ChatGPT has received a tremendous amount of attention in recent months, and for good reason.
ChatGPT can engage in text-based conversations almost like a real person would, while also providing you with the information you need at a moment’s notice. Unsurprisingly, there are several ways that ChatGPT can be useful for IT professionals.
ChatGPT Streamlines Research for IT Tasks
ChatGPT can save IT professionals time spent on researching unfamiliar tasks.
A common approach for research today is to use your favorite search engine. However, consider what happens when you try to solve a problem this way. The search engine will provide a list of links related to your query, which may not always lead to the information you need. It is then up to you to review each suggested page to find what you are looking for – a potentially time-consuming process.
In other words, conventional internet searches are terribly inefficient. The search engine does not actually answer your question (most of the time) but rather points you toward a website that might have the information you need.
ChatGPT differs from a search engine in that it will try to answer your questions directly. In Figure 1, you can see that I asked ChatGPT what topologies the Microsoft Active Directory supports. ChatGPT gave me an answer to the question.
Figure 1. ChatGPT answered my question about the topologies that are supported by Active Directory.
Keep in mind that ChatGPT will occasionally give you bad information. It’s important to fact-check its responses.
ChatGPT Generates Step-by-step Instructions
ChatGPT can be useful in an IT environment by providing easy-to-follow instructions for tasks.
As noted above, internet search engines may not always produce relevant results. It’s also possible that nobody has published instructions for your particular task.
In contrast, ChatGPT can generate clear step-by-step instructions and walk you through the process of completing the task. In Figure 2, I asked ChatGPT how to use PowerShell to create a “Hello World” script. In addition to telling me how to write the necessary PowerShell code, ChatGPT explained the process of creating the file containing the script’s code. ChatGPT even went so far as to explain how to open PowerShell.
Figure 2. ChatGPT excels at creating step-by-step instructions.
ChatGPT Creates Scripts and Files
IT pros can use ChatGPT to create custom scripts and files for accomplishing various tasks.
In Figure 2, ChatGPT detailed the process of creating a PowerShell script. However, I could have told ChatGPT to create the script for me instead of explaining how to create the script myself.
Additionally, even though I used PowerShell scripts in my example, ChatGPT can generate other types of files. Suppose, for example, I want to automatically set up and provision several new Windows PCs. I could instruct ChatGPT to create the Unattend.xml file for automating the deployment process. Figure 3 shows an example of such a file created by ChatGPT.
Figure 3. ChatGPT has created an unattend.xml file for me.
About the authorBrien Posey is a bestselling technology author, speaker, and 21x Microsoft MVP. In addition to his ongoing work in IT, Posey has trained as a commercial astronaut candidate in preparation to fly on a mission to study polar mesospheric clouds from space.