Sunday, 15 February 2009
This is one of the books from Manning with the cool covers that I like. This book has been written by Bruce Payette one of the designers of PowerShell. Because of this the book offers in-depth information on many aspects of PowerShell.  The book is split into two sections. Part one focuses on the basics, it covers using PowerShell at the command line and writing and run your own scripts. I read the nine chapters in this section from start to finish and was please to find lots of working and easy to follow code examples which I could play with and easily refer back to as I wrote my own scripts. I found this section greatly enhanced my knowledge of PowerShell in a short space of time, I would put this down to a good balance between verbose text and script examples to experiment with and if you are like me and learn beat by doing this book will suit you. The second section covered more advanced topics such as:
  1. Processing text files and XML
  2. .NET and WinForms
  3. Windows objects: COM and WMI
  4. Security

These were also detailed chapters with good examples however to date I have gotten more use from chapters 10 and 11 this is no fault  with the book it’s more of a reflection on what I’ve been working with recently. Since taking the time to sit down with this book I have become very keen on PowerShell especially having seen and used the scripting tools available on Linux and UNIX.

I found the book well structured and importantly for me it contains lots of script examples. Previously I had tried to learn PowerShell simply from various web sites however lack of discipline kept getting in the way. With the book I was able to discipline myself better and managed to work through this book in just over one week. Now I’m able to write my own scripts and when I’ve needed to I’ve found it very easy to refer back to the book. The back cover says that this is a book for sysadmins and developers, I would agree with this and would recommend this book for people with previous scripting of programming experience if you don’t have these then a more basic beginners book may allow you to make more progress.

The books web site: http://www.manning.com/payette/