All the Don
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All the Don

The DSC Book
The PowerShell Scripting and Toolmaking Book
Become Hardcore Extreme Black Belt PowerShell Ninja Rockstar
Be the Master
Don Jones' PowerShell 4N00bs
Don Jones' The Cloud 4N00bs
Instructional Design for Mortals
How to Find a Wolf in Siberia
Tales of the Icelandic Troll
PowerShell by Mistake
The Culture of Learning

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About the Books

The DSC Book

The DSC Book

"Forever" Edition
  • 998

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  • 163

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  • 42,107

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Microsoft MVP Award recipient Don Jones and in-the-trenches DSC expert Missy Januszko tackle the enormous and complex topic of Desired State Configuration (DSC) in this "agile-published" book that will continue to be expanded and updated over time. Covering everything from design principles and infrastructure deployment, to configuration authoring, and to custom resource design and programming, you'll find everything you need in this comprehensive tome. And what you might not find in this book will be added and revised over time - making this your "forever" book on the subject, unlike traditionally published volumes.

The DSC Book is designed to help you understand how DSC works, and how you can use it in a variety of scenarios. Examples are, for the most part, extremely concise - they're intended to help you understand the needed structure and approach. You should already be very familiar with coding advanced functions ("script cmdlets") in PowerShell, or consider purchasing Learn PowerShell Toolmaking in a Month of Lunches to gain that background knowledge. The practices and approaches presented in the book come from real-world engagements and experiences, and will continue to evolve over time as more and more people engage with DSC. Those "over time" learnings will be incorporated into the book, hopefully making it the last DSC book you'll ever need to buy.

See the Contents

Use the "Table of Contents" link to see the complete table of contents for the full book. This does change and evolve as we work on the book.

We Publish as We Go

This is an Agile-published book, which means the authors are releasing it as they write it, and will continue to update the book as the underlying technology evolves over time. This is the last book you'll ever need to buy on this topic, because your one-time purchase grants you lifetime access to updates and new content. We'll even email you via LeanPub (if you opt-in) when there's fresh content for you.

About Our Pricing

The price for this book might seem high - our target "final price" is around $60. But that's because it's the last you'll ever have to buy. We won't be after you for a "second edition" in a couple of years, because you'll get each new update and release for free. So the higher price? This reflects that fact that you're paying up-front for what amounts to a lifetime subscription - we'll never come after you for more money for some future edition, reprinting, or update.

Check Out the Free Sample

The free sample includes sample chapters, but why bother? LeanPub has a no-questions-asked refund policy, so it's completely risk-free to grab the "real" book and see what you think.

What Formats are Available?

All LeanPub books are offered in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB, and you get all three with your purchase. Note that the PDF is probably the "highest fidelity" version, especially in terms of code listings.

How Can I Contact the Authors?

We love feedback. Use the "Email the Authors" link, just below, to contact us. For feedback on the book, please provide a chapter, heading, and short snippet of text to let us know where you're looking - page numbers don't do any good, as they don't correspond with our source files.

The PowerShell Scripting and Toolmaking Book

The PowerShell Scripting and Toolmaking Book

Forever Edition
  • 838

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  • 367

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Change the Way You Code in PowerShell!

Microsoft MVP Award recipients Don Jones and Jeffery Hicks bring you an all-new, "Agile-published" book on PowerShell Scripting and "Toolmaking." Written in their inimitable, approachable style with plenty of examples, this book focuses on an all-new narrative based on their teaching experiences since 2010. You'll not only learn "how to script" in PowerShell, you'll learn the far more important patterns and practices that will enable you to create reusable tools that look and work like native PowerShell commands. You'll also learn a world of related topics, including how to add database access to your tools, how to publish to public and private repositories, and even an introduction to key topics like Pester testing.

