piece of advice I can give is to expect the unexpected. Or, if you have no expectations then expect those unexpected expectations to be, umm, unexpected?

Look, the bottom line is this isn’t an ordinary conference. We don’t just call it Summit because it sounds cool (it does). We call it Summit because when you’re there you’ll feel like you’re at the peak of the PowerShell community. If you’re looking for conference that has sweet vendor-sponsored booze-fests that go all night then go home. This isn’t that. (I mean I know a guy who makes a mean mojito but that’s about it). If you’re a big shot IT manager who’s looking for the latest trend to go force on your army of technicians, then definitely go home.

But if you’re into PowerShell, if you get excited about building solutions to complex problems, if you wake up in the middle of the night with the answer to that piece of code you’ve been chewing on, then welcome.

Because it’s different, navigating Summit can be tricky. If you’re expecting to attend some sessions and then retire to your hotel room, you’re going to miss out on some of the greatest parts of Summit. The goal of this book is to give you an overview of what to expect while you’re there, so you can avoid the “analysis paralysis”. We’ll cover where to go, what to do, what to look out for and what to avoid. Hopefully, when we’re done, you’ll have such a good idea of what Summit is like you’ll feel like you’ve already been! (don’t say that part out loud though, or your boss might try to save a few bucks)

First Things First

If you’re attending Summit or thinking of registering, there are a handful of non-optional tasks you’ll need to take care of (Parameter(Mandatory=True)). Depending on when you’re reading this, time may or may not be on your side. Read the following sections carefully and get all that sorted out ahead of time. You’ll have plenty of new stuff to stress out about later, no need to keep this hanging over you.

Key Bits

You’ll find the main Summit website, with links to everything, at PowerShellSummit.org.

The Official Agenda is crucial to your success and survival. We update it continually, adding Side Sessions as Summit progresses. It also provides a Download link to the Official App, which we can’t recommend strongly enough. The App lets us send announcements to you, and serves as a handy, portable, up-to-date agenda. We suggest getting it the moment you register.

It is virtually impossible to communicate with people via email these days, what with the lock down on spam. So please check the Announcements tab of the Official Agenda or Official App. Otherwise, you will not be in the loop.

Right After You Register: Book Yer Hotel

We suggest you immediately book your hotel. We have two, and they are listed in the Official Brochure.

Now, look. The hotel websites are a little stupid in that they can lock you down to only our contracted dates. What if you want to arrive earlier, or stay later (hint: you probably do)? Contact the hotel directly using the information we’ve provided.

Maybe you need to book through your corporate travel portal? No worries. Do it, and then contact the hotel directly and ask them to associate your reservation with our group code or event name. That way, we can get credit for your reservation.

If you don’t use our official hotel rooms, and make sure your reservation is associated with us, we have to pay the hotels money. A lot of money. Enough to bankrupt us. So please help us out.

Right After You Book Your Hotel: Check the Details

Closely examine your Eventbrite ticket, especially if someone else registered you. “Someone else” screws things up all the time and we can’t fix it. They have to. Common mistakes you will live to regret:

  • Name spelled wrong
  • Entire name shoved into “last name” field or “first name” field; makes badge look stupid
  • NAME TYPED IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE APPARENTLY ADMIN ASSISTANTS STILL DO THAT
  • Wrong ticket type (we have two - Summit and OnRamp; OnRamp is the entry-level hands-on one, and you can’t mix and mingle between them)

Whoever did the registration can access Eventbrite and make corrections.

We also suggest you sign up for our mailing list using a personal email address. Those tend to be less spam-aggressive than your company address. A couple of weeks before the event, we’ll start sending our critical information that you won’t wanna miss. It also goes into the Announcements tab on the Official Agenda and in the Official App, so you can also check those.

It’s the People

You know one of the coolest things about Summit?

The people. Nearly every single one of us is a major introvert. Take our Monday evening reception and Wednesday evening party. Legally, we probably shouldn’t even use the word “party.” The reality is that folks tend to stake out some space, whether they’re standing in a small group or sitting with one, and enjoy the conversation. Plenty of us just kind of sidle up to a group and listen in. It’s fine!

The key thing is to force yourself to participate. Force yourself to shake two new hands every day, and learn one new name each day. Force yourself to hang out with us Monday evening and Wednesday night, just to hang. If it all gets to be too much, it’s cool – you’re free to bail with no judgment.

But in six or so years of running these events, we gotta tell you – you’re around your people. Some of the friendliest, dorkiest, smartest, nerdiest, most caring people we’ve run across. It’s worth a lot of effort to hang out with them, because – and again, we’ve tangible evidence of this – they’re really worth the effort. Most of them had to force themselves to hang out the first couple of years, too, and it’s why we value our alumni so much. They’ll be patient with you and give you your space.

You won’t find a drunken bacchanalia at Summit. Yeah, there’s maybe that one guy who had a bit too much, and maybe we get a little loud around the shuffleboard table, but at the bottom of it all we’re just a bunch of computer geeks.

Thanks for deciding to join us, and please – if you see any of our organizers, who wear little name pins instead of badges, come up and say hi. Tell us about yourself, because we can always use a new friend.

Please Share Your Summit Photos!

We want to capture as many memories of Summit as possible, so we encourage you to share your photos. Please keep these “suitable for work” and family-friendly, and remember that once online, photos are forever; we cannot remove posted photos.

To contribute, simply email photos to photos@powershell.org.

To check out the photos, view a slideshow, or download them all, head to https://dropevent.com/share34375. You can also upload photos from that site, or contact us if there are any inappropriate photos that should be removed.

