Coding 101 on TWiT!

One of my college friends – the ever-so-awesome code warrior Lou Maresca – mentioned that he is a cohost (with Robert Ballecer, SJ- the Digital Jesuit also known as Padre) on a netshow called Coding 101 over on TWiT.  Now I have to admit it … up until this point, I really hadn’t heard much about TWiT, let alone shows.  Anyhow, Lou asked if I would appear on one of their wildcard episodes, and I figured why not!

So I did some research before the show to see what I was getting myself into.

What is Coding 101 all about?

From what I can tell….

Basically… this is my cup of tea!

So… what is TWiT and Coding 101 about?

Well, first of all, we did a live recording on September 21.  I hadn’t realized just what all that entailed on the TWiT side of things.  They have a studio that’s live recording all the time, complete with an IRC chat channel of a lively bunch of people.

The best description of what they do is on their site: What is

I’m not going to lie – the first time I logged into the live site, waiting to go live, I had a fan girl moment while talking with Lou.  I had done research on Coding 101 but not enough on TWiT to know that it’s Leo Laporte’s baby.  I had no idea that our live session was following his segment.  I nearly lost it – the “OMG! That’s Leo Laporte! That’s the guy from Screensavers on TechTV when I was much younger!  Wait… we’re following him?!?” moment. *facepalm*

So anyhow… we were recording live on September 21.  I was nervous, as this was the largest Internet recording – podcast or netshow – that I had done, and I hadn’t worked with such a big crew before.  At one point, one of the TWiT crew had said something to me about moving my microphone, and that was the oddest experience ever – having someone else’s voice in my head besides the voices of the show really messed with me. Did I really hear that?  Was there a guy’s voice talking to me to ask me to adjust my mic?!?

Overall, how was the recording live experience?

Introverted me was terrified going into this, but Padre and Lou are awesome hosts who keep things moving along conversationally, which put me at ease a ton!  The chat channel was great too – very much an interactive bunch.

From the feedback I’m seeing so far, I look forward to returning and probably speaking on PowerShell!

So… where is your wildcard episode?  How can we see it?

Check it out: Coding 10184 – Wildcard with Sarah Dutkiewicz

On “My Life for the Code”, Episode 10

I recently was asked by Shawn Rakowski if I would be interested in appearing on his podcast – My Life for the Code. On his podcast, he talks to people of all different backgrounds and roles in tech to find out what got them into code, what they’re doing now, and asked some questions about resources and recommendations.

I had a lot of fun chatting with him about my adventures from back in the day to where I am today.  Check out my appearance on My Life for the Code in Episode 10, In the Community with Sarah “sadukie” Dutkiewicz.

The 9 Month Long Get-ChildItem Cmdlet

I’ve got to start off by apologizing for being so quiet here lately. I’ve been ramping down my community involvement, as I’ve had a new opportunity in my life that will be changing things.

Ramping Down

You may not be seeing me at user groups or other events as much as you used to.  This isn’t your imagination.  In January, my main focus was CodeMash.  In February, it was settling in for the last of my travels – speaking on PowerShell at the .NET group in Detroit and then checking out the Central Ohio Windows Phone User Group while in Columbus (for a conference my husband was attending).   Earlier this week, I sponsored the Ohio North SQL Server User Group.  It was a PowerShell-themed meeting, so I couldn’t resist sponsoring the group!  But now, I’m done with user groups and events until Stir Trek on May 4th.   Registration for Stir Trek opens on Pi Day at 1:59pm… so mark your calendars!

Why Ramping Down… and Going Forward

For almost 9 months now, as I’ve told my PowerShell friends, I’ve been running the Get-ChildItem cmdlet and am waiting for a result.  You could say that I’m working on spawning a child process.  Oh the euphemisms I could come up with using technical terms!  Long story short, my first child is due on April 4th, so I’m ramping down my community involvement so that I can focus on my little one’s arrival.

