Back from TechEd: Do I still need to learn VBScript?

Many of you folks came by our booth at TechEd and asked about our PowerShell training options. Inevitably the question about learning VBScript came up: “With all the power of PowerShell, why do I need to learn VBScript?”

If you pose this question to any language fan boy it usually turns into a discussion about which language is better. But it isn’t a question of better or worse. It’s not a competition. Some of us remember the discussions about C vs. Pascal, C vs. C++ vs. Delphi, C# vs. C++ or, last but not least, Java vs. all other languages. All these languages still exist and are still in use. This simply stems from the fact that some languages are better suited for one task than the other. You need to learn to pick the right one.

As an administrator you need to know all the tools you will need in your day to day work. Many companies use VBScript extensively. Automation of applications that use COM interfaces is mostly done in VBScript. Not that you can’t do it in any other language, it’s just that all the examples are probably in VBScript and your life is so much easier if you know the language.

So put VBScript in your language toolbox. Along with some amount of JScript, SQL, HTML, XML and some C# or VB.NET. You should at least be able to read those languages and be familiar with their constructs. You decide to what level you want to take any one of them, but you can’t really ignore them.

Just look at today’s job market and ask yourself if you can afford not knowing some language or technology that is used in your field. Since it is quite easy to learn, go ahead. Buy a book and study some examples.