One thing that I really encourage different companies to do is to take advantage of any and all of the training opportunities you can. No matter your skill level in SharePoint, there is something to learn from a week of onsite training. My training preference, of course would be for the classes we offer at Rackspace. Our team has worked to develop a 4 day training class for Business Users that will really get you to the next level when it comes to building business solutions. The class starts with an Introduction to SharePoint and then goes through several modules such as – Working with Lists & Libraries, Search, Social, Low-Code Solutions and Content Types (full agenda can be found here). The final module (my personal favorite) is one called “Putting it all to Good Use” where you will take everything you learned from the previous sessions and combine the techniques together to build out a business solution. There are many different reasons to attend training, this post contains a few of the ones that I feel are the most important / beneficial.
Opportunity to Learn in a Classroom Setting
I know all of us have different learning styles, but there really is something to be said about being able to learn in a classroom environment with other students and an instructor. The structure of our training allows for you to have full access to a site for testing and completing labs. This set up will allow you to follow along with the instructor as they are teaching or even allow you to create sample environments. And, the best part of all- you are away from your desk and not as easily distracted by the day to day tasks at hand. So yes, you will be away for 4 days, but imagine how much more productive you will be when you get back to the office after the training.
Opportunity to Network with Other Students
The next best thing about training is that you will get to learn from and network with other students, who likely have some of the some business needs and internal challenges that you are facing. There is no better way to learn how others do things than networking with them, learning how they have accomplished various tasks. There is a lot to be said for book knowledge and classroom training, but the equation isn’t complete until you apply all that you have learned to real world scenarios. In an environment like this you will be able to meet with and learn from others.
Opportunity to Network with Instructor
The best part about our instructors is that…we AREN’T! Don’t get me wrong, we are all skilled at speaking in front of audiences and do teach classes on a regular basis, but we aren’t full time teachers. This means that we spend the majority of our time working with clients and building out solutions and then we also teach. What this brings to the classroom is an instructor that has a wide range of real world experience. This allows for your training experience to really become more like a consulting experience, taking the training to the next level. If you are really looking to “jumpstart” your ability to build solutions for your organization then this training is just what you need to get started. You could even spend time thinking about the solutions you want to build internally and gathering ideas so that you could come to the class prepared to ask questions specific to what you have in mind.
Learn New Techniques
The last thing to highlight is the importance for everyone who uses SharePoint to learn exactly what SharePoint can do out of the box. If you really want to be the best Server Administrator or Developer, then you have to first understand what the tool can do on its own. This will help ensure that you are building solutions that complement the product and that you are configuring things in ways that will ensure the best experience for your users. SharePoint is all about end users having tools that empower them to work smarter and more efficient. If you role is to support these users, then you should be very familiar with the tools and what can be done out of the box. More than once I have run into a developer that has spent the time building a custom solution for something that could be done out of the box. The best way to prevent that is to learn all that you can and then develop things to complement and enhance what SharePoint already does. To get the most of the training you could even consider sending several team members that fill different roles, allowing them to learn side by side and have conversations about applying what they have learned internally.
Let’s Sweeten the Deal!
To encourage you just a little more, I am going to make you a deal- for those that read this blog and sign up for our training course June 3-6, I will provide you with:
- A signed copy of my new 2013 book: Beginning SharePoint 2013: Building Business Solutions with SharePoint
- A 1hr session of “Office Hours”. For those that don’t know, Office Hours is something that I started last year at SPTechCon and it is basically a session with me where we can talk about anything SharePoint. We can cover solutions ideas that you have or even troubleshoot problems you are having as you are trying to build them. Or if you like we could pick a topic like Governance or Workflows and I could provide some quick training for you. Anything goes in Office Hours!
To get the perks you must reference my blog post in the comments when you register. I really hope you will take advantage of my special offer, I promise you won’t regret it!