Ed Wilson is the Microsoft Scripting Guy, and is very likely one of the world’s top experts in PowerShell; he has written more than a million words on the topic. He writes a new article about PowerShell every day, 7 days a week, and has been doing so for years.
Recently I was listening to an interview with Ed on Mind Of Root podcast #152, during which he talked about a new a series of webcasts he recently made. The series is called PowerShell: Learn it now before it’s an emergency. It consists of five one-hour videos in which Ed teaches the basics of PowerShell.
If you have not started learning PowerShell, this is a great way to dive in. Ed starts at the beginning, but gives you the tools to make PowerShell immediately useful. This is not dry classroom syntax stuff; he starts with examples you can use right now. You don’t need to commit to the full hour of video if you don’t want to – you can watch a little now, work in your own PowerShell console as Ed does the exercises, stop and restart whenever you need to. It is a fairly painless way to pick up some PowerShell (PS) basics.
I’ve already gotten a little bit of PS experience, but still I’m working through these videos – I’ve completed episodes 1-4 over the past week or so, and learned a number of useful things in the process. It’s been good for me to take a more structured approach to learning PS, and Ed makes it easy. Books? We don’t need no stinking books!
A few tips I’ll pass along to those who decide to watch these videos:
- It’s very worthwhile to open your own PS console and follow along with Ed, typing out the commands as he does. The knowledge will ‘stick’ better.
- Definitely be ready to stop and start the video – occasionally he types things and hits enter so fast you may not have time to see and type them yourself. This is rare but it happens a few times.
- You can pretty much stop watching when he gets to the question and answer period. This was probably useful to the people who participated in the live video, but I found it nearly useless. You can shave 15-20 minutes off the running time of each of the videos this way.
Once you have completed these five videos, you can continue learning by simply going to the ‘Getting Started’ tag on the Scripting Guy blog, and picking out articles which look useful to you. Or click another tag on that page; the tags are cumulative so you can drill down to a ‘getting started’ topic that’s useful to you right now.