Thousands of IT professionals have, after experiencing Don & Jeff's classes and books, remarked that, "now I need to go home and rewrite everything I've done!" That's what this book will do for you: change the way you think about coding in PowerShell. You'll find yourself producing more efficient, more reusable tools, more easily and more quickly. You'll cement a deep understanding of not only how PowerShell works, but why it works that way, helping you make better script design decisions, and helping you execute better PowerShell tools from now on.

This book is very much "Part 3" in Don and Jeff's approach to teaching PowerShell. Part 1 is their bestselling Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches (Manning), the "pre-scripting" PowerShell book that covers the shell's inner workings, core patterns, and basic usage. Part 2 is PowerShell Scripting in a Month of Lunches, which covers the entry-level aspects of scripting, including the foundational narrative of "the right way" to build functions and tools. This book picks up where they leave off, providing a rapid rundown of that "right way," and quickly moving into more "grown-up" scripting techniques, advanced approaches, data handling, and a lot more. As an Agile-published book, Don and Jeff can continue to update this book, as the more-advanced topics (more so than the entry-level ones) are the ones affected by new version releases.

APPLIES TO MANY VERSIONS OF POWERSHELL! If you're using PowerShell v4, v5, v5.1, or PowerShell Core v6, you'll find everything in this book is applicable to you in some form or another (although in PowerShell Core, any Windows-specific examples may not be functional).

NOW COVERS PESTER! Take your scripting to the next level by incorporating professional unit-testing using the ubiquitous Pester testing framework for PowerShell. A whole new Part of this book covers everything you'll need to know.

See the Contents

Use the "Table of Contents" link to see the complete table of contents for the full book. This does change and evolve as we work on the book. Note that the free sample reviews the complete ToC, but isn't necessarily up to date or entirely complete.

Hands-On Labs

You'll even find review questions and hands-on labs, complete with sample solutions, along with a short lab setup guide. These features will help you practice what you're learning, and make the book suitable for use in classroom settings (we recommend contacting the authors for an inexpensive site license, if you're a training center; we also provide slide decks, delivery guides, and other materials as part of a training center or trainer license).

We Publish as We Go

This is an Agile-published book, which means the authors are releasing it as they write it, and will continue to update the book as the underlying technology evolves over time. Assuming you meet the pre-requisites, this is the last book you'll ever need to buy on this topic, because your one-time purchase grants you lifetime access to updates and new content. We'll even email you via LeanPub (if you opt-in) when there's fresh content for you.

About Our Pricing

The price for this book might seem high. But that's because it's the last you'll ever have to buy. We won't be after you for a "second edition" in a couple of years, because you'll get each new update and release for free. So the higher price? This reflects that fact that you're paying up-front for what amounts to a lifetime subscription - we'll never come after you for more money for some future edition, reprinting, or update.

Check Out the Free Sample

The free sample includes sample chapters, but why bother? LeanPub has a no-questions-asked refund policy, so it's completely risk-free to grab the "real" book and see what you think. We trust you to do the right thing!

What Formats are Available?

All LeanPub books are offered in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB, and you get all three with your purchase. Note that the PDF is probably the "highest fidelity" version, especially in terms of code listings.

How Can I Contact the Authors?

We love feedback. Use the "Email the Authors" link, just below, to contact us. For feedback on the book, please provide a chapter, heading, and short snippet of text to let us know where you're looking - page numbers don't do any good, as they don't correspond with our source files.

A Note on Other Booksellers

Note that "Numbered Editions" of this book may also be available on Amazon or through other booksellers (e.g., "First Edition," "Second Edition," etc.) These are "snapshots" of the LeanPub version from a particular project milestone. Purchases made elsewhere are a one-time purchase, and do not include ongoing updates to the content. If you purchased the book elsewhere, we regrettably cannot somehow give you access to the LeanPub version, nor will you receive future updates at no charge.

Become Hardcore Extreme Black Belt PowerShell Ninja Rockstar

Become Hardcore Extreme Black Belt PowerShell Ninja Rockstar

  • 892

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  • 32

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Guess what? The "free sample" is exactly the same as the "real" book. So you can grab the sample, and if you like it, still come back and buy the "full" book, because I'm donating all the proceeds from this to Las Vegas charities like ThreeSquare, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Toys for Tots, and others that are near and dear to my heart.

