Writing 10961A: The Damn Variables

When I wrote Microsoft course 10325A, their original 5-day Windows PowerShell course, I saved variables until Module 11. My thought at the time was to focus on teaching just what students needed for what they were about to do – and no more. “Just in time learning” can be effective, because it lets you immediately experiment with whatever you’ve just learned, and helps minimize the need to store up concepts for later use. I’d also had a lot of class experiences where bringing up variables too soon engaged a defensive mechanism in some students: “I’m not a programmer, variables are […]

Writing 10961: Trademarks

Microsoft’s a big company, and that makes it a big target for lawsuits. We all know that. But what doesn’t always sink in is how careful the company has to be. For example, in Microsoft Official Curriculum course 10961, Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell 3.0, I have to type Windows PowerShell every single time. I’ve actually been using “the shell” a lot, just to break things up a bit. We all casually refer to the shell as PowerShell, but Microsoft never does. Their trademark is on Windows PowerShell, and believe it or not someone has a trademark on PowerShell. I […]

Writing 10961: Remoting

As I write this, we’re close to sign-off on the outline of 10961A, which is a new 5-day Microsoft course on PowerShell v3. I sat down yesterday and starting doing some detailed-level design work on the proposed Module 9, which will cover PowerShell Remoting. I love Remoting (and yes, I capitalize the “R” when referring to the specific feature, much as I would for Workflow). And although I’ve taught Remoting over and over and over since it was introduced in v2, although with this course I’m trying something a bit new. I’m going to start by covering the basics: What […]

Writing 10961: The Ultimate Lab

My company has been contracted by Microsoft to design and author Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) course 10961A, Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell v3. While there is no announced release date I can share, I did want to share some of the experience. As I write this, 10961A’s proposed outline is going through several review cycles. In the meantime, I wanted to sit down and start doing some detail-level design on some of the more complex labs in the course – the most complex of which is a proposed Module 10, consisting of little more than a big, 2-hour lab where […]