TechSession Webinar: The Top 10 Considerations When Writing #PowerShell Advanced Functions

On Wednesday, September 2nd at 2pm EDT (1pm CDT), I’ll be presenting the September TechSession Webinar for The topic for this month’s session is: “The Top 10 Considerations When Writing PowerShell Advanced Functions”. Here’s what you can expect from my presentation: There are lots of things to consider when writing an advanced function in PowerShell depending on what the function will be designed to accomplish, what operating system and PowerShell versions it will be written for, and who will be using it. During this session, PowerShell MVP Mike F Robbins will walk you through the top 10 items that […]

6th Dutch PowerShell User Group Event 2015 Recap

Richard’s Log, Stardate 2457169.5 Today’s destination is the Recap for the 6th Dutch PowerShell User Group 2015. Now in my hotelroom nearby Schiphol, rethinking all the awesome content I saw today, and the great talks from IT PROFESSIONALS like: Jeff Wouters, Microsoft DevOps Automation Consultant @ Methos – ( Twitter / Personal Blog ) Bartek Bielawski,Systems Engineer @ Optiver – ( Twitter / Personal Blog ) Ben Gelens, CloudOS Consultant @ Inovativ – ( Twitter / Personal Blog / Hyper-V Blog ) Stefan Stranger,Senior Premier Field Engineer @ Microsoft  – ( Twitter / TechNet Blog )  And last but not least, the absolute IT rockstar: Jeffrey P. Snover,Distinguished Engineer and the Lead Architect for the Windows Server Division,Inventor of PowerShell @ Microsoft – ( Twitter / Personal Website ) The day kicked of […]

PowerShell… An exciting frontier…


PowerShell… An exciting frontier… These are the voyages of a PowerShell adventurer. Its continuing mission: To explore strange new cmdlets… To seek out new modules; new parameters… To boldly go where no one has gone before!” Richard’s log, stardate 2457163. Our destination for today is my very first post on As you can see, from the opening lines, I approach my journey in PowerShell as a exploration into the unknown, just like the crew of Star Trek, Next Generation did. Till now my journey has been a pleasant one, because you know, exploring PowerShell is a lot of fun! […]

A Crowdsourced PowerShell Proficiency Exam

I wanted to call your attention to Smarterer, a company recently acquired by my employer, Pluralsight. Smarterer’s schtick (apart from vexing my auto-correct) is that the host crowdsourced technology assessments. In other words, the community decides what questions to ask someone in the test. The magic is that their back-end engine, over time, figures out which questions are awesome and which ones suck, and adjusts the assessment accordingly. So as more people (especially qualified ones) take the test, the better it gets at identifying skilled people. It gives it a sort of built-in immunity against bad community-contributed questions, because those eventually […]

Our NaNoWriMo Challenge: Write a PowerShell Article

In honor of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I wanted to offer a smaller, and more unique, challenge. Send me a PowerShell article. Seriously. My name is Don Jones, and this is, so you can probably figure out how to contact me. Send me an article between 800 and 3,000 words (including code) in Microsoft Word format. Don’t attach any scripts. Please keep the formatting super-simple: paste code from the PowerShell ISE, and use Word’s default styles otherwise. If you must include screen shots, please embed them in the doc, but also include them as a a separate PNG in your […]

Attend a Beta “Advanced PowerShell” Class Live or Remote

As you may know, I helped developing the forthcoming Microsoft Official Courseware 10962A class, “Advanced Windows PowerShell.” It’s a 3-day class that includes an overview of DSC, a full day of scripting and toolmaking, a Workflow overview, error handling and debugging, and more. It’s meant as a direct follow-on to the 5-day 10961 course. We’re scheduling a beta teach through a Microsoft training center in mid-August 2014. It’ll be taught by MCT Jason Yoder, who’s an excellent trainer (and who attended PowerShell Summit North America 2014 a few weeks ago, so you know he’s jiggy with PowerShell). There will likely […]

BETA PowerShell Lab Guide for Classes

I’ve been working on a new lab guide for my classes, and thought I’d share an early version. Note that this may become unavailable at any point; the final version will go on, as the lab guide corresponds largely with Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches and Learn PowerShell Toolmaking in a Month of Lunches, as well as with several of the free ebooks here on Also note that there is no slide deck. I hate slides and don’t use them in class, so I haven’t produced any slides. I do use a few diagrams in […]