This book isn't designed to teach you much about PowerShell. Those books exists. Heck, I've written a bunch. This is the book to tell you how far along you are toward becoming an Uber PowerShell Crafter. It's a book about how to get there, not necessarily what you need to know (although there are plenty of references, so you'll know where to turn if you want). Also, this isn't a serious book. It's meant to be a little fun, a little irreverent, and only a teeny tiny bit useful.

Be the Master

Be the Master

Second Edition
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New! You can visit BeTheMaster.com for hardcopy and audiobook links, links to "The Grind" workbook, to share your story, and find more inspiration.

In the old days, trades were kept alive by Masters, who took on and trained apprentices into journeymen, who became Masters in their own right. We've lost that in most ways, but there's no reason you can't resurrect the approach for our modern times. Learn to achieve and recognize your own success, so that you can become a Master to someone else. This book covers my approach to Mastery, in a hope that it will inspire you to find your own path, and begin a generations-long tradition of helping others achieve their success. I cover the hurdles I overcame, including things like Imposter Syndrome, and outline a step-by-step approach for achieving your success. Because so many of us work in business, and because that work is usually a key part of our success, I also cover important business-related concepts and perspectives. It's a book I hope you can use to inspire yourself, and to help and inspire others.

In an effort to give readers more than just advice and inspiration, Be the Master (Second Edition) also includes The Grind, an adaptation of my personal, daily method for focusing myself, leveraging my strengths, working on my weaknesses, and keeping my eyes on my goals. The Grind is how I make sure I'm actively working to pass along what I've learned and mastered, rather than just waiting for apprentices to show up on my doorstep. Also included are the positive outcome-producing life behaviors that have personally served me, and many others, in achieving our success and finding apprentices to serve. Note that The Grind Workbook, referenced in the main book, is sold separately and is not required.

New! In the "Stay Connected" portion of the book's front matter (for purchased copies only, not the free sample), you'll find instructions for joining a free weekly email, designed to guide you through "The Grind" process and philosophy. It also provides tips and inspirations to help keep on on-track and energetic about your path to Mastery.

Don Jones' PowerShell 4N00bs

Don Jones' PowerShell 4N00bs

  • 205

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  • 107

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Now available in paperback format from Amazon.

What the heck is PowerShell, and why should you care? Is "PowerShell Core" different from "Windows PowerShell?" What is a CLI, anyway, and why is clicking icons so bad?

Designed for the absolute newcomer, Don Jones' PowerShell 4N00bs is the friendly, concise, easy-to-follow book that gets you on the right track with PowerShell from the word "go." Designed around PowerShell Core, Microsoft's open-source and cross-platform edition of PowerShell, this book makes it easy to follow along on Windows, Mac, or Linux. You'll learn why PowerShell exists, and Don will carefully point out the 6 main speed bumps that most newcomers trip over - and keep YOU from tripping over them! You'll start your PowerShell experience off the right way, instead of the confused way, and you'll gain the confidence to begin participating in the many helpful PowerShell communities, like PowerShell.org.

Don's honest and no-nonsense approach points out the areas where PowerShell "lies," keeping you from being swept up in confusion. Plentiful analogies and stories make PowerShell's more obscure concepts absolutely clear, and abundant examples explain exactly what PowerShell is doing, and why you should care.

If you start your PowerShell career off with only one book, this is the one you'll want it to be!

Don Jones' The Cloud 4N00bs

Don Jones' The Cloud 4N00bs

  • 52

    Readers

  • 53

    Pages

  • 30%

    Complete

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This is an Agile-published book, which means you're purchasing it before it is completed (at a lower price). New chapters are published periodically, and you'll always be able to download the latest version at no extra charge.

