Friday, February 6, 2009

My SharePoint advice to a friend

I don't have any certifications in SharePoint or any other technology. I don't care to get any certifications. My policy is if I've worked 4-5 years with SharePoint and the company I interview with needs a certification on my resume then I don't want to work for them. My experience should be enough. Needless to say I don't like companies asking for certifications and in general don't care for them.


Done with my rant...


I was a consultant with Sagestone Consulting(MS Partner) and was right out of college doing an internship for the help desk dept. During that internship one of my colleagues told me that SharePoint was going to be the next big thing and I should spend time learning it. He suggested I read the SharePoint Administrator's Guide which is huge. I installed SharePoint on a VPC, downloaded the guide and just started studying. My focus was on administration and installation particularly topology, taxonomy, server farm installation and search. So after uninstalling, reinstalling and configuring SharePoint about a dozen times I became familiar with it. With the new version MOSS 2007, MS added about a dozen more complicated features with a more advanced search engine, the ability to host public sites with it, master pages and page layouts. I am not very familiar with the details of how all those work but because I had the experience from SharePoint 2003 I knew the core of the product. I guess a good starting point would be to start with just Windows SharePoint Services since that is the core of MOSS 2007 along with a slew of other MS products including project server, identity life management server along with others. So knowledge of WSS would go a long way to knowing how the sites of these other products work. Plus WSS has most of the features of MOSS but is a bit simpler to learn starting out. A lot of companies are just running WSS because they don't have to pay the big bucks. There is a WSS Admin Guide, so download that or find it on TechNet and start studying and installing. There is a SharePoint user group in GR that meets one Tuesday of every month. That would be a good resource too, a lot of local businesses have people that attend that, good networking night.


My advice would be the same, try to get your hands on a VPC or VM that you can install SharePoint on and download and start studying the Admin Guide. SharePoint is only going to expand and continue to grow with Microsoft.


Another thing, if you manage to get your hands on a beta version of the next version of Office (Office 14), definitely work on learning how to migrate from the current version of SharePoint to the next. There are going to be lots of companies that have a need for this migration and there aren't a lot of consulting firms in town with SharePoint experts that will know how to do this. The demand will be great but the resources small. It's a good opportunity for employment.


Hope this all helps, let me know if you have any questions. I'm always glad to help.

1 comment:

eSignature said...

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