2014: A PowerShell Year in Perspective

Doctor Scripto

Summary: Richard Siddaway discusses the growth of Windows PowerShell in 2014.

Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. Today, Honorary Scripting Guy and Windows PowerShell MVP, Richard Siddaway looks at the world of Windows PowerShell in 2014… The Scripting Guy asked me if I’d like to review 2014 from a Windows PowerShell perspective. This is a look at the changes in Windows PowerShell and the Windows PowerShell community over the last 12 months. If I don’t mention a particular activity that you were involved with, I apologize—but in reality, the Windows PowerShell community is so huge and vibrant that no single person can keep on top of it all. It’s difficult to believe, but Windows PowerShell is officially eight years old this year. It has come a long way since the early days of Windows PowerShell 1.0, when it was difficult to get admins to think about the command line, never mind use one. The tide is turning in favor of Windows PowerShell, and I’m getting more questions at work about Windows PowerShell than ever before. 2014 should officially be named the Year of the Desired State Configuration Resource Kit. We’re now on our eighth wave of Desired State Configuration (DSC) resources, with literally hundreds of resources available. If you haven’t looked at DSC yet, I recommend in the strongest possible terms that you make a New Year’s resolution to that effect—and keep it. The other big news of 2014 is the preview of Windows PowerShell 5.0. Although the finished product won’t be available until sometime next year, the preview supplies a good first look at what’s coming. For more information, see What’s New In Windows PowerShell. Enhancements to DSC make it more useful than ever. The ability to manage software packages (standard software and Windows PowerShell) with OneGet and PowerShellGet make a difference to how we deliver code. I’m busy building it into my deployment strategies for next year. The other big change is the introduction of Windows PowerShell classes. You can write your own .NET class, complete with properties and methods, and then use it in your code. This may seem to be more developer orientated, but a primary use case is providing an easier way to create DSC resources. With “DevOps” becoming more prevalent, we’re all going to have to become more developer orientated. Windows PowerShell is not just about the technology. The Windows PowerShell community is one of the strongest I’ve come across. You know you’ve got something special when people are still talking through strategies at 2:00 A.M.! My personal Windows PowerShell community-related highlight of 2014 has to be the European PowerShell Summit in September. We (PowerShell.org) held a very successful second North American Summit in April with 150 attendees. That had a great buzz—especially the evening that nearly all of the Windows PowerShell team showed up for the event. The European Summit was on a smaller scale, but it was tremendous. You know it’s been a good event when it takes nearly an hour to get the people out of the room when it’s finished. The 2015 Summits are shaping up nicely, and some ideas are surfacing for 2016. The Windows PowerShell community isn’t just the Summits though. The literally hundreds of user group meetings, forums, webinars, blogs, and other activities that make up the Windows PowerShell community are too much for one person to take in. Wherever you are, there is bound to be some Windows PowerShell-related activity in which you can take part—either locally or over the web. On behalf of the Windows PowerShell community, I’d like to thank all of those who gave so generously of their time and knowledge over the last 12 months and ask that you continue to do so through 2015. To those of you who are new to the Windows PowerShell community, please join in and contribute. We were all newcomers at one stage. Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2015 to all in the Windows PowerShell community. Bye for now. ~Richard

Richard Siddaway is based out of the UK, and he spends his time automating anything and everything, for Kelway Ltd. A seven-year PowerShell MVP, Richard is a prolific blogger, mainly about Windows PowerShell, (Richard Siddaway’s Blog: A PowerShell MVP’s site), and he is a frequent speaker at user groups and Windows PowerShell conferences. He has written a number of PowerShell books: PowerShell in Practice, PowerShell and WMI, PowerShell in Depth (co-author), PowerShell Dive (co-editor), and Learn Active Directory Management in a Month of Lunches (which features lots of Windows PowerShell). Some new Windows PowerShell books are in the pipeline. All of the books are available from Manning Publications. 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


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