Good friend and fellow MVP Rob Bogue, aka The SharePoint Shepherd, has just released an all-new Introduction to SharePoint Development (2010) DVD. It is a self-paced learning tool designed to bring new developers, regardless of background or level of experience, up to speed on the ins and outs of SharePoint programming. Each module is self-contained with videos and a wealth of sample code and walkthroughs.
I'm especially excited about this release as I worked closely with Rob on the original material. For some time now Rob and I have been doing a full-day series of workshops on SharePoint development for "advanced" programmers – development managers, team leaders, solution architects and the like. This material is grounded in the work we did on the Microsoft Learning 10232A course Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePiont Server 2010 Applications, which focuses on complex topics like solution design, packaging and deployment, unit testing and workflow. After presenting this material at several conferences, and talking about the core concepts to audiences far and wide, we realized that there are still a large number of developers just coming into the SharePoint world from ASP.NET, Java, PHP, and other platforms who need a solid foundation in basic SharePoint programming tasks.
Following the template we used for the professional developer workshops, Rob and I created a set of modules designed to take someone who knows nothing about SharePoint development and walk them through the core fundamentals until they are comfortable building basic solutions with web parts, event receivers, timer jobs, CAML queries, workflow actions, etc. Unlike the pro material, which covers a lot of theory and decision trees, the introductory content focuses on hands-on application of key concepts. Even programmers who aren't familiar with Visual Studio and the mysterious inner workings of SharePoint can take away enough practical knowledge to be immediately productive. After presenting this new material at SharePoint Connections in Las Vegas earlier this year we were very pleased with how it turned out and the overwhelmingly positive response from attendees.
Rob then went back to his production studio and condensed our entire one-day workshop into four hours of impactful, self-guided, video tutorials. He compiled all of the sample code and demonstrations and put them on the DVD for developers to study and build upon for their own solutions. Aspiring SharePoint developers can go through the material from start to finish for a classroom-style experience or, as I suspect most will do, immerse themselves in a particular module when the solution they are working on demands a particular set of knowledge or implementation of a concept they are not yet familiar with. They can then apply their new skills immediately with sample code to get them started in the right direction.
But wait - what about SharePoint 2013? With a new product release just over the horizon, is this material still relevant? Absolutely. While the 2013 platform introduces some new elements (apps), changes a few familiar things (workflow), and sunsets some features altogether (sandbox solutions), the core principles of building enterprise applications remain the same across releases. Organizations will continue to build full-trust server applications for on-premise line-of-business solutions on 2013, meaning the whole cast of characters remains largely unchanged – web parts, event receivers, CAML, features, solution packages, and so on will still be required areas of core knowledge. Plus, many organizations have just rolled out 2010 or are planning to roll it out soon despite the 2013 wave – meaning upgrades are still a ways off in the distant future. A lot of developers will be working with the 2010 platform for some time yet, making this a valuable learning resource for years to come.
So head on over the The SharePoint Shepherd site and order your copy of the Introduction to SharePoint Development (2010) DVD today. And, while you're there, check out Rob's other videos, tutorials, books and training materials. Be sure to tell him the SharePoint Cowboy sent ya!