Tag Archives: Microsoft

  • My PowerShell Workflow Series on TechNet Magazine

    As most folks are aware, I’ve been writing the Windows PowerShell column for Microsoft’s TechNet Magazine for… wow, going on 7 years now. For 2013, I was doing a serialized column on PowerShell Workflow, introducing a bit of the technology at a time in each month’s article. Eagle-eyed observers will note that the series has “paused,” with no […]

  • How Cloud-First Design Affects You

    Today, Brad Anderson (Corporate VP in the Windows Server/System Center unit) posted the first in what should be a series of “What’s New in 2012 R2” articles. In it, Anderson focuses on how Microsoft squeezed so many features into the 2012R2 release in such a short period of time. The short answer, which has been […]

  • It's Safe to Run Update-Help - and you should!

    I’m informed that sometime today Microsoft will be posting fixed core cmdlet help files for your downloading pleasure – so it’s safe to run Update-Help again, and you should definitely do so. There are likely a lot of fixes and improvements to the help text, and you won’t be “losing” the parameter value type information […]

  • Overall Winners of the Scripting Games

    Congratulations to our top winners, determined by our expert judges (and in this case we also considered their CrowdScores), mikefrobbins and taygibb, who have just won a free pass to Microsoft TechEd Europe or Microsoft TechEd North America 2014. Instructions are in your profile for claiming your prize. It is transferrable, but must be claimed/transferred by the end […]

  • The new PowerShell Class is Coming to a CPLS Near You!

    Looking for a great getting-started PowerShell class? Or perhaps you’d like to send a colleague or peer to some PowerShell “zero to hero” training? We’ve just finished the official beta-teach of Microsoft’s 10961, Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell, and it went great. The sequencing of the class was spot-on, and we had an absolutely incredible group of […]

  • PSCustomObject: Save Puppies and Avoid Dead Ends

    Welcome to Scripting Games 2013. Here’s my favorite hint for improving your functions and scripts. Avoid writing to the console or formatting your output. Instead use PSCustomObject in Windows PowerShell 3.0 and leave the formatting to the end user. Windows PowerShell provides lots of great ways to return the output of a command or function. […]

  • Meet the Scripting Games Judges: Jeffery Hicks

    Jeffery Hicks is a Microsoft MVP in Windows PowerShell, Microsoft Certified Trainer and an IT veteran with over 20 years of experience, much of it spent as an IT consultant specializing in Microsoft server technologies with an emphasis in automation and efficiency.He works today as an independent author, trainer and consultant.Jeffwritesthe popular Prof. PowerShell column […]

  • MVP renewal 2013

    This afternoon I received the email notifying me that my MVP award had been renewed for another year. Thank you to Microsoft – I regard the award as a great honour. And thank you to the PowerShell community – its … Continue reading

  • MVP renewal 2013

    This afternoon I received the email notifying me that my MVP award had been renewed for another year. Thank you to Microsoft – I regard the award as a great honour. And thank you to the PowerShell community – its … Continue reading

  • Verify Your PowerShell Skills

    A long time ago... about a year, in fact... Jason Helmick and I started talking about a community-owned PowerShell "certification." It went nowhere. Well, not very far.

    Some background on exams: Microsoft, in my opinion, will never do a PowerShell cert. I say this having been part owner of a company that did outsourced exam development for the company. The deal is that Microsoft tries to certify job tasks, not tools. Nobody (well, maybe me) wakes up thinking, "gonna do me some PowerShell today." No, PowerShell is the means to an end: "gonna automate me some user creation today" is more likely. And Microsoft tries to certify that end. PowerShell's an important tool, and it already shows up on certification exams here and there.

    For the most part, I agree with Microsoft's reasoning, there. The argument can be summarized as saying "bosses don't hire IT pros based on their ability to operate a low-level tool, they hire them to perform job tasks, which encompasses the tool." Except that, in the case of PowerShell, I think it'd be tremendously useful for an employer to use PowerShell expertise as a discriminating factor in hiring. I mean, "someone who can automate stuff" is more valuable than "someone who can only do stuff manually," in any situation.

    So "PowerShell Verified" was intended to be a way for someone to prove - at least to themselves - that they've taken their PowerShell skills to the minimum level necessary to be an effective automator. Not a guru. Not an expert. Not Poshoholic. Minimally effective, who could then grow from there with experience.

    So that's what I'm going to put together.

    I want to explain why I'm not using the word "Certification," though. In my mind, certifications come from, mainly, first-parties like Microsoft. Microsoft has to jump through a lot of hoops to make sure their exam content is accurate, legally defensible, blah blah blah. They worry about security, brain dumps, and other stuff that diminishes the value of the certification. I don't have that kind of bandwidth or their resources, so in many ways my little program will be less effective than a "real" certification. Plus, few bosses will give a rat's patooty what that Don Jones guy said about your skillz (I can't even convince bosses to buy you guys 12-core 64GB workstations for your desk). So my "Verified" program is going to be low stakes, meaning you take it to prove something to yourself.

    Here's how this is going to go.