Meetings Suck!

I want to discuss a little bit about meetings and mental health and really sticking to goals. To go over this, I want to tell you a small story, a story about meetings. We’re all in meetings, usually, if you’re in IT or in any corporate job at all, you’ve probably gone to a meeting. Meetings are abused Meetings are traditionally the bane of a knowledge worker’s existence. Meetings have a bad rap because people just think that we should meet for everything. We should meet to discuss an email, meet to discuss an IM or just blanket send a meeting invite to way too many people on the entire team, even though some people on the team aren’t working on the product or the situation as being discussed! Mental effects of bad meetings Unnecessary meetings drain the life out of me, I could just fall asleep sometimes. They have […]

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To Script or Not To Script? That is the Question We Need to Answer

This blog post was created from the transcript of my YouTube #CarTalks video called To Script or Not To Script? That is the Question. Be check out the YouTube channel and subscribe! When to script and when not to script is our topic for today. I know myself and my audience; we’re all about scripting. We want to write PowerShell scripts for everything, but, unfortunately, it’s not always the best decision to do so. I know it sucks, but I’m here to hold your hand and tell you, “It’s okay! We’ll get past it.” Know Your Coworkers For example, you’re the PowerShell scripter guru extraordinaire at your small organization. You work with a handful of people that are in the same realm – helpdesk guys, other sysadmins, and network engineers. Say you build a script that is keeping some service alive on a server, e.g., some critical business service that […]

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Microsoft MVP Award: The Advantages and the Sacrifice Required By It

Today, we are going to talk about the Microsoft MVP program, more specifically how you can become a Microsoft MVP. If you’re not familiar with the Microsoft MVP program, it is a reward and a program that’s built around the reward that’s presented to IT professionals, software developers – different people from all walks of life, around Microsoft products. They’re especially focused on various categories in Microsoft. When I first was an MVP, I was a PowerShell MVP. Then, we all got moved to the Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP. There’s also MVPs for Microsoft Office programs, Office and Productivity Programs, Xbox, Azure, Cloud, and Datacenter Management. There are dozens of categories out there that you can become a Microsoft MVP in. It is awarded to community experts that provide value to the community for whatever category they’re doing. For me, I blog; I do Car Talks, YouTube videos, and […]

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A Calendly Review: A Better Way to Schedule Meetings

When trying to get a meeting set up with someone, does this email thread sound familiar? If so, this Calendly review post is for you. Email #1: “What time is good for you?” Email #2: “I’m open between 2-5PM on Thursday.” Email #3: “Is that your time or my time?” Email #4: “CST” Email #5: “Nah. I can’t do that. What about 1PM PST?” Email #6: “I think that should be OK.” Email #7: “OK, I’ll send you a meeting invite.” I’ve had this email conversation in my business more times than I can count until I automated it. You don’t do email? The same can be said for phone tag as well. The medium is different but the frustration is the same. The tasks to make this happen is ridiculous. What’s the reason for this maddening situation? We are treating our schedules like private information. We’re not opening up […]

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Start-Sleep: The Simple yet Underrated PowerShell Cmdlet

The PowerShell Start-Sleep cmdlet or the sleep alias is a simple cmdlet with a single purpose; to pause a script. When executed, in the PowerShell console, a script executed by the console or in the PowerShell ISE, the cmdlet pauses merely a script or module in the PowerShell session from running until the required time in seconds or milliseconds have elapsed. This cmdlet is simple yet can be applied in a few different ways that will allow us scripters to greate well-written scripts. Start-Sleep Usage Using the Start-Sleep cmdlet is extremely easy since, after all, it only has two parameters! Let’s say I want to pause my script because I’m waiting for some other environmental process to run. That process takes around 10 seconds, and I need to be sure that my script doesn’t keep running before that external event is done. To pause the script for 10 seconds, I’d […]

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Copy-Item: Copying Files like a Boss in PowerShell

Copying files. It’s not sexy but has to be done. In the GUI, we copy and paste with the clipboard but in PowerShell we have a cmdlet called Copy-Item. Commands for copying files have been around forever in all shell languages. In PowerShell land, the most popular way to get a copy of a file or folder in your PowerShell script from point A to point B is by using the PowerShell Copy-Item cmdlet. This cmdlet allows us to copy a file and folder while giving us the ability to recurse files in a folder, use wildcards to select the files we need to copy and even use PowerShell Remoting for a file copy! The Copy-Item cmdlet is a part of the PowerShell provider cmdlets. It’s a generic cmdlet that recognized by it’s Item noun. Most of these provider cmdlets can be used across different providers but in my nearly […]

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Invoke-Command: The Best Way to Run Remote Code

IT professionals rarely work just on our local computer. Using the PowerShell Invoke-Command cmdlet, we don’t have to! This cmdlet allows us to seamlessly write code as if we were working on our local computer. By using the PowerShell Remoting feature, The Invoke-Command cmdlet is a commonly used PowerShell cmdlet that allows the user to execute code inside of a PSSession. This PSSession can either be one created previously with the New-PSSession cmdlet or it can quickly create and tear down a temporary session as well. Think of Invoke-Command as the PowerShell psexec. Though they are implemented differently, the concept is the same. Take a bit code or command and run it “locally” on the remote computer. For Invoke-Command to work though, you must have PowerShell Remoting enabled and available on the remote computer. By default, all Windows Server 2012 R2 or later machines do have it enabled along with […]

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“I Don’t Have Time to Automate” Yes, you Do.

“I don’t have time”. What these people mean when they say they don’t have time – especially when they say they don’t have time to automate, is that they genuinely don’t want to. Perhaps people don’t believe they have the chance to automate. Whatever the case may be – automation takes time to see any benefits. However, the current mindset is focused on immediacy rather than into the future; particularly in management. Perhaps you feel there are too many tickets to close. Or too many fires to quench. Understandably there are tickets to close, and there are always going to be fires to put out. There’s always going to be something that takes time away from a big automation project. What’s important is to be pro-active about the situation. Automation is a big proactive step. This isn’t particularly favored by management – because they aren’t able to track as closely […]

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What’s the Best way to Learn Something? Do it!

We’re going to talk about how to learn PowerShell or how to learn some other language that you’d like to learn. First and foremost, the way to learn is not to watch YouTube videos, to not read articles, to not do online training courses, to not do physical training courses, to not read about PowerShell or any other language. The real way, the only right way to learn about PowerShell is to learn by doing. Do what is in your current environment, your context. Build scripts that allow you to automate provisioning user accounts, creating virtual machines, deploying software. Do something that’s a pain point for you, not for anyone else. Don’t go through all these examples of the fictional Joe character had this thing, and perhaps he was in this environment and anybody, me included, we have to come up with fictional examples that replicate real-world experiences, based on […]

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The FREE 2017 #PSBlogWeek eBook is Here!

2017’s #PSBlogWeek is long over and as a tradition, I’ve created an eBook commemorating this great event. Thanks to all of the bloggers that wrote some awesome posts and I hope we can do this again soon! As promised, the 2017 #PSBlogWeek eBook is completed and now available. Feel free to put it up on your blog, tweet about it, share it on Facebook or anywhere where you think people will enjoy it. All I ask if you link back to the original blog post announcing it here.

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