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JeffHicks

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Reply with quote  #1 
In the interests of heading off the expected, "I'm just getting started learning PowerShell where should I start", I thought I'd share a page from my blog about Essential PowerShell resources. (http://jdhitsolutions.com/blog/essential-powershell-resources/). I'm sure other people will have recommended resources for beginners.
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Hamish Gibson

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Reply with quote  #2 
In the same vein, it might be worth noting which books are still current for the fundamentals. I have a couple of your books, Jeff, and they're high value. One of the issues with anything tech though is the built-in obsolescence, though many of these types of books remain current because the fundamentals don't change. I would certainly be interested in a list of books that are still current on the basic building blocks of PS.
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Pete

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Reply with quote  #3 
I concur with Hamish
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Mark Minasi

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Reply with quote  #4 
That's a very good point, Pete and Hamish -- interestingly enough I always tell people to avoid Googling PowerShell questions because (1) so many people love PoSH and so (2) they all have blogs and so (3) they figured out how to solve some problem back in PoSH 1 or 2 and but (4) some new version of PoSH includes a far simpler, better way and thus (5) blind Googling may make you miss out on some current PoSh goodness.
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wobble_wobble

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Reply with quote  #5 
My tiny 2 cent.
The help documentation is written by people who can code and have assumptions you also can code at their level at that time. No context given.

It frustrates me, as an occasional but essential user, beyond belief why they half document some great new feature/ability/ function and then expect me to "learn the nuances" from twitter/facebook/github/ google. I have a job, a wife, a family, certifications and customers to keep happy. I have to fix other people's problems and no I can't get 0.5 day to research the latest XYZ (which changes every what 22 weeks now)

Come up with a base line. Not 2 x 29 inch monitors and dual raid 0 SSD but a basic laptop, 14 inch monitor.
With Powershell ISE
Now tell me how to get to the next greatest coming in code.
And some guidance of what goes around it.

Sorry for ranting a tad, and I'd love to have someone to go on the full journey of exploration of powershell with, but how many hours to MS think are put into a day?

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JeffHicks

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Reply with quote  #6 
The help documentation that ships with PowerShell isn't necessarily designed to teach you how to use PowerShell but rather how a particular command might work. Yes, you might still need additional training or resources to learn how everything works together. And I don't know where you think you need anything other than a Windows 7 desktop at a minimum to learn and use PowerShell fundamentals.

Yes, if you want to advance your career as a Windows IT Pro, you will have to learn and use PowerShell. For some, it is a matter of learning PowerShell on the job as they go along as well as convincing bosses that PowerShell skills are important to you and the company. If your employer doesn't see the value and recognize the role PowerShell is playing in Windows environments, then you either need to enlighten them or think about other options.  I always tell people that your current job is not your career. You have to find a way to own your career. Those pros that find a way and the time will be ahead of the curve. 

This forum wants to help.

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Hamish Gibson

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Reply with quote  #7 
I think Wobble's note is very typical of the attitude towards Powershell, and I don't mean that in anything like a bad way, I've had the same thoughts running through my mind over the years. Something though that I have seen written many times, and for those who simply struggle to keep their head above water, it's the best advice on Powershell, and that is just to start using it day to day. When you have the time, and obviously not when there's a fire burning, find out what the Powershell way is to do something instead of using the GUI. If you have five users to create in AD, create them in Powershell. One at a time to begin with. You'll start to get a hang of the verb-noun method, and the syntax. Then down the line work out how to do them all at once. Then something will come along where this knowledge ties into something else, and you're using a load of stuff you know, and just adding new bits on. And remember, no-one knows the entire Powershell vocabulary.

I'm always in awe of bloggers who APPEAR to spend their time investigating and learning most of the time, and the shop-floor minions who have to spend their days actually doing 'work' like me and Wobble can't see how they have the time. So just start using it gradually, and don't see it as some impenetrable technology that requires three months locked in a shed in the middle of nowhere to get started [smile]

And from the reply above, I like this : "I always tell people that your current job is not your career. You have to find a way to own your career. Those pros that find a way and the time will be ahead of the curve." Great words.
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Infradeploy

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Reply with quote  #8 
The help function is great and the 'about' sections are there to explain concepts. I only wish Microsoft would put some effort in the help of the Azure cmdlets for example. It seems that new modules are seriously lacking in explain themselves.
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Mark

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Reply with quote  #9 
I think what Joseph meant was that when someone writes a cmdlet, they often have very case-specific use scenarios in mind -- "my new cmdlet in tandem with this existing one makes for an awesome one-liner when solving X problem" -- and those should be highlighted in the examples.  (They are often are, don't misunderstand me, but they aren't always.)

Also when creating a cmdlet it's important to remember not only what it does, but what it DOESN'T do that new users could reasonably expect it to do. One good approach is to say, "well, this cmdlet essentially replaces X admin GUI tool," and take a moment to enumerate how it's incomplete wrt the GUI or, more often, better than the GUI.

And Ton's right.  Azure has my favorite help item.  Try this out:

help New-AzureVMConfig -Examples

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JeffHicks

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Reply with quote  #10 
Sadly, help documentation is up to cmdlet authors or their teams which is why you might notice a difference between say Active Directory cmdlets and IIS cmdlets. And third party vendors are another story altogether.

On the other hand, if online help documentation was perfect, Mark and I would be out of work sitting in a bar, playing Candy Crush over cheap beer and nobody wants to see that sad sight.  [biggrin]

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