Category Archives: PowerShell

PowerShell Training Resources

OK, I admit it. I love PowerShell! It’s the way to go when you want to do automation. Not only that, it has the ability to hook into all aspects of the Microsoft tool stack. Not just SQL Server, but SharePoint, Exchange, Windows Server, and more. So here are some of my favorite resources for learning PowerShell.

A quick disclaimer, some of the links below are by co-workers or other people I have an affiliation with, financial or otherwise. That’s because I’m lucky enough to work with some of the best people in the field. Also, in the case of the books I’ve linked to the Kindle version where possible, mostly because I’m a Kindle junkie. There are paper versions of the books, and you are free to buy from your favorite retailer.

Books

Windows PowerShell in Action, Second Edition – If you are only going to buy one PowerShell book, this is “The” book as folks say. It’s one of the two that gets referenced quite often. Note the prior link is to Amazon, where you can only get the paper (aka “dead tree”) version. You can get electronic versions (Kindle, PDF, and ePub) directly from the publishers website.

PowerShell In Practice -  This is the other book in my collection that gets a good workout. Lots of great examples and easy to understand. Like the previous book, the link is to the Amazon dead tree version, you can also get the electronic version from the publishers website.

Windows PowerShell 2.0 Best Practices – So you want to know if you are doing PowerShell right? As it’s title implies, this book lays out best practices to help your PowerShell solutions succeed.

Note there are a lot of other really good PowerShell books on the market that focus on using PowerShell with specific technologies such as SharePoint, SQL Server, Exchange, and Windows Server. The books I’ve listed above cover PowerShell in general.

Blogs

Richard Siddaway – This guy blogs more about PowerShell than anyone I know. It’s an invaluable resource for PowerShell. In addition he is also the author of PowerShell in Practice, listed above.

PowerShell.com – This website is a treasure trove of resources. Indeed, it could have been put into all of the sections in this post as it holds not just blogs but free e-books, forums, and webinars.

Hey Scripting Guy – Ed Wilson, author of the Best Practices book above, is “The Scripting Guy”. Ed works on the PowerShell team at Microsoft and is very active in the PowerShell community.

Podcasts

PowerScripting Podcast – A great show out of Atlanta, has a lot of information about PowerShell especially for beginners. The website also has a lot of useful links. I always learn something new listening to their show.

Get-Scripting – If you are out of the UK you’ll appreciate this PowerShell Podcast. Has a focus on PowerShell with VMWare’s PowerCLI.

Videos

Pluralsight – I know Pluralsight has a great series on PowerShell, as I’m the one who authored them! In addition Pluralsight has an extensive catalog of other courses you can pick from. It’s subscription bases so there is a modest fee (starts at $29 US per month last I checked) but well worth it for the training you can get. There’s also a free trial.

For a quick link direct to this post, you can use http://bit.ly/arcaneps

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The Best Intentions

Well, I set out tonight to do some more studying of PowerShell, my new love in life. Then I intended to create a blog entry, but a Twitter post reminded me of something I’d seen on the Hanselman Forums, and next thing I know I’d sucked up my alloted time over there.

So if you want to see what I’ve been up to tonight, check out the Hanselman Forums at
http://www.hanselman.com/forum/default.aspx

Most of what I posted was in these threads: Productivity Tools, Hanselminute Shows, Off Topic and Philosophy of Software.

I can’t leave without passing along at least one PowerShell related tip: I’ve been listening to the PowerScripting Podcast all week. They’ve had 19 shows so far, I started at 0 and am up to number 8. Very good stuff, lots of links to PowerShell tools and tips. One reason it’s taking me so long is I keep stopping to make notes or check out some link they give.

Avoiding Burnout OR How I learned to stop worrying and love the PowerShell

Most geeks I know tend to be workaholics. We go and go and go on a subject, spending long hours in front of our PC’s until we’ve conquered whatever we’ve been working on. It’s important though to avoid getting burned out. When we’ve exceeded our capacities, we’re depressed, dread looking at things, our productivity goes to near zero and stress wreaks havoc on our health.

For the last two months I’ve been hammering away at SQL Server, getting ready for my presentations at the recent code camp. While I’m not quite at the burn out stage, I recognize it’s just around the corner and decided I needed a break. At the same time I came away from code camp energized and wanting to learn something “techy”. The answer then was obvious, to find some technology that was new to me, and that I could use in conjunction with my SQL Server work, but was not directly SQL Server.

I twittered about going to the bookstore on Sunday, what I was actually looking for was a book on F#. (Yes, I’m an old fogey and still like books as a good platform for learning.) F# seems to fit well with processing sets of data. Sadly the stores lacked any tomes on the subject.

powershellstepbystep I did find, however, a book called “Windows PowerShell Step By Step”. This looked like a great fit for my needs. It’s small, around 220 pages so it’s something I can easily read in a short amount of time. It’s on a subject I was interested in, PowerShell. I believe PowerShell will soon become an integral part of all Server based technologies, and we’ll be able to perform remarkable amounts of maintenance and more with PowerShell.

Over the next few days I’ll give some more resources for PowerShell that I’ve already found, but I can tell you I love PowerShell already. My post for today is not so much about PowerShell but about burnout. When you’ve spent a lot of time hammering away, don’t forget to come up for air every so often. Look around, see what other tools are available for you to learn. You’ll find yourself refreshed, and have new skills to boot!