TechDays SF is May 2nd/3rd – Check out our speaker list on Twitter!

This year, I’m a co-chair for the PacITPro’s TechDays SF.  If you didn’t attend this event in 2012, you should take a close look at what we are offering this May.  The event is two days and we are offering multiple tracks with a variety of sessions on Windows Server, Client, Cloud and PowerShell all for the bargin price of $300. Please visit for more information or to register.

We are also using EventBoard Mobile for easy access to the most up to date information and schedule.  I recommend downloading that app for your Windows Phone, iPhone or Android.

Our speakers include some very well-known, knowledgable folks who’ve spoken at other popular conferences like TechMentor and TechEd. Most of them have Twitter handles – if you aren’t following these people yet, I’m sure you’ll find some interesting enough to add to your list.

  • @VirtualChrista – From  Microsoft, Christa Anderson will be presenting two sessions, “Delivering Applications with Remote Desktop Services in  Windows Server 2012” and “The User Configuration Cage Match”.
  • @scevans – Steve Evans will be presenting “IIS: Choose Your Own Adventure” and “Designing Hyper-V for the Real World”.
  • @nhawkins – Nick Hawkins will be co-presenting “Designing Hyper-V for the Real World” with @scevans.
  • @grouppolicyguy – Darren Mar-Elia will be breaking out of his Group Policy shell to bring you “!0 Tips for Success with Private Cloud”.
  • @gblock – Glenn Block will be lighting up the room with “Managing the Cloud from the Command Line”.
  • @alexandair – Joining us from Serbia, Aleksandar Nikolic will be presenting “Remote Management of Windows Server 2012 with  Windows PowerShell”.
  • @cacallahan – For those of you who support or dabble in SharePoint, CA Callahan will join us again to bring you two sessions on SharePoint 2013.
  • @ubergeekgirl – Our fearless leader of PacITPros in Southern California, Jessica DeVita will be part of the Women in Technology panel discussion.  Joining her will be @adfskitteh, @VirtualChrista and me, @jkc137. 
  • @KevinRemde – Also from Microsoft, Kevin Remde will bring us “Windows 8 Deployment” for those of you planning to move beyond Windows 7 and “Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V”.
  • @chrisavis – Often PacITPros’ host for our monthly meetings at Microsoft’s office, Chris Avis will be bringing us two session on Azure, including Azure IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).
  • @mminasi – Mark Minasi, one of the household names for those of us reading technical books, will be presenting several sessions, so be sure to put one on your schedule: “Manage Server 2012 Like a Pro or, Better, Like an Evil Overlord!”, “Changes to Storage in Windows 2102: Storage Gets a Bit SANer”, “Understanding Dynamic Access Control: the File Share Recharged, Reimaged and Compliance-Enabled”.
  • @richardhicks – If you are looking for the latest in Remote Access, don’t miss Richard Hicks and his “Next Generation Remote Access with Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess” session.
  • @richcampbell – Richard Campbell will be presenting “People, Process, Tools – The Essence of DevOps” as well as host the Run As Radio: Women in Technology Panel
  • @adfskitteh – Part of the Idenity & Access Management team at Microsoft, Laura Hunter will be covering “Strong Authentication for BYOD” and “How Microsoft Has Adopted Office 365 and Azure”
  • @JeffHicks – Need more PowerShell? Choose from “Troubleshooting Active Directory with Windows PowerShell”, “10 PowerShell Mistakes, Trips and Traps and How to Avoid Them” and “File and Folder Provisioning with PowerShell and Windows Server 2012”.  Want more Hyper-V? Learn how to “Build a Windows 8 Hyper-V Lab”

We have a few other speakers in the works and are looking forward to putting on a great event, please join us – you won’t be disappointed!


She’s Geeky – Just Hack It

Last week, I enjoyed my 4th time at the She’s Geeky Un-Conference.  If you are a woman, you really shouldn’t miss out on a chance to network and share your geeky-ness with other like-minded women.  And maybe not even like-minded… I even learned about the science behind making balloon animals this year.  What a fun way to unwind!

One of the quotes tweeted around after one of the conference days was “Whatever you want different in life, you should hack it.”

