5 SharePoint Development Myths

While studying SharePoint topic, I came across a few very common preconceptions about the technology. There’s no shortage of rumors around SharePoint development, so I thought I’d try to name five of the most common SharePoint myths I’ve heard.

Myth 1: If I learn SharePoint, I’ll be pigeon-holed and never get to work with anything else ever again.
Absolutely, that isn’t true! SharePoint goes hand-in-hand with other Microsoft technologies such as ASP.NET and Silverlight, so you’ll always have opportunities to learn new skills outside of SharePoint itself.

Myth 2: I already know ASP.NET, so picking up SharePoint should be a breeze. After all, it’s just built on top of ASP.NET.
Well, part of this myth is actually true: SharePoint is built on top of ASP.NET, though it relies on a fair number of extensions to ASP.NET to run properly. Learning SharePoint, however, isn’t exactly a weekend activity where watching a few video tutorials and looking at some code samples will get you there. It takes time, patience and resources.

Myth 3: If I work with SharePoint, I won’t get to write much “real code.” Most of the solutions I’ve seen seem to be centered on InfoPath and SharePoint Designer.
Again, this just isn’t true. While you can certainly do a lot with both InfoPath and SharePoint Designer, almost every client would require some sort of custom development (features, web parts, workflows, etc.) that requires writing “real code” in Visual Studio.

Myth 4: I don’t need formal training for SharePoint. If I read some good books and watch all the free videos online, I’ll know enough to get by.
Books and videos are great, but there’s nothing like getting actual hands-on experience in a real training session and listening to the client stories of the folks giving the training. That being said, not all trainers are great trainers. Be judicious in who you choose.

Myth 5: SharePoint is just a fad. If I wait long enough, I won’t need to bother learning it.
SharePoint isn’t a fad, and it isn’t going away. Microsoft has put a ton of money into the research, marketing, and development that went into this product, and you’ve probably noticed by now that they’re re-working a lot of their other products and technologies (which means spending more money) to integrate with it going forward. SharePoint will be around for a while, and SharePoint services won’t be easily commoditized anytime soon.

What myths about SharePoint have you met? Your feedback is welcome!