PowerShell as a Gateway Drug to Programming

Adam Bertram

Adam Bertram

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Today, I would like to talk about drugs with those of you who have a desire to begin a career as a successful software developer or who has an interest in learning PowerShell. At this time, you may be questioning how drugs relate to an IT career and PowerShell advice.

We all have heard that marijuana is said to be a gateway drug to more potent drugs, such as cocaine or heroin. It is said that marijuana is the drug people utilize that forms the habit of doing drugs, providing them with the desired effect. Eventually, however, marijuana is no longer potent enough to provide this wanted effect, which is when users move on to a stronger, more potent drug.

I consider PowerShell to be a gateway drug. PowerShell is a gateway drug to individuals who want to learn software development. However, that is not to say that PowerShell itself cannot be used as a software development language, as it is. I, myself am a PowerShell developer; I work in this field every day but this not considered the “norm”. PowerShell works in the same way marijuana does. It forms the habit of programming.

Learn PowerShell to Learn Programming Basics

Perhaps you want to learn C#, or possibly Java, Cobol, or Fortran..who knows? PowerShell is a fantastic way for people to get into the habit of programming in general. All languages are similar. Each consists of constructs, variables, loops, etc. They all share a general way about them, especially object-oriented programming language.

Due to the ease of learning PowerShell, you can use it as a learning tool for software development. PowerShell allows you to not get all caught up in the syntax with such issues as, “how do I build this foreach loop,” or “how do I instantiate this variable,” or “do I have to worry about semi-colons or not?” None of this matters with PowerShell, it is a very simple and straightforward language.

Granted, you will not likely use PowerShell to write a big software application, but if you know PowerShell you will know general programming concepts. You will have the ability to put together various pieces of code, and how to construct solutions to problems in PowerShell. That knowledge is easily carried over to almost any other language.

PowerShell’s Syntax is Easy to Understand

I noticed this during the time I was learning Python. Although Python is significantly different than PowerShell, I had the ability to quickly pick it up due to the programming concepts I learned from VBScript and PowerShell. Of course, many people think, it is just a scripting language. Well, it is a scripting language per-say, but it still has all of the various constructs as the “big boy” languages available out there.

If you are an IT professional or if you are in any other kind of profession and you want to learn about programming in general and perhaps you want to become a software developer in the future, a really good language to learn is PowerShell.

PowerShell is the ideal language to learn the high-level constructs and the basics of pure programming. I do not say this because I’m a PowerShell fanboy. I say that because I have looked at many different languages available out there, and PowerShell, by far and away, is the easiest, syntax wise.

With PowerShell, you will not get caught up in all the syntax that is required to build tools. Instead, you have syntax that is easy to learn and you can easily put two and two together and build all these concepts.

Skills in PowerShell are vital in the world of IT. For a successful career as a software developer, PowerShell skills are needed and should be placed at the top of your resume. If you already have knowledge of PowerShell, continue to enhance your skills.

PowerShell creator, Jeffrey Snover, has stated, “Every now and again you just have to stop and invest in your career.” You will be rewarded when you make an investment in PowerShell.

So, if you want to learn only programming in general, and learn the ways that it works, I highly recommend trying PowerShell.

This post was brought to you by a YouTube #CarTalks video. Check out all of the other video content on the Adam the Automator YouTube channel!

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