It was tweeted by a IT friend of mine in attendance and a noticed by another non-IT friend to whom I had recommended they work together on a project.  I received an email expressing concern that my IT friend was not “reputable” because she was endorsing HACKING. OMG.

Yeah. So here is my PSA.

Hacking isn’t criminal by nature. That’s just how the word is mostly in the common media. It’s gotten a bad rap, but really it’s about embracing discovery, learning and improvement. Like anything, you can apply it to more that just computers and technology and you can use it for good or for less than good. You can choose to make things worse for others, or you can choose to make things better for everyone.

So get out there and “hack” the things in your life that aren’t the way you want.  Learn a new skill, figure out ways to change things that don’t work well. Use something “off label”. Order off the menu from time to time.

Need an example?

This particular post (Beth Scott, @scanlime) embodies that quote from above in a way I can’t even describe (and the topic is generally NSFW) but you’ll see what I mean when you take a look. I’m not that skilled in electronic circuits and I don’t have that awesome 3D printer, but this takes hacking your life right to the, um, edge.

So, get out there and “hack” your life a bit.  You’ll be better off for it.

Windows 8 with Stephen Rose at PacITPros!

Ah, 2012 is quickly drawing to a close and the Pacific IT Professionals are proud to have Stephen Rose presenting on Windows 8 at our December 4th meeting.

Stephen Rose is the Sr. Product Marketing and Community Manager for the Windows Commercial Team at Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, WA. Before joining Microsoft, Stephen spent 15 years working as a network infrastructure design and virtualization consultant for many Fortune 500 companies. His current role includes managing the IT pro community for the Windows Commercial team overseeing the technical content on the Springboard Series on TechNet, managing the Windows7 Forums, the Springboard Insider Newsletter, and the Windows Team Blog.

According to a Gartner study, the average user carries 3 devices, a tablet, a smartphone and a PC every day. With the release of Windows 8 and Server 2012, how does this change how you manage your users while taking advantage of the many new ways to make your users productive? Stephen Rose, Sr Product Marketing Manager with the Windows team will discuss the impact  and opportunities that Windows 8 will have on users, IT pros and developers. From a new fast and fluid UI  to being able to manage and deploy custom Windows 8 applications,Windows 8 brings new opportunities to users and business.

RSVP here!

Also, since the first Tuesday in January 2013 happens to be New Years Day, there will be NO PacITPros meeting in January. 

Supporting Women in Technology

I’m a bad “Woman in Technology”. I know this.

There’s been a lot of chatter lately about Women in Technology, Women in Business… particularly with the responses to the whole “Dell” thing and what not. But on many levels, I just don’t care. 

Yes, there, I said it. I’ve got too many other things to concentrate on than to get stressed out about some sideways glace or inappropriate comment.  That being said, no one needs to be harrassed at work, or their ideas discounted because of a difference in their sex.  And some people are just crude and insensitive.

Sure it can be rough breaking into a male-dominated field.  It can be hard working in a male-dominated company.  It would be great if women were equally represented in every area.  But most days I’d rather just concentrate on doing my job as well as I can.

But I do know that I’m “bad” at actively supporting women in technology and I like work to improve on that.  So I make sure that I spend time recognizing and appreciating what women can and have accomplished.

One of the ways I do this is by attending conferences geared toward women. They open me up to the accomplishments of other women, expose me to great female speakers and give me a chance to learn about the challenges and successes faced by many in their professional lives.

Last week, I attended the conference put on by the Professional BusinessWomen of California, at the Moscone center in San Francisco.  This was my first time attending this event and I was impressed with the number of women in attendance and the quality of the content and speakers.

While not technology focused, the sessions were inspiring and informational to women in any field. Using Gender Intelligence to Build Credibilty, Balancing Your Life in Your “War Zones” and Negotiating With Confidence were just some of the topics covered.

Another annual conference that I’ve attended and mentioned before is She’s Geeky.  Usually held over a weekend, this event brings to together women who have interests in STEM fields to network and talk about the things that interest them.  It’s a great opportunity to learn something novel or try your hand at running a session of your own.

Check out their websites and watch for upcoming events. You’ll probably be impressed – I always am.

