Successes and Opportunities

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So the new year has been upon us for a full month now and it’s already busy! I just celebrated my 5th year with my current company and I thought it would be good to do a little review of my last year with SharePoint. Last year was full of successes, the major one being getting better at what I do best, building SharePoint solutions for my organization. Here are some of my major accomplishments:

  • I successfully consulted with approximately 20 separate teams within the company and supported 100+ more with different challenges they were having through 2013. Working in a company that doesn’t have a very good support system for SharePoint has become a larger challenge as the company continues to become more reliant on SharePoint. I am to the point where I provide almost 5-10 hours of support a week to the enterprise (and it’s not actually part of my regular job). I have a boss that understands I am one of the most knowledgeable guys working in SharePoint and allows me to help those outside of my group’s reach and help others since it does help the entire company. Many of my consultations were mostly helping people figure out a decent, sustainable solutions within our mostly Out of the Box SharePoint 2010 environment. I can’t tell you how many “how-to” questions I solicit (I stopped tracking), but those are pretty much non-stop.
  • My largest success to date, a tool I built (a self-service reporting tool mostly built using jQuery and HTML) has become a staple approaching it’s third birthday. I’m currently re-working it a bit as it will likely be re-worked through the end of the year as our organization starts to moving towards Qlikview as a reporting solution. I’m excited about the possibilities with incorporating those reports into SharePoint (as I’ve done with some SSRS reports) in a user friendly way. I have close to 2,000 hours into this project and it’s one I never get tired of working enhancements into, especially as I learn new ways of doing things with jQuery.
  • One community success I’ve had is an internal SharePoint Users tool I created dubbed “The SharePoint Code Bank” has been up and running for nearly 6 months. It has become an invaluable tool for the SharePoint users of the company to submit basic, re-usable code (like jQuery and CSS), in a way that helps non-tech geeks the ability to customize their SharePoint in a more safe way than just pasting in strange code they don’t understand. It’s almost doubled in submissions since I first debuted it (using code I use regularly), and I hope it continues to grow with a presentation I’ll be giving to the internal SharePoint community soon. It’s pretty simple, a list attached to a workflow, but I test the code and make sure it’s easily understood and documented before approving it for display in the list.
  • Continued teaching as an adjunct instructor through our company’s IT learning group. I’ve been teaching the internal SharePoint Site Administrator training now for over 3 years and it never gets old. It’s a 2 day course that walks someone through all of the basics someone needs to know administering a SharePoint site (i.e. creating lists, libraries, pages, site features, etc etc). I’ve gained so many internal connections and rubbed elbows with so many people it’s always surprising.
  • Near the end of the year I was invited to be part of a SharePoint Focus Group representing the major stakeholders of SharePoint at the company (IT, training, support). The reason I was asked to join mainly stems from being one of the top power users of the product, constantly working to enhance the experience not just for myself, but others in the company. I hope I will be able to continue to promote SharePoint and try to help figure out a way to get SharePoint users the proper support they need in the company (i.e. a group to help support, consult, and grow a more complex use of SharePoint beyond it’s most basic abilities).
  • My favorite success of the year happened at the very end in December. I was internally Certified as the company’s FIRST SharePoint Site Collection Administrator. There are two parts to getting certified, one being a test, the other a practical examination of SharePoint’s features. I had to sit down with several folks from the IT Learning group and show them where I’ve properly used many different features like a custom list, workflows, infopath forms, permissions, etc etc. The list of things to demonstrate is huge and took nearly an hour and a half to get through all of them. I passed with flying colors. (Yes, that’s my certificate at the bottom).

Now, for some opportunities I see this year:

  • Continue working with the SharePoint Focus Group to see if I can help better prepare the company to embrace SharePoint more fully than it is (like providing much more support than its getting).
  • Preparing my self-service tool for use with Qlikview.
  • Attending Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference 2014! Super excited about this one, I’ll be sure to blog about it soon.
  • Work with the newest members of my organization (we were re-organized last year) in getting their SharePoint situation to a much better, user-friendly situation.
  • Try to work on some additional learning opportunities in the Louisville area and surrounding cities if possible (i.e. get out to some SharePoint Saturdays!) I wasn’t able to attend as many community events this past year as I had in 2012 and I need to fix that.
  • Be more attentive with this blog, no more neglecting!
  • Keep an open mind. I like my job, but I love being challenged and look forward to future possibilities!

Anyone have any tips or advice? Any goals you think I should work on? Here’s to a great year!

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