Needs advice
on
Python
and
PowerShell

I am technical support. I work daily with Windows Server / Exchange, Active directory. I would like to learn scripting and automation to make my life easier. I just started learning PowerShell but not really sure about the correct study path from where I can start. I am taking some courses on Udemy and YouTube. Is it enough?

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6 upvotes·42.9K views
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Recommends
PowerShell

My first foray into programming was with powershell and it continues to be an enormous help for me in my career (caveat being that I have primarily worked on windows boxes). That being said, PowerShell is a weird language that has some unique syntax and operators that don't translate well to other languages. Python is weird too, but for other reasons (spacing!). I suspect you'll get more immediate benefit spending some time on Powershell since your working in an environment that fully supports the ps toolset.

As for learning, I read "PowerShell Toolmaking in a Month of Lunches" and found that helpful. However, I think your course of study is sufficient. Think the most return for the effort was just messing around in the powershell IDE on my local computer and working the Microsoft documentation.

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7 upvotes·1 comment·39.1K views
greg00m
greg00m
·
January 27th 2021 at 5:48AM

I have the same book, it is helpful but doesn’t cover all bases. Joining user groups is a great live action open source place for help.

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Systems Administrator at National Seating & Mobility·
Recommends
PowerShell

Taking courses on Udemy and YouTube will be helpful I'm sure, but don't neglect the power of practice. If you work largely with Windows right now, pick powershell. Take opportunities to convert the knowledge you already have (example: unlocking an account in Active Directory or adding an email alias in Exchange) from a manual process to a powershell method. Sometimes that's a single cmdlet (Unlock-AdAccount) and sometimes it's a script.

Once you have a good understanding of variables, the pipeline, and foreach loops, you'll be in a position to accelerate your learning. Looking up Microsoft docs is part of the process :)

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5 upvotes·1 comment·38.8K views
Travis Travelstead
Travis Travelstead
·
January 27th 2021 at 4:56PM

I would agree with others. If the majority of focus is IT/Support for windows specific devices Powershell would probably give you the most power specifically for windows and your job. If you plan make applications, expand to unix systems, or in general go where Powershell is not then Python would be a good flexible and cross platform option.

I am more of an applications developer that works mostly on unix systems, so Python was my choice and it has worked well. But I understand that Powershell probably has some permissions, access, and functionality that is better suited for your job.

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