Why Use PowerShell?

After a presentation about PowerShell at a recent user group meeting, one of the attendees asked, in effect, why he should bother learning PowerShell. He has been in IT for a long time and has seen lots of different approaches to automation.

I was somewhat taken aback. I expected these kinds of questions 5 years ago. I wasn’t surprised 3 or 4 years ago when I heard questions like this. But PowerShell has been around for 7 years now, and it is clearly Microsoft’s go-forward automation technology. I’m not quite ready to seriously say “Learn PowerShell or learn to say ‘Would you like fries with that'”, but I definitely feel that not learning PowerShell is a serious detriment to a career in IT.

With every new product release, more and more of the Microsoft stack is wired up with PowerShell on the inside. PowerShell gives a common vocabulary for configuring, manipulating, querying, monitoring, and integrating just about anything you can think of.

PowerShell gives us a powerful platform for coding, with hooks in the environment for building reusable tools both in script, and in managed code. The language is built from the ground up to be flexible and extensible with a vision of the future of Microsoft technology that is not knee-jerk, but long-term.

Personally, I use PowerShell for all of these things, but also because I truly enjoy scripting in PowerShell. I am able to spend more of my time engaging the problems I deal with and less time dealing with scaffolding. I can create tools that I can leverage in flexible ways and share easily.

The best part is, programming is fun again.