The end of the 2013 Scripting Games

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The end of the 2013 Scripting Games

Like This Blog 0Jason Helmick
Added by June 14, 2013

If you’ve been following the Scripting Games then you know how intense the last few challenges have been. The participants in the games have truly been amazing and have worked hard to solve Dr. Scripto’s problems.

As a one of the Judges for the games I wanted to impart an observation I’ve had during the games.

First, as many of you know, learning PowerShell – truly learning the tool correctly and using it to solve problems – takes effort. It takes more than just reading a book or taking a class, it takes you spending time working with the tool – getting stumped – and pushing forward to solve a real problem. To often Windows Admins treat PowerShell like a GUI management tool – thinking they can just click around until something good happens. PowerShell is an automation language of commands, and until you understand the language and how the tool uses the language, you just won’t be successful.

The Scripting Games are one way for you to try to use PowerShell and solve real world problems. The benefit to the games is that you submit your work and receive comments form Judges and other participants – mainly on how to improve your script. This is the true learning advantage, putting forth a solution than having your peers review it – and teach you how to improve it.

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This is common practice in development environments for developers and they generally have frequent code reviews. These reviews can be simple or complex, but involve the code being checked for flaws in patterns and best practices. Often little comments or notes are given to the developer on how they can improve their code, and in some cases, warned to stop doing something that is considered bad practice. Because you are part of ‘DevOps’ now, you should look at the review process as a positive – something you can debate and learn from to become better. Unfortunately, some Admins view the review as a negative – as if they have been shamed – and loose the chance to learn.

In the past, did you ever have a review and were told exactly how to click the button on the screen? – of course not. But as you work with PowerShell there are clear best practices, clear things that are no-no’s, and there are people that can help you improve. Join the conversation with a positive view. There will always be debate, but that’s how we all learn.

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Why do I bring this up? Because there will be a ‘Winter’ Scripting Games and you should participate. You should look at it as a great chance to improve your skills, and in fact, help others to improve. If you can’t wait to try your hand at something, write a script that solves a problem and post it on PowerShell.Org. Ask for people to comment on how you could improve. Join the community in helping every learn PowerShell!  It will be fun!

Knowledge is PowerShell,

Jason Helmick
Systems Instructor
Interface Technical Training

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