I’m hoping that once I adjust to my little one, I’ll blog more and continue my presence on Twitter.  I’ll also be working on Cleveland Tech Events, as there are a few more features I’d like to add to that site.  Of course, I’ll also be at Stir Trek, as I’m in charge of volunteers again this year.    Then there’s Cleveland GiveCamp, which both Kev and I are already committed to helping out.  As for other events, we’ll see as the time comes.  For the next few months, events will be on a case-by-case basis.  There’s a greater likelihood to find me at a Cleveland-based event that’s a couple hours long than at an out-of-town multi-day conference.

Stay Tuned!

I’m going to try to squeeze a few more blog posts in before Logan arrives. If you have a PowerShell or random question that you’re hoping to see answered here, drop me an email at sarah at this domain, and I’ll do what I can to include it here!

Cleveland GiveCamp 2011 – Sadukie’s Tales, Part 2 – Meet Sadukie, the Project Manager

Cleveland GiveCamp starts tomorrow afternoon, and I’m excited that it’s finally here.  This year, I am working as a business analyst/project manager for two different charities.  I’ve talked about ASL Advocates; however, I’ve also taken on another one, so that we can help multiple non-profits.

My Other Non-Profit

My other non-profit this year is the American Indian Education Center.  We’re going to create a website that’s easier for them to maintain.  This group’s goals include spreading the work about Native Americans, American Indians.    I hope we can get them a site that they can keep updated.

My Role as a Project Manager

I was happy that Mark and his committee figured I’d be a great fit for the project manager role.  I’ve led many development projects in my past, and I’ve enjoyed being the project manager and the one who focuses on getting a great user experience for the client.  It’s great when you have a developer who can fit this role and deal with end users directly, acting as a go-between between the non-profit contacts and the devs.  I like to encourage the devs to meet the contacts and talk with them – I’m all about open lines of communication.

Tonight, I made notecards of the various features that each group wants on their site.  Each group has special specifications – certain colors have certain meanings, certain audiences require extra attention to accessibility.  I just hope that I get teams who understand the benefits of notecards and using them as a method of tracking tasks and getting things done.  After all, our goal this weekend is to complete some decent-sized development projects for selected non-profits.

Look forward to some upcoming posts on how the event is progressing and what’s going on at Cleveland GiveCamp 2011.  I will be blogging about it here at

Got any GiveCamp tales you want to share?  Leave a comment here!

Pittsburgh GiveCamp Needs Volunteers!

This weekend, I was supposed to be going to the Pittsburgh, PA area to help them with their first-ever GiveCamp. Unfortunately, I have to stay back due to health issues, but while I can’t be there, I want to be able to get them the help they need.  One of their organizers sent this today:

Come and be a part of something
special this weekend

A small group of software developers and web site designers will be
spending this weekend helping 7 local non-profit groups to build web sites,
system integrations, and solve other technical issues. It will be a marathon
event for sure but on Sunday afternoon we will go live with all of the projects
from Pittsburgh’s first GiveCamp.

Even with all of the support there are still some technology gaps that need to
be filled and we can really use your help in these areas.

– PHP experience

– Web Design (HTML, CSS, Photoshop)

– Experience with any CMS including Drupal, DotNetNuke, Joomla, Orchard, etc.

– WordPress themes

Even if you can’t volunteer for the entire weekend, please consider
volunteering a few hours on Friday or Saturday and add your experience to one
of our projects. In just a few hours you can help make a difference to these
groups and in turn they will spend the rest of the year making a difference to
thousands of others right here in Pittsburgh.

The event is being held at the DDI offices in Bridgeville. You can find the
location and sign-up form on our web site.


If you’re able to help them, please volunteer to help them!  The Pittsburgh community, from what I met in April, are a great group – yes, they seemed to like me even though I root for their rival NFL team!

PowerShell The Community’s Command Line Part 27 of 31: It Takes a Community to Raise a Language

Much like the saying It takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to raise a programming language. Without passionate people in that community, the word won’t spread and a language can die. Yesterday, I talked about some of the cool community resources and sites. Today, I want to salute those who are working on community projects with PowerShell. These are just a few of the many out there.

