PowerShell is one of Microsoft Windows newest implementations. It replaces the old command line interface with much more powerful features called cmdlets. These cmdlets let you do much more than just a standard command line statement.
As a matter of fact, PowerShell is quickly becoming the automation tool of choice for Windows administrators. In fact, it might be time to completely swear off the GUI for the CLI.
If your team doesn’t want to code, then you need a PowerShell developer. These developers fall into the DevOps category and can greatly enhance your Windows administration team.
What Does a PowerShell Developer Do?
We all know that administrators spend their days maintaining servers and performing daily tasks. Some of these tasks could be automated, but having an administrator take time away from daily tasks to learn PowerShell can be an expensive option for businesses. When the environment grows to several dozen servers, the administrator simply has no time to learn a coding language.
PowerShell developers are a combination of coders and server administrators. They have an interest in coding, but they also have an understanding of how the Windows operating system works. It isn’t necessary for them to be masters at Windows maintenance and administration, but they need a basic understanding of the operating system in a networked environment. They should have a basic understanding of security, Active Directory, networking protocols, and even Windows workstations.
Theoretically, you could even have a programmer learn these functions with their MCSA Server or Windows 10 certifications.
Your developer works directly with administrators to find automation solutions for everyday tasks. For instance, you might have a document that lists accounts that you want deactivated from various organizations. PowerShell can help you with that. You might want to automatically upload files to an FTP server. PowerShell can help you with that.
The main goal of a PowerShell developer is to find automation solutions that free up the Windows administrator’s time, and that goes beyond servers. This lets them focus on new projects or improving the environment rather than take up all their time with redundant tasks that can be scripted in PowerShell.
PowerShell developers are a part of your team, so they can also help out with standard administration tasks. In fact, it’s probably best to first have them support the environment for a few months to understand what must be done to support the network, and brainstorm on what can be done to eliminate some of the redundancy.
What’s great about PowerShell is that its cmdlets are a hybrid version of the .NET coding framework, so a developer with a background in .NET development (VB.NET or C#) can pick up on the language quickly. You don’t necessarily need to hire a PowerShell expert.
A .NET developer can pick up on the PowerShell language quickly. The language is not the same, but the overall logic and basic statements are similar.
Searching for a PowerShell Developer? Here are some tips.
You want someone who fits with your team and understands administrator troubles. The developer should be able to brainstorm. Contrary to what most people think, it’s better to have a developer who can engineer and brainstorm with the team rather than an uber coder with little brainstorming skills. The reason being that most coders can pick up a language relatively quickly, so it’s a secondary asset compared to good engineering.
The developer should understand the Windows server operating system, which is one of the more difficult skills to find in DevOps. Most developers work on local development machines and don’t have much experience with server modules such as Active Directory.
The developer should know the .NET languages (VB.NET and C#) and the framework. This will help them learn PowerShell quickly if they don’t already have a grasp of the language. Many of the cmdlets are published by Microsoft, so understanding Microsoft software is helpful.
If that actually sounds like one of your server administrators, then they could also become a PowerShell developer with Garth Schulte’s PowerShell Foundations courses.
The right DevOps developer can greatly reduce the time it takes to maintain servers. Automation is the primary focus for a DevOps developer, so have some automation ideas in mind before you hire one.
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