1 Before you begin


PowerShell has been around for more than 15 years, but it’s been a fantastic journey. If you missed the memo, PowerShell is now cross-platform, meaning it’s available on more than just Microsoft Windows. I’m still blown away that Microsoft has open sourced PowerShell. It was initially created to solve the specific problem of automating Windows administrative tasks, but a much simpler “batch file” language would have sufficed. PowerShell’s inventor, Jeffrey Snover, and its entire product team had a grander vision. They wanted something that could appeal to a broad, diverse audience. In their vision, administrators might start very simply by running commands to accomplish administrative tasks quickly—that’s what our previous book, Learn PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Fourth Edition (Manning, 2022), focused on. The team also imagined more complex tasks and processes being automated through varying complex scripts, which is what this book is all about.

The PowerShell team also envisioned developers using PowerShell to create all-new units of functionality, which we’ll hint at throughout this book. Just as your microwave probably has buttons you’ve never pushed, PowerShell likely has functionalities you may never touch because they don’t apply to you. But with this book, you’re taking a step into PowerShell’s deepest functionality: scripting or—if you buy into our worldview—toolmaking.

1.1 What is toolmaking?

1.2 Is this book for you?

1.3 What you need for this book

1.3.1 PowerShell version

1.3.2 Administrative privileges

1.3.3 Script editor

1.4 How to use this book

1.5 Expectations

1.6 How to ask for help