JavaScript and jQuery for SharePoint 2013 Training – Online Class

SharePoint-Videos.comNext Thursday, May 23rd, 2013, I’ll be teaching a class for called “JavaScript and jQuery for SharePoint 2013”. It’s an online class that is available to everyone, but it’s filling up fast.

This will be my first class fully focused on jQuery with SharePoint 2013, and I’ve had a lot of fun putting it together. SharePoint 2013 is more geared for great client-side programming opportunities than prior versions. Adding these development techniques to your toolkit can really help solve business requirements and improve the SharePoint user experience.

Here’s the registration link if you’d like to join us, and the class outline is below.

Class Outline

A jQuery Primer for SharePoint

  • Learn the important functionality of jQuery in SharePoint context
  • Find the parts of the page you need to work with using selectors
  • Traverse the Document Object Model (DOM) to act upon related elements
  • Manipulate elements to change their behavior, look, or structure
  • Bind to DOM events to add behavior and functionality
  • Use jQuery effects to add pizazz
  • Interact with the SharePoint server or other external services using AJAX
  • Improve the user experience and process by using deferred objects

SharePoint Client-Side Programming

  • Discuss the different client-side options: CSOM, REST, and SPServices (SOAP) and how to use each approach
  • Review examples of equivalent functionality using all three methods
  • Discover when each approach is best
  • Overview of the new App model
  • Find out when client-side programming makes sense and when it doesn’t

Richer UIs Using jQueryUI and Other Script-Based Plugins

  • Configurable dialogs
  • Improved calendaring
  • Drag and Drop
  • Autocomplete
  • Image Rotators

Symply the Best: My Side

Yup, I’m stealing the main part of the title from Dan Antion’s (@dantion) SharePoint Story for this week. Why? Well, because the story is about the two days I spent with Dan and his team talking about developing in SharePoint’s Middle Tier. I don’t usually like to crow, but when someone like Dan comes up with a cool title like that, I steal it.

Dan summarizes the work we did well, but let me give you my slant on it.

Dan and I started talking about getting together in some fashion back in February. Dan and I had met briefly a couple of times at conferences, but I really didn’t know that much about him or his company other than what I read on Twitter and his blog, both of which I really enjoy.

Dan and I exchanged quite a few emails. We had lunch when Dan was here in the Boston area and talked at great length about his approach to development, the skills within his team, the type of business his company does, and where he wanted to expand all of that. We exchanged lots more emails and we set up a session for late March.

Then the earthquake and tsunami happened in Japan, and suddenly it wasn’t such a simple time to be in the nuclear insurance business, so we postponed things.

That gave us the opportunity to exchange even more emails and hone what we were going to do, tweak who would be in the room, and what we were going to cover.

I’m not outlining all of this to make it sound onerous. I enjoyed every bit of it. The reason I talk about all of the steps is to point out that Dan and I were taking our own little SharePoint journey together. (Yeah, I’m alluding to the Microsoft SharePoint Journeys thing.) Everyone needs to arrive at new ways of accomplishing things by taking the right path for themselves, and Dan and I were figuring out what that might look like for him as we went.

Even after all that, I’m not sure that each of the people in the room (there were five or six of us there for most of it) knew exactly what they were in for. One clear key ingredient for success to me was to be extremely flexible. That meant that I wasn’t walking in with some big pile of slides which I was going to force Dan and his folks through.

The two things I decided were the most important, and which I stressed to Dan throughout our conversations, were to:

  • Show some of my favorite demos in the beginning to demonstrate some of the possibilities. The demos would be abstract, in the sense that they wouldn’t be about Dan’s business at all.
  • Build something real with ANI’s data so that Dan and his team could see how things might work in their own environment and to make these techniques their own.

But most importantly, to go with wherever the conversation led. I hadn’t met this group and I didn’t really know what made them tick, just what Dan thought made them tick.

