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There is no longer any doubt that important changes are happening in the Windows administration world. Microsoft has been pushing PowerShell for quite a while, not only as a scripting language but also as a configuration interface for system administrators. In Windows Server 2012, this shift has become more than obvious. Windows Server 2008 R2 has about 230 cmdlets, whereas Windows Server 2012 comes with ~2,430 cmdlets. The fact that Jeffrey Snover, the inventor of PowerShell, is now Windows Server lead technical architect is a clear sign in which direction Microsoft is heading with regard to system administration.
I’d like to quote a statement that Jeff Alexander, IT Pro evangelist at Microsoft, made in an interview with Paul Schnackenburg on 4sysops:
So I think the forward thinking IT professional has to look at having a broader set skill set across both operations and dev. I don’t think we can limit ourselves anymore. I think there’s going to be quite a crossover or hybrid. I guess we could call it DevOps.
A while back, I was joking about “developmins,” not knowing that Microsoft (probably Jeffrey Snover) has already coined another term and that they are quite serious about it. But can this really be true? Does the system administrator belong to an endangered species? Will it be extinct, or will sysops mingle with the developer species and become DevOps? You think Jeff Alexander is exaggerating? If you are an Exchange 2013 admin/developer/DevOp, you know what I am talking about. If you want to get serious about Exchange, PowerShell skills are a must.
You think you can avoid learning PowerShell by moving your Exchange server to the cloud? I can assure you that this would only get you out of the frying pan and right into the fire. The administration web interface of Office 365 is extremely limited; for the simplest configuration tasks, such as changing the password expiration policy of a single user, you need—guess what? —right, PowerShell!
For many administrators working in the Microsoft ecosystem, this will mean that in the future they no longer have the choice of whether to work with PowerShell or not. Most admins have acknowledged this fundamental shift and began studying PowerShell diligently.
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However, another question is whether admins really like this change, and this is what this poll is about. I would like to know if you prefer PowerShell or a GUI for system administration. Or, in other words: