Is It Time to Learn SharePoint 2010 Yet?

Marc D Anderson posted an interesting tweet the other day and he made a blog post to sum up the answers. However, answering such a question in 140 characters is beyond me, so I thought I’d write a blog post in response to his.

I’ll answer his question real quick, though, not requiring 140 characters at all: YES!

I’m not just saying that because I make truckloads of money (not really) selling USPJ issues for those who want to prepare for SharePoint 2010. It makes sense to me on several levels.

Developers

Perhaps the most obvious SharePoint 2010 user group that would want to start learning SharePoint 2010 now is developers. Developers will be responsible for populating the SharePoint fauna prior and right after release of the production version, and thus, unless you’re some whiz kid who picks up everything new in a day and can transform that knowledge into solutions, you want to prepare as early as possible.

Companies are looking to make their investments in new solutions compatible with SharePoint 2010, and that means that you as a developer need to know what will work and what will not work in SharePoint 2010 even when you are developing solutions on the 2007 platform.

Administrators

So, when the developers are eager to test out their new solutions, who do you think they’ll call? Hint: It’s not Ghostbusters. It’s you, as an administrator. Just after the public release of SharePoint 2010, when the first new production deployments start hitting the proverbial streets, problems will arise. Developers will cite the usual ‘it works fine on my machine’ leaving you to prove them wrong.

How will you do that? Well, SharePoint 2010 offers tons of improvements for debugging and profiling solutions, and while developers may be gods at creating fancy bells and whistles, you as a SharePoint 2010 administrator will be responsible for making sure those bells ring and the whistles blow, or that the responsible developer gets a slap in the back of his or her head.

End Users

But you know, it’s really all about end users. Developers may prove Fermat’s Last Theorem with a spinning button and administrator’s may make sure that the button is always available, come rain, snow, or a battalion of scorned women, but all of that is pointless unless you, as an end user, is there to click that button.

The sad thing, though, is that, as always, end users are the last to see these fancy new features. You see, the developers wont dare put their beta code in front of end users and administrators wont let end users onto their beta platform. This is really sad, because many of the problems arising right after launch of any platform could have been solved by end users being allowed to go medieval on the beta versions.

Chances are, as end users, you will be the last to know what you should have known months ago. SharePoint 2010 will offer sometime next year a lot of what you really, really need right now.

But for developers and administrator, it’s absolutely mandatory.

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Bjørn Furuknap

I previously did SharePoint. These days, I try new things to see where I can find the passion. If you have great ideas, cool projects, or is in general an awesome person, get in touch and we might find out together.

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