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Where do you begin learning SharePoint: Between Two Farms

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Where do you go when you need to start learning SharePoint? Now that the platform is as popular as it is and under different products like Office 365 or OneDrive for Business, it is becoming more and more important to know how to use it. However, no one tells you where you can go to learn SharePoint.

As mentioned there are different ways to start learning SharePoint, but first you need to know what type of user you are. Because it is such a vast platform, there are different types of users and of course different types of learning involved. But whether you are a developer, ITPro, architect or an awesome Power User the learning curve will be relatively the same. You should always start by learning how people are going to use the platform you are going to architect, develop or build and configure. Start by learning the basics of SharePoint.

Of course, for some learning SharePoint can mean something else completely. If you need to build an intranet you might be focusing on understanding the structure of the platform, but more specifically some of its services. For example you might want to focus your training on Branding SharePoint or even on understanding SharePoint Search.

And there are various ways you can start learning all of this:

  • Classroom Training is still my favorite but not always easy to send people to
  • Self Service Videos built by you in the organization on your platform or on sites like Pluralsight
  • By reading blogs geared towards your specific needs. I’ve put together over 30 helpful links organized by categories I think could be helpful.

Video Transcript

Hi, everyone. My name is Benjamin Niaulin SharePoint MVP working here at Sharegate. Welcome to another episode of Between Two Farms. This time, I wanted to talk to you about some of the basics actually. Because often when I go conferences or sessions or even friends these days, asking me, “Ben, how do I get started with SharePoint?” Of course, the basic first is, “What is it?”

I’m not going to start explaining what is SharePoint all over again because a lot of people have done a great job already. There’s this great video from, where you can look at what is SharePoint. But now, we got to start thinking of SharePoint as Office 365, SharePoint online, and also one drive for business. So you get a lot of confusion around all of them, but they’re essentially the same SharePoint core platform.

So how do you get started in learning all of this?

Now of course, for me, the best method of learning, as I was a trainer for a very, very long time, is always in-class training, but it’s not always available or accessible to everyone. If you have to do days and days of training, but you already have a lot of work to do, this can’t always be the case or you can’t necessarily go away from the job and into training.

The other possibilities is to go online and find websites like SharePoint Learning or, one of my favorite ones, There, you’ll have, by categories, short videos with exercises and you can subscribe and look at the training at your own pace.

Now, another method that you could check out is to start with an amazing blog by my colleague, Natasha. What she’s been doing, she’s in marketing, and she just wanted to start learning SharePoint. So what I’ve done with her is I’ve gone around some of the beginning stuff. What is a SharePoint site? What is a list? What is a library? What are these columns consent? All of this will work with one drive for business, Office 365, and SharePoint on premises as well. You can follow the series to see what she discovers, as well as some very cool tips at the end on how to increase your adoption, some quick tips that you can do with your SharePoint site to make it that much better.

So if you want to start learning SharePoint, you can either go find class training, you can follow websites that have video training like, or you can follow the exercises that we have on our blog post that my colleague, Natasha, has done. All right.

Where to start?

So now, you’ve established that. How do you go into the details? Where do you start? Because that’s nice to say in-class training or go visit a blog post, but there are so many facets of SharePoint. There’s branding. There’s building an intranet, focusing on search. You’re an IT pro. So let’s start by the very, very core foundation is what do you want to do or who are you with SharePoint.

There’s usually one of three things that you can look at. Are you going to be focusing on as a developer? Are you somebody that codes? Do you want to add new features to SharePoint? Start your learning with the development of SharePoint. Then there’s the IT pro, or the architect as well, if you like. It’s a bit different, those two roles. The IT pro is the person that’s going to set up the server, the service applications, that basically is going to make sure SharePoint works and is properly configured. He’s going to be the person looking at the search service. He’s going to be the person looking at the user profiles. There’s a lot to be doing as an IT pro as well.

Then you have the power user or the person using SharePoint, and that’s an art of itself. It requires quite a bit of training. You can follow power user or advanced power user training. In any case, whether you’re going to be a developer, you’re going to become an IT pro, or you are an IT pro and you want to focus on SharePoint, you should always start by understanding how to use SharePoint.

If I give you a SharePoint site, so what I’m saying is start by learning the power user or the advance power user level, regardless, because you cannot be an IT pro for something that you do not know you’re delivering. You should always know what you’re configuring and how it will appear for the users using it.

Thank you for attending another episode of Between Two Farms. We’ll see you in the next one.

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