SharePoint 2016, Like It Always Was

I’m not following SharePoint, no, but you have to be blind not to have noticed there is a new version coming out. Like I said two years ago and started describing three years ago.

Doesn’t matter. What matters is how it’s done.

Let me point out a few of Microsoft’s “here’s what’s coming” projects.

.NET Open Source

During Connect, Microsoft announced they were open-sourcing .NET and porting it to Linux and Mac. Here’s more or less how that happened.

“Hey, we’re open-sourcing .NET. It should be on Github in a few moments. Whoops, there’s the first public pull request, I was hoping to do that myself.”

In other words: here’s what we’re going to do and here it is, as ready as it is, probably full of problems, but we could really use your help in making this better. Thanks a bunch, you’re awesome!

Windows 10

A bit earlier than connect, Microsoft also announced that Windows 9 would never be, but instead would be a brave attempt at unifying all current and some future device platforms into one OS. Here’s more or less how that announcement happened:

“Hey, we’re betting the barn on this new version of Windows. It should be on insiders.windows.com in about 24 hours. It will probably break and frustrate the crap out of you, but we really could use your help in making this better. Thanks a bunch, you’re awesome!”

A bit later, they even made a video to thank those of us that have tried Windows 10:

This is Microsoft’s flagship by far; the most important piece of software, perhaps on the planet. It works great and they’ve made important changes based on the feedback from users.

SharePoint 2016

So, how is the announcement of SharePoint 2016 going? Following the same pattern? Will they look at the launches of the open early access programs for Windows 10 and .NET and learn from it? Will they finally hear what people have been saying for years?

NO!

Like earlier versions, there’s possibly something coming at some time later, maybe this year if everything goes according to plan. Want to help Microsoft make it better?

PROVE YOUR WORTH, MINION!

That’s right, rather than reaping the insane value of open early access programs like Microsoft does with .NET and Windows, the SharePoint team continues to play its secrecy game that has hurt their partners and the industry over the previous years.

You have to prove to Microsoft that you are worthy to be part of the early access group. I guess that’s slightly different from earlier versions, where only MVPs and a few secrecy-clad clients were allowed to “help out” (although in reality, it was all set in stone before anyone outside of Redmond got a say).

Will You Help?

For SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013, I spent considerable time and resources to disclose information about the upcoming versions. This time, I won’t.

The SharePoint ship is sinking, and although some people claim that is a crystal ball prediction, I don’t want to be part of it. 

100_anniversary_titanic_sinking_by_esai8mellows-d4xbme8

The massive success of the strategy I have proposed for six years is now proven, on scales the size of which would make the SharePoint team jizz in their collective pants. The massive failure of the app model in SharePoint 2013 could have been avoided had they told the world what lunacy they were planning. It could have saved SharePoint 2013.

Rather than listen, however, the crew of the ship, namely the SharePoint team, will go down with their decision to go against virtually the entire community and even now the evidence from their own company.

Feel free to ask me again why I think it’s a stupid idea to be in SharePoint. There was hope until early 2012. Now, all there is are far too few life rafts and a stubborn group playing violins.

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Need a Mobile App? I Might Develop It for Free

As you may know, I’ve left the SharePoint scene to do things I believe have a brighter future. Search the blog for more details and I’ll leave the ranting for now.

Regardless, the path on which I’m currently walking is mobile app development. I want to see whether it’s fun, which it currently is, and possibly whether I can make a living from it.

I’ve done a number of apps so far, and most of these are what I call grinding apps. It’s a term I started using during the days of USPJ Academy for exercises you use to get the basics of a task or task set into your blood, so to speak. Repeat the basics often enough and they get so familiar you can spend actual time on build great software rather than plumbing.

However, I’d like to start looking at more useful apps and while I’m doing so, I’ll work on an apprentice’s salary. That’s great news for you because that means you can hire a highly experienced and skilled developer at a fraction of the price you’d normally pay.

When doing SharePoint development, I invoiced $200 per hour because I was worth that much (and in virtually all my projects, I delivered way more value than $200 per hour). I still do that for SharePoint, but for mobile app development, you can currently hire me for a mere $50 per hour.

