I spent 4 days of last week in Reading on a SharePoint 2013 Ignite training course. Unfortunately it was the IT Pro version of the course and not the developer session that I was led to believe it would be, but that didn’t stop it being an awesome week.
Huge thanks to Mitch Prince, Neil Hodgkinson and Wayne Ewington for their time and expertise. We could not have asked for a nicer bunch of people and boy do they know their stuff. All three are SharePoint MCMs and Wayne is only one of 5 people in the whole world to be a Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA)!
There was way too much stuff covered to distil to one blog post, but the main points I’ve taken away from the week are:
SharePoint is a *HUGE* product
Mitch, Neil and Wayne constantly deferred to each other. If they look for help elsewhere, there’s simply no way you can be “THE SharePoint Guy”.
Don’t Expect to run SharePoint 2013 on 4 servers
Unless you’re serving a very small number of users with limited functionality, you won’t be setting up just a DC, SQL, App and WFE server. Depending on the situation you might end up with a farm (yes *farm*) for the Distributed Cache Service, Workflow, Office Web Apps etc
Search is now more important than ever
There have a been a lot of changes to search in SharePoint. Thankfully there’s now just one version of search (no more Server and FAST) but it’s used to underpin *lots* of the other functionality like Web Analytics, E-Discovery etc. So if you don’t have a functioning/performant crawler/query engine you’re missing out. I particularly liked the sound of “Continuous” crawling as that would’ve come in handy on a recent project.
Certification has got a lot harder
They’ve raised the bar on achieving the equivalent of MCPD and MCITP certifications. In 2013 these have become MCSD and MCSE respectively and they now contain some stuff that was previously at the Master level. Oh and you have to renew your certification every 3 years or they drop off your transcript!
Thankfully, besides the app model and the push to CSOM, not a lot has changed for the on-premise server object model developer. Visual Studio 2012 has a nice new GUI for for building content types, lists etc but otherwise it *should* be business as usual. If/when I start working with some of the new features I’ll try and post about them.