How Powershell Made My Life Easier

Hello.  My name is Jonathan Tyler…and I am a PowerShell junkie.

I work for one of the world’s leading providers of commercial transportation solutions.  In my current role, I support a SharePoint farm for the Internet, Extranet, and Intranet solutions in the company.  I have worked for this company for five years and it has been a great place to learn and grow in PowerShell practices.

When I first joined the company, I was a Windows Server administrator also responsible for Citrix servers.  I started by automating a lot of tasks that were given to me through VBScript.  I had not yet really learned much about PowerShell, except that it was on the way.  Once released, I began to try to move my scripting over to PowerShell.  It didn’t take like I had hoped.  I spent many hours banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how to get things to work, so I gave up.  I should have kept going.

More and more, I was doing repetitive tasks that I knew could be done easier…I had heard that it could and seen some examples, but I had not tried to make it work for me.  So, in May, 2008, I went to TechEd where I sat in a PowerShell session with none other than the Scripting Guys, in person.  After running through some of their tutorials and armed with the handouts from that session (all of which I still have) I renewed my resolve to learn PowerShell.  When I got back to work, I began trying to use PowerShell for daily routines that I had been given.  Not all of them worked as I had hoped, but it was a start, and I was getting a foothold into this technology.  I forced myself to at least try to make a PowerShell command work for what I needed.  I really believe that is the key.  You have to put yourself in a position to use it or else you will make an excuse for why you don’t need to.  The more I tried to use PowerShell, the more comfortable it became and the turnaround on getting something done in PowerShell became shorter.

Fast-forward a few years, and I am now supporting these SharePoint farms/applications.  The strong basis that I built in the server administration realm has become the bedrock for some of my latest projects.  Using PowerShell has helped me to quickly slice through gigabytes of log files much faster than it ever took me to try to search by hand.  That efficiency has helped to identify problems more quickly and prove where the problems are.

Some of my latest projects have revolved around creating modules that can be used by my team for deploying solutions to our many web applications to streamline and formalize our processes.  With the new push to use PowerShell, some of my colleagues are also beginning to see the value and are moving away from C# tools for site maintenance to using PowerShell scripts.

As I get time and learn something new, I still like to write articles for my blog at and also to try to help people on various forums or over Twitter.

Would you like to share your story? Win one of TrainSignal’s PowerShell training courses? Learn more about the “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Windows PowerShell” contest.


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