Weekend Scripter: Predicting the Future of PowerShell
Summary: Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, talks about Windows PowerShell and the future of the technology. Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. Ahhh…the weekend. This morning, I decided (actually, I decided last night by not setting my alarm clock) to sleep in until the sun gently woke me with it’s warm embrace streaming in the window. It is a much more pleasant way to awaken than the jarring, blaring, ANK ANK ANK sound of my electronic alarm clock. I seriously believe that the engineer who designed this thing laughed heartily as he imagined the effect it would have on a slumbering Scripting Guy. Anyway, I beat the evil alarm clock by not placing myself into its clutches, and I am still awake at 6:30. But it is somehow a kinder, gentler 6:30 than the one produced by the aforementioned evil clock. I decided to make a nice pot of English Breakfast tea with a bit of spearmint, peppermint, licorice root, and a cinnamon stick in it. With a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel, and I call it a good morning indeed.
The future of PowerShell?
Dude, this one is easy. Windows PowerShell is mission critical, and it is central to our management strategy. All enterprise products are adding more Windows PowerShell to their systems. A good way to look into the future is to look at TechEd. Over the years, I have learned to look at the Microsoft TechEd conference as a very good way to predict what is coming from Microsoft in the next year to 18 months. Often, we even catch glimpses of things two years out. In the fast paced world of technology, that is like 14 years in doggie years (which for whatever reason, bears a reasonable relationship to Internet years).
The predictive power of TechEd
So how important is Windows PowerShell? Well for starters, Windows PowerShell grabbed three of the top ten TechEd 2014 talks in Houston this year. PowerShell.org printed 3,000 Desired State Configuration (DSC) resource books to hand out at the Scripting Guys booth and at presentations. They were gone in two days. In addition, there have been more than 10,000 downloads of the electronic version from the PowerShell.org Free eBooks website. At the Scripting Guys booth this year, we talked to more than 5,000 people during the week. This equates to about half of all attendees at TechEd. After the first two days, we had nothing to give away, but people still came to talk to Windows PowerShell people. This is incredible. If you missed TechEd 2014 in Houston, Texas, here is a rundown of the blog posts I published about TechEd. It will give you a really good feel about Windows PowerShell at the conference. (Some people were saying that next year they should change the name of TechEd to Windows PowerShell Summit. But that name is already taken, and the Windows PowerShell Summit in 2015 will be in Charlotte, North Carolina). There was a lot of very rich Windows PowerShell content at TechEd 2014 this year, and the Scripting Wife had a hard time creating her ideal Windows PowerShell schedule. Interesting enough, she has been doing this for the last several TechEds, and this is the first time that we actually had people come up and say they followed her schedule. This happened more than once. Way cool. We were able to arrange for some excellent guests to assist with fielding questions at the Scripting Guys booth. We had MVPs, Microsoft PFEs, Microsoft Windows PowerShell team members, and other luminaries from the scripting world. Jeffrey Snover was scheduled to talk to people for 30 minutes. He ended up staying for nearly an hour and a half—and the people kept coming. At one point Mark Minassi and Jeffrey Snover were sitting side-by-side, tag teaming questions. It was an incredible moment. One of the things that we demonstrated to our visitors were the way cool Script Browser and Script Analyzer tools. To time with our demos, I worked with Scott and Bill to have a blog post announcing the new tool: Introducing Script Browser and Script Analyzer. People were really impressed with the power and how easy it is to use. During TechEd 2014 in Houston, I wrote seven extra Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog posts about the conference, the people we were seeing, the questions that were asked, and things that were going on. Here is a quick link to those posts. They will give you a feel for the popularity of Windows PowerShell.
Scripting Cmdlet Style
One of the highlights of TechEd was when Windows PowerShell MVP and honorary Scripting Guy, Sean Kearney came by with his camera to film a video called Scripting Cmdlet Style. If you have not seen it, you should check it out. But bear in mind that it is addictive. Although the video is really funny, the message is very serious, and it highlights the community support for Windows PowerShell, in addition to the power of Windows PowerShell to solve real-world issues. See how many Windows PowerShell MVPs you can count and how many members of the Windows PowerShell team are there.
What is coming next?
If you want to know what is next for Windows PowerShell, check out the preview of the Windows Management Framework 5.0. For a great overview of Windows PowerShell 5.0, check out this blog post: Windows Management Framework 5.0 Preview May 2014 is now available. One of the really neat new features is PowerShellGet, which will make it easy to discover, install, and update Windows PowerShell modules. Jeffrey Snover also has a great blog post that talks about some of the improvements in the preview: Windows Management Framework V5 Preview. I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.
Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy