Monday, August 31, 2009

On the Fence with SharePoint, Part Two: Knowing Where to Start

The World Wide Web – a blessing and a curse. When I first started working with SharePoint, there were only a handful of helpful web sites. These days there are so many SharePoint-related blogs, wikis, forums and so forth that it is easy to get overwhelmed. It is great to be able to find an answer if you have a specific question, but if you are looking for a structured approach to learning it can be more complicated. Here are some tips:

1. Base your training roadmap on your SharePoint role. There are resources available for architects, developers, administrators, end-users, etc.

2. Get classroom training. There are advantages to classroom training: an in-person expert, ability to focus, labs, collaboration with other students. Again, choose training specific to your role. Microsoft has plenty of courses from which to choose. There are some reputable training partners as well. Contact me if you would like a referral.

3. Get certified. Traditionally I have not placed much weight on certifications. I have recently become a fan, however, because I appreciate how the preparation and examination cover scenarios that I may not have previously encountered. There are certifications available for SharePoint configuration and development.

4. Work with a partner. Vet your partners, too. Using the web as a medium, it is easy to become a self-proclaimed expert these days. When you consider partners, ask for references and be wary if the vendor cannot provide any.

Sounds simple, right? No, the truth is that everyone is not starting from the same knowledge base and different people learn better in different ways. I would be happy to talk with you to help you define your training roadmap based on your experience. Use our contact form to get started.

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