Becoming a SharePoint Developer

July 17, 2009

With our upcoming SharePoint 2007 deployment, I am contemplating whether or not I’d like to learn SharePoint development.  I do not have any real development experience aside from some web development (HTML, CSS), and I don’t think my early years with BASIC or that one Visual Basic course I took in college count.  I wondered whether it was too late in the game to learn programming.

As one should for any major life decisions (or minor), I consulted Google.  I wondered, “Is it too late for me to learn programming?”  This was an interesting query because Google’s query suggestions upon typing “is it too late for me to” thought I was asking “Is it too late for me to go to medical school?” or “Is it too late for me to become a doctor?”  I have been watching House lately, so I did actually consider that as an option momentarily.

The wisdom of Google overwhelmingly answered, NO, it is not too late, and encouraged me to learn programming.  “What should I start with?” I implored further.  And the consensus was Python, favorite of XKCD.  Certainly a worthy endeavor, but I wondered if I should be more SharePoint specific in my plan?   After all, this calls for .NET development.

In general, the internets tell me that to be a SharePoint developer, you should know these things:

  • Get your MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer) – five exams on .NET (Visual Basic or C#), and XML services.
  • Learn VB or C# .NET
  • Also learn C++
  • Understand the .NET framework
  • Understand Web services, ADO.NET, XML/XSLT, and Windows/IIS security
  • Understand SQL server
  • Learn ASP .NET development and be a good .NET developer
  • Learn the SharePoint object model
  • Learn CAML (Collaborative Application Markup Language)

The start of this process, for a non-developer, is learning VB.NET or C#.NET (I’m going to start with C#).  I can probably start at Microsoft’s Web Development for Beginners site.

Too bad I can’t download all this Matrix-style.  😦