Sunday Evening

One great tip to reduce stress and anxiety at any conference is to arrive the day before. Get all the travel, hotel, registration, etc. over and done with. Then you’re ready to rock and roll Monday morning. Summit is no exception. Things get going pretty fast on Monday, so everything you can do to be ready for that will help.

Never let a good opportunity go to waste, they say, so if you do arrive in town Sunday evening, we invite you to join us at the Marriott (our official hotel in Downtown Bellevue) for pre-registration.

We will provide some basic snacks, and a cash bar for those who want to purchase a beverage (alcoholic or not). Think of this as your warm-up, or pre-game. Meet some new folks, or reconnect with friends from last year. Grab a drink, or head out to dinner. Chat with folks about what they’re looking forward to this year, and spend time second guessing all of your session choices in the official PSHSummit app.

Most of all get into Summit mode. Put your PowerShell hat on, and take all the other hats off. Prepare yourself for the immersion that is coming. Get excited! You’re here, you made it, and things are about to get good! But first, get your badge.

We’ll have a registration table set up just to the right of the lobby bar, as you walk toward the main-level convention center spaces. Bring your Eventbrite barcode and pick up your name badge in advance, so as to avoid the crush on Monday morning. No barcode? No love. You’ll have to go to the Sad Summiteer line on Monday morning for a manual lookup.

PRO TIP: Check your Eventbrite registration to make sure your name is spelled EXACTLY how you want it on your badge. You (or the person who registered you) can update it if need be. If you’ve put your name in all caps, that’s how we’ll print it. If you’ve jammed your entire name into the “Last Name” field, well, that’s how it’s going to get printed.

Note that the lobby area can’t fit all 400 Summiteers – this isn’t intended as a formal “come one, come all, and hang out all night” event. We expect many of you will head off to meals and other pursuits in small groups, gathering than lingering for hours. We’re doing pre-registration strictly as a courtesy, and we apologize if the place seems packed when you arrive. We will still definitely have full registration services on Monday morning in Meydenbauer Center.

Pre-registration times are posted in the official agenda, or keep an eye on slack. Or just come down to the bar once you get settled in, someone will probably be there one way or another.

Monday Morning

If you didn’t pick up your registration materials on Sunday, then you’ll do so as you enter on Monday morning. And don’t worry, the Sunday people didn’t get anything extra. We didn’t even hand out the one-inch pins on Sunday. You’re still winning!

WEAR YOUR BADGE TO ALL SESSIONS, MEALS, AND EVENTS, EVEN OFF-SITE ONES.

On Monday, we’re downstairs in the Meydenbauer Center. Follow signs for “Center Hall A/B.” Once you present your Eventbrite barcode (and woe betide if you don’t have it, as you’ll be sent to the Sad Summiteer line for manual lookup), you’ll pick up your badge (alpha by last name) and we’ll hand you a lovely notebook-and-pen set.

TIP: If you’re walking to Meydenbauer Center, don’t go up the concrete steps into the entrance. Instead, walk a wee bit further down the sidewalk, and you’ll find the Center Hall entrance, just before the parking garage. You won’t have to navigate escalators if you use that street entrance.

With supplies in hand, don your badge. Wear it all the time. Especially to our Wednesday evening event, where we have to turn people away every. single. year. because they forget. We have to buy insurance policies for all this event stuff, and the insurance requires that only paid attendees be admitted, and badges are how we ensure that. Wear your badge.

Wear your badge. Make sure it’s visible at all times, please.

We cannot reprint badges on-site. That’s because we now use a mail-order service that makes the badges for us in advance. They do that because we, frankly, sucked at it and always screwed it up (ask our 2018 attendees). So if your name is wrong on your badge, it’s the fault of whomever registered you, and you should totally take it up with them when you get home. We can’t make you a new one.

Wear your badge.

Also grab a commemorative one-inch pin with this year’s Summit logo on it. It’s become a tradition to display all your pins from past years on your badge lanyard, jacket, or shirt, and we encourage you to show others how long you’ve been at it. The oldest pin dates to our 5th anniversary in 2017.

Then grab breakfast! One serving, please, not two, and not three. Nor shalt tour eat four. One shall be the number of the servings. We’ve got 400 people to feed, and they had to measure out all the food well in advance. If someone sees you scarfing down a pound of scrambled eggs, they’ll think it’s okay for them to do it, and then we run out of food. We’re not guessing that this will happen, we’ve dealt with it in the past. As breakfast enters its final half-hour, you’re welcome to make a return trip and nosh down anything that’s left. Remember, it takes your brain 20 minutes to realize you’re full, so having a brief break between rounds will help!

If you’ve ordered a special meal, it is super important that you pick it up and eat it because if you don’t, we will cancel them for the remainder of the week, because they cost us extra.

Then grab a seat in the theater! Monday morning is General Sessions, including an opening keynote, fascinating technical talks from industry luminaries, and Lightning Demos. Most importantly, Monday isn’t recorded – we don’t start session recordings until Tuesday.

For your information, meals will always be served downstairs in Center Hall. Tuesday-Thursday, sessions will be on Floor 4 in the breakout rooms.

Monday evening after the Lightning Demos, we’ll remain at Meydenbauer Center for our re-imagined “Meet the Community” reception.

Monday’s schedule is a single track. It’s our keynote and our “forward-looking statements”. It is designed to give you a sense of where we are as a technology and a community. The goal is to get you excited and primed to devour all the content on the later days. By Thursday we expect your brain will be full and maybe a little broken. On Monday we want to make you hungry.

