Career Advice

I think i’m good now at the basics and can write a reasonable script. But i would really like to push myself to the “next” level and do some of the great things like the people do on this forum. I have several books and spend time reading about Powershell and pluralsight courses.
Am i just a bit impatient and things will come in time or any advice to getting better and stronger skills ? Thinking i would like to move my career and write PowerShell automation scripts for company’s. Seems to be a few jobs out there for this type of thing.
Thanks for any advice.

Hi Graham,

It’s a neverending process, but my suggestion would be to try and find something that really motivates you to want to try and work out how to do with PowerShell.

Most of time I’ve found this has been linked to my work (although just as often i’ve not actually been asked to do it!) , or sometimes an afterthought.

Most important learning tip i can give though is to make sure you’re having fun doing it though! Don’t learn just for learnings sake.

Are any user community groups nearby you?

It can never hurt to put your CV out there and try some interviews. :slight_smile: Even if you don’t find a new position right away, the feedback you get from the people who interview you might give you some insight on things you can improve. It’s tricky to keep that mindset while interviewing; getting rejected sucks, but is still a learning opportunity.

Where PowerShell is concerned, you need to keep yourself reasonably familiar with a lot of different technologies that you might need to automate with PowerShell, such as IIS, SQL, Windows OS, Azure or other cloud providers, System Center products, and so on. Some general-purpose skills working with random web APIs can be helpful as well, for when you’re using PowerShell to manage third-party stuff.

Tim, Dave thank you for the quick response. Appreciate it greatly.
I’m an SCCM admin at the moment, and been using for almost a year at the moment. I’m trying to revise for the exam but my real passion is powershell. Really does seem no end with what you can do. I enjoy SCCM, but want to get the exam under my belt and fully focus on PowerShell other than picking up a book on it or a course. The excitement in using PowerShell to automate does give alot of enjoyment.

You’ll be fine Graham, passion for a certain technology can propel you’re career very rapidly so its best to always do something you thoroughly enjoy and do the hell out of it. The next step is just extending your knowledge of not only PowerShell (including Pester/DSC) but as Dave/Tim said there are a ton of new technologies out there that are making waves in the I.T/DevOps world. To name a few that you might want to look into Octopus deploy, TeamCity and Git. As always it never hurts getting a very solid base fundamental knowledge of things like SQL,IIS and Virtualization.

Thank you Flynn that’s nice advice ad reassuring. I’m 36 and its taken up until 18 months ago to find enjoying working with sccm but ado this incredible excitement for using powershell. It’s brilliant! :

If you’re using SCCM, you’ve got lots of automation opportunities there. Virtually all the functions in SCCM are available from its WMI provider. Personally, even if you’re using 2012, I’d take a look at writing cmdlets yourself for them. I’m not the biggest fan of those provided at all. Word of warning, watch out for ‘Lazy Properties’! has the reference information if you’re interested in SCCM automation,

If you feel like getting down and dirty, SCCM is also quite a nice one for just querying the database directly.

Lastly, you can also create your own context menu tools for SCCM, so you can add any nice functions you’ve written to be accessible from the GUI.

Thanks Tim, that’s useful. I guess its the same with any language, knowing what your working with to automate.

Can i ask you Tim and Dave, what do you do for a career and how did you get to the level of PowerShell you are at now ? I’m very grateful for your time.

I’m now working as a cloud and operations automation lead. It’s all server stuff, which gives more options for automation. Though i’ve had to fight for the last year to get this full time role!

I’ve learned the most from the rest of the community without a doubt than anything else… There’s always going to be somethings you read and then think ‘wonder if i can apply this to do that’. Ed Wilson’s Hey Scripting Guy articles are a brilliant way to pickup stuff, and community forums and meetups are excellent as well.

If you’ve the opportunity, would recommend going to one of the main PS events this year, in Seattle, Hanover, or Singapore, where you can do all three.

I’m based in the UK, about an hour or so away from London. Its the automation side i’m excited about, making life easier ! Where are you based ?
Are you certified in Windows Server ? Do you work with other languages or just focus on PowerShell ?

I’m Amsterdam based, moved over there in 2006 from Edinburgh. I got my server certification a while ago but in truth it’s not taught me much regards automation. That’s been more a case for me of how to turn the clicks into commands.

I’m 100% on PowerShell with some Azure ARM stuff chucked in. Really don’t use any other languages, PowerShell can also use .NET resources, so there’s not so much need for me to do other languages.

I’d take a look into the fundamentals of object orientated programming, if you’ve not got awareness of them, they’re handy to know.

PS Conference in Europe is going to be really worthwhile going to BTW. If you’ve got a budget for training (or can spare the cash!) I’d heavily recommend it.

Thanks very much Tim. Some great info.

Be the powershell guy. I’m technically an Active Directory engineer however I spend 100% of my time writing forms and scripts for various teams. I have my hand in sccm, scom, AD, epo, vmware, SQL, lync, exchange, O365 and on.

When I interview for jobs I bring examples of the scripts I’ve written with me and set the expectation that PS is really what I want to focus my time on.

When people realize what you can do with PS you can install a take a number system on your office door.

Top advice Dan. Thats what i’m aiming for i think, be the go to guy for PowerShell.