I love the PDC. You meet a ton of great people, see a ton of great technology and have time to think about how to take your game to the next level. The big announcement was Windows Azure (I don’t know about you but when I say that, it makes my mouth feel funny). I thought Ray Ozzie did a good job explaining Azure as a new tier of computing. Windows as an platform to enable seamless experiences across a broad range of devices: phones/pdas, laptops/desktops/workstations, servers/clusters, web/cloud.
Scott Hanselman’s session really demonstrated the value of this by writing a C#/WPF application called BabySmash (a game which let’s his babies interact with fun graphics by smashing on his computer). He wrote the first version for his laptop and looked what a developer would produce. But because he used WPF, he was able to give his project over to a designer in the UK who put it into Expression Blend and in an hour gave him back a beautiful UI. Thus demonstrating the power of WPF/XAML. Scott then went on to port the application to Surface, Web via Silverlight, Mobile devices, created a service back end, etc. He said that each port took him about 4 hours because once you know C# and the libraries, you have the skills you need to master any of these environments with ease.
I always like to think in terms of economics. Technology is great but it is economics that change the world. One of the ways I like to think about things is, “if you knock on a hundred doors with that offer – how many will open?”. Obviously, the more doors that would open, the better that option is. What struck me was that a developer with C# and .NET experience could put his resume out and it would open doors at companies that did software for desktops, mobile devices, surface devices, and web applications. When you step back and look at that statement, it is a pretty awesome econonic incentive to learn .NET. Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t point out:
1) Learning PowerShell provides you a glide path to this because it’s syntax is aligned with C# and you interact with .NET objects
2) If you are a C#/.NET developer, you’ll be able to pick up PowerShell in your sleep.
It seems like everyone is using PowerShell. Of course I run into lots of people that I know that are using PowerShell – that is pretty self-selecting but I was struck a couple of random encounters with people. I was on an elevator and a guy saw my speaker badge and asked what I worked on. When I told him PowerShell, he lit up and told me how much he liked it and that he gave talks about it at his work,etc. Very cool. Then yesterday morning, the bus to the PDC was full so a number of us decided to walk. I struck up a conversation with a guy who said that they were using PowerShell at their company.
I guess it makes sense. PowerShell shipped in WS08 and as people adopt that, more and more of them get exposed to PowerShell. That and our latest numbers indicate that we are rapidly approaching 3 million downloads! It also turns out that Microsoft has about 6,000 blogs and that this one is #11 in terms of readership. So all and all, the momentum is growing. Now if you think that that is good momentum, just wait. <Tease>Just wait till you later in the PDC. We have some very interesting stuff coming to you this week. Sadly I can’t say anything yet.</Tease>
Watch this space. 🙂
Jeffrey Snover [MSFT]
Windows Management Partner Architect
Visit the Windows PowerShell Team blog at: http://blogs.msdn.com/PowerShell
Visit the Windows PowerShell ScriptCenter at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/hubs/msh.mspx