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SharePoint Development – What it takes to be the best SharePoint Developer ?

SharePoint Developer – What is expected of him today?

A SharePoint developer’s role goes well beyond merely customizing the platform as per client’s needs. They should possess the acumen to foresee business value. Put it this way, what is SharePoint ? ..It’s a collaboration platform.  That’s anybody’s guess. The real value of SharePoint comes when the term collaboration converts into measurable business value and help improve bottom-line.

When a SharePoint developer cultivates an acumen to foresee “collaboration benefits” converting into real business value, that’s where he earns extra brownie points. Now, let’s delve deeper into various aspects of SharePoint development and skillset of a SharePoint developer that goes into implementing the best-in-class SharePoint solutions.  Enterprises have different opinions and views when it comes to assessing the skills required to become a SharePoint developer.

SharePoint Developer Skills
SharePoint developer roles

SharePoint Developers Roles and Responsibilities

When the development requirements are clear from clients end, then the task of SharePoint developers becomes pretty much easy.  However, when a client requires an end-to-end SharePoint consultancy, the task of a SharePoint developer calls for more than just out-of-the-box customizing or regressive custom coding. This is because when it comes to developing a complex platform like SharePoint, there are many dimensions involved. Some of them are .net development skills, business analytical skills, intranet portal designing, information architecture designing and so on and so forth.

SharePoint is widely used across industries. A little knowledge of its application areas across industries can give  developers an upper-hand for more reasons than one. For one, developers can be aware of specimens, procedures and client’s requirements that are applicable to a particular segment.

Developing a complex unified collaborative platform like SharePoint entails more than programming skills to meet client’s requirement. SharePoint development involves more than merely having programming skills associated with the SharePoint framework like.Net, HTML etc. It also encompasses deeper understanding of business implications of deploying a SharePoint solution to customizing them to meet end user or business needs. For a small SharePoint project, a developer’s role may include all of the above. However, when it comes to a big enterprise wide deployment; it takes a lot more than that.

Here are some of the technical skills of a seasoned SharePoint Developer:
1. SharePoint Developer must possess excellent Communication Skills
Sounds kind of obvious, but this one is often dropped out. Especially when a SharePoint developer is working in some offshore countries such as India, Ukraine, Philippines etc. for that matter. These skills not only help build strong rapport with clients but also helps in understanding complex business requirements and scenarios.

2. Programming Skills
SharePoint is built over .Net framework and most of the customization and development scope involves programming languages like.Net, HTML, JavaScript,Jquery, etc. Apart from these, a SharePoint developer must possess associated technical knowledge of admin and servers associated with SharePoint like SQL Server administration, Windows Server Administration, active directory control, etc.

3. Developing Web-parts to ease end users need
Web parts are elementary units of SharePoint web pages and are the essential features of SharePoint. Using these web parts, users can easily create, modify and transform web pages. Hence, ability to create custom web-parts that can solve a specific end-user problem, requires mastery over .Net programming skills.

4. Knowledge of Industry Specific Processes
The purpose of SharePoint is to make workforce more productive by rendering collaborative tools that can help them become efficient in managing their day to day tasks. While SharePoint is widely known as a “Collaboration Platform“, knowing how its features can help end users manage their tasks efficiently is also vital.

5. Microsoft Certification helps to an extent
SharePoint is one of the flagship products of Microsoft. In order to hone SharePoint programming and coding skills, Microsoft has designed several certification courses to authenticate SharePoint programmers in order to customize SharePoint according to end users and business requirements. These certifications require developers to demonstrate continued ability to develop SharePoint.

6. Basic Web Designing Skills
SharePoint can be used to build both corporate intranets as well as extranet portals.  The idea is to provide a centralized platform where internal and external stakeholders can communicate and collaborate with each other effectively. Hence, a sound knowledge of web designing can go a long way in developing a SharePoint Site.