Q&A with Jeffrey Hicks: The PowerShell 7 Era Is Here

Even if your PowerShell IQ is somewhat lacking, there's never been a better time to jump in to the powerful automation tool.

PowerShell 7 is here and there's a lot to get excited about for IT pros, even if your experience with the automation tool is limited.

Jeffrey Hicks, who will be diving into why the latest version is a game changer in his upcoming talk at this year's TechMentor conference in Orlando, Fla. (Nov. 13-18), offers some insight into why you should be using PowerShell more in your day-to-day tasks. And to learn more, don't forget to register to attend his talk, "Fast Focus: Hot Features in PowerShell 7" at this year's Techmentor conference, part of the Live! 360 upcoming series of events.

Redmond: How much of an improvement is PowerShell 7 over the previous version and should shops make the jump immediately?
Hicks: PowerShell 7 is a substantial upgrade from Windows PowerShell 5.1. The fact that it is open source and cross-platform is a huge change. This means PowerShell is now available for an entirely new group of IT Pros. Because it runs side by side with Windows PowerShell, and you can use PowerShell 7 to manage servers running Windows PowerShell, I encourage IT Pros to install PowerShell 7 on their desktop and begin using it as their daily driver. There's no urgent need to migrate servers to PowerShell 7 unless you want to take advantage of PowerShell remoting over SSH or run new PowerShell 7 commands on the servers.

What is PSReadLine and is it a game changer for PowerShell?
PSReadline is a PowerShell module from Microsoft that has been around for a while. It offers a number of features making PowerShell easier to use such as tab completion, command prediction, and now inline help, to name a few. I would say the recent releases of PSReadline are indeed game changers. The features in PSReadline will make IT Pros more efficient and reduce command-prompt friction.

"I encourage IT Pros to install PowerShell 7 on their desktop and begin using it as their daily driver."

Jeffrey Hicks, PowerShell author, teacher and mentor

How will the move to an annual release cadence affect PowerShell and users?
I'm not sure it will affect users much either way. I would say a slower cadence may take off pressure to always be upgrading. Especially for organizations that are deploying PowerShell 7 to their servers.

What is the most surprising new feature you encountered in PowerShell 7?
I'm not sure anything in PowerShell 7 surprised me, other than maybe how easy it was to transition from spending my day in a Windows PowerShell prompt to living in PowerShell 7.

Inside the Session

What: Fast Focus: Hot Features in PowerShell 7

When: Nov. 15, 1:30-1:50 p.m.

Who: Jeffrey Hicks, PowerShell author, teacher and mentor

Find out more about TechMentor, taking place Nov. 13-18 in Orlando, Fla..

What improvement would you like to see Microsoft make to PowerShell in the future?
Well, if I had a compelling improvement request, I would have filed an issue on Github in the PowerShell repository. What is a better question is what improvement can be made that only Microsoft can do, because the PowerShell community already fills in a lot of gaps with modules published to the PowerShell Gallery. I suppose one area of improvement that would help me is better searching and reporting of the PowerShell Gallery. I'd like a set of tools that provides more granular searching and discovery capabilities of community modules that could make my work easier.

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.


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