Navigate Three Rounds of PowerShell Problems and Walk Away with a $1000 Prize

Attendees at The Experts Conference (TEC 2023) in Atlanta (September 19-20) have the opportunity to participate in a PowerShell “script-off” challenge and potentially walk away with a thousand dollars. Terrifyingly as it might seem to have to write code in front of a TEC audience, it’s really not so bad as the challenge is pitched at the level that most Microsoft 365 tenant administrators should be capable of meeting.

The way things work is as follows. The challenge unfolds over three rounds of 20-minute coding. For each round, challenge participants are asked to automate a task using PowerShell. Because we know how things work in the real world, participants will have full access to the internet and be able to beg, steal, or borrow code to help meet the challenge. They can even ask ChatGPT for help. Outright plagiarism is not permitted (in other words, a participant finding a script and presenting it as their own is not allowed), and participants must assemble what they write or find within 20 minutes to make sure that their code works.

Working Knowledge of Microsoft 365 PowerShell Required

The challenges call for a working knowledge of the Exchange Online, Teams, and Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK modules. That means participants must know how to perform tasks like Azure AD account management, mailbox management, and team management using cmdlets from those modules. It does not mean that participants need in-depth knowledge of every cmdlet in the three modules. Being able to think on your feet and develop working solutions to problems is possibly a more important attribute than coding genius.

The focus is on practical solutions for challenges rather than beautiful code. We want participants to prove the principles of how to solve challenges, just like many of the example scripts published with articles.

How the TEC 2023 PowerShell Challenge Works

Participants will connect their own workstation to a Microsoft 365 developer tenant set up and populated especially for TEC. Before coming to TEC, participants are expected to install or update Microsoft 365 PowerShell modules that they think they’ll need. They’ll also need to make sure that their workstation can connect to an AV system via HDMI because we plan to display what they’re working on as participants develop solutions. Participants can use the PowerShell console or an IDE such as Visual Studio Code.

During the challenge, the TEC audience will be available to help participants with robust advice. The fact that the challenge takes place during the TEC welcome reception when beer might be consumed has nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of the advice which might be provided. Challenge participants can cheerfully reject audience advice if they wish.

After round 1, skilled adjudicators will assess the quality of the solutions and decide which participants will progress to round 2. The same process happens at the end of round 2, and we’ll be left with two participants in the final round. The person who comes up with the best solution to the round 3 problems will walk away with a thousand-dollar prize and lifetime fame as the TEC 2023 PowerShell Script-Off Challenge Champion.

The criteria used to assess entries include:

  1. Does the code work?
  2. Is the code maintainable by human beings?
  3. Is the code efficient?
  4. Does the code exhibit any new or innovative technique in its approach to solving the set problem?

Sign Up for TEC 2023 Today

Only those who attend TEC 2023 can participate in the PowerShell “Script-off” Challenge. Sign up today for TEC 2023, and when you’ve got your slot, make your bid for fame and fortune by becoming one of the PowerShell Challenge participants.

About the Author

Tony Redmond

Tony Redmond has written thousands of articles about Microsoft technology since 1996. He is the lead author for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook, the only book covering Office 365 that is updated monthly to keep pace with change in the cloud. Apart from contributing to, Tony also writes at to support the development of the eBook. He has been a Microsoft MVP since 2004.


  1. Csaba

    Great idea! Will the challenge be shared by the public after the event, so somebody who couldn’t join can try to write the codes?

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