PowerShell certifications

One of the questions that came up on the PowerShell panel discussion at TechEd was should there be a certification in PowerShell. The general consensus of the panel was that no there shouldn’t be a specific PowerShell certification. I agreed with that consensus at the time and still do. The more I have thought about it the more convinced I am that there shouldn’t be a general certification in PowerShell.

My reasoning is simple.  PowerShell itself is not important. Bet you didn’t expect to see that 🙂

PowerShell is a tool for administering Windows based systems. Yes its brilliant. Yes it is the most powerful way to administer your systems both local and remote and Yes it is the future of Windows administration. So why do I say its not important?

PowerShell is a means to an end. The end is administering your systems.  PowerShell can do it faster and easier but it is the systems that are being administered that are important. The systems that support the business applications that bring revenue in your companies. Keeping those systems running is why we are in business as administrators and that is what we should be certified on.

PowerShell is the greatest thing to hit IT since 1s and 0s but I still don’t think there should be a separate certification in it.  Look at the programming languages – the certs aren’t in the languages they are in building web or windows based applications.

Learn PowerShell – you won’t be able to be a top level Windows admin without in a few years time! Use PowerShell to administer your systems. Expect to see PowerShell come up in exam questions but don’t shout for a PowerShell cert.


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8 Responses to PowerShell certifications

  1. Scott says:

    It is true that Powerhshell is only a tool that that aids in administering the network, just as your car is the tool that you use to get to work. You need a license to drive that car. The license is a certificate of competence. What’s wrong with offering a similar certificate for any complex tool? If you think that certification is unnecessary, you don’t have to take the test. No one is asking that certification in Powershell be required to use it.-Scott

  2. thepip3r says:

    I completely agree with both Richard and Scott. Powershell might not be the engine that drives the productivity in business but look at it from this perspective. If you have Exchange 2010, Active Directory, MS SQL 2K8, SCCM 2010, etc. Sure — you can have a whole host of administrators who can fumble through the slow/hurky interfaces to get tasks done which can exponentially increase if something needs to be done to a large number of users OR you can have people who are proficient/brilliant in PoSh that can automate or accomplish the task in a very small fraction of the time.

    With PoSh becoming more of a standard for administering Windows software services, how do you determine a valid way (initially) if someone can PoSh or not? A line on a resume akin to, “Written 200 Powershell scripts for adminstering Windows”. To me, an Microsoft Certified Powershell Administrator (or something similar) would be a much more reliable way to make this determination as an employer.

  3. Abhi says:

    I just came across this thread now, so heres my pov ( although its a lil late..:):)).
    @thepip3r, I agree that Powershell is an administration tool, but so is most of Microsoft products like Office for example. Please justify one good reason, why someone should label themselves as “Microsoft Office” certified unless they want too!!!. Same goes with Powershell too.

  4. allenboyles says:

    I’m curious if you still feel this way … holy cow … it’s been 8 years since 2008? Way to make myself feel old in a comment. Anyway, curious if you still feel this way. I feel like certifications are just a way of proving you have a minimum competency in a skill. I don’t think Powershell should have a huge, in-depth certification “track” that takes years to master, but having one cert that shows prospective employers that you can write basic scripts seems useful. Of course, an employer could just ask to see an example of some scripts you’ve written, but some of your best work may be under NDAs or other confidential agreements with your current/former employer.

  5. ABurns says:

    Just a thought: Could a PS Cert be offered as an add-on to MCSA or MCSE? This would ensure test takers had the foundational knowledge and the PS exam would offer a chance to fine-tune techniques. Additional, such an exam could be used as CEUs.

    I personally use exam studies as a way to learn a new skill in a structured manner. Offering a way to concentrate PS learning through Microsoft would be a win-win for the company and it’s customers.

    • Reason that wouldn’t work is two fold. First, PowerShell isn’t important – it’s what you do with it that’s important. Secondly, employers are interested in you being able to administer AD, Exchange, SQL Server, Winows etc etc etc. How you do it is immaterial – they just want the results

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