You Need PowerShell
7 September 2014, by Matthew Richards
You need to know PowerShell.
Having got your attention, I will refine my assertion somewhat: If you’re a software engineer and you use Windows, you need to know PowerShell. Why? Partly, because it’s a great scripting language which is extremely powerful and very usable once you get to know it. But you could well argue the same applies to Cygwin Bash. So mostly, because Microsoft say so and it’s easiest to roll with the punches!
Evidence for PowerShell’s increasing importance is all around. For a start, Microsoft are slowly moving forward with Windows Server Core, a GUI-less server OS. The Exchange Server GUI turns everything into PowerShell commands under the covers (and some operations are nigh on impossible without going direct to a PowerShell console). And perhaps the acid test – my searches for “how do I automate X in Windows” give more StackOverflow posts with PowerShell solutions every time I look.
You may have your own preferred scripting language that’s not PowerShell. Provided it’s not DOS Batch this is fine by me. But PowerShell is so useful for automating tasks in Windows, you’re missing a trick if it’s not in your arsenal.
In this series of three posts I’m going to cover a number of useful “how do I automate…” tasks I’ve worked through recently. Because PowerShell is still an emerging technology, and because otherwise PowerShell would make the answers too easy, I’ll pay particular attention to the question “but what if I’ve only got PowerShell version X / Windows Server version 7?”. Hopefully this will help inspire you to start using a bit of PowerShell magic to make your life easier.
Watch this space for the posts…