Bring that hunger to our Monday night reception. We’ve invited not only all of our Summiteers (that’s you!), but also everyone from Microsoft working on PowerShell technologies. It’s a great time to make new acquaintances, renew old friendships, and shake hands with the folks who literally make PowerShell a thing (feel free to take a minute to geek out about that!). Talk about what you’re excited about, what you’re looking forward to.

Or talk about actual food. We’ll serve plenty of filling appetizers and snacks, but the reception is also a great place to grab a few friends and plan for dinner later – Bellevue has a ton of great spots (just a short walk away) to eat a huge variety of different foods.

We’ll crack a couple of kegs of local brew, and it’s complimentary while it lasts. We’ll also have selected wines available at no charge, and a full bar for those who wish to purchase something. Soft drinks are also complimentary all evening, and our bars will be offering a fun non-alcoholic “mocktail” at no charge.

We know that Summit brings a really diverse set of personalities from a lot of different background and cultures, and our reception is designed to accommodate as many as possible. In the past we’ve experimented with separate “lower key” events, but the fact is that Monday evening isn’t some kind of fraternity bash to begin with, and we want to focus more on bringing our community together, not divvying ourselves up. So we’re planning a selection of experiences for a “blended” audience. Whether you prefer to sit or mingle, you should find something you’ll enjoy.

Here’s a quick selection of some of what’s planned:

Meet & mingle with Summiteers and Microsoft product team members. This is a great time to throw off that introversion we all have, shake a few hands, and introduce yourself. Trust us – we’ve been running this event for six years and it’s how we finally broke out of our shells and started meeting colleagues!

Board and card games. We’re bringing a selection of board games, from traditional family favorites to newer hits, along with a few you may never have heard of. Grab a couple of folks, read the directions, and dive in. It’s a perfect way to have a “smaller” reception and focus on meeting just three or four new people at once. Have a favorite board or card game? You’re welcome to bring it along, provided it’s suitable for a G-rated environment. Yeah, we love “Cards Against Humanity” too, but this isn’t the place for it.

Sit ’n’ chat. We’re also keeping plenty of seating available for those who just want to sit, chill out, and enjoy a conversation with a friend. Grab a few snacks and a beverage before you settle in, and have a great night!

Meet our sponsors. Finally, many of our sponsors will join us in their own small-scale, casual areas where you can have a chat with them. Vendors climb a high bar to be at Summit, since we basically don’t advertise for sponsors at all. They WANT to be here, and not just to hand out swag – they want to MEET you. They want to hear what you’re dealing with at work. Maybe you’ll discover a solution that meets a need you have; at the very least, you’ll expand your understanding of what’s out there in the marketplace. That’s the kind of “keeping up with technology” that is great for your career.

The reception is a great way to line yourself up for an amazing Summit. Remember, Summit is more about the people than the technology, and the reception is where we hope you’ll make at least a few great connections.

Tuesday Evening

Summit is only half over, but we want you to leave. No not like that, just for dinner. We have a ton of amazing content and activity during the day, and some evening events, but we’ve specifically left some time open because want you to make your own events. Grab your own groups, leave the hotel and make your own memorable experiences. While you’re at it, why not invite one of our OnRamp students to go with you? It’ll be a great way for them to meet a few new community members in a lower-key, one-on-one style.

Bellevue is full of great restaurants, as a quick glance at Yelp, Trip Advisor, or Google Maps will reveal. Some favorites include John Howie steakhouse, Perl, JOEY, Maggiano’s, and Earl’s Kitchen. Also, a relatively new addition is the Food Hall, inside near Nordstrom’s Rack. It’s laid out like a super-upscale food court of sorts, with several different food options. But it’s far from fast food – you’ll find a wine bar, a great pizza joint, and more. There’s seating everywhere, and it’s a very cool place to go if you have a group with varied appetites.

It’s not a bad idea to start thinking about Tuesday night on Monday, and putting together a group. If you’re heading anyplace sit-down, making a reservation is a must for a larger group. Note that if you’re just a couple of people, you can often find seat at a restaurant’s bar and enjoy the full dinner menu with no fuss.

Wednesday Evening

Wednesday is what we call our “Summiteer Party.”

Honestly, it’s not much of a party. We call it a party because we’re geeks, and we want to be seen as people who are fun! and exciting! and stuff. So if you’re looking forward to a giant raging frat party with 400 of your closest friends… eh, you’re gonna be disappointed.

Look, by Wednesday evening we’re all starting to get a little tired. We’ve had three days of technology crammed into our eyes and ears, and we just want to have a sit down and chat with some friends. And maybe get the heck out of the conference venue for a minute, right?

Well, that’s what Wednesday is. We rent out a restaurant or tavern space, lay in some good food, and provide everyone with some beverage tickets (we offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options). We’ll carry over a box of board games. Sometimes the venue will have pub games like darts, pool, or shuffleboard. We all grab a plate, pile on some food, grab a seat, and just chill for a bit. After everyone’s fed, the board games will get opened, or someone will start an informal pool tournament. It’s pretty low-key, compared to some of the parties we’ve heard about.

Wednesday is a great time to chat with folks about the sessions you’ve attended. And if you see a presenter from a session you liked, walk up and tell them that. No presenter anywhere will ever get tired of hearing “Hi, I loved your session today, really good stuff.” It’s a great way to start a conversation and get more info about, well, anything. Presenters at Summit aren’t highly-paid mega-stars, they’re community members just like you. Questions like “How did you come up with that idea?” or “How did you figure that stuff out?” will net you a great conversation. Also, if you’re even remotely thinking about presenting something yourself (hint: you should be) then asking a presenter you enjoyed for some tips is a great way to start that journey.

