Review of Powershell for SysAdmins
Jan. 8, 2021
Review of “Powershell for SysAdmins”
By Ian Mizer
I would call this one of the perfect books to pick up when you want to get a first glance at the wonders of Powershell. The book comes in 3 parts. Part 1 is the introduction to powershell and makes it feel more like a fully fleshed out software language than a command line tool. Part 2 dives into being a system administrator with server parsing and Cloud management with AWS and Azure. I won't go into part 3 here, but know that I find it very cool. I would recommend this book to any person developing in windows for almost any reason. While bash may be the standard for Git, you'll find that you can use powershell to replace it and this book will give a good dip to that environment. So if all of this sounds fun then come with me as we explore Powershell for Sysadmins.
Readability: How easy would it be to get through this book quickly
Accuracy : How accurate is the information being given? Could you write every single line of code in this book and have the books answers match the code you wrote. Normally this is a -1 out of 10 per major mistake and per 4 minor mistakes the book makes
Subject : Does this book do what it wants to do and is what it wants to do good?
Bonus points: for extra stuff that I liked. This will be the most subjective part of the review and might not go into much detail. It's just little things that I highly enjoyed and wanted to give a shoutout about
This book took about 13 days to read with about 10-35 pages per day read.
The book is cut up into 3 section and each one is more readable than the last because of the way the Author choose to write it and because of the material that the author had to go through in the earlier sections of the book.
Part 1 of this book feels like a language introduction and will run a little slow. It has to go through a lot of the basics of powershell, but it doesn't do what most language books do and try to bog you down with all of the useful instances of what powershell can do as a scripting language. Instead the Author came to the decision to let each section teach you exactly what you'll need to help you through his book and then points you to other places to find more. This makes it a lot more quickly digestible, but it still has some of the problems you would normally have reading a language introduction section in any book.
Things really kick off when you reach part 2 where the fun projects begin. Here we start building out servers from local to cloud based in a quick 100 pages. The author follows a lot of the same structure as he did for the previous section and because of that a lot of the slog that comes with the initial introduction to cloud or server management is made easier. Here is the minimum you need to know and here is where you can learn more.
Part 3 is just cool to me so I got through it faster than some others might
While this book operates on Powershell 5.0 I did the book in 7.0. I didn't find very many problems at all when recreating most of the code that was posted in this book and nothing that couldn't be chocked up to “I was using a different version”. Luckily for me almost everything in this book worked on 7.0. Also I tried a lot of this book out in Linux as well as Windows and, other than not having ISE automatically provided by my OS, I can say that it worked fine.
As a developer you can really choose powershell or bash to learn as a command line tool. This is something that every developer should learn within their lifetime. As a python developer I've mostly been told to stay within the Vim and Bash paths to success, but this book has given me a new understanding of what things I could do within the windows system. I would say that any developer that works in windows should pick up this book and that as long as you're working in windows this book will be useful. I did a lot of the pages inside of a linux system as well and didn't find any hicups that couldn't easily be overcome other than not having ISE to reach for inside my OS, but Vscode filled the void for me.
+1 to the information presentation:
Most introduction books have to be a little boring because they want you to have their book as the sole resource for a language or tool. This book doesn't do that and it makes the book a much easier read to recommend. The author encourages the reader to look outside the books to the documentation and really explore what Powershell has to offer. Because of this I was encouraged to find handy tasks of my own to automate like finding out how to hook my phone up to give me a TLDR of my emails. This isn't inside of the book, but without this encouragement I don't think I would have looked around enough to notice these things. Because of this I'm giving this book 1 bonus point
+1 to the Author Adam Bertram:
This is what Adam the Automator does. So I would highly recommend checking out his website for more information on doing this exact thing at https://adamtheautomator.com/ . There you'll find almost a complete expansion on this book and much more. A lot of what I found on his website seem to boil down to well written medium articles on the subject of powershell and automation. So if you enjoyed this book then definitely check out his site
Author: Ian Mizer
Categories: Book Review
Tags: Book Reviews