psconf.eu 2019

This year was the first time I’ve attended psconf.eu – and it was an amazing experience! To be honest, I wasn’t in the best mood when I arrived late night on Monday before the event. This was mainly due to my connection flight being cancelled from Frankfurt to Hannover, and being forced to take a 4 hour train ride, without a chance to get a seat in a overfilled ICE train. This alone wouldn’t have been too bad, I’ve got a bar table at the on-board restaurant and was able to do some coding, but then also my luggage went missing at the airport – which got me quite grumpy (but you can’t really blame anyone for bad weather.. right?)
Luckily I’ve been able to fetch some essentials at the airport duty-free shopping and pauby was so nice to deposit a new Chocolatey T-Shirt at the hotel desk, so I’d be covered for the first day of the conference.

psconf.eu

psconf.eu“, the powershell conference Europe, is an annual event taking place in Hannover, Germany.This year, about 350 delegates from over 30 different countries had the chance to visit more than 50(++) talks on different topics (generally everything about PowerShell and system automation).

the sessions

The sessions are not available on YouTube yet, but watch out for them on psconf.eu’s channel. Supplemental material can be found on GitHub.
The following is the list of the talks I’ve been attending.

Tuesday

  • State of the Shell 2019 (Keynote)
  • Improving Performance by Reducing Memory Allocations
  • Pester internals and concepts
  • “RegEx 4.0”

Wednesday

  • Tracking Activity and Abuse of PowerShell
  • Test infrastructure as code?
  • Building a better command line experience: Windows Terminal and WSL2
  • Lean on me: Managing dependencies in PowerShell
  • Generating Azure PowerShell (and more) cmdlets via AutoRest
  • Attack Surface Reductions for Adventurous Admins

Thursday

  • Learn Classes with Class{}
  • Don’t do that, do this instead: PowerShell worst practices
  • PowerShell Remoting Internals
  • Automating the Software Deployment Lifecycle with Chocolatey, Jenkins and PowerShell
  • Visual Studio Code: deep dive into debugging your PowerShell scripts

Friday

  • A better way to do WPF in PowerShell 5+
  • Lessons learned from a large scale infrastructure as code project
  • Click-free application deployment using the magic of PS and Chocolatey
I’m not going to get into detail what I liked most or what I didn’t like, every single one of the talks at least gave me one new idea or something to think about concerning my current workflow, which I consider highly valuable. Just know that I am looking forward to the other talks being available on YouTube, and I’m pretty sure I will also be re-watching some of the talks I went to.

the people

Anyone who’s attending conferences like this one probably has a similar mindset about it, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE. Getting to know the real person behind that avatar in Slack or GitHub, who’s been talking to you or that you’ve been angry about because he or she closed off your pull requests, really put the value into the conference (at least for me it did). The conference offered a great mix of quality content and “networking possibilities”, especially the many coffee-breaks and the evening event at the zoo.

my takeaway

I’ve had a lot of fun and interesting discussion with experts that excel at what they’re doing in the field of Windows automation. It was very helpful to discuss certain problems, do’s and dont’s in system administration and automation. Getting some insight, in how other people and companies approach tasks that are similar to what I’m (trying) to do will definitely influence my future work.
In the end, a cancelled flight and lost luggage (my bag actually went missing again on my trip home!!) wasn’t all that bad. I’ve been able to pick up a lot of great ideas, meet nice people and even make some new friends.

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