How Do I Start to Learn PowerShell?

I’ve been around the Windows PowerShell community awhile, and its various forums, and have noticed a consistent theme: People often ask how and what to use to learn PowerShell. There’s plenty of articles and other content out there — ten years’ worth now — and people still ask. While I began this site to help teach PowerShell, depending on the day, it may not always the best place to start. So, what is?

There’s two things I’ve often recommended to help people learn PowerShell. One is what I would consider to be the de facto standard of all introductory PowerShell reading, Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Second Edition written by Don Jones and Jeffery Hicks and published by Manning Publications.

I read this book after I had already spent a couple years learning PowerShell. While I appreciated seeing what I missed in my own education, I realized with every page turn that I could’ve learned everything I knew, in a lot less time. All I would’ve had to do was buy the book first, and make a commitment to read it. If you’re new to PowerShell and you suspect that you’re going to be a Windows system administrator in the future, then buy it and read it now, before you end up hating yourself for not doing it sooner. Let me know if I get the cue to tell you, “I told you so,” or not. I hope I don’t.

The other thing I’d recommend are two video series found on Microsoft Virtual Academy. This really helped solidified some concepts. The first one is called Getting Started with PowerShell 3.0 Jump Start. The second series, to be watched after the first, is called Advanced Tools & Scripting with PowerShell. 3.0 Jump Start. While these both focus on PowerShell 3.0, they are both still quite relevant to the current release (PowerShell 5.0, at the time of this writing). I’m not sure which I’d recommend you do first — the book or the videos — as I’m not sure if one sequence would be better than the other. Either way, do both as they ensure a good amount of beneficial exposure.

There you go. These are my two, top recommendations for learning Windows PowerShell. It should be said, that in addition to these two, one of the things I did (and I’ve said it several times now), is ensured I learned at least one new thing about PowerShell every day (no matter how big or small, or what day it was). PowerShell is an important part of the future as a Windows system administrator, whether or not, you believe that right now.

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