What a Microsoft consultant does on a Saturday

What better way to spend a Saturday than learning PowerShell! This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Powershell Saturday event put on by the Charlotte Powershell Users Group. After managing to convince a few of my peers to attend, we were quite pleased at the turnout which consisted of over 200 IT pros, devs, and others interested in PowerShell.

2012-09-18T19-15-38_0_0.jpgSource: Andrew Weiss

I happened to come across the event page while perusing the "Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog" on TechNet. For those that aren't as up to speed on all things PowerShell, Ed Wilson, aka "The Scripting Guy", is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and senior programming writer who's blog is an excellent Powershell resource. I had been wanting to brush up on my scripting skills and figured the event would be a great way to do so.

Throughout the day, there were some pretty interesting sessions ranging from a 101 course for the newbies to some advanced WMI scripting techniques. "The Scripting Guy" was also in attendance to give a few pointers and help run the event. I thought he did an excellent job getting everyone amped up to script. While I have some previous experience with PowerShell, Ed, along with a few of the other speakers, really explained how easy it is to learn.

If you're looking to get started with PowerShell, here's the best piece of information I took away from the event:

"There are three commands that can teach you everything you need to know about PowerShell: Get-Command, Get-Help, and Get-Member," -- Ed Wilson, Microsoft Certified Trainer

If you happen to be sitting in front of a Windows 7 or Windows 8 machine, try giving the commands above a go. Simply open up the Start menu, type PowerShell, and hit Enter to open up a PowerShell console.

Let's say you want to figure out a commandlet that will give you a list of running processes. Easy! By typing Get-Command *process* you can get a list of all the PowerShell commands with the word "Process" in them. You'll notice that one of the commands listed is Get-Process. Type that in and watch the console spit out all of the running processes on your computer. If you enter Get-Help Get-Process you can get information on how to use the Get-Process command. Let's take it one step further by entering Get-Process | Get-Member and you'll see a list of properties and methods that you can use with the Get-Process command.

As you can see, it's quite easy to get started with PowerShell using just three commands. With roughly 200 commandlets in PowerShell v2.0 and over 2000 in v3.0, you can do all of the things you normally do with a mouse with a console instead.

If you're interested in learning more about Powershell, I've included a link below to the Scripting Guy's blog on TechNet. He has some great tidbits that pertain to both novices and advanced scripters alike. It's definitely worth checking out!

Hey, Scripting Guy Blog on TechNet

Read more of Andrew Weiss's "Launched!" blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Andrew on Twitter at @Andrew_Weiss. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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