One for the road: Stepping away from PowerGUI®

Today was one of my most difficult days in my 7½+ year career at Quest Software.  The same week that I was given a performance raise (I got that email on Monday), this afternoon I got a phone call from the director over my business unit letting me know that my position has been cut effective immediately.  Part of a book balancing effort it seems –  funny (or not so much) how life works sometimes.

I’ve accomplished a lot while working at Quest, and spent a ton of professional and personal energy on the company and its products, particularly PowerGUI (far too much energy if you ask my wife, and today I must say I’m tending to agree).

Since I started working with the PowerGUI team at Quest back in 2007 (back in the version 1.0.x days) I have:

  • been awarded the Microsoft MVP award for my community support Windows PowerShell four years in a row
  • received recognition as a Quest Software expert in Windows Management (only 1% of the company employees have received this recognition)
  • provided feedback and direction over the product and its features through 3 major release cycles and many minor releases
  • supported the product and the community as a PowerPack developer, then as a PowerShell Solutions Architect, and most recently as the Product Manager (although I never could get those other positions backfilled so I ended up wearing all three hats most of the time)
  • released dozens of extensions for the product, including PowerPacks for platforms such as Active Directory, VMware, Hyper-V, and Exchange, and Add-ons such as the Script Editor Essentials Add-on or others for specific features such as script signing, transcription, the PowerShell blue console theme, and many more
  • pushed the number of commercial features in PowerGUI Pro from two when I took over as Product Manager to over six in the current version with many more on the way
  • initiated strategic partnerships with key enterprises such as NetApp and Intel and helped them create their own PowerPacks for their platforms
  • helped drive traffic to the site through my blog and through social media as we grew the number of downloads from 100000 to over 1.2 million
  • provided feedback and direction to internal teams at Quest with PowerShell support in their products
  • successfully presented well-received PowerShell-focused sessions at many user groups and also at conferences such as Microsoft TechEd, the TEC conference, the PowerShell Deep Dive (a mini-conference in the TEC conference), and TechDays Canada
  • been elected as President for the site
  • coordinated and provided direction over the first ever PowerShell Deep Dive conference

Unfortunately, most of that is now a legacy as it came to an abrupt end today.  I’m still a PowerShell MVP, and I will still be involved with the PowerShell community, however my work on PowerGUI has stopped for now.

Before I step back from this though, and before I reorganize/refocus my efforts onto more important things, I wanted to share one more new PowerGUI feature that I recently created for the community that I have spent so much time with these past 4 years.  I still have a strong affinity for PowerGUI and a lot of my heart and soul has gone into this product, and this feature is just a small example of that effort.  The new feature comes as part of the Call Stack Window add-on that I just published in the PowerGUI Add-on library.  Here’s a screenshot showing you what this add-on looks like in action:

PowerGUI Script Editor Call Stack Window

This add-on adds a call stack window to your PowerGUI Script Editor every time you start debugging a script. Working with a call stack while you debug anything beyond the most simple of scripts is essential because it provides you with a list of all nested calls that led up to the current line of script in your debug session. You can use this to determine where functions are being called from by setting a breakpoint inside a function and then walking up the call stack to see the script used to call the function. Also, this window has double-click support, so if you would like to go to any location in the call stack, simply double-click on the location you wish to see and the add-on will take you there, even if the file in question isn’t open at the time.

I was considering putting this feature in the Pro version in a future release, but that is beyond my control now so I decided I’d share what I have today and let you guys have fun with it.  Since I created the feature in this add-on, it’s been an incredibly useful feature to me and I hope you guys enjoy it as well.  To get this Add-on, simply select Tools | Find Add-ons Online in your PowerGUI Script Editor and search for “Call Stack”.

That will most likely be my last PowerGUI-centric post for a while, and it will be my last post for at least a week while I take a much needed vacation before moving on to new things.

Thank you for your continued support through the past four years.  I hope this post finds you well.


Kirk Munro
Former Product Manager of PowerGUI Pro and PowerGUI

P.S. If you are in need of someone with my skills, either as a Product Manager, a PowerShell MVP, an expert in Windows management (with a strong focus on Active Directory and Exchange although I’ve also gotten deeply involved in virtualization with Hyper-V and VMware as well), a social media/community site manager, or as a freelance writer, my schedule has all of a sudden become much less busy and I’m interested in filling up that time with new work once I come back from vacation, so please get in touch.


34 thoughts on “One for the road: Stepping away from PowerGUI®

  1. Hi Kirk
    You have done a lot of great work. You were one of the first Powershell resources for me and I learned so much from you. I’m sure there are plenty of companies wanting to hire you. I’m hoping to read an optimistic posting next week. Have a fun vacation!

  2. Kirk, we will definitely miss you the team. You’ve been one of the key members for many years helping make PowerGUI a success, and promoting PowerShell in the IT community in general. Good luck in everything you do! With your knowledge, enthusiasm and visibility in the community there’s definitely a lot ahead for you!

    Oh, and as always great add-on!

  3. Kirk,

    Really sorry to hear this piece of news. Your enthusiasm for PowerGUI and the PowerGUI editor as well as your prolific and valuable publications made it totally clear that you were absolutely behind the products. Your contribution to the PowerShell community has been outstanding – and I’m sure that it will continue to be in whatever new position you obtain. Lucky new employer, whoever they are; and a loss for Quest. What a short sighted manager:-( My opinion of Quest has been reduced considerably.

    Good luck and thanks.