Also, if you’ll be at TechEd in Orlando this year, reach out to Jessica DeVita of UberGeekGirl. She has some great ideas around bring women together to mentor other women.  Check out her recent blog post about what she’d like to accomplish.

The Joys of "She’s Geeky" Bay Area #5

Oh, how time files and I’ve spent another weekend with the women inspired to attend She’s Geeky – Bay Area #5 (  Appropriately held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, my Friday morning began with an impromptu “around the water cooler” session at a common area table.

That’s the cool thing about She’s Geeky, or probably any unConference you might attend. If you aren’t interested in a session that is scheduled for a time frame, it’s pretty easy to find someone else in the same situation and have a great conversation anyway.  And if there is something you are dying to talk about, it’s totally within your power to announce it, pick a time slot and make it happen.

Your session might be packed, or you might find yourself in a great brainstorming session with another woman or two. Whatever the outcome it was the outcome that was meant to be.  Jessica DeVita!/UberGeekGirl) and I hosted a session on Disaster Recovery.  We didn’t have much of a plan going into it, but once we were joined by two other women, we spent an hour talking about all different things that need to be consider when protecting your important data and paperwork at home or a work.  I think the purchase of some waterproof paper might be in my future.

And it’s not all about what interest you in the here and now, or what you are working on at the office. You can also tap into the geeky interests of others to learn a new skill or get a taste of a completely different hobby.

On Saturday, I sat in on a hands-on session where I learned to solder.  Not something I’ll need everyday, but it was fun to do something new and you never know when you might have to break out some solder for a home repair.  I’m certainly not an expert after one resistor, but now the tools and concepts aren’t completely foreign to me.

As the weekend came to a close, I also enjoyed a fun lunchtime chat about Systems Administration and Operations, participated a great session on privacy and content management lead by @identitywoman, attended popular talk about dressing for success and picked up some good tips for working with cross-functional teams. 

At past She’s Geeky events, I’ve learned about wine tasting and had the opportunity to hear about the “geek factor” behind backyard bee-keeping. With all the information that is at our fingertips via the Internet, it’s still very easy to find yourself in a world filtered to your liking, where you a surrounded by people with similar interests and views.  She’s Geeky gives you a great chance to spend an hour on something completely outside of your realm and find inspiration from other great women in science and technology fields.

She’s Geeky is held annually in the Bay Area with another annually event some place else in the United States (DC, Twin Cities and New York have been past locations). Check out the website for information about the upcoming events or review some of the notes that were taken from sessions this weekend. 

I’m already looking forward to next year.

Start Marking Your Calendar for 2012 Events!

If you like to fill up your calendar with events geared toward the tech community or you’ve got some training budget lined up for 2012, look no further than some of these tried and true events that are coming up in the first half of this year. Prices vary from free to several thousand, depending on your travel needs.

Pacific IT Professionals in LA (1/24, Santa Monica, CA) – Meeting the 4th Tuesday of every month, the LA chapter of PacITPros never ceases to bring lively discussions to the table. This month, Joey Snow will be speaking on Windows 2008 R2 Migration Tools. Join and attend for free!

She’s Geeky (1/27 – 1/29, Mountain View, CA) – Back in Mountain View at the Computer History Museum, She’s Geeky is a great way to meet new faces in the STEM fields. This unConference give you a chance to learn from a collection of really smart women and practice your skills of leading a group session yourself if you’ve got a topic you’d like to share.

San Jose Tech-Security Conference (2/2, Santa Clara, CA) – I enjoyed this low cost security centered event last year when there was one held in San Francisco.  This event is held in various locations during the year. So if the Bay Area isn’t your home base, you are likely to find another date in your area!

Pacific IT Professionals in SF (2/7, San Francisco, CA) – Meeting the 1st Tuesday of every month, PacITPros has been bringing IT Pros together for over 20 years.

RSA Conference (2/27 – 3/2, San Francisco, CA) – A San Francisco staple, RSA never fails to disappoint.  Even if you can only swing an Expo Plus pass, you’ll have access to lots of informative keynotes and the large expo hall.