What's "the Cloud?" What exactly are cloud vendors selling, and how can you get started using their services for yourself, or as part of your job? In this super-concise, super-friendly book, you'll learn exactly what "The Cloud" is all about, and how to perform some of the most common tasks in Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

You'll also learn the business models, jargon, and pitfalls of "The Cloud," enabling you to move on to more intermediate-level resources, books, documentations, and videos to continue your learning journey.

Instructional Design for Mortals

Instructional Design for Mortals

  • 140

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  • 143

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This book is available in paperback and Kindle format directly from Amazon. Visit this book's pages on Amazon.com: PaperbackKindle (it is also available on most other Amazon country websites)

I've been teaching technical topics to adults for more than two decades, and I've been writing and designing instructional materials for almost that long. Throughout the time, I always tried to learn more about how people learn, and how I could be a better and more effective teacher. It wasn't always easy, because apart from a great deal of trial-and-error, there weren't a lot of resources that I could comprehend or make use of. Too many books are either written by academics for academics, or by academics - in the most condescending tones possible - for mere mortals.

Well, this is the book I wish I'd had all those years ago, written by an actual mortal for other actual mortals. It's a plain-language, common-sense approach to instructional design and delivery that's backed by actual science, research, student feedback, and all that trial-and-error.

This concise volume takes everything I've learned and distilled about cognitive science, and applies it to the very real-world task of designing instructional materials for delivery to modern, intelligent adult learners. You'll learn how to combine your instructional materials with an effective, casual instructional approach that takes teachers off the pedestal and makes them facilitators and partners in the learning process. Best of all, you'll learn how to make learning less of an academic pursuit, and more of an everyday thing that anyone - and I do mean anyone - can excel at, no matter their level of expertise.

If you've read my book, Be the Master, and you want to dive deeper into designing and delivering knowledge and skills to colleagues, peers, and other adult learners, then this is the perfect book for you.

How to Find a Wolf in Siberia

How to Find a Wolf in Siberia

or, How to Troubleshoot Practically Anything
  • 358

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Available from Amazon in paperback format.

Ever feel like you're not all that good at troubleshooting things that go wrong? Maybe you're a computer person troubleshooting systems or code, a mechanic troubleshooting machines, or something else - the solution to being a better troubleshooter is to follow a simply, yet rigorous methodology based on facts and science.

This book's first Part outlines just such a methodology in under 6,000 words, making it a light, easy read that most people can finish in under an hour. That'll get you started, and into the second Part, which goes into more detail, explores concepts in more depth, and helps you create a Troubleshooting Mind that will make you more effective (and happier) in all your pursuits.

The point is that anyone really can become an excellent troubleshooter - and this book can get you started on a repeatable methodology that will help get you there!

Tales of the Icelandic Troll

Tales of the Icelandic Troll

  • 30

    Readers

  • 87

    Pages

  • 24,360

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Notice: This is a work-in-progress. If you allow them to, Leanpub will notify you each time a new chapter is available. You'll never be asked to pay extra.

Star Trek is full of cosmic events, sexy starships, dashing crew, and amazing adventures. But it's also full of trash, which is where salvage ships like Icelandic Troll come in. Crewed by a small group of close, definitely-not-cut-out-for-Starfleet friends, the Troll has her own special kind of adventures, and this book shares those tales. Full disclosure: there are a lot of inside jokes, which will still hopefully bring you a chuckle or two.

You can read the full book online without making a purchase, either by using the "Read Free Online" option for by grabbing the free sample, which is in fact the entire book.

If you choose to, you can "buy" the book for free, which is what lets Leanpub notify you of new chapters. If you do decide to spend money, it all goes to The DevOps Collective, helping to bring young people, many from underrepresented groups or disadvantaged situations, into the IT field.

PowerShell by Mistake

PowerShell by Mistake

  • 233

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  • 56

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Human brains are funny things. At the end of the day, our brains are still wired the same way they were when we were cavemen trying to survive in the wild. Anything relevant to our immediate survival tended to "stick" in our brains, and anything not relevant tends to slip past. Tell a child, "don't touch that hot pot on the stove!" all you want to, they're still likely to touch it—once. 

