SharePoint “Developers” and “Administrators”

I was viewing my blog today and noticed the tag cloud on my sidebar. The most prominent tags are “SharePoint”, “Developers”, and “Administrators”. SharePoint. Developers. Administrators.

From time to time, I will meet SharePoint professionals in networking events or when interviewing job applicants at a customer site and I will ask what their SharePoint experience is like. “Oh I am a SharePoint Developer“. Then I find out that the extent of their development experience revolves around master-page and page-layout design, style/CSS customizations, and graphical/logo design. Basically, branding tasks. And then there is the “SharePoint Administrator“. “Oh, I am the site collection administrator and manage user-permissions, site-collection features, and sometimes recycle items for end-users from the Recycling Bin.”

I think people are calling themselves SharePoint Developer more than they should. In my opinion, a SharePoint developer is someone who can develop Web parts, workflows, user-controls, Web controls, ASPX pages, client-side scripting, and complete SharePoint solutions. In addition, they also understand deployment options such as creating solution packages. If your experience around SharePoint is limited to CSS, branding, and design stuff, you’re a designer, buddy; not a developer, but a designer.

Now, let’s talk about the “SharePoint Administrator”. Yes, to a point, the site-collection administrator is an administrator. But to me, and again, this is just my opinion, farm admins are the real SharePoint administrators. To call yourself a SharePoint administrator, especially on job interviews, you better know your SharePoint deployment scenarios, Central Admin, SharePoint disaster/recovery procedures, IIS, SQL Server, Windows Server OS, and the beloved “stsadm” command.

Sometimes I will encounter resumes where the job applicant puts “SharePoint Developer” or “SharePoint Administrator” in their work history but nothing in the roles and responsibilities indicate the degree of technical expertise required to be called a “real SharePoint Developer” or a “real SharePoint Administrator”! 

The point I’m trying to make is please, please, please–do not inflate your work experience, especially when applying for jobs. You might fool the recruiters but you’re not going to fool the technical leads. Please be honest in your resumes because people will catch you if you think the inflated titles will make you a better candidate for a job.

Honesty people!


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