SharePoint developer, it’s very popular job those days. I mean when you read LinkedIn posts or HR portals you will find a lot of open positions. And in one case I saw a very interesting question. A person from HR written that she’s looking for SharePoint developer. And someone asked: but who are you looking for? Which version of SharePoint? What set of skills do you need? And the answer to those questions is not so obvious… So let’s start from the begging.

SharePoint Developer
SharePoint Developer

SharePoint 2013

Someone could be surprised that I ever wrote about it. Well, believe me, or not but this version is still used in many places, as also they used SharePoint 2007. Many companies, especially the big ones, still relay on this version, as they made a lot of investments and build many solutions, so for them, it could be real challenge to make an upgrade. In case of this version we can assume that core skills for SharePoint developer are:

  • perfect SharePoint server knowledge. Yes, yes! I think that if you want to be a good SharePoint developer you have to know it well. Sometimes you can find a very sophisticated solution, when out of the box already there
  • of course, ASP.NET is must-have skill
  • C# ; but please remember if you know it, you will still need some time to understand SharePoint itself
  • knowledge of  IIS could be useful
  • HTML, JavaScript, XML, CSS
  • SOAP
  • CAML
  • STSADM/PowerShell
  • SQL Server knowledge is also useful
  • Patience. I know many developers who just hate SharePoint and they don’t work with it. That’s right, sometime SharePoint could be a real pain and you have to have nerves of steel. Well, I like that 🙂

SharePoint 2016

For some simplicity let’s assume that set of skills will be similar to the previous version. I am not going to write anything about JavaScript frameworks, as I am not sure if SharePoint framework goes to on-premise version… If SharePoint framework will be available on-premise, then skills from the next point will be very important.

SharePoint developer – future

In my opinion, the future of SharePoint can be seen when we take a look at SharePoint online and the entire Office 365 platform. The best description, in this case, is JavaScript is the King! Microsoft for a few months sends us updates about something called SharePoint Framework. This solution should allow us to build advanced solutions with JavaScript. A few months ago Microsoft disabled to us code behind with Sandbox Solution in the cloud, so now every SharePoint developer waiting for this tool. With SharePoint framework and Office 365 API which is still updated our possibilities should greatly increase. So what do we need? Today JavaScript is the main skill! Other important are:

  • TypeScript
  • React. Did you now that Delve and new libraries have been build with React?
  • Node.js
  • Gulp
  • Yeoman
  • Webpack
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Angular JS
  • Office UI Fabric

As you can see above key skills are away from C# code. Of course, in some cases, it could be necessary to run Visual Studio, for example, to write Web Job in azure, but the main code will run on the client-side. If you are looking for more information about SharePoint future you can take a look at Office Dev Center. Especially you should check SharePoint PnP Webcast.

Now it’s time for my personal opinion… I hope… Really… That Microsoft will stick to the direction which has been chosen. We already saw so many ideas or technology skills. Each of them has been presented as “the Chosen One” 🙂 .  And after sometime nice guy from Microsoft comes to us and says: “Forget it about it!!! Now we want to present you something new and special…” . But we have created so many solution, we had so many plans. You can say many bad things about Apple, but they take about developers. Why Microsoft can’t walk the same road?

We don’t need revolution, we need evolution. Well maybe I saw too many thing and become old? I hope this time it will be different story.