Wednesday, June 2, 2010

2010 Scripting Games - Post Games

The Microsoft 2010 Scripting Games ended a couple weeks ago, and how fun it was! The scripts were constructive, creative and sometimes tricky.

I finished in 10th place. Honestly, was expecting a little bit more from myself... Got more stars in 9 advanced scripts than in 10 beginner scripts! :-S Shame on me...

But like most scripters that entered the games, it was all about sharing knowledge, learning new “tricks and techniques” and improving our programming skills. And it did just that! I’m fairly new to PowerShell (1+ year) and I mostly use it to manage Microsoft Exchange Server. So, I learned a lot of new things from other scripters and now I know how to do certain things better, like parameters in functions or splatting. Bottom line, I got what I wanted from these games, more knowledge!

It was the first time I used the excellent PoshCode. There were a few issues with it during the first few days, but they were fixed right away and there were no problems at all after that. To the responsible for PoshCode: very nice work!

I really liked the fact that we would get 2 stars by meeting the basic requirements for the script, and had 3 more stars that we could earn if we completed extra design tasks. And these extra design tasks made all the difference and made the scripts very, very interesting.

Obviously, ratings will vary from judge to judge. As long as one judge remains constant across all the scripts he analyzes, I don’t see a problem with that. What would be really good is to know why I got 2 stars in this script, or 4 in this one and not 5. I know it was more than 1200 scripts submitted (can’t remember the exact number) and it would be very time consuming for the judges to give their opinion for every scripts, but some feedback would be really, really useful.

A lot of scripters, including myself, don’t understand why we got only 2 or 3 stars in some scripts and it would be great if we could know why. Mainly so we can rectify our errors and do better the next time! What could I have done better? What did I miss? Did I do too much and all you guys wanted was a simple script?

One problem I had with the beginner scripts was the fact that I never knew if I should write a basic 1 or 2 lines script that would do the job, or a more complex one, also with error handling and stuff like that. Please, make that clear next year :)

As Glenn said in his PostGame Roundup post, I also agree that a PowerShell script that is basically a “translation” from VBScript should never get more than 2 or stars. Like I said before, the games are about learning and sharing knowledge, and translating from VB to PS is not learning and is not doing any good to the scripter.

It was all about the learning and sharing, but it is always good to win something! :) I won a copy of SoftwareFX PowerGadgets which I’m loving and will cover in my next post. I think I also won a copy of Idera PowerShell Plus Professional Edition, but haven’t received any e-mail about it so far.

Prizes are always a good motivation, and I think the prizes offered by these games were really good! Thank you to the Scripting Guys and to all the Sponsors!

Dates of Submission
The games had 10 events (20 in total considering advanced and beginner divisions), one each day with 1 week to submit each of them.

I think the number and divisions of the events are ok. At first I suggested that a new event should be announced every two days instead of every day. This was mainly due to people that work full time. In my case, I didn’t have enough time to deliver all the scripts: missed one and could have improved some scripts a little bit. However, this would make the games last for 4 weeks, which I don’t know if it is a good idea...

Twitter & All Links on One Page
The Scriting Guys did an excellent job in keeping everyone updated by using Twitter and a webpage with all links and info on it: All Links on One Page, and I loved the idea!
However, for some reason, after the first week of the games or by the end of the second week the webpage was not getting updated as frequently as it normally was... I would see something on Twitter (like a new leaderboard or prize winners) and only after 2 or 3 days it would get posted on the webpage... I don’t know why, but I think this shouldn’t have happened...

Overall, and as always, it was time well spent! I can’t thank enough to the Scripting Guys for organizing another amazing Scripting Games and to all the Sponsors that sponsored the games this year. An honest thank you!

See you all next year!   ;-)

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