The Case for PowerShell

The Case for PowerShell is a new Pluralsight course by Mark Minasi where he, not surprisingly, makes a case for PowerShell.

The very first thing I noticed about this course was that it is using a very different structure than most Pluralsight courses. Mark is presenting this live to an audience in what I assume is Ballroom A of the Schenectady Airport Hilton.

I think this approach worked well for this topic. The course is short, you could cram it into a lunch hour if you have a loose definition of “hour”. His personality and interest in the topic come through very naturally. Mark is clearly very comfortable giving this talk.

Fair Warning: there are a few bad jokes.

My Dirty Secret…

I have intentionally avoided PowerShell for years.

I’m used to the command shell and bash. I know how to do what I need. I’m resistant to change.

But then something happened… a client required PowerShell.

Their whole build environment is based around it.

Ok – fine. I can use dir, right? Indeed I can.

So let’s go and find that file RenderingEngine.cs …

PS > dir /s RenderingEngine.cs

Get-ChildItem : Cannot find path 'C:\Source\s' 
                because it does not exist.

The Hell?

They took away my dir!

For a long time I just went to the command shell (cmd /K) when I needed to do things like that.

But I’m done with that. I’ve made a commitment to not using the command shell for things like that. I’m going to learn the PowerShell way and start embracing it.

As Mark said: “learn-powershell or leave-industry”

(My) Key Lesson from The Case for PowerShell

Mark’s course really isn’t a lesson in PowerShell. He is making a case for why you should care and, along the way, teaching a few basics to make his point.

The basics I cared most about were:

  • Command Structure (verb-singularnoun)
  • Get-Command

Now that I understand the structure and I understand how to find commands, there really is no excuse for dropping back to the command shell.

It’s not about knowing all the cmdlets – it’s about knowing enough to know how to find the cmdlet you need at the moment you need it.

Yeah – basic, I know. This is Day-1 stuff.

But it’s Day 1 so cut me some slack.