SharePoint Developers are Developers too!

Posted Monday, March 24, 2008 9:58 AM by CoreyRoth

I am sure many of you have faced a situation like this yourselves.  You meet some new developer and they ask you what you do and you tell them that you are a SharePoint developer and they are like "Oh.  That's nice."  I have to admit before I started doing SharePoint, I may have been guilty of doing the same myself.  There are many things that non-SharePoint developers don't realize.  First, it's not all point and click.  We actually do write code.  Second, WSS3 and MOSS 2007 have really improved things since the WSS2 (or even earlier days).  I think a lot of developers got a bad taste for SharePoint from some of its previous versions.

The problem we face is that there is this stigma about being a SharePoint developer (just like there is about VB developers).  Whether it is founded or not, this is something we all as SharePoint developers have to overcome.  Personally, I like the fact that I have been able to specialize in a particular platform and I am not just another ASP.NET web developer.  There is a lot of benefit to that, especially job wise.  So let's clear up some of the misconceptions.

Misconception 1: SharePoint Developers don't write Code

Although we may write less code and we do a lot of point and click at times, this is far from the truth.  We can point and click our way to set up a content type, list, or site, but when it comes down to deployment, we have to create XML or write code to get the job done.  This is just one scenario where we write code too.  We also write web parts, user controls, event receivers, domain objects, data access, and application pages.

Misconception 2: All you do is build web parts

Well sometimes, but honestly, if I can build something without having to write a web part I will.  It easy to use the SmartPart to load a user control or even write your own (you can load a user control with a single line of code).  More often than not, I build web user controls for most common tasks.

Misconception 3: SharePoint is terrible, it sucks, etc.

Sometimes I would agree with that. :)  But more often than not, I think it is a good platform for a lot of scenarios.  As I have said in the past, it is not the solution for everything (sorry Microsoft :) ), but I think the document management, Business Data Catalog, and Enterprise Search features are great.  If you want to custom dev a document management solution, have fun with all of that.  I have also found a lot of people don't know that WSS3 has improved quite a bit since WSS2.


I try not to write posts like this very often.  I typically try to focus on posts with tips that actually help the community learn something.  However, I thought it was worth spending some time as I sit on this airplane to write about it.

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