Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training

Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training
Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training

Friday, January 15, 2016

Navy Chief Aiding the Marines with PowerShell

I love this job.  I’m not only talking about what I do in the civilian world as an IT Trainer, but also as a Navy Chief Petty Officer.  I received a Facebook message from a Marine at Camp Pendleton a few nights ago in need of some assistance with PowerShell. Below is his line of code and his error
Get-User -organizationalunit -RecipentTypeDetails

Get-ADUser : A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name 'organizationalunit'.
At line:1 char:12
+ Get-ADUser -organizationalunit
+            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidArgument: (:) [Get-ADUser], ParameterBindingException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : NamedParameterNotFound,Microsoft.ActiveDirectory.Management.Commands.GetADUser

Being both a PowerShell enthusiast and a Navy Chief, I helped him see what was wrong with his code, but I also had to correct his bad habits.

The error on Get-ADUser is because there is not an –OrganizationalUnit parameter. (there is also not a RecipentTypeDetails parameter.)  I directed him to look up the help file for Get-ADUser and I gave him the address (  I even told him the correct parameter name, –SearchBase. 

The root cause of the error is this Marine is have is “assuming” parameter names and not actually looking them up.  I find this in every PowerShell class that I teach.  Despite the first lesson of each class explains how to prevent you from making this mistake, someone always does.  Never assume a parameter is present.  Check the help file for the Cmdlet being used and verify.

The correction came when he did the same thing again for his next cmdlet. PowerShell is an incredible technology, but if you are not willing to read the help files, do not work in this Chief’s work center.  Reading the help files is not an option, but a requirement to effectively utilize PowerShell.

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