Keep a love hate relationship with SharePoint

This is in response to the SharePoint’er (architect, administrator, developer) who has had it with SharePoint and cries “no more, I hate it”.

New users and customers who see SharePoint, love it. Companies realize SharePoint’s potential in a few minutes of learning about it. It’s a wonderfully powerful application. SharePoint in most cases can completed 80% of the business requirements as soon as it’s installed, leaving 20% to customization and additional configuration. It truly is an amazing application, even the free version.

What ends up happening is, the SharePoint administrators and developers who are running these systems start to yell and complain. It can be very frustrating to work with, especially if it’s just thrown on your plate. Managing permissions alone can be mind numbing. It’s such a vast application that it’s very difficult to find one person who knows it all. It, without a doubt, requires proper training and research to understand and administer correctly and effectively.

But that shouldn’t give us reason to throw it out, or wish it was never invented. It can be tough and sometimes the simplest of tasks take us hours to figure out and get working properly. What’s important to do during these times of hating SharePoint is to focus on the positive side. Unfortunately, it’s easy for the negatives to outweigh the positives when you’re neck deep in it.

That’s where the love hate comes in.

For example, a great positive is the out of the box functionality. SharePoint already includes a calendar, tasks, lists, document libraries, etc. No coding or customization required, and 80% of the business requirements are done! AWESOME isn’t it? A developer doesn’t have to create this themselves. Since that was so easy to make, we move onto the harder stuff and forget about the easy stuff. Then when we get stuck trying to filter a view based on a multichoice field, we get frustrated and forget that I didn’t have to create this list from scratch. Hold onto the wins, the stuff we didn’t have to do, or we simply did in a few minutes.

I have talked with members of the SharePoint community as they are neck deep in new SharePoint implementations, wishing for the pain to end, wishing to just take a break. It breaks my heart. It’s too easy to get exhausted and frustrated with the complexity of SharePoint and lose sight of the big picture, and truly the amount of work and effort SharePoint saves us. I always point out the easy stuff SharePoint did for them. This usually eases them back off the ledge.

I dramatize a little here, but if you’ve been down this road, you know what it feels like. It really does feel like you’re all alone, end users are “screaming” at you for functionality you thought was going to be easy. I’m targeting SharePoint, but this can be true of almost any thing in life, when we can’t figure something out, it can wipe out our emotions, our senses, and our reasoning. It’s important to find positives, the silver lining, the good side whenever possible!

If you’re at the point of just hating SharePoint, you’re mad, considering a new job, or wanting to drink heavily ’til you’re blurry: find some love. Find one simple reason to like SharePoint. If you can’t find the love, hit up the community, ask questions about your difficulties, or just vent (go ahead, leave a comment here and complain, I got big shoulders, I can take it). Who knows, you may start finding solutions and the love may come back!

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