Once upon a time, right before the 2010 Scripting Games, the Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson was thinking out loud about the challenges he would use for the 2010 Scripting Games. As he was talking to himself at the lunch table, he mentioned his idea for one challenge to me the Scripting Wife, Teresa. I am not an IT person but have been exposed to several scenarios over the years both at work and at home. I have spent most of my working life in the accounting arena, either processing invoices or payroll or both. Some of the words Ed was using seemed to be advanced for the beginner category and I mentioned that to Ed. One thing led to another and the next thing I know he is announcing via Twitter that I was going to participate in the 2010 Scripting Games. (Naturally, I entered for fun and the learning experience, I am not eligible for prizes nor did I want to be considered for any of the prizes).
We started with Ed sitting down with my PC and me and worked through some training exercises. The first command I typed was Get-Pr <tab> for Get-Process. You can read all the lessons and my entries for the Scripting Games for 2010 and 2011 here. I continue to have training sessions with Ed from time to time but I do not script on a regular basis. I also intentionally do not remember what he teaches me so that I can be a beginner again next year and we will go through the process again. I really enjoy being able to work with Ed on these scenarios in order to encourage other beginners that they too can learn Windows PowerShell.
One of the main things I see is Windows PowerShell is so much different to actually sit in front of the keyboard typing commands instead of just reading about them. Ed has written more than 10 books and many Hey Scripting Guy blogs and I have read just about every word he has written. To actually type a command and see the results is an entirely different way of seeing things than to just read the words. I encourage anyone who is just starting out to actually try the commands and not just read about them. HOWEVER, be very careful to do this is a controlled manner and have an idea of what you are asking the commands to do. You do not want to mess up your computer or your network. Most of the things in Windows PowerShell are obvious if you know what a verb and a noun are. Use Get-Command to learn what commands are available, Stop-Computer is self-explanatory.
Since 2010 I have gotten more involved in the Windows PowerShell community and continue to learn more from a broader perspective. I volunteer as the scheduler for the guests on the PowerScripting podcast with MVP Hal Rottenberg and Jonathan Walz. I usually log into the chat room while the podcast is being recorded and learn the specialties of the guests and audience. One thing I am beginning to really understand is this phrase that I have heard Ed and others use—PowerShell is PowerShell is PowerShell. No matter if you use Windows PowerShell for SQL, Exchange, SharePoint, or Active Directory, PowerShell is still the same at the root of the script. Once you learn the syntax you can use Windows PowerShell for whatever product you need.
My latest adventure is helping MVP Jim Christopher start up the Charlotte PowerShell Users Group. So you can see I still am mostly an administrative assistant more than an IT admin but there is a spot for all of us in the Windows PowerShell community.
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