our friends at @MicorsoftPress (follow them on twitter! or catch up with them on Facebook) have been putting out some seriously high quality product of late. I attribute this mostly to their choice of topic seeing the communities needs and their choice of top notch writers! (looking at you Ed Wilson!) below are my thoughts / experiences on a few of the books I’ve read from the MSPress stable..
First off, the Windows PowerShell™ Scripting Guide is written by my newest hero Ed Wilson. This book is a great launching point for most administrators faced with the proposition to have to learn PowerShell in general or for a specific task. If you know a thing about me, I am an infrastructure guy through and through. The sheer thought of having to learn a “language” for programming or otherwise sends chills down my spine. I tried to tackle VB6 back in the day and it almost drove me to the looney bin. I have found you really need a certain mentality to be a “Code Guy”, and that is not in any fiber of my soul. So personally being faced with this I knew I had a serious challenge ahead of me. Now I had a general idea of what PowerShell did and was from my experiences with Exchange Server 2007. Now that exposure was very focused on the mail side and didn’t really give me a chance to see it’s true power and level of reach for PowerShell.
He starts quickly and doesn’t bore you with a lot of the extraneous details and gets on topic fast, making things relevant to your job! Ed quickly makes you familiar of the core components and makes you feel comfortable with them. Once your PowerShell training wheels are off, let’s get working on things you can USE TODAY! As a trainer I recommend this and a few other of his books to all of my students since I have personally found them invaluable. Not only good as a learning tool – but a great on going reference and key component of any tech library. If you are still looking for something at a low level, his other book Microsoft® Windows PowerShell™ Step By Step is also a pick to click!
Our next title is the Windows PowerShell™ 2.0 Best Practices again by Ed Wilson. This book really builds on all we’ve learned from Ed in the first book(s). As great as it was to have him guide us in using PowerShell in the day to day tasks we as administrators are tasked with, this book gives us the other side of the equation on WHY some of those scripts are the way they are. This book is specifically geared for V 2.0 of PowerShell, but what you take away from this book could easily be applied to V1.0 as well. I really enjoyed this book as it gives us the whole picture on where and why to use certain type of scripts. Just because we CAN make a huge script for something, should we? is there an easier or better way to do it? This is what this title brings to light. The book also goes into a bit more detail specifically on using and tying into WMI.