As the evening starts to wind down, some folks will head off for a proper dinner (although we don’t skimp on the food, and you may find it to be ample for your needs), while others will wrap up their pool or shuffleboard game and linger for a bit. It’s a good time to hang with some new friends that you might not have spent much time with to that point, and pretty much the last big chance to introduce yourself to a few new people.

Wednesday is also an EXCELLENT time to gather with your Iron Scripter faction and start planning for Thursday’s big competition. Review the Prelude clues that have been published during the week, make sure your GitHub repo is ready to go, and start planning your strategy for dividing-and-conquering the Iron Scripter challenge. Remember, there’s no “sign up” for factions - you just choose the one that you think best fits your style (descriptions are on IronScripter.us) and join in.

So definitely join us for Wednesday evening. Even if you just hang out for a few minutes, it’ll be good to see you. We do hope you’ll stick around for a couple of hours, though – it’s these kinds of eat-and-mingle opportunities that really let you form meaningful connections with your peers and colleagues. Try to remember a couple of their names (we’re constantly re-introducing ourselves, so it’s fine if you do too), and connect with them on Slack later. These are the friendships that differentiate a job from a career, after all!

Thursday Evening

We know many of you hang out past the end of Summit, and so we invite you to enjoy some extracurricular social activities.

For three years, Will Anderson (our CEO) has hosted his famous Downtown Seattle Pub Crawl. We post all the details in the official agenda, and ask that you taxi or ride share from Bellevue. It’s a fun hop, where your bartender at each pub decides where you’ll go next. It’s usually a small crowd, so it’s a cool way to keep the Summit vibe going for just a wee bit longer.

But that’s not all. We invite YOU to come up with other Thursday-evening ideas. Email us at summit@powershell.org with the details: where people should meet, what time it starts, and what folks can expect to happen. We’ll add your post-Summit gathering to the official agenda. All post-Summit events are “on your own” in terms of cash, so everyone participating is expected to pay their own way. We ask that Thursday evening events be a bit more recreational than just “let’s meet for dinner,” although you’re welcome to incorporate dinner plans in your event.

Note that Thursday evening events are added to the official agenda strictly as a courtesy; these events are neither sponsored by, nor conducted by, our organization. We ask that all Summiteers be responsible, courteous, and safe regardless of their evening plans.

Game night at The Mox? Catching a movie at The Bellevue Collection? Bowling and video games at Lucky Strike? Touring the SF Museum (or whatever it’s called now) in Seattle Place? Evening hike up Mt Rainier to almost certain doom? YOU decide!

PS: Please, no evening hikes.

The Importance of Slack

Summit is a lot more than just an event. If you’ve been before, then you know it’s a collection of old friends. It’s a professional network of colleagues and peers. It’s helping each other solve problems all year, as well as figuring out where to meet up for dinner on Tuesday night.

That’s where the devops-summit Slack team comes in. Slack is hands-down the best way to stay connected to everything happening at Summit. Want to find out about a last minute, unrecorded side session that’s about to happen? Read about it first on Slack. Looking to find a group for dinner? Slack is where it’s at. Feeling your introversion creeping in and telling you to go hide in your hotel room? Nope, get on slack, start talking, and stay connected. This is why you’re here. This is what Summit is for.

A few weeks before Summit, we’ll send out invites to our Slack team, and we encourage you to log in. If you don’t see your invite by about 6 weeks out, please drop a line to summit@powershell.org. Include your e-mail address (we strongly recommend a personal one, as corporate email blocks the invites a lot of the time) and Eventbrite confirmation number.

If you’re not familiar with Slack it may seem like a lot of work for 5 days. First of all, it’s totally worth it (see above). Second of all, it’s for so much more than just Summit communications. Sure, it’s where we make ALL the important pre- and at-Summit announcements, and it’s where Iron Scripter factions discuss tactics and make their battle plans, but it’s also a year round event.

When you get back to the office and have the post-summit Monday blues, jump on slack, you won’t be alone. A month later when you can’t remember the name of that super awesome module someone was talking about that one night at Summit, post it in slack. Someone will remember. 6 months later when just can’t take it anymore and you’re ready to find that amazing new job; yep, there’s a slack channel for that. This is the secret of Summit. Once you’re a part of the community you stay a part of the community. Slack keeps you plugged in.

So please: give Slack a chance.

Be a buddy

This section goes out to the Summit alumni. You’ve been there, done that, and got the t-Shirt. You can probably think back to your first Summit and how surprisingly awesome it was. Maybe you can remember some of your apprehension or at least think about a few things you wish you had known ahead of time. Now think about your whole IT career. Regardless of how long it is, there are probably plenty of things you wish you knew back at the beginning. No, don’t give me that Imposter Syndrome BS. You know stuff, and people could benefit from that knowledge. Especially someone new to the industry. Especially someone new to Summit. And especially someone new to both who is about to spend 3 days having their brains exploded by Don Jones, Jason Helmick, and Jeffrey Hicks.

So we created the buddy program. A buddy is someone assigned to a specific individual from our entry-level OnRamp track; each OnRamp student can request a buddy. As a buddy, you’ll still attend all of your normal Summit sessions and functions; we just ask that you sit with your student during our Monday general sessions, and during lunches. While you’re with them, you just have to try and answer questions they may have, and help them navigate Summit. We also ask that you attend evening events with them (both formal and otherwise, like inviting them along to dinners) and introduce them to others, to help “on ramp” them into our community. OnRamp is about making a strong technical professional, but buddies are about making strong new members of our community.

You don’t need to be a guru; you just need to be willing to give someone a helping hand!