No, I don’t negotiate, but like I’ve always done, I charge only when I’m actually producing value or code for you. If I’m fumbling or have to learn new stuff to do tasks for you, that’s on my time, not yours. 

I do Android and Windows Phone development, and I can probably pick up iOS if it’s absolutely vital to you. I can build in Xamarin or native code and I’d be happy to offer advice on which options make sense.

Keep in mind, though, that although you will get production grade code, fully tested and verified, harnessing my over 20 years of professional and 30 years of hobby software development experience, I’m doing this to learn, so the calendar time taken may be longer than you expect.

But here’s the rub… I may even work for free for you. If you have a fun, interesting, or particularly worthy project, or you are an awesome person or work for an awesome organization, as judged solely by me, I may work for free for you. That may be the whole project or parts of it, for example to get to a proof-of-concept stage for funding or something like that.

So, what are you waiting for? Ah, yes, how to reach me.

You can email me at furuknap @ gmail.com, or use the contact form on http://furuknap.net/contact-me

So, let’s talk and see whether we can do something interesting together.

.b

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On the Current State of Microsoft

I wanted to write this post for a long time but I’ve been under the influence of Kool-Aid for many days. However, having calmed down, I’ll say this and probably cause a rift in the very fabric of the universe: Microsoft is doing almost everything right these days.

For the previous five years, I’ve been highly critical of Microsoft for a number of reasons, to a great extent because of how it worked with the SharePoint community. I was right, and history is proving that every day.

Since the end of the Ballmer era, however, Microsoft has taken an almost 180 degree turn, shifting from a focus on the nearest squirrel (FOCUS, MIKE! THERE IS NO SQUIRREL!) to getting back to the roots that made it great a decade or two ago, that of catering to the highly skilled IT professional as its core audience.

Microsoft seems to have realized once again that to build something great, you need an amazing foundation first. That foundation comes from its technical audience. Those people in return will be champions of Microsoft, either through promoting what they now perceive as a company that cares for their well-being (as opposed to just sucking the joy of life out of everyone for the sake of profits), or from building software and solutions that make Microsoft products and services valuable and the preferred option.

I’ve been doing a lot of development on multiple platforms lately. At my level, platform is about as relevant to what I do as the address of a pizza delivery. It’s something you look up, go there, do your job, and move on. One is pretty much the same as the next.

I thoroughly enjoy developing on the Microsoft platform. Visual Studio is leagues ahead of the rest. The maturity of .NET compared to Java (or heavens forbid Objective-C) is beyond description. Working with IntelliJ and Android Studio is like going back to the mid-90s; it’s slow, clunky, and feels like you’re developing with handcuffs. XCode is as pleasant as hanging upside-down from your testicles. I mean, who the f* comes up with the idea that in order to build software, you need a certain type of hardware? Apple does. And certain BDSM mistresses, I’m sure.

Microsoft’s challenge now is to keep a steady course. I don’t want to build Windows Phone (or Windows 10) apps, simply because there is no audience. The money isn’t there. The audience isn’t there. Build an iOS app, and the fanbois will buy it like it’s crack cocaine. Build a Windows app and it’s like a fart; only those closest to you will even notice, and it’s irrelevant a few moments later.

If Microsoft manages to keep it’s renewed focus on the foundations of its business, I’m confident that the audience will arrive. If it falters and goes back to its later Ballmer era ideas of sucking as much money as possible out of incompetent idiots, then they will fail.

Where does this leave SharePoint? I’m happy to say, I don’t care. SharePoint 2016 is coming out. I’ve been known for the previous decade as the person who dug into every single detail of upcoming versions. I barely know that it’s scheduled to arrive this year, and learning that is about as much attention as I’m going to give it.

SharePoint is dead or dying. It’s not part of Microsoft anymore. There are some ideas that just have a time and a place and you should move on after that, and SharePoint passed that time and place in early 2012. From then, it’s just a long hill down towards oblivion.

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