The tech book publisher Packt asked me to review Sherif Talaat‘s book “Windows PowerShell 4.0 for .NET Developers“, subtitled “A fast-paced PowerShell guide, enabling you to efficiently administer and maintain your development environment“. According to their own statement Packt’s “books focus on practicality, recognising that readers are ultimately concerned with getting the job done“. The book is available for purchase on www.packtpub.com.
To put it in a nutshell, from my perspective Sherif delivers exactly what the book’s subtitle and Packt Publishing promises: it’s a well-made balancing act between being fast-paced, easy-to-follow and providing the reader (that is a .NET developer) with essential information on how to leverage PowerShell.
This book is like distilled water: it delivers pure information in order to take the reader from “101” to a professional level in PowerShell. It’s about 140 pages only. That’s definitely no huge tome and therefore it’s self-evident that it lacks of deeper background information, trivia, and cleverly thought out examples that unveil the proverbial Power of PowerShell. But, whenever useful the author cross-referenced the book to resources with further information. Ideally, the reader already has some basic scripting knowledge and hands-on experience with one of the .NET programming languages – not least because the book is aimed at .NET developers who want to learn how to use PowerShell.
There’s only five chapters:
- Chapter 1 — Getting Started with Windows PowerShell — covers the basic stuff like the PowerShell console, PowerShell ISE, key features & concepts, and fundamentals like the object pipeline, aliases, variables, data types, operators, arrays, hash tables, script flow, providers, drives, comments, and parameters.
- Chapter 2 — Unleashing Your Development Skills with PowerShell — is about working with CIM/WMI, XML, COM, .NET objects, PowerShell Modules and about script debugging/error handling.
- Chapter 3 — PowerShell for Your Daily Administration Tasks — covers PowerShell Remoting, PowerShell Workflows, and PowerShell “in action” (from a .NET developers perspective) that is managing Windows roles & features, managing local users & groups, managing IIS, and managing MS SQL.
- Chapter 4 — PowerShell and Web Technologies — is about working with web services & requests, RESTful APIs, and JSON.
- Chapter 5 — PowerShell and Team Foundation Server — covers the TFS cmdlets and shows how to get started and work with them.
Did I miss something? Yes, there’s no information about Desired State Configuration. But that’s as far as it goes.
Considering the fact that we are about to enter a new era in IT where developers and operators need to work closely together (or in one person) to continuously deliver services in automated IT infrastructures, a .NET developer should at least get a copy of this book in order to be prepared for the best 😉