I believe that the SharePoint platform is a good one, and can be a great benefit for many companies and organizations. SharePoint can do some things very well, and out of the box at that. However, it seems to me that the customer is rarely satisfied with the out of the box configuration or look and feel. And if that is the case, eventually I must ask why the customer chose SharePoint in the first place. Is it because the MS Office suite is firmly entrenched in your company? Were you inspired with the Microsoft’s latest ad campaign? My point is why did you buy a product when what you really desire looks nothing like that product? It’s sort of like a construction company buying a dump truck, then spending lots of time and money to make it go quickly round a racetrack.
I’m still working with SharePoint 2010 because that is what my customer just migrated to. Am I getting too far behind in SharePoint land? I feel somewhat stressed because all the SP frontrunners are all talking about 2013, and one even mentioned SPNext! This is all overwhelming and I wonder if I’m hurting my career by not getting up to speed with 2013. Since my customer just went to 2010, I am still learning some things about that. Do I need to brush up on some 2013 courseware to stay abreast of the technology? Does anyone else feel like they are having a hard time staying afloat with SharePoint?
The other day I was contacted by a recruiter for a SharePoint position. She was telling my about the job, and the mentioned that it required a 4 year degree. So in my reply email I asked what college taught SharePoint. She replied back that it was a learned skill. Exactly, I said! I realize that it’s desirable for IT people to have a wide range of knowledge, but isn’t there enough to learn and know about SharePoint that a degree should not be a hard requirement? Thoughts on this?
What is the bare minimum staff that is needed to stand up and maintain a SharePoint instance? I know the answer to this question varies based on farm configuration, and what the organization intends to DO with SharePoint. Whether they want to use purely out of the box (does anyone really settle for that anymore?), or go heavy custom development with custom branding. But let’s assume that a company wants to implement SharePoint 2010 as chiefly an intranet collaboration platform for say 5000-10000 users. A 3-4 server farm with 5-10 site collections. They are pretty much ok with the look and feel, and will use the UI and SPD to perform any changes to it. No heaving branding needed, but maybe some color and font changes. What sort of staff is required to configure and run SharePoint given those circumstances?
I see many people talking about the proliferation of SharePoint “wannabees,” and the messes they create. It can be difficult for an organization to truly assess skill level of the candidates they are interviewing. So how does an organization with no SharePoint professionals on staff screen for qualified candidates? Certifications and references tell some of the story, but it seems there might be a better way to gauge SharePoint skills. What if there was a universal skills test, with a ranking system? SharePoint pros could take a test, and get a rank that can be referenced with and ID by whatever organization is seeking to hire. For instance, on a scale of 1-10, a particular candidate might be a 6 on overall knowledge, but a 9 on SharePoint Administrator specialty, and an 8 on SharePoint Developer specialty. So their score might be SP6-SPA9-SPD8. These scores could be put into a resume, and would give a much more comprehensive picture of SharePoint knowledge and skill level. Candidates could study and increase their knowledge and retest every year or 6 months. It seems most companies hiring SharePoint professionals these days have gone to contract to hire so that they can “try before they buy.” Maybe we could reverse this trend with a SharePoint Skill Ranking System.