Learning How to Format PowerShell Output With Format-Table

PowerShell holds a scripter’s hand quite a bit, but it can’t read your mind. It can’t inherently know what kind of output you’re looking for. It will provide its best guess, but it’s up to you to ultimately decide how you’d like output returned. PowerShell has a formatting system that has default output and the ability to change how output is formatted on an object type basis. If you’d rather not learn about XML and how to always format output in a specific way, you’ve also got cmdlets like Format-Table, Format-List and Format-Wide at your disposable. A PS1XML file on the file system or using any of the format cmdlets will display output in some different ways. Without using any special formatting, PowerShell, by default, uses its format. Whenever a specific object is returned, you’ll probably only see a limited portion of what that actual object’s contents are. For example, […]

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Too Many Squirrels: Which one do I Chase?

How do I deal with being interested in so many things at once? That’s a question I ask myself all the time. I love software development; I’m interested in code. I enjoy cloud automation stuff. I like productivity tools and on and on. I’m the type with the ADHD personality where I see a squirrel and go following it. I go after every single piece of new technology that I know and discover. I had a person recently ask me, “Where do I go from my career?” He didn’t say so directly, but from the context of his email, it seemed like he was at the beginning or the middle of his career. He wanted to know where to go. I have touched this on a previous post called What Makes a Great IT Professional. I also wanted to tell him and to tell you here is that if you […]

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How do I Get a Remote Job?

Remote work is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart you can immediately tell if you follow me on Twitter. Many companies still refuse to allow remote work or simply don’t understand it doesn’t mean these kinds of jobs aren’t possible! Web Resources for Remote Work I have been working 100% remotely for about three years now and mostly remote for nearly five years before that. To get in a position like this, there are a few ways that I can recommend – the first are websites. You can go to sites like flexjobs.com, weworkremotely.com or upwork.com. These sites have remote jobs, but a lot of those aren’t full-time jobs – most are contract work. It’s much easier to find remote jobs through contract work compared to full-time jobs. If you’re looking for remote contract work, your luck is going to be a lot better. But there are […]

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Prepare for Greatness in 2018 with the Adam the Automator!

The Adam the Automator blog has been around for a few years now and has always been my home base but never a huge priority for me. I’ve always tried to share knowledge freely as often as possible but haven’t spent the kind of time I wanted on it. The priority simply wasn’t there because this blog didn’t make a dime. As such, I was always focusing my attention elsewhere and, in my opinion, neglecting the blog and you. That’s changing in 2018. As part of this new initiative to refocus my attention on this blog and my YouTube channel, I have already started a few new things. Blog Sponsors The first is, as you’ve probably already noticed, the banners on the right side of the blog. These are trusted sponsors that want to get in front of you guys! They will always be non-obtrusive reminders to click through and check […]

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Learn to Build Tools not Code

Have you ever heard the term “code abstraction”?  The word means creating an interface of sorts around another piece of code that compartmentalizes that code. Think of it as an action or task that bundles a bunch of code up into a package which could then be used later. The concept is like a function. In PowerShell, we have the Get-Content command. When you run the Get-Content, it doesn’t just inherently know how to read a file. There’s code inside of Get-Content that finds the file on the disk, reads the file, open an object, close an object, runs a method, and so on.  But for you and I, we can just run Get-Content by providing a file path, and it just works. That’s one of the great things about PowerShell. PowerShell abstracts away a lot of the things that you don’t need. That same concept can be thought of […]

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Get-ChildItem: Listing Files, Registry, Certificates and More as One

Remember the good ol’ days of the DOS dir command? How about the Linux ls command? If so, the Get-ChildItem is essentially that but taken up a notch. In fact, we even have dir and ls in PowerShell in the form of an alias. The Get-ChildItem PowerShell cmdlet can not only list files and folders on a file system via the PowerShell console or PowerShell script but can also enumerate registry keys and values, certificates in various certificates stores and even Active Directory, to name a few. To understand Get-ChildItem, first, think of it regarding dir and ls but instead of just files it treats many objects as a child item and enumerates them. You can use the alias or the full comamnd name to use it. Since this command has been available since PowerShell v1, you can be sure that it will work with your PowerShell version. Get-ChildItem Traverses […]

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Falling on the Grenade for Your Team and Your Career

In your work environment, there’s typically always that legacy thing that no one wants to touch. It’s old, fragile and bound to break at any moment. Volunteer for Misery A problem crops up with this product and a junior staff member, who does not know about the history, comes around and says, “I can take this on; no problem!”. While the senior employees think he’s nuts, he goes in and amazingly fixes the problem with this legacy product with no downtime. What that junior guy didn’t know was that he’s now the proud owner. He can’t let it go even when he wants to. This junior staff might have impressed management, but now he’s at the level with the senior team. He’s bored with it and doesn’t want to own it anymore. One way or another, he fixed it last time, so he automatically knows everything there is to know […]

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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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