Wednesday, October 28, 2015

7 Skills EVERY SharePoint Practicioner Should Have

As a 8-year veteran of working in the SharePoint space in a variety of capacities, there are 7 skills that every SharePoint practitioner should have in his or her toolbox.

1. Set Theory / Database Querying
The ability to sort, filter, and group any type of content based on metadata or other criteria is essential. Also included in this knowledge set is the understanding of relational data.

The content editor web part is your best friend. This is where you make most of your customizations in SharePoint, whether with text, images, or other static informational links that guide your user base's experience within your SharePoint Site. In the end, SharePoint renders primarily as HTML, XML, and JavaScript. Knowing how to manipulate these objects is to your benefit.

3. JavaScript
I repeat... The content editor web part is your best friend. Many things can be done in SharePoint without JavaScript, but we all eventually get that requirement that requires the SharePoint site to go above and beyond basic SharePoint functionality. The file link in the content editor web part that pulls your JavaScript will eventually need to be utilized. Learn the JavaScript that gets referenced from the content editor web part so you can tell your customers "Yes, I can do that."

4. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
You never know when someone needs a menu bar or other page element hidden!

5. Prepositional Logic
This is especially important if you're in need of a solution that involves a custom workflow in, say, SharePoint Designer.

6. Business Analysis
If you're in the SharePoint business, you're likely serving a customer who specializes in something other than SharePoint, and you are there to assist them with leveraging SharePoint to improve or automate a business process. You will not always have a Lean 6-Sigma Blackbelt at your side to assist you with this.

7. Lay-speak
At some point in time, you will have to be able to explain SharePoint's vast capabilities in simplified terms for C-level leaders, business unit leads, and other stakeholders. Always have some simple bullet points of SharePoint's capabilities ready to pull out at any time.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Utopia Found

So, I finally found my utopia... a 100% remote / telecommute SharePoint position that involves the latest technologies and doing both administration and development work on a SharePoint 2013 environment, hosted on Amazon Web Services. This is the latest standard of FedRAMP-approved cloud-hosted SharePoint implementation.

I took a major hit in pay to take the position, but it should be very much worth it. The savings on food, fuel, and time spent not commuting anymore should be felt immediately.

Please stay encouraged and know that these positions are out there and they're real. They're also very competitive to get, but they can be had.

A New Job Title

SharePoint Knowledge Engineer - I saw this job title on a job posting recently and thought this might be similar to knowledge manager or site collection administrator, but it could be a combined farm administrator / site collection administrator role.  Let this one steep for awhile and think of the many things it could mean.

One thing I know for sure. This job title does not follow any standard position titles defined within the Microsoft space and is creative at best... confusing at worst.