CONGRATULATIONS @JSnover – A Well-Earned Honor

Microsoft’s Jeffrey Snover, well known as the inventor of Windows PowerShell, today announced his promotion to Technical Fellow. This is a rare distinction inside Microsoft, as the company usually has only a handful of Technical Fellows at any given time – around a dozen-ish, last time someone told me about the title. And it’s massively well deserved.

I told Jeffrey, and am repeating it here, that he’s probably done more to “move the needle” for Microsoft IT Operations than anyone else in the past decade. PowerShell has been more impactful and meaningful, both on our community and inside Microsoft, than any other tool or technology that I can think of – including stalwarts like Active Directory.

When Jeffrey authored “The Monad Manifesto,” he literally articulated a ten-year vision that he and the WMF team have seen through to completion and then some. That’s an exceedingly unusual accomplishment at Microsoft, where until recently “product vision” hardly ever outlasted a release cycle. Jeffrey – a mere Partner Program Manager when I first met him at the 2006 product launch in Barcelona in 2006 – championed a .NET-based shell at a time when many high profile .NET projects were failing inside Microsoft. He and the original PowerShell team succeeded, though – on mass scale.

Think about it: they created a shell that has become an integral part of nearly every Microsoft business product, including Azure. What other Microsoft technology has touched so many other products and lives? It’s made Windows in general a viable product from an enterprise manageability perspective, when Windows started out as the butt of manageability jokes. It’s a huge accomplishment that’s required perseverance, vision, and a lot of empathy for a variety of audiences.

Snover has also kept us on a firm path toward making Windows Server more cloud scalable. The inexorable march toward a GUI-less, headless server has been in large part under his direction, taking baby steps to help customers understand the need, the benefits, and the direction for getting there. This for me is literally as big a change as Windows itself, when Bill Gates was still very much at the company’s helm.

Jeffrey and the people he’s inspired are a major part of why I think Microsoft-centric IT has becoming exciting again. We’ve new tools, new technologies, new directions, and new priorities. For once, we’re right at the head of IT Operations progress, not trailing by a decade. We can hold our own against the big boys of business computing, and in a lot of areas we’re the ones showing them how to do it right.

So congratulations, Mr. Snover. I can’t wait to see where you take us next!

Dear @CenturyLink: Here’s How You’ve Screwed Me

Dear @CenturyLink…

Once upon a time (say, November 2014), I had great Internet from you. Not nearly as amazing as everyone else with fiber and cable, but pretty good. Well, OK, it was 8Mbps/1Mbps DSL… but I was happy enough. It got the job done.

In the past four months, however, you’ve taken it all away. Fully half my megabits, all my faith in you, and most of my happiness. And it’s mostly out of sheer incompetence. Super friendly incompetence, to be sure, but incompetence nonetheless.

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What are the hot IT certs these days, from your perspective?

Regardless of whether you think certifications are personally valuable, and ignoring what you think might be important to you or your current job, what do yo think are the current “trendy” IT certification titles? In other words, what do you see everyone else getting excited about?

And, following that – do you think the trend is worthwhile, or do you think there’s another direction people should be looking?

Drop a comment – let me know!

Did Microsoft Ship “Preview” Code in Windows 10?

With the recent release of Windows 10, and with the recent publication of a WMF5 roadmap, some sharp-eyed readers are asking some hard questions. If we’re getting a “supported production preview” of WMF5 in August 2015 – what exactly the heck is in Windows 10? Preview code?

In a word, yes. But that doesn’t mean what you think it does, and it’s certainly not the first time Microsoft has done this.

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DevOps: The Ops Perspective (Free eBook)

I’ve been talking to a lot of people about DevOps, and started become frustrated that there was so little definition about what DevOps means, even at a high level – and especially the role that Operations plays in the overall DevOps picture. So I did what I usually do when confronted with that kind of a problem: I wrote a book. It’s free, it’s online now, and it’s something I’ll continue to add to, evolve, and revise over time.