TechEd N.A. 2014 Session Recordings

There’s some great PowerShell content now online for your viewing pleasure. Jeffrey Snover and I had a blast doing “Windows PowerShell Unplugged,” and I reviewed some best PowerShell practices (and hopefully provided a little inspiration for your career) in “Windows PowerShell Best Patterns and Practices: Time to Get Serious.” And the #2 overall session of TechEd? “DSC: A Practical Overview,” including a surprise demo (and announcement) from Snover showing DSC running on Linux. Enjoy! Related posts: PowerShell… An exciting frontier… A special presentation on getting started with PowerShell Come to PowerShell Summer School!

Announcing TechSessions, the Free PowerShell Webinars from

We’re getting set to announce our first four monthly TechSessions, a new series of free webinars from Because we’re starting small, dates and times will be announced only in the TechLetter newsletter, starting with the mid-May issue. So if you want to know about the webinars, sign up for the newsletter! We’ll initially be able to support 100 attendees in the live event; we’ll evaluate response and adjust as needed after the first few months. However, all webinars will also be recorded, and available to anyone for viewing at any time. Past session recordings will be announced on, […]

MY 2014 Public POWERCLASS is Now Open for Registration

I’m going to be running a 3-day POWERCLASS April 2, 3, and 4 near Raleigh-Durham, NC! You can get full details on my company’s website, including pricing and class descriptions. Don’t leave near Raleigh-Durham? Well, it’s a fun place, and not that expensive to visit. More importantly, I’m not going to be doing a huge road-show and visiting a bunch of cities. Right now, my schedule is almost full through September, so this may well be the only public class I do in 2014. It might therefore be worth your while to take a short trip! The class will be VERY limited in […]

My outline for accelerated PowerShell training

When I teach PowerShell, either at a private client or in a public class, I tend to use my own outlines. I’m comfortable with them, and they work really well. They formed the basis for the Microsoft 10961 and 55039 courses, although I had to make some changes to accommodate Microsoft standards and varying MCT delivery styles. But I’m often asked if there’s a “MOC-equivalent” outline that combines the entry-level 10961 with the scripting-focused 55039. Yup. First, do understand that I naturally teach at a very concise and accelerated pace. I don’t spend much time on slides; I tend to […]

Last chance for feedback on PowerShell course 10961A/B

I’m in the midst of working on 10961C, the Windows Server 2012 R2 / Windows 8.1 / PowerShell 4.0 update of Microsoft’s 10961A/B course, “Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell.” I anticipate this being closed out by the end of November, 2013, so if you’ve taken or taught this course and have any feedback – even a typo – now’s the time to tell me. Drop a comment below, or e-mail me (if you have my address). Please, no Twitter replies on this one. The course will not be substantially changed from the B rev; because PowerShell v4 doesn’t change much, especially […]

PowerShell “Scripting and Toolmaking” Classroom Training Course Now Available to Microsoft Training Centers

Attention Microsoft training centers! Microsoft’s Courseware Marketplace now offers course 55039AC, “Windows PowerShell Scripting and Toolmaking.” Designed as a 5-day course, it’s a spiritual “Part 2″ to Microsoft Official Curriculum course 10961. With 10961, the goal was to provide a founding in PowerShell basics, in a somewhat product-neutral way. That is, the course doesn’t cover Exchange, or SharePoint, or AD; it focuses on pure PowerShell. Unlike its predecessor, 10325, the 10961 course kind of “stops short” of actual scripting. It shows you how to build a parameterized script, but doesn’t dig into advanced functions, debugging, error handling, and the like. […]

Why the HECK Do You Want to be Taught .NET in a PowerShell Class?!?!?!

Ok, that post title is deliberately provocative. Twitter and all that. So look, we’re designed this advanced PowerShell class. One of the top five constant suggestions I get whenever I say “advanced” and “PowerShell” is “.NET Framework.” And I get it. When there’s no cmdlet, .NET has a ton of goodies that can solve a lot of problems. Maybe you don’t like turning to it, but you’ll do it if you have to. My problem is, what’s that look like in a class? I mean, for me, using .NET basically works like this: Spend hours on Google finding the .NET class […]