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July 26
What IS SharePoint Development?

So, I just wrapped up my fourth year speaking at SPTechCon and as always it was a great time with a lot of awesome content. This year I presented a session on “What IS SharePoint Development?”. Now, I know what you are thinking, but this session was not about picking that old scab about who should and should not be calling themselves a “Developer”. This session was much more geared to educate people on the different possibilities for development in SharePoint. Sometimes, the biggest mistake a developer can make is opening Visual Studio. It’s definitely important for a well rounded developer to know what tools are at his/her disposal and the benefits and pitfalls of each. Below is the link to my slide deck where I mention the different types of development (Out of the box, SPD, JavaScript /jQuery, PowerShell, and Visual Studio).


It’s funny, the one thing I didn’t mention in my session (and was caught by a helpful Quest employee) is that I don’t mention InfoPath. There’s a reason for that… I forgot about it. With all of those other technologies at my disposal I stopped fighting with InfoPath a long time ago. I find that with JavaScript/jQuery I can give my users a much better experience in a shorter amount of time. InfoPath IS a valid option though and I’ll be sure to mention it next time I present the session… thanks Dan…

Also, one of the interesting things to come out of this slide deck is one of my slides that I ALMOST didn’t include. I like to give my attendees SOME sort of take home, especially when it’s not a real technical presentation so I spent some time putting together a matrix that detailed the different development options in SharePoint and what you could/should do with each. However, I found that as I filled out the matrix, I kept thinking of small exceptions all over the place. For instance, I say you can’t elevate privileges with SPD, well.. TECHNICALLY that’s not true… you could in a workflow using a custom action or impersonation and you probably COULD create an end to end solution using PowerShell if you were a masochist… So, instead of making most of the squares yellow I decided to yank the slide… but the more I thought about it, I thought there was some value there and it would be a good starting place for those people who didn’t know where to begin.. So, I put it back in and just stuck an “*” in the title… Like how that works? When all else fails just use an “*” and your bases are covered.

Anyway, after I first posted the slide deck my Aussie buddy with the spikey hair Jeremy Thake told me that it was his favorite part of the slide deck and really liked it.. then other people were mentioning that they liked it so, I’m glad I kept it. I’d like to at some point expand on the table and maybe even devote a full blog post to it, but that day is not today.


Anyway, it was a fun session and one of those you’ll see me do again I’m sure. It’s a message that needs to be sent. I also did another overview session on “Wrapping Your Head Around the SharePoint Beast (for the rest of us)”. This was my attempt to answer the age old question “What is SharePoint???” without getting too technical or using the standard marketing jargon. Hopefully I was successful and some people had some questions answered. That slide deck can be found at:


Thanks again to all those people who attended my sessions, I had awesome groups and some great questions.

If you still haven’t made it out to an SPTechCon, I highly suggest you make it a priority. They really do a great job with the quality of their speaker and session selections.  There’s always a vast variety of sessions for all interests and and skill levels. So, no matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned expert, you’re going to get something out of it.  SPTechCon will next be in San Francisco March 3-6th 2013, registration is already open, and the earlier you register, the more money you save. Hopefully I’ll see you there.


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SharePoint Architect, Developer, Blogger, Speaker, Author, and general pain in the butt.
Thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own.
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