We suggest that only Summit alumni volunteer to be a buddy, as you’ll already be familiar with how Summit works. If you’re interested, jump in the #onramp-buddies channel in our Slack team. You can also indicate your willingness on your Eventbrite registration (whomever registered you can modify that at any time).

We’ll make buddy introductions a couple of weeks before Summit, and we’ll help arrange your face-to-face meeting on Sunday evening or Monday morning of Summit.

Meals

We want to make sure everyone has the best possible time at Summit, and we know that means feeding you well. But “good eats” means a lot of different things to different people, and so we wanted to take a moment and make sure you knew what to expect on-site.

Portion Sizes We beg you to take only one serving of each item on our buffets. A “serving” is one piece of anything served in pieces, such as most proteins, and a spoonful or two of anything else. After everyone’s had a chance to go through the line once, you’re more than welcome to go back for seconds – but we’ve had a very real problem with people taking way more than their share, leaving nothing for those behind them to eat. If you’re an athlete or someone else that requires more-than-usual calories, you may want to bring some supplemental meal bars with you to make up the difference. PLEASE don’t make us stand around and “enforce” the one-serving policy – it’s embarrassing and frustrating for everyone.

Can’t we just add more food? Nope. We literally spend about half your registration fee on food. Conference food, especially good food, ain’t cheap. And we have to have our orders in well in advance, so we can’t just ask the kitchen to whip up another roast or whatever.

Menus We’ve gotten quite a lot of feedback on the menus over the years. “More protein options” is usually followed by “more vegetables” and then by “just serve pizza, please.” When you’re feeding 400 people, you pretty much have to work from a one-size-fits-all menu, and so we try to plan meals that follow standard nutritional guidelines. In our meals, you should expect about 20% of your calories to come from proteins, and about 60% from carbs, with the rest from healthy fats. We also have to accommodate common dietary choices like vegetarianism, along with food sensitivities and allergies. If you’re on a low-carb diet, you may want to bring some beef jerky or other high-protein snacks to help round out meals for yourself.

The Plan Each day, we’ll serve a hot buffet breakfast. This will likely be the same or very similar every day, as there’s only so much variety you can glean from the “standard American breakfast” – expect eggs, potatoes, and the like on most days. We’ve moved away from breakfast sandwiches because in the past we’ve had the first 200 attendees consume 500 sandwiches, which isn’t financially sustainable, and leaves the next 200 attendees hungry.

We keep coffee and tea out all day, along with soft drinks in the afternoons. Note that the beverage services will be removed shortly before lunchtime, so that it can all be moved into the meal area. It’ll return shortly after lunch. If you’re just going to flat-out die for lack of a Coke at 11:30, we suggest grabbing it a bit earlier. We do this because beverages cost a lot, and so re-using the same set for breaks and for lunch helps us save a lot of money (and keep ticket prices as low as possible).

Bear in mind that we get charged around $3 for a can of soda. Yeah, we know. Conferences. So please don’t grab eighty cans and shove them in your backpack, or you’ll blow our pricing out and next year will cost a lot more in ticket prices.

Lunch will be a different buffet each day, built according to the guidelines we’ve outlined above. We’ll also have something sweet for dessert on most afternoons. Most buffets will include a couple of entree items, a salad or two, and a couple of side dishes. Vegetarians and Vegans can almost always find everything they need on the main buffet, and everything will be clearly marked with regard to food sensitivities.

On most days, we’ll also have a morning and afternoon snack. This doesn’t happen every day, but on days when it doesn’t, it’s because we’ve scheduled something else. For example, there’s no Monday afternoon snack, because at 5pm we head right into our reception, which includes plenty of food. When do offer a snack, we’ll try to include some lighter and healthier options, like fruit, in addition to more decadent sweet-or-salty selections.

Special Requests During registration, you’re able to indicate any special dietary needs. We also ask that you email dietary@powershell.org to confirm any specifics of your needs, and we can respond to let you know if we’re able to accommodate you.

Every single year we have people request special meals – “gluten free” is popular – only to have those special meals go to waste as the requestor decides that the main buffet looks more enticing. Special meals cost us extra; if you order a special meal and do not pick it up at the special meal table, then we will cancel all special meals requested by you for the remainder of the event, to help cut our financial losses.

As a note, “gluten free” does not mean “carb free,” nor does it mean “giant chunks of meat.” Gluten-free meals are more likely to be veggie-centric than anything else. Please do not order gluten-free because you think that’s going to result in a giant pile of pork chops for you.

Variety We absolutely recognize that some folks like “fancy” food while others prefer a more “plain” diet. We do our level best to try and split the difference and provide a variety of tasty options that accommodate as many special needs and preferences as possible. If you’re strictly a burgers-and-fries kinda person, please don’t be upset that we don’t offer that as a menu every day (or even any day); we unfortunately aren’t running a restaurant and simply can’t provide a massive variety of options. And trust us – based on past years’ feedback, y’all are an incredibly diverse crowd when it comes to chowing down! You might think that everybody loves the stuff you love, but you’d mainly be wrong. We hope we’re able to please as many of you as possible, and apologize in advance to those who aren’t able to find something to their liking.

Outside Food Aside from small snacks that fit into your bag or pocket, we cannot allow outside food to be brought into the venue. This is a requirement of the venue, and it is driven by local health codes, which require that the venue be responsible for any illnesses arising from food service in the venue.

Have a Question? Drop a line to summit@powershell.org, or in the Summiteer group forum on PowerShell.org. We’d rather sort things out up front so that there are no surprises on-site!