StudioShell, by Jim Christopher (@beefarino)
StudioShell is an integrated PowerShell host available inside Visual Studio 2010 and 2008. This tool exposes Visual Studio’s extensibility points and makes it easier to extend your Visual Studio from the command line rather than from compiled binaries. Jim will be giving a presentation on his StudioShell project and using it to extend Visual Studio at CodeStock 2011 down in Knoxville, TN this June.

MongoDB PowerShell Provider, by Jim Christopher
If you’re in an environment where you need to manage a Mongo database, then the MongoDB PowerShell Provider may make your life a little easier in managing the database from within PowerShell. This project is nicely documented both on the CodePlex site and from within PowerShell.

PowerShell Script Provider, by Oisin Grehan (@oising)
While developers who can think out a provider’s logic may be more comfortable with writing the provider in C#, this provider allows IT Pros and those comfortable with PowerShell to write their providers in the PowerShell scripting language. Oisin Grehan, PowerShell MVP and PowerShell provider guru, is the guy behind this project. It’s great to see the option of writing providers in PowerShell, as working with the scripting technology directly in its own language makes more sense to many scripters.

Show-UI: The PowerShell WPF Toolkit

For those who have our book, disregard the recommendations on page 397 on the two things to help with WPF apps in PowerShell, as WPK and PowerBoots are merging. Show-UI is the project that they are merging into. Yes, you can use PowerShell to create GUIs. Show-UI is a project that can help make that process even easier in PowerShell. Shoutouts to the coordinators and developers – Jaykul, Doug Finke, and James Brundage.


Got any other PowerShell projects that you want to share? Leave me a comment!

PowerShell My Father’s Command Line Part 26 of 31: Start Spreading the News…

I’m watching this week’s episode of Glee again while writing this post, and the “I Love New York/New York, New York” mashup really inspired this title. I have to give a shoutout to my dad in the title, as while he isn’t technologically inclined, he taught me the value of networking and establishing relationships. He was a union leader for the city’s emergency response service for many years, and in those years, I watched as he networked with people in his line of work and those who impacted his line of work – councilpeople, mayors, senators, and the like. Watching him, I learned how to network and how to participate in communities.

Up until this point, Matt and I have been talking about scripts and code in PowerShell, but there’s more than just that. If the language didn’t have a community behind it, it would fall flat and not continue on like it has been. So let’s do a shoutout to some of those in the PowerShell community!

2011 Scripting Games

Hey, Scripting Guy!, the Scripting Games, and the Scripting Wife!

Ed Wilson is also known as the Scripting Guy over at Microsoft. He answers languages on various scripting technologies, with PowerShell being the focus nowadays. Whether he’s answering questions in the Hey, Scripting Guy! blog, posting on Twitter as @scriptingguys, speaking at various events throughout the world, or writing books, Ed is a great community resource when it comes to PowerShell! One of the events that he promotes on his blog are the Scripting Games, and the 2011 Scripting Games were no exception! This is a great contest for testing your scripting chops against other PowerShell scripters, competing in either a beginner or advanced level. What made it even neater to follow this year was that Scripting Wife joined the games. While I didn’t have time to participate this year due to other timing conflicts, I did enjoy reading the journeys of Scripting Wife as she learned working with PowerShell. Check out the Hey, Scripting Guy blog, as Ed covers some of the topics that you’ve probably wondered about.

PowerScripting Podcast

PowerScripting Podcast

Hosted by Hal Rottenberg and Jonathan Walz, the PowerScripting podcast is recorded live on UStream every Thursday night at 9:30pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4). They feature various people in the PowerShell community – including talking with Jeffrey Snover (father of PowerShell), the directors of, PowerShell MVPs, people on the PowerShell team, vendors of PowerShell products, and even those on product group teams whose products can benefit from PowerShell. While recording, they’ll take questions from the audience via the chat channel. I was able to catch the show on, and it was neat to see how they record the podcast. After recording the show, the hosts play music while wrapping up the show – always great to rock out with these guys! Matt and I will be on PowerScripting tonight talking about our book and our love of PowerShell!

