Hot and Heavy Coding in 2023

The Practical 365 PowerShell script-off was one of the most popular events at the TEC 2023 conference. It’s easy to understand why: a hint of competition, a dash of panic, and some harassed coders struggling to understand how best to meet the challenges set by the organizers created much amusement for the attendees. After an hour or so of frenetic activity, Susan Campbell (to the right of Figure 1) walked off with the grand prize and everyone relaxed.

The TEC 2023 PowerShell script off
Figure 1: The TEC 2023 PowerShell script off

TEC 2024 Script-Off

TEC 2024 is less than a hundred days away and we’ll be running another Practical 365 PowerShell script-off in Dallas on October 1. The same basic rules apply:

  • Competitors attempt to create the optimum solution to the PowerShell challenges set by the organizers. The challenges are based on Microsoft 365 scenarios dealing with Exchange Online, Entra ID, Teams, and SharePoint Online. Just like many of the articles about PowerShell that you read on!
  • Like what happens in real life, competitors can use the internet to search for code that might help them build their solution. Copying and pasting a complete script from somewhere else is frowned upon by the judges, but judicious and tasteful reuse of code is an art form that we appreciate.
  • Each round lasts 20 minutes. At the end of a round, the solutions are examined by some PowerShell pros to determine the best answer to the challenge.
  • Half the competitors go through to the next round until the point is reached where the champion is the last coder standing.

Last year we noticed that some of the competitors were at a loss about how to start responding to a challenge. Stage fright might have been a contributory factor, but in other cases, some folks needed a little push to get going. Once they started, things went well. This year we’re going to team competitors up with PowerShell guides. The guides cannot tell their competitors how to develop a solution or answer a problem. All they can do is make suggestions to help people move towards a point where they can develop a solution.

GitHub Copilot Not Allowed

Competitors use their own laptops to develop the code for the challenges. This means that people are in a familiar environment. All we need to do is make sure that the laptops can connect to the internet and to the AV system used to project the code that competitors work on for the audience to see.

To make sure that everyone is equal, we’re banning the use of GitHub Copilot. It wouldn’t be fair for some competitors who have Copilot licenses to be able to use the AI assistant to generate code for them.

Sign Up Today

If you’d like to compete in the TEC 2024 Practical 365 PowerShell Script-Off, please register here. You must attend the TEC 2024 conference to be eligible to participate. Merill Fernando from Microsoft is well-known in the PowerShell community for his work around Entra ID. He’ll be speaking at TEC 2024 – maybe we can get him to act as a guide.

Despite what you might think about coding in front of a bunch of other people, competing in the script-off really is good fun. A strong community shares experiences with each other and seeing how different people develop solutions to a problem is a great way of sharing. Be part of the Dallas script-off and prepare for some fun at TEC 2024!

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. Andreas Dieckmann

    That’s cool! Will there be a video or something?

    1. Avatar photo
      Tony Redmond

      We will not broadcast from TEC but the possibility exists that we could video some parts of the script-off and release that on YouTube afterwards

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