Don Jones

Tech | Career | Musings

Jeremy writes:

With dsc headed for it’s third major rewrite in nearly as many years, is it something that you think will turn into a fully fleshed out and complete product? Or will it just end up as an interesting footnote that never found its place? Or something different altogether?

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Categories: Tech

Patrick writes:

As a teacher I often use your phrase “Learn PowerShell or learn do you want fries with that” to underline the importance of PowerShell. That was a few years ago. Do you still think so, or has your opinion changed?

I truly believe that all systems will get smaller and smaller over time and that PowerShell will become more and more important.

However, my experience shows that many Windows administrators still use the old vbs or bat strategy when it comes to scripting. My experience also shows that at least 7/10 are not familiar with PowerShell at all (European Region, small and middle sized companies). So I’m worried if we’ve missed the boat.

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Categories: Tech

Bryan writes:

How can a small, mainly click-next-admin team/culture best get started on the journey toward Infrastructure-as-code, build-test-deploy / Release Pipeline? I see many blogs and books about more mainstream DevOps, but our shop is more like the one referred to in the Microsoft / Chef Release Pipeline whitepaper, where we only create and maintain our own infrastructure operations management files and scripts, mainly for internal corporate facing apps and systems. We don’t need to worry about any customer facing or other style of high visibility web pages or mobile apps, but I think we could definitely improve our efficacy of managing the on-premises environments we have, with a lean, properly trained, empowered staff. We have mainstream skills across VMware, Windows, NetApp, SQL, Exchange and Citrix technologies; all of which also play nice in a PowerShell-centric world. We have a few people with foundational PowerShell skills, but have not yet reached a tipping point where we really use it the way I think we could / should. Instead, we feel stuck in the rut of jumping through RDP to fix our Production ‘snowflakes’, instead of working out automated fixes in a ‘lab’, then using a DevSecOps style pipepine to get the fix to production.

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A reader writes:

Hi Don, here’s a Q for AMA: I work at a fast growing software company as a Microsoft stack admin. The IT dept is small. I have good pay, benefits, opportunity for annual bonus and work/life flexibility, but corporate IT runs Linux and Windows server like it’s still 2006. All on-prem hosted VMs. No cloud. Also no dev environment. Just getting better server automation off the ground slowly. And I have to do a lot of incident ticket escalations for end-user support and spend a lot of time focused on end user workstation patching. The other side of the company developing the software is very progressive: DevOps, agile, tons of scrum teams, CI/CD pipelines and lots of stuff in the cloud.

I have an opportunity to work at an Ivy League university in their large central IT department. They run cross-functional DevOps teams where Windows, Linux, and Database admins all cross train. Plus they have a huge initiative underway migrating systems into the cloud and the tooling around that. I’d be a part of all that. The role has no direct end user support at all, which I prefer. The cons are longer commute, more processes/people to navigate, and 5% less pay to start. But also a 5% retirement match, so that’s kind of a wash, and very valuable as it compounds in the future. I have no match today.

Taking into consideration these different environments, which one do you thInk is better for my professional development moving forward? Curious what your gut reaction is, and other angles or perspectives I might want to consider.

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Allen writes:

Let me Begin by saying thank you, thank you for providing tons of material and resources on PowerShell. You have helped me boost my IT career and climb my way up the ranks in my agency with PowrShell scripting. My question is how can I find a job where all I do is PowerShell scripting (or is at least concentrated)? I know that they exist somewhere out in the world; I genuinely enjoy scripting in PowerShell and would it to be my full time job.

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