My New “IT Ops News and Talk” Show @Pluralsight!

The Marketing folks at Pluralsight have kindly indulged my desire to be famous and popular occasionally go off on a rant, and have given me a new monthly one-hour webcast! You can sign up right now, and signing up once gets you into the whole series. It’s free.

Each month, I’ll hit some of the funner highlights in IT Ops news, run down a couple of notable new Pluralsight courses, and – most importantly – have one or two guests. We’ll chat about a specific topic (the September show will be the importance of security fundamentals, and the future of Exchange Server), and if you join us for the live event, we’ll take your questions. If you sign up and can’t make the live event, we’ll have a recording for you.

Oh, and after I finish chatting with my guests, I’ll try and have an informative and quip-filled rant for you.

The overall idea is to help you “keep up.” I know how tough it is to get your head off the grindstone for a minute and see what’s happening in the industry, and even tougher to figure out where you should be spending your extremely limited amount of time, so my real goal each month is to help with that. This isn’t going to be “news and analysis,” as I think there’s probably enough of that (you can let me know if I’m wrong), but more along the lines of, “here’s what’s new, and what you need to know about it, and where you should maybe spend a few hours researching when you get the time.” I’m going to try and gauge where the industry’s pointed over the medium-term, so you can get yourself situated appropriately.

These will happen at noon Pacific on the last Tuesday of each month. I hope you’ll join in, because taking your questions is what will make this the most fun!

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!