Figuring Things Out

Figuring Things Out

  • Comments 3

In my last blog entry, I showed how a script can get the directory it resides in. Jvierra commented:

So being a team member doesn't make one know everything.  

Sad but true!

The interesting thing about this is that at some point I knew this information but then I forgot it so I had to figure it out again. It reminded me of a 2 studies made of Unix Admins made about 20+ years apart that both reached the same conclusion. If you take a range of novice to expert Unix admins and put them in a class room and ask them a set of questions, there is a surprising small delta between the performances of these admins (it exists but is not as large as one would expect). But when you take these same admins and put them in front of a computer and ask them a set of questions – the delta in performance is HUGE.

The conclusion of these studies was that expert admins are not great at remembering things, they are great at figuring things out! If you adopt that mindset and master those skills, the world is your oyster.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, PowerShell is a great tool because I'm such a deeply flawed human. I have a terrible memory – that is why common syntax, common names, common semantics, common utilities, etc, etc are so important – I can't remember many things.

One way to think about PowerShell is that it provides a toolkit that makes it very easy for you to figure things out quickly.


Jeffrey Snover [MSFT]
Windows Management Partner Architect
Visit the Windows PowerShell Team blog at:
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  • My memory is shot too.

    We are all only as good as ouyt tools.  Tools that assist memory are a decided advantage.  PSH leverages that to the hilr.

    NET is a great substrate for a scripting system or an admin automation system.  When NET was first previewed way back when I was extremely excited.  Unfortunately NET has not always maintained consistency.  I guess it's way to big to ask for that.

    PowerShell provides a very consistent, though not perfect, wrapper around NET.  It's also wonderful that we can easily redefine the propewrties and methods to some degree.  This should make for powerful extensions and simplified usage.

    Can't wait for release 2.0.

  • I worked on one software product for 7 years and I would still learn stuff about the product from the customers I met with.  This especially true with larger software products.  It is neigh impossible to be an expert on all areas of a large product even if you work on it.

  • As always, so well said!  Eloquent man, eloquent!

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