Lightning Demos

Lightning demos happen Monday afternoon, and they’re a mix of folks from product team members (both at Microsoft and elsewhere) and our own Summiteers. Simply put, a lightning demo is a 5-10 minute rapid-fire demo of something cool you’ve done, discovered, figured out, or are just proud of. It’s a FANTASTIC way to “break the ice” on public speaking, because you’re in front of the most supportive and enthusiastic crowd we’ve ever seen.

If you think you don’t have anything worth showing off, odds are you’re wrong. We’re only talking about 10 minutes, no one is expecting a new programming language. But if you have a script or a module or even just an idea that you think is really cool, chances are good that someone else there will also. Worst case scenario you get a little experience presenting an idea and a round of applause. Best case scenario you find out that people are really interested and you end up presenting a full session next year. And if you’re still not sure about your idea, jump in Slack and ask some folks. You’ll find plenty of candid input and help with a topic. We’re all in this together after all.

If you want to participate you’ll need to bring your own laptop, and have your demo ready to go. Make sure it works when you’re not on your work network (OMG, where’d my shared folder go?!?!?), and make sure you can connect to a regular HDMI connector (BYO dongles). Know how to instantly make your laptop USE that HDMI connector, too. We’ll get you set up, slap a mic on you, and you’ll be ready to go.

We don’t record lightning demos, so any gaffes made at Summit will stay at Summit ;).

For information, to sign up, or to just ask questions, drop into our Slack team and visit the #community-demos channel. Some of our best Summit speakers started out as lightning demo presenters, and you could be the next rising star!

Presenting at Summit

Community means a lot of things. At its core it is about sharing a common experience. PowerShell Summit is a manifestation of that shared experience. Like any community project it only works when everyone contributes. If you’ve been to Summit before, think about some of your favorite sessions. Now try to imagine how much work went in to making that presentation (hint: it’s more than you probably guess). While we pay our presenters, it isn’t, generally, a profitable exercise. No one is getting rich as a PowerShell Summit presenter. That’s fine though, because, as near as we can tell, none of them are doing it for the money. They’re doing it because contributing is important. Creating content is important. Giving back to the community is important. We are greater than the sum of our parts, and the more we give, the more we all benefit.

And, not to get too kumbaya on you, it’s fun! Yes, it can be a little terrifying, standing on a stage with 100 people in the audience and a camera recording your every movement for all time… Never mind, ignore that part. Presenting actually has a ton of personal benefits. You’ll learn way more about a topic you think you know once you’ve committed to teaching it. You’ll learn time management, communication, content organization, and most of all, PowerPoint! Being a speaker at the PowerShell and Devops Global Summit doesn’t look too bad on a resume either.

Lastly, the real magic benefit of presenting, the thing that keeps people coming back year after year, is the people. Yep, the same thing that makes attending Summit so special. When you finish your session and walk off that stage for the first time, hand over your mic and pack up your laptop, you will undoubtedly have someone waiting to tell you “Wow that was a great session!” It sounds cheesy but that makes it all worth it. Then someone will hit you up in the hallway, and on the escalator, at dinner, at lunch the next day… well, you get the idea. (note: it doesn’t get old)

While presenting a session at Summit is an incredibly rewarding experience, it isn’t an insignificant amount of work. If you think you’d like to take the plunge, keep an eye on powershell.org for the “Call for Proposals” announcement around August. This is where any presentation starts. You’ll submit a session proposal idea and wait to hear back. If you’d like some help putting together a proposal or feedback on an idea in general, check out the #speaking-ideas slack channel. Folks there will be more than happy to help you nail it down.

Usually around October you’ll hear a decision about your proposal. If your topic is accepted, congratulations! You now have approximately 8 months to create your presentation. What that consists of is pretty much up to you, though we do have a few preferences for consistency. You may have noticed that most presentations are a combination of PowerPoint slides with a similar style (our template) and code demonstrations in the tool of your choosing (we prefer Visual Studio Code).

As you go through the creative process, here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. You’re awesome! Seriously, you make Summit happen, quite literally.
  2. People need to know how awesome you are. If you do social media, let people know about your session. That’s good for you, good for us, and good for you again.
  3. Most Summit folks prefer code and demos over slides. When in doubt, do less PowerPoint.
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice. The key to a great presentation is practice. The key to a low stress presentation is confidence from practice. The key to being sick of looking at your own code is practice…
  5. Plan for the worst. Once you get your session down pat, start bulletproofing it. Double check all your demos, make sure they work with no Internet access, upside down and underwater. Have backups of everything and a plan in case of catastrophic computer failure. Hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s always good to be prepared.
  6. You’re not alone. Everyone wants you to have a dynamite session. If you’re stuck on the best way to present an idea, jump in the #presenters slack channel and get some tips from other summit speakers. We also happen to know this guy named Don Jones, who has some pretty good tips on effective teaching skills.

Session Recordings

In partnership with Confreaks.com, a professional event-recording firm, we’re pleased to offer recordings of all Summit breakout sessions on Tuesday through Thursday. We do not live-stream; the Internet requirements for doing so are simply out of our budget. Recordings are posted to our YouTube channel (/powershellorg) a few weeks after the event, which allows time for post-production. We suggest subscribing to the YouTube channel and opting into notifications if you’d like to know when recordings are posted.

WHAT IS RECORDED? All regularly scheduled breakout sessions occurring in rooms 401/402, 404, 405, and 406 from Tuesday morning through Thursday afternoon.

WHAT IS NOT RECORDED? All general sessions on Monday, Side Sessions occurring in rooms 407 and 408, our OnRamp track occurring in room 409, and Thursday afternoon’s Iron Scripter.

