I'm slowly trying to revise my main web site. The original site had a script library page where all of my old Mr. Roboto scripts resided for download. Unfortunately, in many of the online Mr. Roboto articles the link they provided doesn't work now. So if you are looking for my old scripts, use this direct link: http://www.jdhitsolutions.com/scripts.htm. The Mr. Roboto scripts will be at the bottom of the page.
I was looking at my current Mr. Roboto column “Polish Your Shell” on learning PowerShell by starting with 3 basic commands and noticed a lengthy and serious comment. I’ve always felt PowerShell is easy to use and learn, which was the point of my column. However, the comments paint a different story and one that I feel is more pervasive.
I’m afraid the comment is representative of how PowerShell is perceived by many IT admins. They don’t have time to learn anything new or their hair is constantly on fire (to borrow a favorite Jeffrey Snover phrase). Even though the concepts of cmdlets, parameters and a pipeline seem easy and practically self-apparent, they are not. Especially for an administrator who has never had to open a command window before. Granted GUI-based admin tools might have been cumbersome, but at least you could make some educated guesses about how to use it. A command line is very different.
Many of us in the PowerShell community have been involved with PowerShell for so long that I think we forget, I know I do, sometimes what the experience is like the first time you see a PS prompt. So what’s my point?
First, if you are a PowerShell professional, don’t forget what it was like the first time you saw a PS prompt. What can you do to help administrators learn, adopt and embrace PowerShell?
Second, how did you first approach using and learning PowerShell? Did you buy a book or take a class? Did you read the user guide? Did you even know there is a user guide? Do you have any newbie best practices?
Finally, I hope you’ll take a minute to read the original Mr. Roboto comments and let me know what you think. Is he right? Do you agree? Disagree? Are there directions you think Microsoft should take for future PowerShell versions?
PowerShell is here to stay and is only going to spread further into your datacenter. How do we make this process as easy and painless as possible?
I know I haven’t posted much this month. I’m trying to get a new blog setup where I can offer more value and especially an easy way for you to download script and code samples. In the mean time you can find me on “InterTubes” at Mr. Roboto, Prof. PowerShell and The Lonely AD Administrator. Or you can follow me on Twitter.
Thanks for sticking around.
My September Mr. Roboto column covers a PowerShell script you can use to create a domain password report. I also demo’d the script at the NYC Techmentor conference this past week. Since then I realized a mistake in the way that I laid out the script. I had nested a function within another function which worked fine for most of the script when I called the outer function. However, I was also calling the nested function directly which was causing the error. The solution was to move the nested function and make it the first function in the script. This way it can be used by the other function and the rest of the script.
I’ve posted an updated version of the script at http://www.jdhitsolutions.com/scripts in the Mr. Roboto section. It will have a 1.1 version number.
Please be aware this isn’t the speediest of scripts and as with all scripts, make sure you test in a non-production environment first.