Inertia rules

In this article https://powershell.org/2016/12/15/the-key-to-understanding-powershell-on-windows-or-linux/ Don Jones explains Windows administrators have difficulty explaining, and “selling” PowerShell to Linux admins.

I’ve known Don for quite a long time and He’ll be the first to tel we don’t agree on everything so It’ll be no surprise to learn that I disagree with parts of his argument.

I also think he’s missed one of the major factors – INERTIA!

Inertias can be defined, among other ways,  as a tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged. This is a property of a great many admins I’ve met usually wrapped around the phrase – “but we’ll always done it this way”

Inertia is a major governor in the Windows space with the majority of admins still not embracing PowerShell and automation – I’ve even heard “We’re too busy to automate” as an excuse.

People resist change. PowerShell represents change so its resisted. Inertia is being overcome in the Windows space and I suspect PowerShell will expand into the Linux space but not quickly. Linux admins have spent a long time learning to use their toolset and that inertia  isn’t going to be overcome quickly.

A few iterations of PowerShell through the open source and you might begin to see some traction. Until then inertia rules.

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3 Responses to Inertia rules

  1. cavallogolooso says:

    Hallo Richard, sorry for my bad English (I’m not a natural English speaker).
    I’ve read Don Jones article and it helped me to “place” powershell somewhere in my “what does powershell do”.
    I’ve simply considered it a “new way to do what I used to do with cmd” – fullstop.
    Some time ago I’ve started considering more seriously vbscript.
    Then powershell appeared but where I worked OSes were the whole almost illegal or obsolete (I mean 5 years old on the average): so there wasn’t a real reason to FORCE myself to learn.
    I wanted to learn powershell as I always learned everything: because it was interesting or funny. My company gone bankrupt in 2012-2013 and I “simply” (er…) turned this crisis moment into a big change: I’m a professional photographer and I learned this in my spare time, because it was funny … then it was a second job … then in 2012 I decided top stop running among the IT crowd.
    Consider I’m class of 1974, so I simply turned what I did “to make computers do something” in my home into “system administration” on the job. No one called this “system administration” but I knew it was kinda.

    I never learned Powershell. I always used CMD, batch and commandline third party utilities from everywhere. My work, like almost everything else, could be automated. I LOVE automation and I hate to do repetitive tasks and, yes, I hate to rely upon myself in every kind of thing that a machine could do.
    So, even if my “production environment” is photography and my end user is … me, I want to automate, I need to.
    Only 25% of my job is taking photographs. Most of my work is computer related: everything that have to be done with a mouse is photoshop related or data-entry.
    But as I said I hate relying on myself: part of this data entry contains errors. Most of these error could be checked and corrected automatically. There are lots more of checks and I used automation from the scratch of my new adventure.
    But I don’t have to do server or client administration.
    At home I have only a little p2p lan.

    So here it finally comes my question: is powershell only for administration?

    I used to think that “everything you could do with cmd could be done with powershell: every single thing”. But when I start my approach with powershell books … after 3 pages there is some “install this 2008 server” or “install this 2012 server” …

    So I started thinking: is powershell useless if I simply need to automate something somewhere in Windows or am I wrong when I read that powershell is only a server-related administration layer of abstraction about wmi ?

    I don’t make helpdesk, line of business, networking, deployment, maintenance service for a little, medium or big company anymore. I use a mix of cmd and commandline utilities, some pieces of adapted vbscript to automate my work. I can’t stop thinking “this could be done by my pc” … so I try to do it in the “I’ve always done in this way” inertia-mode.

    What’s best for me? Is CMD going to disappear? Is it VBS going to disappear? Do I need to learn some VB?

    what I have to do doesn’t lie on a server machine. It’s a single pc. When my “human work” has done I place this series of batch-and-tools with a pack of files where a Windows-64 machine is (I simply use 64bit commandline tools without making a “32 or 64 if”) and press “enter”.

    With windows10 powershell is everywhere. So I’m asking you: is powershell the right tool for me or is it CMD the right one?

    Thanks for reading 🙂

    • if its OK I’m going to answer part of your question here and part in a full post.

      Short answer is that while designed for administration PowerShell is a scripting language that can be used to perform a lot of different tasks. I’ve seen a version of the space invaders game created in PowerShell and a friend of mine – James O’Neill has used it to manage and work with his photos – https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/jamesone/ and 
      https://jamesone111.wordpress.com/. You’ll need to look for the individual articles to do with photos.

      If I was you I’d learn PowerShell. If you need the CMD tools you can use all of them through the PowerShell prompt.

      • cavallogolooso says:

        thanks Richard, so … I can’t understand perfectly… is powershell a “general purpose scripting language for windows” ? 🙂 but I’m going to read the other part

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