Jeff Hicks and I are pleased to announce the first release of The PowerShell Scripting & Toolmaking Book, a new Agile-published book available now on LeanPub.com. We’ve released Part 1 of the book’s eventual 5 Parts, and set the pricing to $29.99 as an introductory rate. That price will rise as we publish additional Parts in the future. Because you’re essentially paying a one-time fee for a lifetime subscription, the final price will be around $60-$65. The first Part alone is 175 pages long, so we’re anticipating a pretty deep, involved book by the time we reach the end.
If you’d like to grab the book, just visit http://leanpub.com/powershell-scripting-toolmaking.
If you’d like to save $20, and haven’t already picked up The DSC Book and The Pester Book, you can get
all three for a limited time for under $100 off their combined price at http://leanpub.com/b/donjonespowershellbookbundle (if the page returns a 404, then you missed it – sorry!). The new bundle is at https://leanpub.com/b/powershellbooks, and includes 4 books for $23 off list price.
Here’s the foreword from the new book:
After the success of Learn PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Jeff and I wanted to write a book that took people down the next step, into actual scripting. The result, of course, was Learn PowerShell Toolmaking in a Month of Lunches. In the intervening years, as PowerShell gained more traction and greater adoption, we realized that there was a lot more of the story that we wanted to tell. We wanted to get into help authoring, unit testing, and more. We wanted to cover working with different data sources, diving in Visual Studio, and so on. These were really out of scope for the Month of Lunches series’ format. And even in the “main” narrative of building a proper tool, we wanted to go into more depth. So while the Month of Lunches book is still a valuable entry-level tutorial in our minds, we wanted something with more tooth.
At the same time, this stuff is changing really fast these days. Fast enough that a traditional publishing process – which can add as much as four months to a book’s publication – just can’t keep up. Not only are we kind of constantly tweaking our narrative approach to explaining these topics, but the topics themselves are constantly evolving, thanks in part to an incredibly robust community building add-ons like Pester, Platyps, and more.
So after some long, hard thinking, we decided to launch this effort. As an Agile-published book on LeanPub, we can continuously add new content, update old content, fix the mistakes you point out to us, and so on. We can then take major milestones and publish them as “snapshots” on places like Amazon, increasing the availability of this material. We hope you find the project as exciting and dynamic as we do, and we hope you’re generous with your suggestions – which may be sent to us via the author contact form from this book’s page on LeanPub.com.
Toolmaking, for us, is where PowerShell has always been headed. It’s the foundation of a well-designed automation infrastructure, of a properly built DSC model, and of pretty much everything else you might do with PowerShell. Toolmaking is understanding what PowerShell is, how PowerShell wants to work, and how the world engages with PowerShell. Toolmaking is a big responsibility.
My first job out of high school was as an apprentice for the US Navy. In our first six weeks, we rotated through various shops – electronics, mechanical, and so on – to find a trade that we thought we’d want to apprentice for. For a couple of weeks, I was in a machine shop. Imagine a big, not-climate-controlled warehouse full of giant machines, each carving away at a piece of metal. There’s lubrication and metal chips flying everywhere, and you wash shavings out of yourself every evening when you go home. It was disgusting, and I hated it. It was also boring – you set a block of metal into the machine, which might take hours to get precisely set up, and then you just sat back and kind of watched it happen. Ugh. Needless to say, I went into the aircraft mechanic trade instead. Anyway, in the machine shop, all the drill bits and stuff in the machine were called tools and dies. Back in the corner of the shop, in an enclosed, climate-controlled room, sat a small number of nicely-dressed guys in front of computers. They were using CAD software to design new tools and dies for specific machining purposes. These were the tool makers, and I vowed that if I was ever going to be in this hell of a workplace, I wanted to be a toolmaker and not a tool user. And that’s really the genesis of this book’s title. All of us – including the organizations we work for – will have happier, healthier, more comfortable lives as high-end, air-conditioned toolmakers rather than the sweaty, soaked, shavings-filled tool users out on the shop floor.