I'm sitting here on the plane ride back from PowerShell Summit North America 2015 and finally have time to reflect on what just happened. �PowerShell Summit is a semi-annually event held in both North America and Europe. �It's a 3-day 400-level event put on by the organizers of powershell.org and includes dozens of great speakers. �Speakers include PowerShell inventor Jeffrey Snover, members of the PowerShell team, Microsoft MVPs as well as many other PowerShell enthusiasts. �It is jam-packed with content around all things PowerShell.
This year it was held in Charlotte, NC at the Microsoft campus and it was a blast. �This year, in addition to the dozens of sessions, was a non-traditional talk by PowerShell principal developer, Lee Holmes, at a special Charlotte PowerShell Users Group meeting immediately following the Summit.
If it weren't here you missed out but you can see all the sessions on the powershell.org Youtube channel. But what if you're planning on going to a future PowerShell Summit? �Here are a couple tips to get the most from the Summit.
1. Get on Twitter!
I can't stress this enough. �If you don't have a Twitter account, create one. �Tweet your experiences and things you've learned during the Summit. �If you don't want to do that at least follow what's going on in the Twitterverse. �I can't tell you how much additional information is on Twitter that you might have missed at the Summit. �Every session cannot be attended. �It's a great way to keep up on those missed sessions as well as any formal updates tweeted out by @PSHSummit. �You'll also be in tune with any ad-hoc evening activities going on and informal meetups that give you a chance to really get to know Microsoft employees and other PowerShell enthusiasts.
All activities are assigned a Twitter hashtag #PSHSummit. �By following this hash tag you can get a real-time glimpse on the pulse of the Summit. By contributing to Twitter you not only help others at the Summit but your followers that weren't able to come are allowed a sneak-peek into what's going on.
2. Take copious notes
One way I take notes is to tweet them. �I "live tweet" my notes for myself as well as for the benefit of others. �When I get home I can then simply look back through all my #PSHSummit tweets and note anything I'm interested in. �You don't have to use Twitter though. �Bring a laptop, tablet or a good ol' fashioned notepad. �You're going to be inundated by a firehose of information. �Take sips by jotting down interesting concepts or things you think will benefit you later on. �You're never going to remember a quarter of everything you experience. �Cherry pick the good stuff and place it in your notes.
3. Join in on all evening activities
Quit being a hermit and staying in your hotel room! �Get your ass out there and join in. �You can watch Netflix when you're at home but when you're at a conference PARTICIPATE! �I used to be completely opposite but I can't express how much I've gained by you know.actually talking with other people. �I know it's a little awkward but force yourself. �You'd be surprised as what you might learn, opportunities that might come up and even job prospects.
4. Get enough rest
If you are pushing yourself to actually socialize some and you're a natural introvert you're going to be extremely tired. �Waking up early, ingesting all the great session content and using mental cycles to socialize take their toll. �Keep beer-drinking to a dull roar and get some rest in the evenings. �Don't be working on stuff at work (if you can help it) that keep you up late. �This opportunity doesn't come around very often. �Take it. �You won't do any good if you're walking around like a zombie.
5. Take a break, write a blog post or play with something you learned.
In the evenings or during sessions that don't interest you stop, take a break, find yourself a quiet spot somewhere and tinker. �Write a blog post about something you've learned or look deeper into a topic you thought was cool. �You're in the moment and the day you go back to work you're stepping into the daily routine again. �You might not get this kind of window again. �Dive deeper into a topic while it's still fresh in your mind.
6. Introduce yourself to people you look up to in the community
Finally, introduce yourself to the people you look up to in the community. �People like Don Jones, Jason Helmick, Jeff Hicks, members of the PowerShell team, Microsoft employees and Microsoft MVPs don't bite! �They're just like you. �We all just love PowerShell and enjoy talking about how it's improved all of our lives.
It's not a bother to simply say thank you for what you do and to share your experiences with PowerShell. �Since contributing so much to the community and becoming a MVP this year was the first time I was on both sides of the fence. �It was awesome for people to come up to me and tell me how a script helped them. �On the flip side, I also chatted with those long-time MVPs, PowerShell team leader Kenneth Hansen and others and expressed my same gratitude.
7. Digest the session videos when you get home
All sessions from the PowerShell Summit are now uploaded and sent to Youtube as I mentioned above. �They are usually uploaded quickly. �Rather than watch them immediately, go home and watch them. �Pick up on anything you missed. �It's a great way to see any missed sessions or rewatch sessions you went to.
$900 for this experience was an absolute steal. �With everything you'll learn, the people you'll meet and the memories you'll have $900 will have a hell of a ROI on your career. �Won't you join us next time?
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