Figuring Things Out

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.

Enjoy!

Jeffrey Snover [MSFT]
Windows Management Partner Architect
Visit the Windows PowerShell Team blog at: http://blogs.msdn.com/PowerShell
Visit the Windows PowerShell ScriptCenter at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/hubs/msh.mspx