Shell of an Idea

The Untold History of PowerShell



There’s so much more than just the software.


In many ways, this is The Phoenix Project for the PowerShell world.”

Introduced in 2006, Microsoft’s PowerShell made an immediate, positive impact on its server products and in the lives of the people who administer them. The world’s first object-oriented shell, the first designed-from-scratch shell for the Windows operating system, and now a cross-platform management shell, PowerShell’s technical achievement is significant. It’s easy to look at where PowerShell is today, and not realize or remember the long and sometimes-difficult road it took to get there.

What if Microsoft’s “next-gen” shell had been nothing more than a port of the Unix KornShell to Windows? What if PowerShell had never become a default, built-in component of the Windows operating system? What if PowerShell had simply been called, “Microsoft Shell?” Yeah, all of those things almost happened.

In the end, the story of PowerShell is less about the technology, and more about the people who brought it to life, and the people who use it every day. It’s about how one small band of passionate, crazy people with a vision can bring something wonderful into the world, in small, incremental, deliberate steps. It’s about how the right people came together at the right time and did the right thing, and about the enormous community that rallied around them to make the whole thing an incredible success.

Author Don Jones was with PowerShell from the beginning, and through a series of core team interviews, community discussions, and background research, he brings you this: the untold story of PowerShell, a Shell of an Idea.

This is an absolutely fabulous book that takes you in the room with the people to brought PowerShell to life. It is exceedingly rare that we have a book that brings us the history of a tool and movement that is a part of our lives today. You can literally be breaking new ground with PowerShell one minute and learning about the rich history of the tool directly from the people tho invented it the next minute. I can’t think of another technology and companion book where that is possible.

Amazon Review