I’ve been doing quite a lot of PowerShell training of late for organisations big and small. The biggest organisation was Microsoft’s Hotmail team where I ran a week long class over the summer – organisations with that many servers to manage could not function as well with out PowerShell. But despite it having been around for few years, many (most?) IT Pros don’t really know PowerShell – well not yet anyway. Microsoft’s broad adoption of PowerShell has meant a lot of my customers moving over to doing things with PowerShell. This is a good thing – but there’s a lot of resistance that needs to be overcome.
As see it, organisations must acknowledge that PowerShell is here, is part of Microsoft’s Common Engineering Criteria (what every team in MS must do). PowerShell will only become more pervasive. In short, it matters. So it’s time to start learning it and adopting it as an enterprise tool.
While I can talk about PowerShell being a strategic task automation platform, IT Pros need to work with Powershell itself and the product specific cmdlet set(s). And they need to understand how to write scripts – detecting the errors that will happen, dealing with credentials, working with .NET/WMI/COM, etc. There is a bit of a learning curve here, and that’s something Microsoft can work on as they develop PowerShell Version 3 (which would be expected to ship inside the next version of windows in a couple of years).
So how do you learn PowerShell. Well – for those who are motivated there is a plethora of on-line material, ranging from blog posts, twitter references, web tutorials, free e-books, etc, etc, etc. Use your favourite search engine to mine a vast amount of content – most of it pretty good. For those who are self motivated, the internet is a good source of learning material.
If you prefer the structure of a formal class, as I know I do, then you have a number of options. Microsoft has issued two PowerShell official training courses:
- Automating Windows Server 2008 Administration with Windows PowerShell: course 6434. This is a three day introduction to PowerShell V1. It covers the key aspects of Powershell V1 and how to use it to administer Server 2008. This is a good course, but as I wrote parts of it, I am probably a bit biased.
- Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell 2.0, course 10325. This is a 5-day introduction to PowerShell class. I was Technical Reviewer on this – and feel it’s a very good course (provided the instructor really knows PowerShell!). Like 6434, this covers the basics of PowerShell V2 and how to write basic scripts. I am teaching this class in a couple of weeks for Global Knowledge in London – and if you want to attend, contact them – or contact me and I’ll gladly organise you a place!
Microsoft CPLSs also offer another 5-day class, PowerShell for Administrators. This is a 3 day class covering PowerShell V1.
As an alternative: I offer two 3 and 4 -day PowerShell classes: an Introduction to PowerShell class and an Advanced PowerShell Class. I find that, with PowerShell, this is enough time to get someone started. Armed with the knowledge and practice gained during those sessions, delegates begin their journey, and come back in a few months for more advanced topics like XML, database access, error handling, etc.
How you learn PowerShell is really up to you – you have options! So go on – you know it makes sense!