WHAT CAN GO WRONG? Recordings are a “bonus;” they’re not the main line of business we’re in. We (and Confreaks) make a best-effort to capture everything smoothly and consistently, but we can’t make any promises. We won’t interrupt, delay, or diminish the live program in order to deal with recording problems, should they arise.

Aside from these official recordings, we’re now a large enough event to engage some legal and contractual restrictions on “filming,” which includes you recording sessions on your own device, as well as conducting recorded or live-streamed interviews outside the sessions rooms. In short, PLEASE DO NOT RECORD OR LIVE-STREAM ANYTHING without written consent from the organization, and please ensure you have all necessary local licenses and/or permits. An exception: it’s fine to hop on Twitter or Facebook live with your own thoughts about whatever; where it gets sticky is if you’re interviewing people other than yourself. We’re happy to work with you if that’s something you want to do, just be aware that it’s your responsibility to cover your legal bases with regard to permits and licenses.

Stickering

The exchange of laptop stickers has become a fun tradition at Summit, much as it has at other technology conferences. Folks bring a lot of stickers, and other folks collect ‘em all.

We do have a few minor requests regarding sticker distribution.

  1. Please don’t disturb a session by distributing stickers while someone’s presenting, and don’t use the time between sessions to distribute stickers in session rooms.
  2. Please don’t leave stickers randomly piled anywhere. It drives the venue staff crazy and a lot of stickers end up in the trash. If you see this happening, please move the stickers to an Approved Sticker Location.
  3. Please keep track of whatever stickers you bring and pack out any uncollected ones.

Approved Sticker Locations include: * During the Sunday evening get-together at the Marriott. * During the Monday evening reception on any of the large tables (reclaim uncollected stickers before you leave unless you’re okay with them being in the trash). * In the Social Lounge (Room 403) on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Iron Scripter

Iron Scripter is our epic scripting battle, set during Thursday afternoon at Summit where you’ll REDACTED with REDACTED while you REDACTED. It can seem a bit confusing, and while the mystery is part of the fun, we don’t want a bunch of scripters lost in the basement again, so this is designed to help you figure out what to expect.

CHOOSE A FACTION. If you visit IronScripter.us, you can read about the different factions and their particular coding styles. you can ask for advice in the devops-summit Slack team (invites go out no later than six weeks prior to Summit). There’s no formal sign-up or registration (don’t let anyone talk you into a faction tattoo); you just self-identify with the faction you feel best fits your personal style, and then start hanging out in their channel within our Slack team. Meet up with your faction when you get to Summit to start planning for the big battle. It’s up to each faction to decide how they’ll meet and identify each other. May we suggest a shirt or other item of clothing?

PARTICIPATE IN PRELUDE CHALLENGES. For a few weeks leading up to Summit, IronScripter.us will post pre-event challenges (they’ll be announced on the @PSHSummit Twitter account, too). You can work on these on your own, or collaborate via Slack with your faction. These are important, because they get you to exercise specific skills that you’ll need during the main Iron Scripter challenge. IGNORE THESE AT YOUR OWN PERIL! Specific puzzles are posted on the website during Summit itself, and those can often contain clues, or let you conduct valuable pre-work, toward the final challenge. Faction Dark has been known to hack the website and remove events and clues, though, so check often and take screen shots.

START SCRIPTING. On Thursday, you and your faction will gather on the misty field of battle (also known as a conference room), and will have exactly 60 minutes to complete a scripting challenge – which you’ll see only 60 seconds before the clock starts ticking. Be prepared with source control (we ask that you use a public GitHub repo to facilitate judging) and be ready to quickly divvy up into sub-teams to tackle specific tasks. Don’t forget to check in your code!

TURN IT IN. We’ll need the URL of your GitHub repo. Just write it down or something; passing USB keys back and forth is so 2018.

BE JUDGED. Look, we’re not going to run your code. Asking for error-free code in 60 minutes is dumb anyway, right? No, we’re going to JUDGE your code. Still using back-ticks to break up long lines? How 2006 of you. That kind of thing. You’ll be awarded points for the Flavor of your code (how well it appears to align to your faction’s historical style), the Appearance of your code (how complete it looks, at a quick glance), and the Smell of your code (generally what the judges think of it). Be prepared for snarky comments and a few good laughs. Hint: really focus on your faction style. That’s a good way to max points.

To help power the competition, we’ll have a complement of snacks available, and you can ask hecklers (sorry, spectators) to make snack runs for you and your team.

Honestly, it’s a fun time, so we hope you’ll join a faction and enjoy. It’s a great way to meet some new coders, goof around in VS Code a little bit, and wind down a wonderful Summit.

Side Sessions

Throughout Summit (well, Tuesday through Thursday at lunch), we make rooms 407 and 408 available for “Side Sessions.”

What’s a Side Session?

It’s anything. It can be a discussion about running user groups, an ad-hoc working group for a particular problem you’ve identified, or anything you like. The rooms are scheduled along the same grid as the main breakouts, and if nothing’s happening in a Side Session room, then you’re welcome to grab it for whatever you like.

You can also suggest Side Sessions in advance, once you’ve registered. Send an email to sidesession@powershell.org at any time (including during Summit), including your full name, the title of your session, and a sentence or two describing it. We’ll add you to the schedule (please don’t suggest sessions you don’t plan to run yourself – that’s not how this works).

With that in mind, it’s worth checking the schedule a lot throughout Summit, as we’ll always be adding new Side Session topics.

Ground rules for Side Sessions:

  • There’s no electrical power
  • There’s no A/V - but you’re welcome to bring your own pico-projector, if you like
  • They are not recorded
  • Wrap up and vacate on time to make the room available for the next group

In short, these are just rooms with chairs and tables. They’re best for discussions more than demos (although we’ve seen people be creative with free online screen-sharing websites), and they’re best for small groups (each room holds about 40 max).

