If you enjoy writing PowerShell, love automation in the Microsoft space, geek out on configuration management or consider yourself an Azure ninja, the DevOps Collective's PowerShell/DevOps Summit is for you.

This conference is a highly technical, deep-dive on various topics around automation in the Microsoft space. You'll find a plethora of sessions from InfoSec, DevOps, System Administration and more.

But, the best part of this conference is the people. The conference, although being the biggest it's ever been in 2018, is still only 370 people. This small group encourages lots of interaction and it's healthy interaction! You won't find any superior gurus in this community.

You'll find long-time speakers, Microsoft MVPs, members of the Microsoft PowerShell Team and other popular personalities in the community freely sharing knowledge and insight with the rest of the attendees. This community accepts everyone and, as a whole, treats everyone's ideas equally. This is the conference to come to if you've been geeking out on a pet project at work and want to share or get feedback on.

Through the lightning demos, anyone has the ability to get 15 minutes of demo time in front of a large audience. No prior speaking experience necessary! If you've got the guts, this conference will give you the stage.

Similar to organizations, conferences tend to have a culture. Big conferences like Microsoft Ignite tend to focus less on problem-solving but more on announcing new products and features. That conference strikes me as treating tech as disposable to encourage using the latest and great tech in Azure. It has a "harder", more marketing feel.

The PowerShell/DevOps Summit though is much different. The culture here tends to feel "softer". It tends to focus more on problem-solving using the tools you already have and showing attendees a better way to work rather than trying to sell a product.

Due to it's small size (if you venture out and actually talk to people) the culture will feel more like geek therapy rather than a sales pitch. The culture encourages collaboration and sharing of peer-to-peer knowledge. Even though the conference has speakers, the sessions feel more like someone that's simply given a platform to geek out on a particular topic.

In 2018, the huge majority of attendees are first-timers which means, if you've never attended before, you're bound to meet conference newbies like yourself. You will find lots of newcomers to get their take on the conference but also plenty of conference OGs to give you feedback on speaker personalities, recommendations for sessions and more.

If you've never attended, you owe it to yourself (and your manager) to check out what this small community can do. If you're a returning attendee, welcome back, this year, how about coming out of your shell and doing lightning demo? ;)

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