Is PowerShell Intimidating?

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Is PowerShell Intimidating?

  • I personally have not used it. I feel that's just because I haven't ran into a problem that needed it just yet.

    Most of my scripting is done in Python. It's insanely easy to use and translates well across platforms and even disciplines. So, I've been taking that approach instead of powershell for the time being.

  • xsevensinzx (3/29/2016)


    I personally have not used it. I feel that's just because I haven't ran into a problem that needed it just yet...

    I have but this statement, and the Editorial, clearly illustrate the reason why I haven't touched on so many things. I am really interested in technology, particularly software development, but there are only so many hours in the day.

    We all have to prioritise and PowerShell was a priority for me in 2007 due to a project need. It is worth the effort but that doesn't mean that it will necessarily make it high enough on every priority list.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Hello together,

    other than first repliers I 'like' Powershell in combination with T-SQL, as my works often is managing files, analysing folder structures and building up connections and meta information in SQL-Server databases. It's often frustrating, to mask commands, to understand how to use the different constructs in the programming languages, ok! In most cases it ist although a reuse of code, that I created for other projects, so with all the help I got from other users and with some try and error, PowerShell makes it much easier for me to do my work.

    It's sometimes the only way to do jobs, that need access to completely different behaving objects in Network. If you ever have become familiar with programming on objects, know DOS-commands as well as other Scripting languages, it's not a hard Job to adopt this knowledge to Powershell.

    I think, that thare are much more spare time DBAs here, than fulltime DBAs. Most ones may have to do other Jobs as well and for all of their Jobs, they have to automate things. For this need, Powershell is helpful, as you can use one language beeing able to access also TSQL, filesystem, Active Directory, some user-Software,...

    Armin

    sorry for my poor "german" english 😉

  • PowerShell is useful enough if it's what fits in your niche.

    As a developer I think it's a utility language targeted to Windows Admins, Exchange Admins and DBAs. It really doesn't work well outside those domains. I'd rather Microsoft had taken a great scripting and programming language like Python or even Iron Python and used it. But it was case of Not-Invented-Here. So it's yet another programming language that takes up more space in the toolkit.

  • chrisn-585491 (3/30/2016)


    ...I'd rather Microsoft had taken a great scripting and programming language like Python or even Iron Python and used it. But it was case of Not-Invented-Here. So it's yet another programming language that takes up more space in the toolkit.

    My understanding is that it was a ship that had long since sailed before your (very good from what I hear) suggestion of Python/IronPython was viable itself. I think that this may be a case of hindsight is a wonderful thing (and more likely to be correct).

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • I'm 'aware of' PowerShell but frankly I've never had an issue I couldn't resolve by using methods other than (and thus much faster than) learning enough about PowerShell to try it.

    From the little I know about PowerShell, it seems like MS Office VBA: if you know the object model, great! If you don't, it could take a considerable time to do so … and do I really have a 'need to know' that justifies the time to learn yet another object model that's incompatible with all the other object models I already know? Perhaps I'm wrong, but the PowerShell objects don't even seem to map on to the good old WMI model that I bet a lot of us used to use in VBScripts to obtain info. about a computer.

    If you were wondering, yes I do know the Office VBA object model very well, and I use it a lot. But PowerShell … ? As Andy Warren says, no-one has come up with anything (yet) to convince me that PowerShell is a 'must know' for me.

    So maybe not 'intimidating' so much as 'no needs which would justify the 100+ hours to learn it.'

  • What a great article. Everything you wrote is so true. We had a need to write a PowerShell script last year and I took it on. I wrote a long script that does a lot of things. Prompts the user for stuff, creates a database, creates the SSIS catalog if it doesn't exist, creates tables and procedures, bulk inserts metadata, uploads SSIS projects, creates SSIS environments and links them to the projects, writes stuff out to a config file for C# program, and uploads SSRS reports. It also has many validations including checking to see if a value is a valid CRM organization. So now I feel comfortable with it but I don't use it frequently and when I go back to it I have to relearn stuff sometimes. I do have an object-oriented background with PowerBuilder and more recently C#. Google had examples I could clone in everything I had to do, and it was the key to my success with PowerShell.

  • I've tinkered with it off and on, and I'd hardly call it "intimidating". Definitely a learning curve, though, like anything else.

    I put a Powershell for Beginners course on my learning plan for Microsoft Virtual Academy so it is definitely on my to-do list but like others have said, there are only so many hours in the day.

    ____________
    Just my $0.02 from over here in the cheap seats of the peanut gallery - please adjust for inflation and/or your local currency.

  • Finding a good source for help is always a key to learning.

  • I am glad you tackled this subject, Andy. I was brought up on good old UNIX and shell scripting was fun for me way back then when I had ample time as a young admin to sit for hours on end working through the endless tirade of syntactical errors until finally I was able to gain the knowledge to have a fairly decent grasp of how to accomplish specific tasks. I was happy to see PowerShell and still have a fascination with it these days but it is not my first choice for solving problems or more specifically incorporating automation for various tasks. I admire the PS gurus out there like Laerte Junior, Kendal Van Dyke and Allen White to name only a small few who know the tool well and have made incredibly useful scripts. And I appreciate their willingness to spread the knowledge so I know if I ever did have the time these days to jump through the burning hoops and deal with the incredible frustration that I know I can expect then I have a go to source for this knowledge. For now and most likely for the remainder of my career I will stick with T-SQL and SSIS.

  • I made it a goal to get into Powershell this year, and have so far not done much. I just haven't run into many problems that make sense to use Powershell at all, much less as a tool to simplify my efforts. I wonder if PS is really more useful in a large shop where the DBA is managing tens or hundreds of SQL Server instances. We have two - one for Test and on for Production. I do use a Powershell script to create an Excel file each day with server stats such as SQL Agent job failures, backup age, and disk space. Aside from that, I haven't really identified any problem for which using PS would be an improvement over existing methods.


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  • david.gugg (3/30/2016)


    ...I wonder if PS is really more useful in a large shop where the DBA is managing tens or hundreds of SQL Server instances. We have two - one for Test and on for Production. I do use a Powershell script to create an Excel file each day with server stats such as SQL Agent job failures, backup age, and disk space. Aside from that, I haven't really identified any problem for which using PS would be an improvement over existing methods.

    Automation isn't only about repeating the same task in an identical manner in different locations. It is also about repeating the same task in an identical manner over time. You have demonstrated that with your existing script. It may be that there are other tasks that could benefit from automation.

    I am not suggesting that you are wrong. Just highlighting that there is more to one aspect of repetition or, at least, looking at it.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Personally, I use PowerShell a lot. I figured the only way I would learn it would be to use it to solve problems. Is it the best way to do certain tasks, no but it is useful for a lot of automation.

    A few of the areas I've applied PS: Deployments, Backup/Recovery, Configuration, Status checks, ETL with XML from a web process, etc.

  • I've used it for trivial tasks. Have I got the wrong end of the stick in thinking of it as Bash for Windows but with access to the .Net framework?

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