Why you should learn PowerShell
PowerShell by Microsoft, is a brilliant command line and scripting tool. I’d say its a requirement to master PowerShell if you want to be serious about hands on management in a corporate infrastructure containing Microsoft components. Or as one once said in relation to your future choices as an Microsoft admin:
…you’re going to have two choices: Windows PowerShell or “Would you like fries with that?”Don Jones, Microsoft MVP
What do you have to do when you get a new employee in your corporation? Create a user account in AD? Create a mailbox? Add email and security groups? Create accounts in 3. party services? Most likely all, and many more. Doing everything manually is both time consuming and increases the risk of human error. Automation is the way to go.
Writing good cmdlets (“command-let”) in PowerShell will enable you and/or other IT staff to execute recurring and time consuming tasks in a fraction of the time, while making sure you get the same result each time.
Quick access to info
Lets say that you wanted to count all users in a group hierarchy. Without spending most of your day manually counting, you could just type in this one-liner in PowerShell:
Get-ADGroupMember -Identity "top group" -Recursive | Measure-Object
Exclusive info and functions
Fetch me a list of all Skype for Business users with voice mail activated, please. You can’t find it in the Office 365 portal, you say? Hehe.
Even if that example might seem far fetched, it was actually a recent scenario for me, hence the reason it came to my mind. Either way, there are functions and information not accessible from the GUI; only from PowerShell.
Tailored tools and integrations
Knowing PowerShell will give you the power to create tools and integrations to make your infrastructure management better and more efficient.
Want to populate AD with data from a HR system? Sure.
Create inventory reports to help you monitor the health of your clients? You can do that.
Of course other programing languages will let you do much of the same. But that is not to say that PowerShell isn’t a great and efficient way to get the job done.
Where to start?
So, where should I start if I wanted to learn this awesomeness, you say?
I could only recommend the way I learnt it my self.
The initial quote in this article came from one of the authors behind “Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches“. That book delivers on its promise. Set aside 1 hour a day, and you can use PowerShell in a productive way after a month. This is the only PowerShell book I have read, and the rest I know is based on self study. I cannot recommend this book enough. Click on the image below to get to the publishers website where you can buy the book.