What will you discuss in a Side Session at Summit?

The Social Lounge

On Tuesday-Thursday of Summit, we’ll all be on the 4th floor of Meydenbauer Center. Room 403 (which you can reach by bearing right off the elevator) is our Social Lounge, and it’s worth knowing about.

This is where we keep the coffee and beverages all day (except for a brief period around lunchtime, when the service is moved down to the meal room on the 1st floor).

It’s also where we keep some comfy furniture close to power outlets in case you need a top-off (additional charging is available on the opposite end of the mezzanine balcony).

The Lounge is a great place to corner fellow Summiteers for follow-up questions, an ad-hoc demo, or to work through problems together.

It’s across the hall from the Rainier Terrace, which is a great place to hang out when it’s not raining. Please note that the Terrance is non-smoking and non-vaping; please respect the venue’s rules in this regard so as to avoid embarrassment and hassle.

You’re also welcome to take conversations down a level (using the stairs or elevator; the escalators take you too far) to the lower mezzanine, where you’ll find some comfy chairs suitable for small conversations.

General Policies

Finally, just a few general things to know.

Bags and Coats

We encourage you to not bring your laptop and Gigantic Backpack Of Technology Wonders every day. They take up a lot of room, and we need that room for people, not luggage. One of your check-in goodies will be a lovely notebook, the better with which to take notes, if you like. The notebook, and its accompanying pen, are guaranteed to last all week without needing a charge.

We do not have a coat check available on Monday. There is an unattended coat check available Tuesday-Thursday, near the restrooms between Room 403 and Room 404.

Stuff

Please do not leave fliers, stickers, or other paraphernalia lying about the Center. You’re welcome to plop stuff down in Room 403 for general distribution, if you like. Do not affix anything to the walls, pillars, or other structures without permission, as it’s a violation of our contract with the venue.

Guests

Other than guests who have purchased a pass for our evening events, guests are not permitted at Summit at any time. This isn’t because we’re trying to keep everything a secret! It’s because (a) we only have enough food for the people who paid for it, and (b) we have to provide a list of attendees to our insurance company, who gets very lawyer-y if we break their policy rules. Wear your badge visibly at all times (we’ve had problems in the past with other groups, in the venue at the same time as us, trying to crash our party) so we know you’re legit.

Power

Power outlets are available in the sitting area on the 4th floor balcony, and in the Social Lounge (room 403). At no time may you drape power cords across any walkway, access way, or doorway, nor may you prop equipment against the wall or leave it on the floor to charge. These are serious fire code violations, and the Fire Marshall literally works across the street and does drop in on us. He can shut the event down, and We Are Not Kidding. If your laptop can’t go the full day without juice, we suggest just leaving it in your hotel room.

We do provide power to our bring-your-own-laptop OnRamp students in Room 409 (Tuesday-Thursday). The reason we don’t provide power in all other breakout rooms is because it costs some serious coin to run power outlets and pay for the electricity, and it’d force us to raise the ticket prices pretty significantly.

WiFi

We have a limited amount of WiFi, and that’s because it costs a ton, not because we don’t love you. Please limit yourself to one device, and remember that Apple devices in particular will all try to jump on the network once one device figures out how to connect.

WiFi password information is in the official agenda app, under Monday’s “Registration” agenda item.

Standing Room

In all session rooms, your butt must be perched in a seat provided. If you just need to stand, you may lean against a wall only at the back of the room, and only provided you are not standing in a doorway (even if the door is closed). You may not sit on the floor, and you may not lean against a wall if it causes you to occupy space in an aisle or walkway. These are serious fire code violations, and the Fire Marshall literally works across the street and does drop in on us. He can shut the event down, and We Are Not Kidding.

When you go into a room, PLEASE move toward the middle of your row so other people can get in and fill all the seats. We know, we know, we know, nobody wants to be in the middle. PLEASE help everyone be a grownup about this. If you MUST have the end seat, please be prepared to stand up and encourage others to move into the row past you.

If a session room’s door is closed and a “SORRY - ROOM FULL” sign is posted, please don’t go in. The room really is full, we didn’t just stick the sign up for fun. We have had to stop presenters in the past and ask the standing-room-only folks to vacate, and it’s just mortifying for us. But we’ll do it anyway, because Fire Code. Thanks for understanding.

Smoking

We know that smokers sometimes feel like third-class citizens, and we don’t want to pile on. However, if you do smoke (and in Bellevue, that includes e-cigs and other vape products), we need to communicate some local rules.

You may not smoke or vape anywhere inside Meydenbauer Center, nor may you smoke or vape on the outdoor Rainier Terrace (on the 4th floor, just outside rooms 401/402/403). You may also not smoke or vape within several feet of the building’s entrance doors, as indicated on signs posted on the doors themselves.

Bellevue takes this pretty seriously and can issue citations to the event organizers for violations.

Code of Conduct

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event. We are expecting cooperation from all participants to help ensuring a safe environment for everybody.

The Quick Version

Our conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media.

Please don’t record stuff without asking.

Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organizers.

The Less Quick Version

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Sponsors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, sponsors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff immediately. Conference staff can be identified as they’ll be wearing branded name pins.

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.

Our conference is using a third party for video capture and production of select sessions which will be posted on PowerShell.org’s social media accounts. Video capture for personal or commercial use otherwise is expressly forbidden without written consent of The DevOps Collective and all necessary local licenses and permits.

We expect participants to follow these rules at conference and workshop venues and conference-related social events.