This post was initially entitled “My Thoughts on the first Greater Milwaukee Scripting Club Meeting”. As I started writing it became more of a combination post on my thoughts on that meeting and about me sticking my toes into the PowerShell pond.
First the background on what the event that got me started on this post:
- Last Tuesday (1/19/10) was the first meeting for the Greater Milwaukee PowerShell Scripting Club. This free event was put on by Steve Murawski, a Co-Director at PowerShellCommunity.org.
- It was held at the Greenfield Law Enforcement Center – Municipal Court. The meeting started at 6pm and ended around 8:00.
- I was introduced to Steve last spring by a co-worker who thought we should meet. That turned into Steve presenting on PowerShell at the May 19th WI-VMUG meeting in Madison.
I started out in college as a computer programmer and within 2 years had figured out that programming was not what I really wanted to do. As a result of that revelation , I have always been a GUI guy. However I am finally ready to step away from the mouse a bit and try to learn PowerShell. I realize the value of scripting in managing a VMware environment. For that matter, the value of a powerful scripting tool like PowerShell to someone in working in IT (particularly in a Windows environment).
What caused that shift in mindset? Some might say it’s that I’ve been hit over the head with the hammer enough times that some light has finally entered my thick skull. I would prefer to say it’s been coming for a while, I have just been procrastinating and waiting for time to do it.
GUI works fine and it’s simple to learn…..right? That’s always been my train of thought but there are many compelling reasons staring me in the face tell me that I need to start learning PowerShell (PoSh). Here are just a few of those reason:
- Microsoft’s policy for management interfaces of their enterprise applications and their operating systems is moving to a PowerShell based focus.
- The ability to interface (management & reporting) with VMware products in continually growing.
- VMware’s PowerShell interface for management of their products (PowerCLI) is powerful toolkit.
- There is an ever growing number of people out there producing some very cool scripts. I seem to see several tweets a day about new scripts someone is working on or has made available.
- While there are several great tools (Quest’s PowerGUI and Scott Herold’s VESI come to mind) that leverage PowerShell, for me to get the most out of PoSh I need to learn what’s behind the curtain.
- The May 19th WI-VMUG meeting that Steve Murawski (PowerShell) and Scott Herold (VESI) presented at had the highest attendance of any I have done in 3 years.
- I need to work more efficiently!
So, when I found out that Steve was starting up the Greater Milwaukee PowerShell Scripting Club I jumped on the opportunity to use that as the final motivation to learn PowerShell. Now I have some time for PoSh that I won’t keep putting off for more pressing issues. Those more pressing problems and projects never stop coming, but if I make time for learning PowerShell then maybe I can deal with the flow of issues in a more efficient manner.
Now back to my reason for starting this post. From my perspective, the first ever meeting of the Greater Milwaukee PowerShell Scripting Club was a great success. If I remember correctly, there were a total of 12 or 13 people in attendance. Outside of Steve and the two guys from Microsoft I think the rest of us were pretty new to PowerShell. There was a fairly even split of those who were interested in PowerShell from more of a programmer’s perspective and those of us looking at it from a System Admin perspective. There were a couple of other people also interested in PoSh with VMware as well.
Given that none of us were really experienced PoSh users, a lot of the meeting was spent going over PowerShell basics. We also spent a little time troubleshooting a few PowerShell installs on some laptops. Everyone had their own laptop with PowerShell installed on it. The intent was for everyone to work on at least one script during the meeting but given that it was the first one and that we were all pretty new to PowerShell we never got around to writing any scripts.
I personally really enjoyed the meeting and felt I got a lot out of it. Steve did a great job running things and the mix of people worked real well. This had a nice IT Community feel to it as everyone was very open to sharing and willing to help.
At the end of the meeting, everyone said they thought it went well and we all expressed a desire to come back again. The consensus was that the 3rd Tuesday on the month was a good date to keep meeting and the Greenfield Law Enforcement Center was offered up again as a meeting site.
If you are a PowerShell user at any level or like me are finally coming around to the fact that PowerShell is a must have skill; then I highly encourage you to give the Greater Milwaukee PowerShell Scripting Club a try. I already know of one person in the Fox Valley area that would like to get something like this started closer to home. If you are interested, let me know and I will put you in touch with them.
FYI: I have had some discussions with Steve in regards to have some PowerShell content at our WI-VMUG User Conference on April 22nd. Be sure to watch the event page here on the WIVMUG.org site for details.