Looking for someone to do a session on PowerShell (or DevOps or IT strategy or cloud architecture)? I’m your guy.

Are you a user group leader or event organizer who’s looking for speakers? I’d love to connect. I do my best to keep my eye out for CFPs and other speaker solicitations, but it doesn’t hurt to advertise my availability. Most of the dates I’m available to travel for speaking events in 2018 are taken, but I still have a bunch of dates I’m available to do virtual and remote events.

Here’s a list of sessions and their abstracts that I’ve got prepared and would love to present. If you see one you like, I’m best reached by email at thmsrynr@outlook.com or on Twitter at @MrThomasRayner. My bio is on the About page of this blog. If you like me but don’t see a session your attendees would love, I hope you’ll reach out anyway and we can see what I can come up with specifically for your event.

Session List:

PowerShell Release Management in Action

A year ago, I created a release pipeline for my team’s PowerShell code. It got off to a rocky start but we’re cruising now. Come see what I delivered and how it works. I’ll also tell you what went well, how it evolved, and the outright mistakes I made.

In this session, I’ll be talking about the real, in-production, actually being used release management program that I delivered, manage and participate in at my current job. This isn’t some theoretical thing tossed together for a couple blog posts, or hobbled together for use with one community project. My team and I use this on every PowerShell coding project we take on. It’s flexible enough to be a one size fits (almost) all solution, while being rigid enough to ensure top quality for the solutions we deliver.

I’ll show attendees a real example of a request for automation going through the entire release management process, and share details about what I found worked well, what seemed like a good idea at the time, and managing obscure expectations laid upon me by management. I’ll cover everything from “I have an idea for some code” to “code’s running in prod”, and everything in between.

I Did DevOps Wrong But You Don’t Have To

It’s a popular term so, you know probably feel like you know what DevOps is, may be trying to implement it where you work, and are maybe even doing a good job. On the other hand, maybe not. Either way, I tried and failed a bunch before getting it right. Come learn from my mistakes!

If something is hard, that usually means it’s worth doing. I’ve been down the “heard of DevOps before anyone else I work with” and the “I saw Don Jones describe the DevOps or ‘would you like fries with that’ choice” path , I got enthusiastic and wanted to ram DevOps principles down everyone’s throat. Guess what? Sometimes people resist change. Surprise! In this session, I’ll tell you about the mistakes I made, how I sold my organization on DevOps, and all the ways I’ve seen organizations screw DevOps up so you can avoid my mistakes.

A Crash Course in Writing Your Own PSScriptAnalyzer Rules

PSScriptAnalyzer is great. You use it to check all your code to make sure it follows PowerShell best practices, right? In this session, I’ll show you how to take your PSScriptAnalyzer skills to the next level by showing you how to write your own custom rules, and make PSSA check your code for them.

PSScriptAnalyzer is great, not just because it comes with a bunch of rules that Microsoft and the community support, but because it allows you to put your own rules on top of (or instead of) it. Maybe you want to make sure that you’re using camelCase for your variables but PascalCase for your parameters. You’re going to need to write your own rule for that one. Writing your own PSSA rules can be intimidating up front, but I’m going to share some examples of rules I’ve written, used, and even got implemented as rules included with PSSA, to show attendees the unique authoring process, how to get started ripping apart the AST, and making their lives better with custom PSSA rules.

Remote Management of SQL Servers with PowerShell

Whether you’ve tried out PowerShell or not, make no mistake: PowerShell is here to stay. As a SQL Server pro, it’s in your interest to learn this powerful and robust language, and use it to automate tasks you come across regularly.

Join Thomas Rayner, PowerShell MVP and Honorary Scripting Guy, in this demo-packed session and learn about some of the different PowerShell-based tools available to you. You’ll be riding along with a PowerShell Pro, building a proof-of-concept script that uses different techniques to administer SQL servers.

DevOps Questions Answered

Come join Microsoft MVP and Honorary Scripting Guy Thomas Rayner to chat all about an explosively popular IT methodology: DevOps. Whether you’ve never heard of the term before, or you’re in the midst of adopting DevOps methods, bring your questions to this interactive session, or email them ahead of time to <todo: insert email address>. In this open discussion session, feel free to chime in with your own experiences, ask whatever questions come to mind, or just soak it all in.

Azure Portal vs Azure PowerShell Module Smackdown

Lots of people depend on the Azure Portal (accessed through the web browser) to administer Azure. The AzureRM PowerShell module, however, offers the same and often more features than the Portal does, and opens the door to automate administrative tasks in ways that are impossible through the GUI.

In this demo-heavy session, you’ll learn where the overlaps are, and what’s unique between these two options for administering Azure. Plus, you’ll pick up some quick tips for automating mundane and time-consuming Azure-related tasks.

Introduction to Azure Blob Storage

Azure Blob Storage is an exa-scale storage service from Azure that allows for scalable, efficient storage for petabytes of unstructured data. In this session, you’ll see a couple accessible demonstrations of how this service can be used.

Regex for Complete Noobs

Regular expressions are sequences of characters that define a search pattern, mainly for use in pattern matching with strings. Regular expressions are extremely useful to extract information from text such as log files or documents. If you don’t know basic regex, you’re missing out on a hugely important tool. Get some knowledge in you, and check out this session on regex.

The Gift of Community

Microsoft MVPs have hugely diverse backgrounds, expertise, and strengths, but one thing every MVP shares is a passion for COMMUNITY. Giving back to the technical community is how MVPs get awarded, but getting awarded is not why MVPs do what they do. Join us in this session to learn about participating in technical communities, and you’ll find the motivation to get going too!

Writing Your First Azure Automation Runbook

Azure Automation is a core service offered by Azure that allows people to run scripts and workflows unattended, on a schedule, on demand, on infrastructure they don’t have to worry about. Azure Automation is a very flexible tool that anyone with any Azure presence at all should be looking into.

In this demo-heavy session, you’ll get a short crash course in writing your first Azure Automation runbook from Thomas Rayner, who’s responsible for several Azure Automation PluralSight courses.

Writing Your First Azure Function

Rather than worrying about maintaining servers, Azure Functions allow you to focus on building great apps. Functions provides a fully managed compute platform with high reliability and security. With Scale on demand you get the resources you need, when you need them. You can create functions in tons of languages including JavaScript, C#, F#, Python, PHP, Bash, Batch, and of course, PowerShell.

In this demo-heavy session, you’ll see how to create a simple Azure Function and learn the fundamental skills needed to take advantage of this powerful, flexible platform.

Stupid PowerShell Tricks

Don’t get got by these gotchas. Come learn how to avoid some common troubles, and discover some new tricks in PowerShell that will take your scripts to the next level. Take it from this pro, it’s better to hear about these tricks in this session than after fighting with a script for a week.

How To Write (PowerShell) Code That Doesn’t Suck

Do you write code? Even a little? Coding is quickly becoming a necessary skill to have. We’re going to get into some of the things that makes your code sad, and some of the things you can do to make it happy again. Want to know how to make your scripts run faster? Want to know how to get other people to stop asking you how your code works? Want to be a valuable member of the IT community? Well, get in here and I’ll show you.

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