Weekend Scripter: Non-PowerShell Books for PowerShell People

Summary: Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, collects a list of cool book recommendations.

Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. One of the things I constantly find myself doing is reading. I try to read a lot of different things, fiction, non-fiction, classic literature, and technical. I am always cycling back and reading technical books. I find that I need to know more these days, and I have less time to come up to speed on various topics.

Although my primary focus is on Windows PowerShell, I see the need to constantly be learning and reading about various technical topics. In this way, I guess I am a holistic Windows PowerShell scripter, something not entirely different than a holistic detective.

I do have a nearly unlimited need to read and learn new stuff, but I do not have an unlimited budget or unlimited time. Therefore, I do not want to waste my resources on useless books. So I reached out to various experts for recommendations of great non-PowerShell books that might be of interest to Windows PowerShell people. Here are the results:

Jim Christopher, Windows PowerShell MVP, suggests the following two books:

Chris Bellee, Microsoft PFE, and my good friend from Australia (also, literally the coolest person I know) sends the following recommendations:

Mike Kline, Microsoft PFE, suggested the following books about Active Directory:

Tom Nolan, Microsoft PFE, suggests the following books: 

  • Head First C# by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman
    This is hands down the best book I can recommend for anyone wanting to dig into .NET who isn’t really a programmer type.  It is also one of the best books for anyone who is a programmer type who appreciates visual/immersive learning and doesn’t know C# very well. I have read this book cover-to-cover and, even as a developer, I loved every bit of it.
  • Programming Windows Store Apps with C# by Matthew Baxter-Reynolds and Iris Classon
    I think this one is really good because a lot of people, when learning programming, want to learn things that apply to something they are interested in. App development is definitely high on a lot of peoples’ lists. I haven’t read this one cover-to-cover, but what I have paged through looks really good.
  • Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Game Development by Adam Dawes
    I think game programming is another place that really tends to spark the interest of many, so I would be remiss to not include this one. I have read a fair chunk of it.
  • Beginning ASP.NET 4.5: in C# and VB by Imar Spaanjaars
    Some folks would prefer to go the path of learning to develop websites, so this is probably the best beginner book I would put on the list. Also, really great for web developers lacking .NET experience.
  • Professional C# 5.0 and .NET 4.5.1 by Christian Nagel, Jay Glynn, and Morgan Skinner
    For anyone who has some experience and wants the serious dive into things, this is a great book. It will require a bit more general .NET experience than the others, and it will not be as forgiving introducing topics before diving in, but it has a lot of good information. 

Yung Chou, Microsoft DPE, suggests:

Doug Finke, Windows PowerShell MVP, says this book is how he learned to search XML:

Blain Barton, Microsoft IT pro evangelist, provided this list:

Here are some books that I (the Scripting Guy) have found helpful:

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at scripter@microsoft.com, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.

Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy