Don Jones 2019 Collection
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Don Jones 2019 Collection

The DSC Book
The PowerShell Scripting and Toolmaking Book
Become Hardcore Extreme Black Belt PowerShell Ninja Rockstar
Don Jones' PowerShell 4N00bs
Don Jones' The Cloud 4N00bs
The Culture of Learning
PowerShell by Mistake
Tales of the Icelandic Troll
How to Find a Wolf in Siberia
Instructional Design for Mortals
Be the Master
Alabaster
Let's Talk Business
Power Wave
The Never

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About the Books

The DSC Book

The DSC Book

"Forever" Edition
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  • 163

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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
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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

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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 The DevOps Collective, Inc.'s scholarship and other nonprofit programs. Pay what you feel this is worth and what you can afford.

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.

Don Jones' PowerShell 4N00bs

Don Jones' PowerShell 4N00bs

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Now available in paperback format from Amazon. All sales here on Leanpub support The DevOps Collective's IT scholarship and other nonprofit programs.

This is a "Pay what you think it's worth" book. You set the price based on what you can afford and what you feel the book is worth.

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

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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.

The Culture of Learning

The Culture of Learning

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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.

PowerShell by Mistake

PowerShell by Mistake

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100% of proceeds from this book support The DevOps Collective's scholarship and other nonprofit programs. The "Free Sample" is the entire book; you can choose to "buy" the book for any amount you like in order to make a donation.

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, and it is open-source. All proceeds (whatever you set the price to when you buy the book) are donated to The DevOps Collective's scholarship and other nonprofit programs.

Tales of the Icelandic Troll

Tales of the Icelandic Troll

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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. This isn't the five-year mission you're familiar with; these are the stories of the Federation's backwaters, seedy space stations, abandoned shipwrecks, and cosmic oddities. This is a small crew of misfits and renegades, making ends meet and showing what "family" really means. This is the Trek where Vulcans are pompous asses, pirate bars are a real thing, and where not every story has a happy ending. This is Icelandic Troll.

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, rather than just getting the sample. 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.

How to Find a Wolf in Siberia

How to Find a Wolf in Siberia

or, How to Troubleshoot Practically Anything
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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!

Instructional Design for Mortals

Instructional Design for Mortals

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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.

Be the Master

Be the Master

Third Edition
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"Wouldn't you rather your life be measured by the number of lives you've helped succeed?"

In the Really Old Days, much of our working-class society revolved around Masters, who would take on apprentices and bring them up in a trade. We've mostly lost that kind of education in our everyday lives, and it's a shame. Part of the reason is that, as individuals, we often fail to recognize that we even have something worth teaching and sharing, or because we don't feel we've achieved a sufficient level of success to be seen as "Master" by someone else. That's all wrong. Every one of us has something to offer, and we're more than worthy. Sure, maybe you need a certain level of success in order to carve out the time to help others, but that's a straightforward journey.

That's what this book is all about. It's a way to recognize that you are worthy of sharing what you know. It's a step-by-step, actionable guide to defining and achieving whatever you see as "success." And it's a way of using that success to help other people achieve theirs - and in turn becoming even more successful yourself. Be the Master is the ultimate story of win-win, full of mythbusting, real-world tips, and proofs that you can do this.

This all-new Third Edition has been reorganized to provide a better and more actionable experience for readers. New anecdotes, shared by readers of previous editions, show you how Mastery can work for anyone, every day, and how it not only elevates your own opinion of yourself, but lets you firmly define and achieve success in a way you may simply have never considered.

BONUS: Purchasing the book via Leanpub also gives you "The Grind" workbook, in PDF format, free of charge, accessible via Leanpub's "extras" features. You can print this yourself or use it electronically, at your discretion.

“Wouldn’t you rather live in a world where you helped one person take even one tiny step forward than in one where you didn’t?” 

You can live in that world, and you can start doing it today. By the end of the book, your only regret will be that you didn't start sooner.

Alabaster

Alabaster

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This book is complete, but still in draft form. I'm reviewing it and accepting feedback until 15-March, at which time I'll produce the final version and move it to Amazon. --Don

Taryn wasn't expecting his younger brother's Test Day to be an ordinary day, but he had no idea it would turn out as it did. Rather than beginning a humble apprenticeship to a master instrument maker, Taryn found himself thrust into the strange and mysterious world of the Tower of Alabaster, suddenly charged with the city's welfare and protection. The Tower is astonishing, and its Servants are capable of controlling the weather, moving the earth itself, and other wondrous tasks. He finds himself at the center of a complex inter-city political balance, with Alabaster delicately positioned on the scales of an all-out regional war. As Taryn tries to find his new place in life, he discovers intrigue, centuries-old mysteries and misunderstandings, and the inner strength that he will need in order to save the city and all who live within.

