In the recent #ShareJam
where we discussed the community, I remember reflecting on why the
SharePoint community was so special, but today I was thinking it's
not just the community that's special, there's some attributes that
all SharePoint peeps have in common that make them fun sweet people
to hang out with.
- Open - most people think of open as describing
software. I think SharePoint peeps are open because if they aren't
they will fail. They have to be able to share, they have to be able
to ask questions and participate in the community. Go to a
SharePint, you won't find people that aren't willing to share there
life story. You'll get an ear full and more. Connect to a
SharePoint person on Facebook, and you'll see their life in all its
glory. More pictures, photos, and fun times than your other
friends. They have lots to share.
- Well-Travelled - This is a bit strangee, but
think about it... As an IT Pro you have to be well travelled to
understand IIS, AD, and SQL. Aren't up to snuff on the BI stack,
well you haven't ventured enough. As a dev you have skinned your
knees on ASP.NET, C#, and these days you better be up on the latest
school. SharePoint User Pros are doing wild stuff in InfoPath, and
Designer that you never thought possible. They are transforming the
business because of where they've been. In SharePoint Land it used
to be the US SharePoint people going to Australia where they were
thought of as cool, now it's the Aussies and Kiwis coming to the US
in droves. It's not unusual at all to see a SharePoint Malaysian in
Wellington, or a SharePoint Jordanian in Chicago, or SharePoint
Iranian wandering across India, Nepal, or driving through red
lights in San Francisco. The SharePoint Russians and Belarusians
are renting a van and driving across California. SharePoint Costa
Rican's pulling in Europeans to their conferences. The SharePoint
South Africans are in UK, Netherlands, also flying to conferences
all over the world… What is it about SharePoint and taking the
roads less travelled as well? It's not unusual to see any
SharePoint person in any corner of the world. SharePoint in
Antarctica? That's serious.
- Patient - Yes, a SharePoint person is very
patient. They likely have scars that have been calloused over. The
patience has paid off with big dividends, but don't think patience
means that the SharePoint people roll over, 'cause that's not the
case. The SharePoint person has a voice. The voice has grown over
the years. It's a very loud voice. The enterprise is making a
permanent home for this SharePoint person, they definitely have a
chair at the table.
- Hidden talents: Juggler, Dancer or
Pogo Stick master - In SharePoint land a SharePoint peep
must be able to handle large loads, and be able to juggle. At times
it requires some serious dancing. SharePoint as an application and
working with it requires dancing. You can't lose patience, you must
learn the steps, you must learn to focus and not let that super
focus keep you from your other priorities. Spend some time at a
SharePoint Conference and you'll notice that SharePoint people
don't even need much alcohol to get out on the dance floor and
dance their hearts out. Some find a little bit of alcohol goes a
long way. Others find they can have just as fun without it. They
may even end up in a stretch hummer after dancing till 2am and end
up on the Hollywood walk of fame barefoot and jumping the streets.
This sounds unusual, but not in SharePoint land.
- No Reservations - You can't prepare for much
of what SharePoint has to offer. The community can help you out
when you get stuck, but MS definitely doesn't have all the answers.
Even the community may not have run into your issue. You can plan
and plan and plan, and never be prepared for what will happen. Even
then you'll think you're on your own, but there's a plethora of
people willing to lend you a hand. You have to reach out to a user
group. You may find yourself in Egypt, and then find out… There's a
community here. You show up in Fiji with no reservations and sure
enough there are many who are willing to take you in, give you a
couch and give you blankets and lemon tea.
- Silly - Peeps must have a good sense of humor.
If you can't handle a good joke, or find humor in small things…
you'll get exhausted and burnt out with SharePoint. You'll find
that they are laughing all night long, whether they are doing
#Shareaoke, #SharePint or just hanging out.
- Diverse - The quickest thing that will end
your career in the SharePoint community is the opposite of
accepting of diversity. Because the SharePoint community is so
extremely diverse, you must learn to leave your baggage at the
door. I think SharePoint peeps are building bridges like no other.
The experiences I've had in the middle east with SharePoint peeps
that have broken down walls bigger than the Berlin Wall is
incredible. I've broken bread and eaten meals in Palestine with
Muslims Christians and Jews. I've danced at gay clubs with a
diverse SharePoint group and felt 100% comfortable. It has helped
me a lot in my own life to see people for who they are. SharePoint
peeps are not judgemental. SharePoint peeps know that America isn't
the only free country in the world.
- Strong - Determination, drive and passion is
definitely found here. The most passionate individuals you'll find
anywhere are in this community. SharePoint peeps set goals and
knock them out of the park. They dream that they will run a
SharePoint event on a Saturday and they will get sponsors to pay
for food, and people will come… and they do! They say, I want to
connect with the SharePoint peeps in South Africa, and they do!
They say, I want to deploy a large farm, and import 100,000 users
and provide people search and take over the old Intranet and deal
with all the old policits… and they do!
- Honest - Yes, this one sounds like a scout
thing, but there is so much trust in this community it requires
people to be honest with themselves and requires the same of
others. We wouldn't accomplish half of what we've done with the
community if we couldn't trust each other to some level and this is
built on some level of open honesty that you won't find at the same
levels elsewhere. That's why you have to be careful what you ask a
SharePoint peep what they think. They'll likely tell you.
- Bold - Oh yeah. They have a voice, they are
honest and they are bold. Careful what you ask for… you'll get it.
They have been run over in the past, they've had some rough times
travelling those long roads, they've had tons of patience and
climbed many mountains. They have reason to be bold. They have a
clear vision and so they deserve to be bold and give it to you
Oleson was a speaker at the European SharePoint Conference
2011. Why not keep up to date with Joel's amazing work by joining our community or by
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