How to Find the Right SharePoint Training: A Resource Guide for IT Pros
One of those things that is always so important is for system engineers to quickly get up to speed on a new technology. If you’re getting ready to implement SharePoint, or you’ve been hearing your CITO talk about needing it and you want to help lead the project, there are a lot of resources available to help you get from “curious” to “awesome.”
Courses and Training Options for SharePoint 2010
You have some great training options that are available. There are both in-person and online classes and training videos that are dedicated to SharePoint 2010.
In-Person Training for SharePoint 2010
SharePoint 2010 Administration from SharePoint 911 – SharePoint 911 has a bunch of Microsoft MVPs working for them, and was founded by SharePoint MVP Shane Young. I’ve taken SharePoint training from Shane and he absolutely knows his stuff!
Online Courses for SharePoint 2010
Official Microsoft Instructor-Led SharePoint course – If you’re looking for something beyond what is available for free, this is one of the really great options. You can choose SharePoint training courses that are piecemeal (pick and choose the topics) or you can buy a collection which includes all of the training courses.
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TrainSignal SharePoint Server courses – TrainSignal products are especially nice because they can be viewed online or you can use the DVDs they send to watch when you’re offline. If that’s something that’s important because broadband connections aren’t available to you, TrainSignal may be the best option for you.
Online Do-It-Yourself Training for SharePoint 2010
If you are looking for some instructional videos, here are some great options – both free and some subscription-based services.
Free Online Videos
Free SharePoint 2010 courses from Office.com – There’s nothing like free training that you don’t have to leave your desk for. Microsoft is the ultimate source for how to use and implement their products. Most of these videos are from the end-user perspective, but many of the concepts, such as creating a site, are done by both end-users and administrators.
IT Pro collection from Books 24×7: I’ve used the Books 24×7 library and it’s fantastic. Encourage your company to set up access for your IT department, and see which techies actually want to professionally develop. Their SharePoint collection has many more books than you’ll have time to read – and you can pick and choose from as many as you want.
Safari Books Online: Safari Books Online costs a little bit less than Books 24×7, and their collection is not from as many publishers. They do have all of the most important publishers: Microsoft Press, Sams, O’Reilly, and many more – plus they also are getting more videos all the time. A quick search for SharePoint on their site shows over 40 videos already dedicated to SharePoint 2010.
Of course if what you really want is just information, and you just need to know which books are best, here are some recommendations:
Essential SharePoint 2010: Overview, Governance, and Planning
I love this book because it goes into much more detail about how to effectively plan your SharePoint implementation. It gives far less information about “how” to set up your SharePoint site – but there are so many books and trainings that cover that information. This book talks about the “why” for SharePoint. Once you can determine the “why” you’re doing SharePoint, the “how” becomes that much easier.
Managing and Implementing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Projects
This book from Microsoft Press is used to help guide your project to completion. If you’re newly thrust into the position of getting SharePoint off the ground, and you’re wanting your SharePoint implementation to be a success, this book will really help with the planning and managing of your SharePoint project.
SharePoint 2010: Creating and Implementing Real-World Projects
This book is another one of my favorites because it goes beyond the nuts and bolts of SharePoint and really helps get things done. In some ways, handing somebody SharePoint is like turning them loose with a canvas and paints when they don’t know how to paint! In that same analogy, this book is teaching you how to paint. You can follow along with things that you will actually want to do with SharePoint – things like build a ticket tracking system for the helpdesk, or build a learning center complete with course registrations.
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administrator’s Companion
This is your nuts and bolts, standard book that should be on your Kindle. In this book, you’re going to find your basic reference material, and answers for your questions are easy to find. Another great thing about this book is that if you’ve gone digital, you won’t be missing out on the DVD content that comes with the print version; the digital version of this book comes with access to download the extra material.
Here are some of the best blogs on SharePoint. Be careful! Reading these blogs may prove dangerously addictive! These are from some absolutely great SharePoint people, and they always have great information. Even when you’re up to speed on SharePoint, you will get great information from these resources.
SharePoint 911 Team Blogs
The SharePoint 911 staff is like a who’s who of SharePoint superstars. They are the authors of many of the SharePoint books we read, and the trainers for many of the classes we take. There are Microsoft MVPs all over their staff, and their blogs are awesome. The link here is to an aggregate of all of their individual blogs.
Official Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog
The latest news, and the first to announce advancements, free training, and best practices is often right at Microsoft’s own SharePoint Team Blog. Add it to your RSS reader, and you’ll be happy you did.
There are many more blogs worth mentioning, and I’ll mention two more that are just great:
Being new to SharePoint shouldn’t hold you back for long. Whether you can arrange full training sessions in an instructor-led course, a collection of online courses, or a few books to get you going, you can be up and running very quickly. And to continue your ongoing education, you can always get a few more books, and be sure to add some great SharePoint educators and leaders’ blogs to your RSS reader.