AMA: How Can I Just do PowerShell All Day?

Allen writes:

Let me Begin by saying thank you, thank you for providing tons of material and resources on PowerShell. You have helped me boost my IT career and climb my way up the ranks in my agency with PowrShell scripting. My question is how can I find a job where all I do is PowerShell scripting (or is at least concentrated)? I know that they exist somewhere out in the world; I genuinely enjoy scripting in PowerShell and would it to be my full time job.

I hope you’ll submit a question, too!

I suppose I’d start by arguing that this isn’t a fabulous long-term career choice. I mean, “I’m a specialist in this one tool” is eventually going to come back and bite you in the ass. “I swing hammers” isn’t much of a resume.
But, let’s maybe rephrase this to, “I want a job where I can focus on automating.” That’s an actual business outcome. It’s a valuable outcome – economies literally grow only through automation of some kind or another. Being an automator is a big deal. There are many tools you can employ, and it’d be best to know a few of them.
So, how do you find that job? You kind of answered it:

I know that they exist somewhere out in the world

They do. So start looking. Brush up your resume. Start contacting recruiters. Make sure your resume speaks to job outcomes. How many man-hours of manual labor have you automated out of existence? How much money did that save? Know those answers, because that business outcome is what another employer will look at the hardest. Those answers should lead your resume: “Experienced automator who can achieve 100:1 savings in man-hours with commensurate hard savings in salaries.”
Let me tell you why I think people can’t find the job they want:

  • They’re not willing to relocate, or they’ve put too many conditions on relocation. You want your dream job, you need to be willing to do whatever it takes to get it. That may mean moving.
  • They don’t like the whole resume-inteview-rejection process. I get it. You gotta adult-up and do it, because that’s how people get jobs. Nobody is so special that someone’s going to come right to your door begging for you. I don’t even get that, and I mean, I’m Don Freaking Jones, right?
  • They interview poorly. Us tech people suck at interviews. We just do. So conquer that. Apply for a few jobs you know you could get, but don’t want, just so you can do the interview. I know that’s a horrible thing, but where else are you going to get better at it?
  • Applying for jobs is a PITA. Everyone has an online portal, it’s totally impersonal, and you’re filling out forms for days on end. Again, I get it. Adult up and do it anyway.

Allen, you’re right – these jobs exist. But only people who go dig them out are going to find them. So go get a shovel.

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A good friend of mine had a job where she did Powershell/server administration all day. That was her only programming language. It was a contract position at Microsoft in Redmond though, like like Don said, there are jobs but you need to be willing to move.
That being said, she didn't do anything else. She tried, and didn't like, Python and a few other languages. I think that hurt her looking for new positions. Jobs where you just do Powershell are going to be rare. A lot of times you'll need to be doing a lot of other Windows eco-system related things: BizSpark, SSIS, SQL server and maybe even some C#.
I would suggest that the sender should always be willing to learn new things. You'll get a taste for what you like, what you hate, what you want to look for in future jobs (and feature prominently on your resume) and you won't pigeonhole yourself into one thing for life.


Nice post Don.
Another I'd add would be :-
They're not prepared to move outside their favorite ecosystem and work with non MS solutions if the job requires it. Linux, Bash, Puppet, Python, Datadog, Splunk and more, the list is huge of what companies are using. Like it or loathe it, Open Source is where "it's at". Microsoft have never made it so clear they don't care a jot what you're doing as long as it's in Azure. Period.
That's from personal experience. A year ago, if i'd seen the full requirements for my current role (some Windows/PS, but ultimately very heavily open source), I'd maybe not have applied for it. I'm very happy i did though, and it's opened up a new world to me that I'm really enjoying.


Great advice, Don! Probably not the answer people want to hear, but laying out the non-sugarcoated truth is what you do best.
I find it hard to believe that Don "Freaking" Jones hasn't had someone come knocking at his door for him at least once or twice though!!