In my last post I spoke about my delight at being selected to speak at PowerShell Conference Europe 2022. I don’t usually do a post-event write-up but this year, this event, was special. And I wanted to say a few things about it.
This might seem important, but it’s more than that. Bad organization can ruin an event.
PowerShell Conference Europe is always well-organized. This year is the first time that sponsors have exhibited at the event, so organization was even more critical. We were given plenty of time to set up so no panic on the actual first day. This really is a huge relief to those of us who have to set up. Gael Colas [t|b] made sure we were happy and settled.
As the event started offering tickets during Austrian COVID restrictions, the rules state that the event must continue with those restrictions. It was mandatory to have COVID vaccination documentation to enter the event and to wear a mask during. I did see some gentle enforcement.
Masking up in Austria is a little more than a bit of cloth across your face so the organizing team made sure there were 3000 FFP2 masks available for attendees. While some restrictions in Austria are lifted, masks are still mandatory on public transport, used for transport to and from the social events.
3000 FFP2 masks will be at your disposal during #PowerShell Conference Europe 2022 .— PSConfEU (@PSConfEU) April 1, 2022
Wearing an FFP2 mask is mandatory on events and public transport in Austria. Full vaccination is also required.#PSConfEU pic.twitter.com/DHCcWx7p2K
The main social event was … unexpected. We spotted a group of green-shirted men who would occasionally stand up, yell and quaff their beer together in a ceremony the rest of us were mere observers to.
This was the entertainment.
I left early as I had a talk the next day. But I understand that there was some persuasion for Gael to become involved.
Pictures speak a thousand words, so here are 4.
Both of my talks went really well, I think. Session feedback was not gathered, so I had to judge based on people not leaving halfway through. 😄
I started to count the number of attendees in Ansible and Windows. How PowerShell enables a Linux config manager to work in a Windows world? and stopped at 44 as I was about to start. I’d estimate around 50 people which was a fantastic turnout for me. I got some good questions that I hope I answered well. I was really pleased with my first session at the event.
The attendee in the video talking about the PowerShell module for Ansible, did speak to me after the session. I was really keen to see this, but we kept missing each other. If you are that person, please get in touch via Twitter, Reddit or LinkedIn.
My talk on PowerShell DSC Package Management with Chocolatey was well received. I had good engagement from the audience: lots of nods in agreement as I was talking, but I didn’t feel this talk. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but I didn’t come away afterwards feeling like it was the best the session could have been.
Let’s talk about mental health and emotional well-being
I originally submitted a talk titled ‘Life Is A Marathon, Not A Race. Or How Bad Are We In IT At Looking After Our Mental Health’. As several people had submitted sessions on the topic of mental health, the organizers wanted to have a panel session with all of us. Rob Sewell [t|b], Daniel Silva [t|b] and I were set to speak on the last day. Titled ‘Let’s talk about mental health and emotional well-being’, it was not recorded to allow everybody to speak freely.
Rob, Daniel and I started by offering our views on dealing with mental health generally. I then went on to speak around how to look out for your team’s mental health too. We had some good participation from the audience, and it was a respectful, honest interaction.
I’ve given many talks before, but I’ve never had quite the same feeling when coming ‘off-stage’. I’ve also never had quite the same reaction. One of the audience members bounded up on stage and gave, Rob, Daniel and I, a hug. ‘This was needed’ he said. And thanked us. I had several other audience members come over to me to discuss their issues and expand on some of the topics we covered.
As I was leaving early the next day for home, I left the venue for a hotel at Vienna airport. My colleague, James Ruskin [t|b], did tell me that many people were still talking about the panel session with some saying it was ’the best talk of event’. I was, and still am, humbled by that.
Thank you, Rob and Daniel for an awesome experience.
PowerShell Conference Europe is my favourite conference of the year. This year’s event was the best yet. I support the organizers decision to allow Sponsors to exhibit at the event as it means the event no longer dependent on that one BIG sponsor to pay for it all, but it also means that there is much more community involvement when there are multiple sponsors.
The entertainment was something I definitely was not expecting, but once I understood hat was going on, it was really enjoyable. The food was awesome and there was plenty of it. The catering staff were helpful and generous with their time. The attendees were happy, interested, and generous with their time and session interactions.
The panel session was the highlight of my week and was an awesome end to an awesome event.
I can’t wait to return to the event next year, but I’ll have to think of more talks to deliver. And that’s not exactly easy, given the plethora of fantastic talks and talent.
Hopefully I’ll see you next year!