Be on the lookout: MOC course 10325A, "Automating Administration with Microsoft Windows PowerShell version 2," will be coming to a training center near you this Fall. In fact,Greg Shields and I will be attending a beta teach of the course during the first week of May, at an Ameriteach facility in Denver.
I'm especially keen on seeing this particular beta teach, because I designed this course from the ground up, and authored the majority of the content. Greg designed the slide deck to support the course, and fellow PowerShell geeks Marco Shaw, Kirk Munroe, Jeff Hicks, and Steven Murawski wrote the labs to my specs. Unlike Microsoft's former PowerShell course, this one isn't a VBScript in PowerShell drag: You won't see the .NET Framework, COM, or a lot of scripting. You'll see PowerShell used as a shell, and you'll learn an awful lot about how to use the shell effectively no matter what Microsoft product you're trying to administer. This 5-day course should be shipping by August or September, so keep an eye out.
In the meantime, don't forget that other companies play in the PowerShell market, too. I also designed and authored the modular courseware sold by SAPIEN Technologies, which scales from a short 1-day intro to a full 5-day course. The difference with that courseware is that it doesn't need to adhere to Microsoft standards, so I could pack a lot more into five days. You get everything from the "I've never seen it before" intro, all the way to some seriously advanced stuff, like building your own custom formatting views and type extensions. I'm delivering that courseware in May in Seattle in a public class, and your local training center can contact SAPIEN if they'd like to teach the course.
PowerShell training is everywhere: You'll find it at TechMentor, Windows Connections, MMS (this week in Las Vegas), and at TechEd (I'm even doing a few of the sessions at those conferences). I may even be putting together a "road show" training event for later this year - you'll read about it here, first. There's also video training: http://cbtnuggets.com/ offers a number of my videos, and SAPIEN also sells training videos.
So wait - why should you care? Why not just buy a book?
Well, it's like this: You need to know PowerShell. If you don't believe me, just wait a few years and look at the folks who are being retained and promoted around you. There are three ways to administer Windows, as a PowerShell colleague recently told me. The first is to use a mouse. It's slow, inefficient, and at the end of the day you don't have anything reusable. There's no investment, just overhead. Companies can't tolerate that model for much longer - they need something better. The second way is to hire a consulting firm - and where does that leave your job? The third way is automation: It's an investment, but it's more efficient, and over time you'll develop a library of reusable bits that make you ever-more-efficient. PowerShell = Automation.
And don't get me wrong, I love PowerShell books. I co-authored one. But there's something about a trainer, either live or recorded, that does a better job of introducing you to the little tricks and secrets that make you more effective in PowerShell.
So get out there - you've got lots of options, and it's never been a better time to embrace the command-line.