This book is the hot pot on the stove. It's a collection of mistakes, and an opportunity to solve them, albeit without burning your fingers.

In this book, I've collected edited versions of PowerShell questions and "broken" code, and in each chapter I'll present a one. You'll take the time to read the code, figure out the problem, and try to solve it. Then, I'll present a solution, along with a detailed explanation of not only what was wrong, but why

This book is not a how-to, and I presume that you already have a decent amount of basic PowerShell education under your belt. This book is not about how to make Active Directory work, or Exchange Server, or SharePoint Server, or anything else; this is about PowerShell. So you're going to see problems that relate to the core of how PowerShell works. Many of these problems spring from "gotchas" in PowerShell, while others have their origin in very common misunderstandings about how the shell works.

If you feel that you learn best by getting your hands dirty, making mistakes, and figuring them out, then this book is for you.

And if you've ever wondered, "do I really know what PowerShell is all about?" then you can consider this book to be an ongoing quiz of sorts. Each chapter offers a new opportunity to test your PowerShell mojo, validate what you know, and perhaps pick up a new trick or two along the way.

NOTE: This is a "continually published" book. You purchase it once, but I'll be regularly adding new chapters. If you buy the book, you can permit Leanpub to notify you each time a new chapter is ready, giving you an ongoing series of challenges well into the future. My goal is to publish at least 12 chapters per year, or at least one chapter per 25 Leanpub readers the book has, whichever is greater.

The Culture of Learning

The Culture of Learning

  • 25

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A paperback edition is available from Amazon.

A common theme across employers is how to build a culture of learning. It's a phrase used so commonly that Google produces over a billion results when you search for it, turning up everything from scholarly treatises to "6 Ways to Build" clickbait-style blog articles on the subject. There are, in fact, many excellent pieces on the topic, which begs the question: why another? Why this book?

I've read dozens, if not hundreds, of those pieces, and found many of them to be practical, actionable, and in most cases fairly concise. But I think too many of them focus exclusively on why you'd want a culture of learning, or precisely how they recommend you build one. Few attempt to concisely tackle the underlying question, though: what, exactly, is a culture of learning?

I feel that understanding the answer to that question actually unlocks the how and why for you. Understanding that answer is what really "changes your brain," in a way that makes all the other answers obvious. Understanding that big, underlying answer also helps you really grasp the full scope of what a culture of learning is, and can be, to an organization. It highlights the real breadth and depth of the topic, and shows you how it can–and should–pervade everything your organization does.

That's what this book is about.

About the Authors

Don Jones
Don Jones

Don Jones has been in the IT industry since the mid 1990s, and has been a recipient of Microsoft's "Most Valuable Professional" Award since 2003. He's a co-founder of PowerShell.org and The DevOps Collective, and a Curriculum Director for online video training company Pluralsight. Don authored some of the first books ever published for Windows PowerShell, and is the co-author of Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, the bestselling entry-level book for PowerShell. Don's a sought-after speaker at technology conferences like Microsoft Ignite, TechMentor, and many more. You can find him on Twitter @concentratedDon, or on his website, DonJones.com. 

Melissa Januszko
Melissa Januszko

Melissa Januszko is a 20-year veteran Enterprise Architect and automation expert. She specializes in private cloud hosting infrastructure and Active Directory. She is a co-author of "The DSC Book" with Don Jones and a highly-anticipated conference speaker. 

Jeff Hicks
Jeff Hicks

Jeffery Hicks is an IT veteran with over 25 years of experience, much of it spent as an IT infrastructure consultant specializing in Microsoft server technologies with an emphasis in automation and efficiency. He is a multi-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP Award. He works today as an independent author, trainer and consultant. You can keep up with Jeff on his blog at http://blog.jdhitsolutions.com

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