    Chris Warwick

  4. Very sorry to hear that Kirk.

    You’ve been a great voice and source of knowledge for both PowerGUI and PowerShell. Plus a tremendous asset to the community.

    Looking forward to where you land and continue our interaction.


  5. Wow, I am a huge fan of PowerGui and use it daily. Its what I recommend to anyone starting out in Powershell.

    Thanks for the work and best of luck.


  6. I’m so sorry to hear about this, Kirk. You’ve been a tremendous asset to the PowerShell Documentation Team. I can’t count how many times I came to you for advice, suggestions, and direction. And you’re the originating author of about_Operator_Precedence.

    I’m grateful that you’re still an MVP and look forward to many more productive years of PowerShell collaboration, wherever you are!

    Best always,

    June Blender [MSFT]
    Windows PowerShell Documentation

  7. Truly sorry for the unexpected turn of events. You have been a true leader in the PowerShell community. I am sure that future opportunities will explode for you. Every setback in life is an unexpected opportunity to do something different.

    Warmest regards,
    Ferdinand Rios
    CEO, SAPIEN Technologies, Inc.

  8. Where’s the “Don’t Like” button?

    The PowerShell community is much richer for having you in it. I hope you stay with us regardless of the logo on your business card.

    Good luck.

  9. I was very impressed with the way you listened to my suggestion on PowerGUI features.
    I am shocked to know that the Quest is letting you go. I hope that you will continue to help the Powershell community in your future assignments. I have lost all my respect for the responsible director in Quest , and am not sure if I can continue to count on their products.
    Fakher Halim

  10. Having been let go from a company that I worked at for over 20 years, I know it can be a hard process to go through. The lesson I learned, was that I was given an opportunity to reevaluate my life and work. To figure out what I really wanted to do. I then focused on getting the job I wanted. I wrote down 11 key attributes of my future job as if I already had the job. When I started my new job I checked off all 11 attributes and I’m quite happy. Only knowing you through what you have created in the community, I’m quite sure you will be in an even better position in the near future.

  11. Kirk,

    Sorry to hear about your departure. There are many reasons why Quest is challenged at the moment, I certainly wish things had worked were differently.

    Good luck!

    Bob Bobel

  12. Kirk,

    So sorry to read this. Thank you for all the work you have done on PowerGUI I use it every single day and would be lost without it. I really hope that you find a new job that exercises your immense talents and look forward to hearing what you are up to next. If there is any justice you may look back in a year or two and be glad this has happened. You are a stand-out Powershell MVP and I’m sure opportunities are on their way.

    Take care,
    Stuart Henderson

  13. Hello Kirk,

    This really came as a shock to me! But I’m certain that there is something better in store for you in the road ahead.
    Thanks a whole heap for being the light and soul of PowerGUI. Your work in the PowerShell Community has been instrumental in helping many PowerShell Enthusiasts find their way with PowerShell.
    Best of luck for all your future endeavours!

    Keep Rocking!


  14. Howdy Kirk!

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I hope your next gig (which I’m sure you will find shortly) will be PowerShell related and you’ll stay active in the community. You have contributed so much and the community has benefited so much because of your work. Thank you thank you thank you.

    Best wishes.
    Jeffrey Snover [MSFT]

  15. Kirk,

    This is truly a shock to me. Putting together PowerGUI VSX would have been impossible without your guidance. I’m sad to see you go but I look forward to the new opportunities that are ahead for you. Good luck with everything.


  16. Kirk,

    You have been an tower in the community and an incredible resource for all. Your passion for PowerGui and all things Quest has been noteworthy and it is a shame Quest is cutting the strings. Still, things will turn out for the better and I’m sure you’ll find something even better.

    Thanks for all the hard work you have done for PowerShellCommunity.Org – we are all better for your efforts.

  17. I want to add my feeling of less for Quest and wishes of luck for what’s next. I’m also a big believer that you will find that this change, forced upon you even as it was, will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Take every advantage of the contacts and skills you have and I’m sure that your next role will be a rewarding one. And I really (selfishly!) hope that it has something to do with PowerShell. 🙂

  18. Kirk,
    I side with most of these comments. Thank you for your honesty and sharing this with us. Please take a deserved rest. When you come back, please let us know if we can help, and what you’re up to.
    Best Wishes,

  19. Kirk, your efforts and contributions to the Powershell community have been nothing less than inspirational! Speaking from experience, these times are difficult but happen for a reason (if ‘reason’ is the correct term to use). Your exceptional talents will definitely carry you through all this. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

  20. Kirk,

    I couldn’t believe when I heard the news. You have been one of the most active members of he PowerShell community and your contributions to PowerGUI is what’s made it the kind of product I enjoy using daily. I too look forward to hearing better news about your situation shortly. Have a great time on your much deserved vacation.

    Rich Kusak

    1. Yes, I sent in the request, it should be updated tomorrow. Thanks for pointing out that the profile details were stale.

  21. It was a real pleasure working with you on the documentation for PowerGUI (right at the very beginning of things if you remember) and although I am quite shocked by this news I am positive that this change will end up being a good thing for you. Someone as talented and dedicated as you will not stay “unused” for long.

  22. Kirk,
    Sorry to hear the news, it was always a great pleasure working with you. I am sure you will find something interesting very soon. Good luck!

  23. Kirk,

    Thank you for all your good work. You will be sorely missed at Quest. Please don’t lose your passion for this area of technology.

  24. I wanted to thank you for helping me with PowerGUI and in general being an awesome Product Manager and developer. I am really sorry to hear you were let go. I do hope you find a great job. Feel free to use me as a reference.

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