Why I Like WebJea

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PowerShell has become an absolute necessary skill to have in the Windows world. This is especially true with the transition to cloud services. As a UC Engineer supporting Office 365 services, I no longer spend time applying the latest round of cumulative updates or doing much with hardware. I do, however, spend lots of time adjusting policies for several hundred users, pulling utilization reports, and provisioning new services. While I could do a lot of these things through a GUI, it's much quicker to do them via the command line. PowerShell saves me incredible amounts of time and energy. 

I don't consider myself a PowerShell expert by any means, but I do consider myself a continuous learner.  I've been trying to 'skill up' with PowerShell over the past several years - from reading Don Jones' amazing books to self-paced Pluralsight Training. It was during a Pluralsight PowerShell class taught by Anthony Howell that I discovered an amazing tool that doesn't get enough credit - WebJea.

For the unfamiliar, here is my TL;DR explanation for WebJea:  Run your PowerShell scripts via a web form. WebJea also allows you to 1) Lock down your scripts to security groups and 2) Log a time- stamp and username of each script that is executed. The 'Jea' part of WebJea stands for 'Just Enough Administration.' The tool uses an account on the backend (a managed service account) that has permissions to execute the PowerShell script. This prevents admins from having to delegate permissions to the end user executing it. It's also a great way for users not familiar with PowerShell to benefit from its power in an easy to use Web GUI. 

I received permission from my manager to set up WebJea on a spare Windows Server. I then took some scripts that my myself and my teammates had written and started to put them into WebJea. I'm making some of those scripts available on my GitHub account, so check them out if you're interested.

NOTE: There is a format that WebJea expects for rendering your scripts on the web. You'll notice my lack of function declarations, for example, and that is by design. In addition, certain types of parameters will provide different options when displayed on the webpage. For example, a 'switch' statement renders as a checkbox.

The emphasis on using WebJea quickly shifted to learning the thing behind it (PowerShell). PowerShell is quick, usesful, and the IT industry as a whole is shifting to a 'code focused' model for administration. Learning PowerShell is crucial for keeping up with the speed of change.

One of my teammates and I developed a five week 'Intro to PowerShell' class that we have been teaching to our interested co-workers this Fall (We even have a waitlist due to demand!). Despite coming from a family of teachers, this will be my first attempt at teaching anything. I'm both anxious and excited all at once.😁

Wish me luck!