Run by the community for the community, features news, forums, learning resources, steps for forming a PowerShell user group, and a script repository. Special thanks to the sponsors of the site who provide financial support to enable the online community presence and support local PowerShell user groups – including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Quest Software, SAPIEN Technologies, Inc., Compellent, Idera, and Pragma Systems. is another community for PowerShell scripts, tips & tricks, webcasts, blogs, and other resources. Once again, Idera and Compellent are sponsoring another community resource (in addition to Concentrated Technology and nSoftware also sponsor This site also features the Master-PowerShell eBook written by Dr. Tobias Weltner. Yet another great resource for PowerShell scripters!

Get-ToThePrompt -at

Quest Software, Inc. runs, a free community for PowerGUI users. PowerGUI is a script editor and administrative console based on PowerShell. Their community site includes tutorials, PowerPacks, forums, wikis, demos, and other goodies related to PowerGUI. If you’re using PowerGUI, then this site is a must-have resource!

#powershell on

If you’re an IRC user, definitely check out the #powershell channel on Don’t have an IRC client? mIRC, xChat, and others are out there. Of course, freenode is awesome and has a webchat available!


These are just a few of the PowerShell resources and communities out there. Got any you want to recommend that I haven’t mentioned here? Leave me a comment!

This one time, at Pittsburgh Code Camp…

This past weekend, I had the privilege to speak at Pittsburgh Code Camp 2011.1 at Robert Morris University in Moon Township, PA. The talk I was scheduled to give was “Three’s Company – Writing for the Desktop, the Browser, and the Phone”. This is my tips and tricks for choosing WPF or Silverlight and writing as little code as possible for apps on all 3 platforms. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties – blue screens of death and random rebooting of the demo’s VM and video card corruption issues on the laptop – the code wasn’t shown. There will be code coming up after Stir Trek, so in the next couple weeks.

The slide deck is available here.

(Note: This is the second time I’ve had technical difficulties with this talk, so it is getting shelved until after the code is blogged about and things are looking better.)

While I was there, I did get a chance to meet the organizers – Eric Kepes, John Hidey, and David Hoerster. These guys are driving many of the events in the Pittsburgh area and could always use more help! I’m looking forward to joining them again July 15-17th for their first Pittsburgh GiveCamp. I also got to learn about a website called BrainCredits, a great way of tracking your conferences, user group events, and other technical training participation. This site is in BETA, but we’re still going to try it out for this year’s Stir Trek. David Hoerster is one of the people behind it.

I sat through Matt Groves‘ talk on Project Euler, scheduled at the last minute due to a cancellation. If it had been better publicized, it would’ve been better attended. I enjoyed the talk!

I also enjoyed sitting in John Baird‘s Windows Phone LOB talk, as it was nice to see a LOB app on the Windows Phone and not some toy app. He will be blogging on some of the things he talked about, so catch his blog here:

The session though that my husband and I both really enjoyed together was Matt Stultz‘s “.NET in the Physical World”, where he talked of Hack Pittsburgh, netduinos, arduinos, weather balloons, LEDs, and how to control a tri-color LED through a circuit and *gasp* some C# code. But it’s so simple! So cool! My husband has been tinkering with an arduino for awhile – he set it up to poll some temperature sensors so that we could monitor the temperature in the house while we’re away, so that we can see if it gets too hot for our chinchillas. This was a session that he could relate to, and it got a lot of coolness points in my book.

Overall, I’m glad I went to Pittsburgh Code Camp! It was a great opportunity for me to see some of my friends from the community – including Rich Dudley and Joel Cochran. It was also great to meet some of the developers in Pittsburgh’s developer community. I look forward to attending more of their events in the future!