This post was supposed to have been posted Tuesday night...
As I reported in an earlier blog post, Microsoft launched Windows PowerShell earlier today at IT Forum in Barcelona. The PowerShell team (well that part of the team that was in Barcelona) was kind enough to host the PowerShell MVPs to dinner tonight at Posit in Barcelonetta - where we got a cool USB stick complete with the RTM code. Naturally, the first thing I did when I got back to my room was to try to install it!
But as I took the cab back to my hotel, I realised that we've seen something a bit special here - a product team with a real difference. Over the 3 years since I first saw Jeffrey Snover demonstrate PowerShell at PDC 2003 (I was the guy in the middle of the room waving a US$20 bill and shouting "I'll buy it NOW!!"), the product has changed a great deal as it has made it to RTM. But throughout the entire time, there was one thing that remained constant - the team's approach to the community and to the beta testers.
To my mind, every team at Microsoft should be like the Powershell team. The team's members are open, decisions are being made in an utterly transparently way, and community input is both welcomed and acted on. Almost since day 1, the team went out of their way to seek community input - they asked for input and responded when it was offered. The beta newsgroups had some of the most intellectually stimulating discussions I've ever seen in any beta product newsgroup. When there were hard choices to make, the team often asked the beta testers what they thought. Sometimes the beta testers provided a better answer, but sometimes not. Irrespective of which side was 'right' the team always took the best answer. And throughout, the goal was very clear - to make PowerShell a great product. I believe that is precisely what they did!
So after over three long years when, at times, I wondered if this puppy would ever ship - they finally did. They've shipped a great product that pretty much every Windows admin will be using sooner or later (sooner in the case of Exchange 2007). Of course this is just one stop in the longer journey - more versions are no doubt being planned just now!
So thanks Jeffrey, Leonard, Arul, for a great dinner tonight, and thanks too to every member of the Powershell team. Thanks for doing such a great job building such a great product. Thanks for taking the time to listen, and respond. And thanks for being such a great example of how to run a dev team. I can't wait for the next beta!