September 24, 2015 at 10:57 am #30054
I'm relatively new to IT Administration as a job, or any kind of Job for that matter. I've been employed in IT for close to 18 months now, and the one thing I always end up doing in my spare time, and just whenever I can, is expanding my knowledge in PowerShell, finding absolutely any reason to write a GUI tool for the other IT admins I work with, and the harder it is to make, the better.
For this reason, it led me to wonder, there are full-time jobs in PowerShell, but what can I do to move in that direction? I have a few Microsoft Certifications under my belt, but no such thing exists for PowerShell. So, I wanted to start a discussion here and find out what other people thought. I live in London, so I know there must be opportunities available.
Another thought, would anyone ever advise gaining a little bit of knowledge in other .NET programming languages such as C#?
September 25, 2015 at 6:43 am #30123
Actually, our "Verified Effective" exam is something, but it's only administered live at PowerShell Summit. And on that note, attending PowerShell-specific events – local user groups, Summit, PowerShell Saturday – those are the things that help you forward your career. You don't have a career in a vacuum.
And I'd definitely advise a programming language, and C# isn't a bad one to go with. Much of what you learn will make you better in PowerShell, too.
And there's a thing about knowing your ROI. Take whatever you earn per year and divide by 2,000. That's roughly what you're worth an hour to your employer. It's probably a bit off since you're in the UK; that's a US metric, but it should be close enough. You say you're doing a lot of PowerShell – that's great. How much time are you saving as a result? That is, how long did the task take beforehand, how much time did you spend automating it, and now how much time is saved annually with it? That's your ROI, and becoming good at knowing that number is the next step.
Start participating in Scripting Games ("Articles" here). Get published – start blogging regularly on a site like this one. That increases your personal brand value and gives you recognition beyond a resume.
Get skilled at the practices and patterns that make a good PowerShell tool. The difference between a hack and a pro is all in the style.
September 25, 2015 at 7:16 am #30134
I second Don's suggestion of C# as a good second language to study. With the class notation in PowerShell 5 there is a lot of concept crossover. PowerShell is also built on top of the .NET Framework, which you will learn a lot about working in C#. You can even build PowerShell modules in C# if you want to.
Getting involved with the PowerShell community is definitely worthwhile. It is a very welcoming and active group, and creates a positive feedback loop that helps you learn and increases your visibility as a skilled PowerShell professional. My recommendation there would be to think about your other interests in technology. PowerShell is a tool that can be used to control tons of third party software in addition to Windows itself, so it's a great opportunity to dive deep into PowerShell for X (where X is whatever tech you're passionate about). Beyond general PowerShell experts, the community benefits greatly from folks who specialize like that, and it will make you feel great because you're working with technology that you love.
September 29, 2015 at 12:48 pm #30235
Hi Don & Adam, thanks so much for taking the time to reply. It's invaluable information to me.
Don, I never knew such exam existed and I would love to come to the summit, however by the sound of things, it's restricted to the U.S. at the moment, so I would have to think hard about making the trip, it would be an amazing experience though.
I initially have made tools which allow our IT admins save a bit of time, however I have also made tools for our end users to use, allowing us to automate tasks which possibly saves us an hour per user, so this saves huge amounts of time. I'm not sure if my style is very good, for example, I have if's inside if's inside if's, hope that makes sense – and it feels a bit dodgy and unstructured... How would you say is the best way to refine my style?
I will also definitely need to look more at the community here in the UK, I'm intrigued to see what options there are. I would also absolutely love to publish blogs! Adam, my interest is actually around Microsoft's cloud technologies and that is what I specialize in, I don't know if many people are specialized in powershell with azure/365, if not, I would love to blog and share what I know in those areas.
Both of you suggested C#, I guess I'll start with a fundamentals course online or something, sometimes I feel like my "to-learn" just gets longer and longer everyday!
As I said at the top of the post, I appreciate your reply, thank you for the advice.
September 29, 2015 at 6:35 pm #30247
A lot of code style comes down to personal preference. Microsoft has published a number of guidelines that are helpful, though, since if we all do things the same way we'll all know what to expect from each others' code. I'd start with the Required Development Guidelines. There's a lot there, and it can take some time to absorb into your coding habits.
Azure, Office365, and Cloud are all incredibly important topics in today's IT landscape. Even if some folks already specialize there (I'm not sure off the top of my head), You're still going to have an eager audience. Don wrote an article here about wanting everyone in the community to have a voice on PowerShell.org. If you decide to post something, I'll be sure to share it with my colleagues and pass it around on Twitter!
January 19, 2016 at 10:51 am #34059
Hi Mark, I'm in a very similar boat to you. In the last year have found a passion in PowerShell and as a new sccm admin as well have found it useful. I'm hungry to learn powershell to a high level and would say I'm about average at the moment. I'm in the process of setting up a blog site to share my sccm and powershell bits. I'm based in Southampton and work in basingstoke. Be happy to chat and share powershell experiences over e-mail. My email is graham.beer@ outlook.com
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