Security B-Sides (2/27 – 2/28, San Francisco, CA) – A free security event hosted near the Moscone center earlier in the same week of the RSA conference.  A great way to complement your RSA Expo Pass!

TechDays SF (3/22 – 3/23, San Francisco, CA) – A two day event with over three dozen sessions planned covering a variety of tech topics of interest to IT Professionals.

Microsoft Management Summit (4/16 – 4/20, Las Vegas, NV) – Geared toward managing your Microsoft enterprise, MMS brings you the latest technical training for desktop and device management as well as data center and cloud technology solutions.

Microsoft TechEd (6/11 – 6/14, Orlando, FL) – As a 7 or 8 year alumni of TechEd, I always look forward to this conference. The expo hall and Technical Learning Center always provides opportunities to connect to vendors and Microsoft employees.  Community areas bring MVPs, User Groups and other IT Pros together.  And don’t forget the crazy number of sessions you can choose from.

IT Pro Events This Week!

Pacific IT Professionals has a few upcoming single day events this week, one in San Francisco and one in Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, Sept 20th in Los Angeles – Ed Horley and Richard Hicks will be talking about IPv6 and DirectAccess in the Enterprise.  Find out more at

On Friday, Sept 23th in San Francisco – CA Callahan will be covering SharePoint Administration for the Unexpected Administrator.  You know who you are – you inherited a SharePoint installation or have been asked to get one running.  Once you’ve got it going, then what?  This one day event will give you a chance to pick the brain of a true SharePoint expert and author of several books on SharePoint WSS 3.0 and SharePoint Foundations.  For $99, you can’t afford to miss out on this “everything but the kitchen sink” session – bring a question, you’ll get the answer!  For more details and to register go to

PacITPros Hits July with a Storm of Events!

Don’t let the summer slip by without taking advantage of some of the free or low cost events brought to you by Pacific IT Professionals. 

San Francisco July 5th Meeting – The meeting sponsor is OpenDNS!  Many network admins go to great lengths to secure their networks using costly security appliances, all the while leaving a critical network layer – the Domain Name System – unprotected. This discussion explores the way malware and botnets leverage the DNS to infiltrate your network and cause damage that costs you both time and money. And also how you to easily secure your DNS layer and smartly stop command center communication between malware and your network, rendering the malware harmless. Secure your DNS and block malware and botnets once and for all, before they ever even infect computers on your network, and cut off malware that’s already infected your network at the knees. Protect every device at your company, everywhere it travels.

Los Angeles, July 12th – Windows Deployment from ACT to ZTI with Stephen Rose – Do you know how to use the free tools to move your users from Windows XP to Windows 7 and Office 2003 to Office 2010 in less than 30 minutes? Paying money for deployment tools is so 2000!  In this session, Stephen will show you how to use the many free tools available to manage and deploy Windows, Office and Internet Explorer while reducing cost and ensuring you never having to manage multiple images again. We will cover MDT, ACT, MAP, WDS, the PoC and other tools that will do network inventory, application compatibility, shimming, image management and automated Windows and application deployment.

San Francisco, July 15th – Deploy Windows 7 Using Microsoft’s FREE Deployment Tools – MAP, ACT, WAIK, MDT, WDS and SCCM – which tool does what? In this one day jam-packed session you’ll learn how Microsoft’s free deployment tools can help you get Windows 7 up and running as quickly and easily as possible!

Upcoming Tech Events

For those of you looking for some technology events in San Francisco over the next week, here is what’s on my calendar:

Upcoming – TechDays Technology Guru Speakers!

PacITPros and LearnIt have teamed up to bring you an opportunity to learn more about the future of mobile and cloud technologies. Todd Lammle and Mark Minasi will be joining forces on April 5th from 1pm-6pm, covering some great topics.

Todd will cover Cisco’s plans for taking wireless networks to a new level, Mark will cover the future of the cloud and then they will join forces to discuss IPv6 and the future of the related networking technologies.

When: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 (1pm – 6pm)
Where: Microsoft: San Francisco Office (835 Market St.)
Cost: $79 
Register at:

This speaker series takes place right before the regular April PacITPros meeting, so rest up for a jam packed afternoon and evening of tech talk.