See Why It Is Important for IT Pros to Learn PowerShell

Summary: The Scripting Wife sees why it is important for IT Pros to learn about Windows PowerShell.

Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. Morning comes early, especially when it is still morning. Today is the Charlotte IT Pro Appreciation Day conference in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. The Scripting Wife needs to be there early to help with registration, and so I will go along with her. Traversing Charlotte can take nearly two hours depending on traffic. We are getting a real early start to ensure that we are there when we need to be there.

It is oh dark thirty, and I am sitting on the lanai sipping a cup of English Breakfast tea and munching on a left over blueberry scone from yesterday’s bounty. I have my laptop with me, and I am checking the email sent to the alias because I will be out of the office all day today due to the conference. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but the Scripting Wife is sort of like a bear—she loves to hibernate, and it can be downright dangerous waking a sleeping bear. So I just sort of hope that she has set her alarm on her Windows 7 phone to awaken in time to get to the conference. In the meantime, I am enjoying a bit of early morning solitude.

“You really do not know how to make breakfast, do you?” the Scripting Wife’s voice cut like a hot knife through a stick of warm butter.

“Sometimes I wish you would announce yourself,” I complained as I wiped hot tea off the front of my shirt.

“I just did. You know I am here, don’t you?” she replied in a logical tone of voice. “I was hoping you would have made breakfast, instead of sneaking around and eating the last blueberry scone.”

“It did not have any ownership tags on it that I saw,” I replied rather defensively.

“So what are you up to?” she asked.

“Well, aside from getting ready to go put on a clean shirt, I was reviewing the Scripter email, and thinking about my presentation for today,” I said.

“What are you going to talk about?” she asked.

“Windows PowerShell,” I replied.

“Don’t be a smart alec,” she replied.

“I am going to talk about why it is important for people to learn about Windows PowerShell,” I said.

“OK. Why do you think it is important for people to learn it?” she asked.

“There are a number of reasons. For one thing, it is fun. For example, someone actually wrote a Windows PowerShell version of the old-fashioned Space Invaders game. Here, let me show you,” I said as I turned my laptop so the Scripting Wife could see the screen. I then launched psinvaders.ps1.

Image of game

“That is cool,” she remarked, “I also know that you have written lots of silly scripts that draw pictures like cats sitting on fences.”

“In addition to being fun,” I said, ignoring her comment about silly scripts, “Windows PowerShell is pretty easy to learn. All the cmdlets use a verb-noun naming convention. For example, if I want to get information about a process it is Get-Process.”

“I know that one,” said the Scripting Wife, “I used that a couple weeks ago when I asked you about easy commands I could teach my friends.”

“If I want to find information about services, I use the Get-Service cmdlet,” I continued.

“I know that one as well. We worked with that one back in February to find service accounts,” she said.

“If I want to shut down my computer, what do I use?” I asked.

“Shutdown-Computer?” she queried.

“You are close. It is Stop-Computer. Remember, we worked with that one last year,” I gently reminded.

“Yeah, I guess so. Now that you mention it, it does make sense.”

“One easy way to learn about the Windows PowerShell cmdlets is to use the Get-Verb command to list all the verbs available to use in Windows PowerShell. Here let me show you,” I said as I leaned over to type on my keyboard, “See, here is the list”.

Image of command output

“Nice,” the Scripting Wife replied.

“But the most important reason is that Windows PowerShell is the management solution moving forward. All of the new Microsoft products are building-in Windows PowerShell cmdlets. It is really important for any IT Pro to learn Windows PowerShell now,” I paused to catch my breath.

“You mean, Learn PowerShell Now Before It Is an Emergency,” quipped the Scripting Wife, as she parodied the name of one of my week long Live Meeting Series.

I smiled, and said, “Absolutely.”

“Why are you still sitting around the lanai? If you are not going to fix breakfast, you can at least take me out for breakfast. But first, you have got to change your shirt. Honestly, you cannot drink a cup of tea without making a mess. I am thinking about fitting you for a bib.”

And with that she left. I am not certain where she went—maybe to find a bib, but I hope not.

Join me tomorrow for more Windows PowerShell cool stuff.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.

Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy