Last week I was interviewed on the Mind of Root podcast about what administrators can do to promote PowerShell and automation in their environments. The show is now available for streaming or download. I still think your best approach is to gently let everyone know that it’s not a matter of if you will use PowerShell, only a matter of when. PowerShell is Microsoft’s management strategy. That doesn’t mean you need to script or use a console. I discussed Exchange 2007 as an example in the podcast. You may use PowerShell and not even realize it. But for complex and hard-core tasks, you will need to drop to the console.
I also encourage people to find a regular IT task that is now performed manually and create a PowerShell alternative. Try to stick to someting you can do with one or two lines of PowerShell. Remember, the goal is to reinforce the idea that PowerShell is first and foremost an interactive management shell. As an alternative, you might also find a short script you use now and achieve the same results with a few lines of PowerShell. Personally, I think VBScript files using WMI are great targets.
I hope you’ll listen to the podcast and let me know what you think.
If you are thinking about what conferences to attend next year, I hope you’ll consider joining me in Orlando for the Spring TechMentor show. The show runs March 8-12, 2010 in sunny Orlando, FL. This is a great show where you can take away a ton of information that you can put to work immediately. The presenters want to give you information you need NOW. It’s not a giant show like TechEd which makes it very easy to network with others and really get to know the speakers. Personally, I love hanging out with people and am more than happy to have my brain picked over.
I have sessions on PowerShell, file management, and Windows administration. Afterwards I’m happy to chat about whatever is on your mind.
Oh…if you have some books you want signed, bring ‘em along. Especially if you want the Windows PowerShell 2.0: TFM signed. This will be one of the rare times when Don and I will both be in the same place at the same time.
In keeping with my recent trend of offering solutions based on PowerShell v2.0, here’s a function I’ve revised to test if a folder is empty. I can’t recall where I used the original function or if I ever did. But I came across it recently and decided to give it a facelift. Manually determining if a folder is empty is pretty easy. If it doesn’t have any files, I consider it empty. What I originally wanted was a way to find all empty folders, say from a given root folder. Once I’ve identified the folders I can do something with them like whack ‘em. Here’s my PowerShell v2 function.
After a terrific few years at SAPIEN Technologies, I’m back on my own. This site will be my new home. I’ve revamped the title, but I think it more accurately describes my subject matter. Even though I write extensively about scripting and PowerShell, which I’ll continue to do, the topic is really a means to an end. I strongly believe that scripting and automation technologies are essential keys to success for Windows administrators with too much work on their plates and not nearly enough time or resources.
I hope to use this blog as a foundation for sharing tips, scripts, solutions, advice and anything else I can do to make your job easier. This will also be the place I’ll announce new books, writing projects, training classes and anything else I’m up to professionally that I think you might like so I hope you’ll subscribe. By the way, the SAPIEN Technologies blog is still active and I hope you stay subscribed as it is the best way to keep on top of new offerings.
In the mean time I hope you’ll stay subscribed to this blog, follow me on Twitter and let me know what would make your life easier. Please feel free to post comments here or email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll be adding yet another writing gig to my portfolio. This time I’ll be contributing a bi-weekly blog column at TurboChargeAD.org. The site is run by Quest Software with contributions from many members of the IT Pro and PowerShell community that you are likely familiar with like Don Jones, Brandon Shell, and Darren Mar-Elia, to name a few.
The site’s aim is to offer a wealth of information for enterprise management. You’ll find white papers, blog posts, video demos and material that will hopefully make your job a little easier. My posts will be primarily Active Directory task based, such as creating a disabled users report or finding all empty groups. I’ll be leaning heavily on topics from Managing Active Directory with Windows PowerShell: TFM.
Look for my posts on Wednesdays, starting Oct. 15 in the articles section.
This month’s Mr. Roboto column offers a script you can use with PowerShell to build a domain password report. There were few issues that came up which have since been resolved. You can download the latest version, currently 1.2 at www.jdhitsolutions.com/scripts in the Mr. Roboto section.
I’ve blogged in the past about Wayne Martin and his outstanding list of command line tips. These are one line commands, some complex some simple, that you can use to accomplish a wide range of task. The overall number of tips is to 425 and Wayne recently reorganized them into 7 categories to make it easier for people to digest. There’s very little scripting with any of these commands. Most use native or freely available command line tools. But because they are executed from a command line you could incorporate them into a script. I encourage you to check them out.