At present, Windows PowerShell is in version 4.0. It came a long way since its initial release back in 2006. It is today called a distributed automation engine, command-line shell, and scripting language. I started looking at PowerShell in the “Monad” days–that is during the beta release of Windows Server 2008. It looked like an alien language to me in the beginning. I was very comfortable dealing with VBScripts and JScripts in those days and never wanted a different scripting language. But, PowerShell’s introduced a complete paradigm shift. For me, it changed the way I looked at automation. It gave me seamless access to .NET and Win32 native APIs. As the product matured, features such as remoting, jobs, workflows and desired state configuration increased the adoption.
To understand the vision and the goals behind PowerShell, I encourage you all to read Jeffrey Snover’s Monad Manifesto. If we look back, PowerShell team implemented the vision described in the manifesto release after release. Windows PowerShell is a major part of Microsoft’s Common Engineering Criteria (CEC). Today, PowerShell is closer to the vision of becoming the de-facto standard for management of the cloud. Almost every Microsoft server product has been provided with a PowerShell support. Starting with Windows Server 2012, most of the graphical interfaces use PowerShell behind the scenes.
Many industry big-wigs have realized the potential of PowerShell. We, today, have PowerShell support for all major hypervisor and cloud products. Many of the server, storage, and networking hardware vendors have enabled PowerShell management interfaces for their products. Microsoft is working closely with industry standard bodies to enable standards-based management. Open Management Infrastructure (OMI) is a great example in this space. PowerShell is a critical player in the overall management strategy for any IT organization. I strongly believe in this and I am not alone. An entire community got built around PowerShell. Today, there are 60 MVPs in PowerShell community and many more PowerShell experts.
As you see here, the interest in Windows PowerShell has been rapidly growing since the early release. Also, you can see that downward trend for VBScript and JScript. Back in 2011, we started PowerShell Magazine as a community initiative. We got around 60+ authors contributing to this community project today. Together, we published over 480 articles to date. We have seen a steep rise in readership since we launched and that is just another proof that PowerShell adoption is on the rise.
If you are an IT administrator, I suggest that you employ PowerShell for IT automation in your organization. I wouldn’t say that PowerShell is critical for retaining your job but it is critical for progressing in your career.
Are you still procrastinating about learning PowerShell? If you have just started learning Powershell, this article might help you focus on what you need to learn.