The PowerShell “Firehose Class”

Don Jones’ last public PowerShell class was in 2014 in Stockholm. He’s coming out of retirement for three days only, joining with CEO James Petty to deliver a massive, three-day brain-burner filled with a refresher of PowerShell basics, enterprise-grade best practices, cross-platform scripting, and under-the-hood insights. They’ll weave in stories and lessons from PowerShell’s creation and history, and include invaluable career ownership advice—including lessons on ”leading from within the team,” improving your communications skills, and more.

Yeah, in three days. It’ll all happening on Don’s home turf in Downtown Las Vegas, NV from May 10-12 2022.

Limited to just 20 attendees!!!

Check it out (and read carefully, this is the IQ test portion of our show):

The Basics — and COVID Precautions

It is recommended that all attendees be fully vaccinated with one booster. Mask wearing is at personal discretion.

All meals are at-your-own-cost. A variety of venues are located within 2-3 blocks, including typical fast food options as well as sandwich shops, pizzerias, BBQ joints, and more.

All ”field trip” events are at-your-own-cost, including any admission, food and beverage, and transportation.

You must bring your own laptop with PowerShell v7.x installed and working. Windows, Mac, and Linux are all acceptable. We strongly recommend also installing VS Code and the latest VS Code PowerShell extension.

You are permitted to make audio and video recordings for your own personal use, at no extra charge, provided your recording equipment does not obstruct or interfere with others’ participation in, and enjoyment of, the class, and that your equipment does not require running cords between desks or across aisles.

Day One

This is a day of PowerShell foundations. Already know the basics? This is a great time to deepen your understanding of the fundamentals and learn how to pass that knowledge on to your less-experienced colleagues. We’ll cover:

  • What problem does PowerShell seek to solve?
  • How do you discover and learn PowerShell commands, and add more commands?
  • How does the PowerShell pipeline work?
  • PowerShell is an ”object-oriented” shell—what does that mean?
  • How do you filter, sort, select, and perform other operations in the PowerShell pipeline?
  • How does PowerShell Remoting work?
  • How do you accept input and produce output?
  • How do you format the output of PowerShell commands?
  • How do you turn a series of commands into a script?
  • What are PowerShell variables, and how do you use them?
  • What are Thread Jobs, PSJobs, and how do you use them?
  • How do regular expressions work in PowerShell?

To provide the occasional Brain Break™, we’ll intersperse information on career ownership. Like…

  • What is career ownership?
  • How do you decide what you career needs to be for you?
  • How do you define ”career success” for yourself?
  • How does your career differ from your job?
  • How can you either exit the ”rat race” or ensure you never enter it to begin with?
  • How can you learn the ”Do-Re-Mi” song without singing about deer?
    (This is actually an important cognitive exercise we’ll do, not a joke)

Evening field trip: After dinner, make your way to the Pinball Hall of Fame for an evening of classic pinball fun! Free admission, change-making machines available.

Day Two

This is the day you’ll learn to put PowerShell into ”enterprise mode.” We’ll focus not only on the ”how,” not on the best practices—including critical security practices, which are seamlessly woven into the entire day. You’ll learn:

  • How to create effective, modularized PowerShell scripts and modules that are maintainable, reliable, and secure.
  • How to create your own tools that ”wrap around” other functionality, implementing a reliable and consistent ”surface” for administrative automation.
  • How to create a robust error-handling mechanism.
  • How to debug even the most complex PowerShell scripts.
  • How to use source control (Git) to be a Grown-Up Programmer.

This day includes a complete, ongoing lab that we’ll build on throughout the day, giving you a take-home reference packed with techniques and best practices. VS Code strongly recommended, and please have the PowerShell extension installed and working before you arrive.

But wait… there’s more! Today’s Brain Break™ topics will focus on leadership, including the ever-elusive and incredibly valuable ”leading from within the team” skill set. We’ll cover conflict resolution, how leadership should work, and lots more.

