Ever since I started working in Singapore, I wanted to attend Singapore PowerShell user group to interact with experts in the community. Finally I made it to PowerShell Saturday #008 today and it is awesome experience.
What is covered
Attending this kind of events motivates me to learn (and share) more and more. With the same motivation, I made it to the venue on time. After registration, I shook hands with other participants to introduce each other. The session started with the presentation of Milton Goh about improving efficiency of operations team. It’s not a technical presentation but it gives you an idea why you really should care about using PowerShell in your environments.
After a small break, Matt Hitchcock presented on important aspects one should keep in mind while designing a PowerShell solution. The points he mentioned are very useful and can be adapted to any other programing language. One thing I liked more and want every System admin to know is, “Do not over engineer”. To simply put this, don’t try to perform each and every activity with PowerShell while you have other smart non-PowerShell tools around to do the task easily. Once of the classic example is, if you want to deploy a wall paper to all computers in your company, try GPOs rather than building a script in PS from scratch. Sounds correct? Isn’t it?
While we are at this “Over engineering” topic, I want to highlight a point to my blog readers. During my day-to-day activities, I come across lot of requirements to gather information or make changes to large systems etc. When I am such situations, I question myself, how can I do this with PowerShell. It’s not that I want to implement the solution to PowerShell but looking for ways to explore doing more things with PowerShell. It will definitely come handy some or other time. I still want you to remember the ground rule (don’t over engineer) but explore how you can do that in PowerShell way. Taking the previous example, you should deploy wallpaper using GPOs but I want you to explore, how to modify the group policy using PowerShell to set wallpaper settings. If you get a requirement to deploy multiple wallpapers to multiple OUs in future; that time you should definitely automate GPO modifications using PowerShell. Hope you got my point.
After the presentations, we were hungry and yes its lunch time. Had nice meal while chatting with other folks in the session.
What we practiced?
Now the time for practical’s. We were divided into two groups and made to sit in separate conference rooms. The task given to both of the groups is to develop a script to read the contents of the zip file. Folks in our team quickly searched the web and came up with a dotnet piece of code to read the zip and I quickly wrapped up that one using PS code in my regular style. In no time we came up with a script that can take multiple archive files as input and display what is inside them, properties of the files like actual size, compressed size, file extn etc. I felt happy that I could explain my code part to other members in the team and hope they liked the way I explained it. The other team also came with the similar functionality but with COM objects and it came out well too.
I will share the script that our group prepared in next article, so stay tuned.
After completing the coding part, it’s time for presenting what we did. The mentors gave me an opportunity to present and I loved doing it. Hope the participants liked the way I presented it. The presentation of other group followed after that and it is well applauded in deed.
At the end of presentation, the mentors suggested a few enhancements to the code for better functionality and robustness. Out of all, I liked the Peter(sorry forgot full name)’s comment the most. If the user of your script has to make any changes to the code, then you haven’t made the script in right way. Basically he mean to say nothing should be hardcoded in the script and everything should be parameterized. Thanks for the suggestion. I will remember and implement it wherever possible.
Now it’s time to announce the Prizes. I got 1-year free subscription for Office 365 home addition in lucky draw. And also “The Phoenix Project” book. Look at the below tweet.
That ended the session and every looked excited to know how frequently these sessions will be conducted and asked few other questions.
We all headed back to home…
My since thanks to organizers of this event and looked forward to participate such ones in future as well.