A Long Lesson in Storytelling, Which Includes a Story

The first books I wrote were 800-page monstrosities. When I was given my first recurring 800-word magazine column, my editor said something wonderful: “It’ll make you a better writer.” He was correct, and that was never demonstrated better than at a bar I went to last month.

Read More

How do I Get My Team Inspired to Learn?

From Twitter:

I’m a tier 3 Systems Engineer in a room of my teammates, tier 1 & 2. Informal discussion, tech meeting. I ask them what they want to learn or teach the team, and no one has response. What are we missing? What can I and other tier 3s do to inspire the others?

There’s a lot to unpack there, actually. Let’s begin.

Read More

How I Write

I’ve recently had a few pings on Twitter from folks asking me how I write–everything from general questions to specific questions about Leanpub.

Here goes.

Read More

AMA: Books or Video?

Nelson asks:

Reading books versus watching videos or a combination of both to evolve in your career? I am actually trying to evolve in my career as a Windows Systems Administrator and since a few months already, I am trying to learn the most I can about PowerShell. I feel that I am in low intermediate level. I am almost ending my first book written by you “PowerShell in a Months of Lunches” and looking forward to continue with the others. Trying to automate many routine tasks at my actual job in a successful way till now. But honestly, is really hard sometimes to advance with the speed I would wish to. Nevertheless, and since there are so many different companies providing studies through videos, I sometimes have the doubt if by only watching videos might be good enough to increase the level of knowledge or it is really recommended a combination of both (books and videos together). The lack of time for normal persons like me with family and kids might tend to prioritize the videos. But can you really get to the next level by only doing that?

I hope you’ll ask a question, too! And here’s the list of everything asked so far.

Read More

AMA: What’re the Opportunities in Writing?

D. checks in with:

I met you briefly at Summit this year (I know you meet a lot of people so I don’t expect you to remember) and I was wondering if you could offer some advice.

Like many in the PS community I work full-time in IT, but I also do a lot of freelance writing for a few different sites. I started writing about a year ago primarily for some side income but also obviously because I love what I write about and wanted to become active in our community. In addition I am also active on Twitter and I am looking to increase my public speaking opportunities.

I guess for the time being I am trying to walk in the foot steps of yourself and others who have done the same sort of work. I am hoping you could provide some insight into what future opportunities would be possible based on writing, speaking, etc. I see certain people become tech advocates, authors for example. For me, understanding what is possible would probably help me decide what direction I would like to take in the future. Being you are prominent in our field, I think you probably have a good idea of what avenues are possible.

I hope you’ll ask a question, too! Visit here for info. And here’s the list of everything asked so far.

Read More

AMA: How do I make time to learn?

Ryan asks:

How would you recommend one “makes time” to learn powershell? I own your 2 “lunch” books but I’ve never really made any progress. By the time I get home from work and deal with “life” I’m not really ‘excited’ to sit down and study. I’ve slowly started forcing myself to use PoSH but I’m doing “one-liners” but I know I could become much more versatile. I guess my question would be, how do I get motivated!

I hope you’ll ask a question, too! And here’s the list of everything asked so far. 

Read More

Trying to “Give Back?” Don’t Overthink It.


Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 11.12.26 AM.png

From the PowerShell Facebook group.

I think everyone views “blogging” as “writing a book” and it doesn’t need to be. It’s electronic. It’s short-form. I often use blog posts as a way of getting my thoughts in order and gathering feedback, prior to writing something more “permanent” like a book.

Rodney, thanks for posting that on Facebook ;). I hope lots of folks realize that they can “give back” without it needing to be a major weeks-long effort. Just share the process!


Engineering for the Horse that Won’t Drink

You can lead a horse to water, as the saying goes, but you can’t make him drink. This is an important saying, but it lacks the logical follow-up question: “So how do you make sure you can still get to town?”

Read More