Let's first put some context on where I am with SharePoint. I
have been using SharePoint since the first release of SharePoint
2001 in fact I still have a virtual machine with that particular
version on as I am a great believer in look to the past to see the
dots joining up.
But back then it was next to impossible to find any training
courses for SharePoint or even information about it on the web (As
it was then). But a Google search now for the term "SharePoint"
returns About 69,200,000 results. And a search for the term
"SharePoint Training" returns About 21,500,000 results. I also tend
to notice around 10 - 20 tweets a day trying to sell SharePoint
The point I am trying to make is that SharePoint as a
product/platform is becoming more mature and mainstream the
training opportunities increase. This of course is stating the
obvious but how do you tap into this potential and wealth of
This really comes down to which sort of learner you are. This is
very much broken down into 3 distinct areas:-
Auditory Learners: Hear
Auditory learners would rather listen to things being explained
than read about them. Reciting information out loud and having
music in the background may be a common study method. Other noises
may become a distraction resulting in a need for a relatively quiet
Visual Learners: See
Visual learners learn best by looking at graphics, watching a
demonstration, or reading. For them, it's easy to look at charts
and graphs, but they may have difficulty focusing while listening
to an explanation.
Kinaesthetic Learners: Touch
Kinaesthetic learners process information best through a
"hands-on" experience. Actually doing an activity can be the
easiest way for them to learn. Sitting still while studying may be
difficult, but writing things down makes it easier to
Let me break that down further to tie it in with SharePoint
training. There are now many ways to gain SharePoint training and
experience if you look around the internet you will find many blogs
with info but this is mainly to solve a specific problem. But you
will also find many webinars freely available these are generally
by companies but always contain great information. This very
magazine you are reading will contain many opportunities to learn
new skills. Also YouTube has also become a great resource a search
I performed while writing this for "SharePoint 2010 tutorial"
returned over 7000 videos.
There is of course the class room route this method covers all 3
types Auditory, Visual and Kinaesthetic and there are many superb
training companies to choose from, the two that spring immediately
to mind are Combined Knowledge and Mindsharp but there are of
course many other very good training providers out there.
As for me I am a very Kinaesthetic learner I like doing and
learning from the experience. I have found that this method works
for me but I also follow this up by writing information down this
is how a lot of my blog posts come about find a problem solve the
problem and then write about the solution if you apply this method
to a blog then more people in the community benefit.
So to break it down into my opinion of best training methods and
Attend an in person training session this can be a week's course
or an event such as the SharePoint conference or a SharePoint
Saturday. If you choose sessions carefully you can almost build a
bespoke course out of these events. Also ask questions of the
presenters I have never been to an event were a presenter will not
talk with you after his or her session, I have always found the
SharePoint community speakers the most friendly and approachable in
the technology world. But the important thing is to follow this up
with reading and doing my favourite SharePoint authors and Bill
English, Shane Young and Todd Klindt amongst others. And the most
important "doing" This will reinforce the learning that has taken
place during the course.
This will not only help you further your career but will also
show a return on investment to your employer who will I am sure
then be more than willing to subsidize more events for you to
SharePoint is the fastest growing product that Microsoft licence
it is now appearing in more and more organizations worldwide so the
long term career benefits to you are obvious. And to potential
Anyone that knows or has met me knows that I always like to use
analogies. So I thought I would share a tale I heard many years ago
from a CEO of a communications company that had just hired an MCSE.
This was back in the NT4 days and on this persons first day he was
asked to setup a network printer later that day the CEO saw him
again and asked how he had got on and the reply was "I
could not do it because we never covered that in the NT4 boot camp
course" he did not last long…
So the moral of the story is always reinforce your learning with
real world experience and do not think that attending a course will
prepare you for all circumstances.
SharePoint is a fickle mistress just when you think you know it
all something new will pop up you NEVER stop
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