Let's Talk Business

Let's Talk Business

Stuff Your Boss Wishes You Knew
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Most of us work for a living, right? And that means most of us work, if not for a commercial business, than for some organization that conducts itself in a businesslike manner. Unfortunately, that means too many of us are playing a game where we not only don't know the rules, we don't even know the point of the game or how to tell when we've won or lost. Look: businesses can be complex, opaque things a lot of the time, but understanding some key points can not only help you be more successful in your career, it can help you be happier when you wake up and go to work every day.

Over the years, I've had to learn a lot about working in businesses, helping to manage those businesses, running those businesses, and more. I've worked with business managers and leaders, and heard their comments on what they wished their employees knew. So why keep all that a secret? I've written dozens of books, and have earned a reputation as a straight-talking, plain-English kind of writer, and I'm bringing that voice to the world of business. I truly believe that, by understanding some of the under-the-hood realities of business, anyone can at least feel they're living in a world of basic rules and sense, not random chaos. And for those who are interested, I also believe that embracing the basic physics of business can lead to a more successful and satisfying career.

Let's Talk Business isn't a business self-help book. It's not necessarily going to make you a better person. But it will help you understand why businesses are the way they are, teach you how to analyze and understand the specifics of the business that you work for, and show you how you and your employer can become a better fit for each other in the long run.

Want to buy this book as a gift for someone else? It's easy:

  1. Add a book to your shopping cart by clicking the blue "Add Ebook to Cart" button.
  2. Then, in your shopping cart, next to each book you want to give as a gift, click the "Edit" button.
  3. Click the Edit button and then tick the box next to "This purchase is a gift".
  4. Enter the recipient's email address and an optional note to go along with the gift, and then click the blue "Update" button.
  5. When you complete the purchase, the recipient will receive an email with download links for each of the books.

Want to make a bulk purchase or obtain a site license for your entire office? Please contact the Author directly at DonJones.com/HMU.

Power Wave

Power Wave

Book One of the Prime Wave Accounting
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This book is complete and is now in editing. Purchase now, and you’ll receive the final edited text via Leanpub at no charge!

Book One of the Prime Wave Accounting.

You know how it is for superheroes. You get your powers from a radioactive critter, a mysterious meteorite, or you just build them using your fabulous wealth and technical ingenuity. You don't worry about a day job except as a cover for getting dates, and you jet-set all over the world in search of super-powered crime that needs stopping. And even the poor superheroes have rich superhero friends and patrons. Yeah, there are interstellar threats, but overall life is pretty good.

Not in Harbor City. After heroes failed to stop the city's destruction, all the glamour was taken away. Today's supers are low-paid, blue-collar Janes and Joes who work under close police supervision, struggling by with hand-me-down equipment and their own dedication to their work.

The villains, on the other hand, seem pretty well-off. New costumes, big teams, and major heists are showing them at the top of their game. So at the top, in fact, that the cliche world-domination scheme might be starting to not only look good, but pretty damn feasible.

And none of them know how they got their powers.

The Never

The Never

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This is an Agile-published book. You'll have access to all new chapters as they're published, and you can configure Leanpub to notify you by email whenever that happens. Part 1 is now complete!

When the ancient Under Hill home of the Fae is infected with the Rot, they're left with an unpleasant choice: die in one last, great stand, or escape to the Human world. A world they once knew, but where they no longer belong. A modern world, where Cold Iron surrounds and poisons magical beings. The Fae Queen reluctantly chooses exile, and she and her people abandon their magical castles, ancient glens, timeless forests, and centuries of power and tradition. They come into a bleak land bereft of magic and wonder, and begin to hunker down in the Human world's hidden places. The once-proud Fae resentfully begin a life of poverty, anonymity, and fear. 

But one small group of Fae, accustomed to tinkering with the fabric of the universe, begin to develop an idea. An idea that will either give them a new world to live in, or wipe them completely from existence. An idea that could preserve them, or end them forever. An idea that requires the help of a young child's boundless imagination. An idea that will take them into the Never, a place forbidden and inimical to their kind.

It's a story that you think you know, but you've only ever heard a small part of it. A story that starts long before those three children flew in, and that has its epic conclusion long after they've gone. 

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