PowerShell

Book Review: Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Second Edition by Don Jones

During December I decided to dedicate myself to learning Powershell for the next few months. Many of the blogs I follow and some of my respected peers have recommended the Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches book and ashamedly I have owned the book and never gotten past the first chapters.

The reason I never did do much with Powershell is because I wasn’t sure it was worth my time and wasn’t sure how I could apply it. However, after seeing the great work of Chrissy LeMaire on DBATOOLS and Rob Sewell at DBA Reports I knew that I could make my life a lot easier. I know from their work that they have done a very large amount of work which I did manually could be automated. Therefore I now had sufficient motivation  to start my Powershell journey.

The book is compromised of the following chapters:
1 Before you begin
2 Meet PowerShell
3 Using the help system
4 Running commands
5 Working with providers
6 The pipeline: connecting commands
7 Adding commands
8 Objects: data by another name
9 The pipeline, deeper
10 Formatting—and why it’s done on the right
11 Filtering and comparisons
12 A practical interlude
13 Remote control: one to one, and one to many
14 Using Windows Management Instrumentation
15 Multitasking with background jobs
16 Working with many objects, one at a time
17 Security alert!
18 Variables: a place to store your stuff
19 Input and output
20 Sessions: remote control with less work
21 You call this scripting?
22 Improving your parameterized script
23 Advanced remoting configuration
24 Using regular expressions to parse text files
25 Additional random tips, tricks, and techniques
26 Using someone else’s script
27 Never the end
28 PowerShell cheat sheet 

Chapter By Chapter Review

1. Before you begin

This is a nice short intro into Powershell and shouldn’t take anyone long to finish.

2 Meet PowerShell

This chapter is mainly about customising the GUI/ISE to whatever your preference is and along with first chapter can probably be done in one lunch.

3. Using the help system

I loved this chapter as the key success within Powershell is becoming familiar and efficient with the Help system and this chapter gives you those skills.

4 Running commands 

Finally we are doing something and in this chapter you are introduced to some simple one liners and how they can be constructed.

5 Working with providers 

In this chapter you learn all about PSproviders.

6 The pipeline: connecting commands 

The pipeline is a critical component of Powershell and is explained in an eloquent way.

7 Adding commands 

Now we start dooing some real stuff with Powershell and I found the Lab at the end particularly enjoyable.

8 Objects: data by another name 

A key concept within Powershell is everything is an object and it is explored in this chapter.

9 The pipeline, deeper 

More awesome Pipeline stuff.

10 Formatting—and why it’s done on the right 

Finally I learned how people were making there reports with Powershell and now I had that knowledge.

11 Filtering and comparisons 

Does what it says on the tin.

12 A practical interlude 

I loved this chapter as it was a series of challenges which helped give me confidence with my Powershell knowledge.

13 Remote control: one to one, and one to many

After this chapter I was a little scared about how easy it would be to hack on a large scale using Powershell.

14 Using Windows Management Instrumentation 

WMI had always scared me and now it doesn’t after using it and its newer CIM implementation.

15 Multitasking with background jobs 

Does what it says on the tin.

16 Working with many objects, one at a time 

Finally we get to the FOREACH command.

17 Security alert!

After this chapter some of my earlier hacking concerns were a little alleviated.

18 Variables: a place to store your stuff

I liked this chapter as I finally feel like we are properly starting to script.

19 Input and output

I wasnt too sure about this chapter as it contained quite basic information  and probably coulkd have been added to another chapter.

20 Sessions: remote control with less work

I understand how sessions work but I am not sure it needed a whole chapter.

21 You call this scripting? & 22 Improving your parameterized script

Finally we are doing some really cool stuff and it is quite surprising how easy it is to create scripts for Auomating Administration tasks.

23 Advanced remoting configuration

I must admit I read the chapter and quickly forgot what was contained in this chapter as I doubt I will need to remember all that detail.

24 Using regular expressions to parse text files

My hatred of regular expressions has now extended to another programming language.

25 Additional random tips, tricks, and techniques

A nice few tidbits of information.

26 Using someone else’s script

A great chapter which is a must read.

27 Never the end

A nice little send off into the big bad world with some Powershell.

28 PowerShell cheat sheet 

A nice little reminder of things which has been covered.

In conclusion this book was a great start to my Powershell journey and I am now working through the Learn PowerShell Toolmaking in a Month of Lunches.

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