Everyone who has ever blogged has the obligatory post about why you should learn their craft, right? So as a rite of passage, here is my obligatory “Learn PowerShell” post. And don’t worry, I’m strictly a SFW blogger.
PowerShell and sex, wtf?
I’m getting there, but first, some background:
My wife gave birth to our first descendant last year and we entered a whole new chapter of our life and our relationship. Now on top of caring for one another, we are also caring for a helpless little bag of mostly water.
My daughter sees herself as a champion of staying awake, arming herself every night to fight back against the dark tides of sleep. Luckily for my wife and I, she usually succumbs to the overwhelming tides with only a moderate amount of pressure from us. This is a fairly standard process that involves feeding her, rocking her, laying her down to sleep, and then watching her till we feel comfortable that she has completely given herself over to slumber.
The only problem is that by the time she falls asleep, we’ve dedicated the majority of our evening to the process and have exhausted ourselves since this does come after a full day of normal activities. We weren’t spending quality time with each other, especially being intimate since having a sleeping baby in the room isn’t exactly arousing.
We had numerous excuses for staying away from a baby monitor including a paranoia of hacking, fear of spending money on a lemon (there are SO many choices), and of course the decrease in quality of monitoring going from in person to a baby monitor. Luckily for us though, we did get tired of such an inefficient system and finally compromised on our excuses and spent some money. We ended up purchasing a security camera from a trusted brand that we can livestream to our phones.
Now we happily put our daughter to sleep in the bedroom while we are able to monitor her remotely and enjoy each other.
Ok, what does that have to do with PowerShell?
Oh! Yes, sorry about that. I thoroughly enjoy both topics I’m writing about and got distracted.
Imagine, if you will, that the aforementioned baby is actually your responsibilities at work. It involves a large amount of care and feeding, but you’re an expert at it because it’s your baby and you take care of it. You can deploy any application or complex task sequences through SCCM, provision new resources in Azure, and sort through the syslog system for any notable events, but it is all extremely time consuming and involves navigating through a GUI that probably does more for the vendor’s brand than it does for your time. And for all I know, you might even be stuck in a dead end position. I’ve been there.
This is where you need to make the conscious decision to compromise on your excuses and invest the time into learning a new skill that will save you time. Remember that if you can save yourself time, that gives you more time for the things you actually want to do. As long as your baby’s needs are met, then it doesn’t care what you do with your time.
This is where PowerShell comes into play. Much like monitoring a baby remotely, a well written PowerShell script can free you up to focus on the important things in your career. As a simple example, you don’t have to worry about spending an hour every day visually filtering through event logs, you can just write a script to do it for you. You might have to start with something simple and work your way up to it, but if you are reading this then you have at least started somewhere.
Find yourself good resources and use them. I do intend for my blog to be one of those excellent resources, but until I have more content, check out feedspot.com’s list of the top 50 PowerShell blogs, I’ve read and enjoyed many of them.
I know you thought this was the perfect metaphor for learning PowerShell, but one of the ways that PowerShell is not like automating the process of putting baby to sleep, is that I can’t simplify my evening to the point where all I have to do is:
Set-Baby -State Sleeping
Set-Wife -Mood Aroused
Life is still difficult, I still need to be a nice person, do what my wife asks me to, and rock my daughter in the middle of the night when she’s having a rough night. And even after learning PowerShell, you’re career will feel much the same. You still have to be a good employee, do what your boss tells you, and respond to the late night outages, but remember that the difficult things in life are the most rewarding.