Evening field trip: TBA

Day Three

Today we dig deep. This is the stuff even Don stopped teaching in, like, 2009, because people just weren’t sophisticated enough in PowerShell to appreciate it all.

  • Hack the Extensible Type System (ETS) to add your own functionality to PowerShell-produced objects.
  • Build your own formatting views (Tables and Lists)
  • Use Regular Expressions to parse text (we’ll build a PowerShell wrapper around an existing CLI tool)
  • Access data files (this gets a little Windows-specific, but is crazy useful
  • Mess with Arrays and Hash Tables
  • Write Proxy Functions (customize native cmdlets!!!)
  • Using ”raw” .NET classes

And you’ll get to ”do it yourself” on all of the above, in a series of powerful labs that give you something tangible to take home and repurpose.

And continuing with out focus on career development and professional skills, we’ll weave in some serious upgrades to your written and verbal communications skills!

Evening field trip: We’ll visit Downtown Container Park, home to live music (TBA based on availability), fast-casual food, and classic drinks. We’ll keep it down to a mild roar this evening, for the benefit of those departing on Friday.

Your Instructors

Don Jones literally wrote the book on PowerShell—like, a dozen of them. PowerShell’s inventor, Microsoft’s Jeffrey Snover, proclaimed Don ”PowerShell First Follower.” Don founded and PowerShell+DevOps Global Summit, and until the pandemic ran ”DevOps and DSC Camp” at his home in Las Vegas. Don stepped away from public PowerShell classes in 2014, making this a one-last-shot temporary un-retirement! Don was a 16-year recipient of Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award, and is the author of over sixty technology books in total—along with books on learning, business, and lots more.

James Petty is CEO of, the world’s friendliest PowerShell community. He heads PowerShell+DevOps Global Summit, DevOps+Automation Summit, and regional PowerShell events. James is a co-author of Learn PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, the cross-platform successor to Don Jones’ and Jeff Hicks’ groundbreaking and best-selling Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches.

Pricing and Registration

Attendance is strictly limited to 20 attendees.

No refunds. Registration may be transferred at no cost until 11:00pm PDT May 8th, 2022.

Lodging is not included. We recommend The D, Circa, El Cortez, or Golden Nugget, all within easy walking distance (2-4 blocks) of our venue.

We offer two registration options:

  • FULL REGISTRATION is $1700, and includes a limited-edition, signed hardcover of Shell of an Idea: The Untold Story of PowerShell, a signed paperback (includes ebook downloads) of Own Your Tech Career: Soft Skills for Technologists, a sheet of exclusive commemorative laptop stickers, and access to a Monday evening (May 9) no-host social hour with the instructors. Also grants access to Secret Day Four, and enters you in a guaranteed-to-win-something raffle for additional PowerShell books and training resources—plus a free post-class 1:1 hour of PowerShell or career consulting with James or Don.
  • DISCOUNTED REGISTRATION is $1500, and does not include any of the ”extras” described with the ”Full Registration” option: this is just the basic Tue-Thu classes and ”evening field trips.”
Intended Audience & Cautions

You don’t need to be a PowerShell expert to benefit from this class. Novices are welcome! However, you should have confidence in your ability to learn. If you’re a meticulous note-taker, be aware that this ”firehose class” moves crazy-fast—taking notes may well be impossible. Consider bringing a voice recorder or using a voice recorder app instead.

Secret Day Four

If you’re staying Friday, join us for a deep-dive on career ownership. We’ll change venues for this, and keep it casual—and it’s all at NO EXTRA CHARGE (with our ”Full Registration” option; not open to ”Discounted Registration” attendees). We’ll have plenty of time for discussions about your personal goals, directions, challenges, and more—think of it as free career coaching & consulting, from one of the top industry voices on the subject!

Learn how to put your career on its best track, how to define and achieve your goals, and how to identify and conquer whatever hurdles are standing in your way.