Some of my most valuable learning experiences came while I was sitting around a Harkness table at Exeter. I’m a crude hack next to the fantastic teachers I had leading me there, but I aspire to bring some of the same fluidity and conversational style to the table (pun intended) when I teach. So whether it’s a quick session at a conference, two days with a client like this was, or a six week course at the USPJ Academy, I like to let the group lead the way. Sure, there’s always material to cover, but there are also always huge swaths of ideas which come up which I could never predict. Sometimes it’s the tangents which become more important than the originally intended path. I find that is the fertile ground where most of the “Aha!” moments come. They are unpredictable, impossible to plan, and invaluable.

So that’s what we did. As it turned out, I did far less demo than I thought I would and we spent far more time working with Dan’s real data. We spent more time talking about the philosophy behind building a great User Experience (UX) than probably either Dan or I would have thought. We talked about how to make the code modular and reusable, but not as much as I might have expected, since the team wasn’t focused on that part of these techniques yet.

All in all, as I said in my comments on Dan’s post, I truly enjoyed myself. I walked away feeling that Dan and his team know a little more than they did before I arrived and that they were going to build better solutions with what they learned. Maybe they will call me back to help, but if not, they know that I’m always available to help answer questions and give quick advice.

SharePoint Material on Microsoft’s Training Catalog Site

Scott Jamison (@sjam) mentioned the Microsoft Training Catalog in his session at SPTechCon this afternoon called Build It and They Will Come: SharePoint 2010 User Adoption.

There’s some great SharePoint educational material available on the site, which I wasn’t aware of before. (Why? I don’t know.)  Apparently, you may have access to some materials for "free" under your SharePoint license, so check it out to see if there’s anything there that may help you educate your users, developers, anyone who has anything to do with SharePoint in your organization.


A Plug for the USPJ Academy

Rarely in my career have I been as jazzed about something which I have been involved with as I am about the USPJ Academy.  We held our inauguration event on 31 May, and now we’ve got classes up and running and students walking the virtual halls.

Founded by my friends Bjørn Furuknap and Anil Sharma, the USPJA aims to be the best SharePoint-focused training option on the planet. Period.

I became associated with things after talking to Bjørn at the excellent San Francisco SPTechCon event back in February when he asked me to create some content for courses about the Data View Web Part (DVWP) and jQuery. The more I talked to Bjørn and Anil, the more time I found myself spending on the Academy, taking on larger and larger roles.  Now I’m facilitating my courses, playing the role of librarian for our rapidly burgeoning online content library, doing QA for the platform, washing the dishes, and walking the dog.  And I’m having a ball.

If I could do the USPJA full-time, I might consider it, but the client work pays the bills (at least for now) and I don’t think it would ever make sense to stop doing it because it’s where the rubber meets the road and all of my good ideas come from.  It’s also a part of what I think makes the USPJA special (and I love client work, too!).  All of us on the faculty are out there doing SharePoint all the time for real.  We’re not necessarily trainers by trade, but doers who like to train.  All of our course material is based on what *works*, not what it says in some SDK.

If you feel like you’d like to learn more about SharePoint in a virtual, genuine community setting, with people from all over the world, and with top notch faculty (no, I’m not blowing my own horn: I’m blowing the others’ horns), then you owe it to yourself to check the USPJA out.

We’re in what we are calling the Early Access Program right now, and I’ve got to tell you, at $197 per month, it’s a steal. For that low price, you get access to:

  • Our full library of content so that you can use it at your own pace
  • The running courses, which you can take two of at any given time
  • A full array of on-demand lab machines in the cloud
  • Free access to Open Lectures from some of the brightest bulbs in the SharePoint world, exclusive to the USPJA. (Outsiders will have to pay for access to these live events.)
  • Focused access to a community of people who are passionate about the art of SharePoint and learning
  • and more…

To me, any one of these things might be worth the $197/month. Take them all together and we must be idiots to charge so little.  And we’re planning more and more capabilities over the next few months as the Early Access Program continues. The great ideas just keep on coming.  If you join us now, you’ll be able to come along for the ride as well as help to influence which routes we take.

C’mon over and visit us now, ya hear?