I recently was awarded the Community Contributor recognition badge from the Microsoft Patterns & Practices (PnP) team! While it is nice to receive recognition, my support for this open-community effort goes far beyond recognition. PnP has been a consistent part of my professional development for many years, and I credit the program with a large part of my growth as a developer. The “old” PnP was a Microsoft program where you could learn the “best practices” for building code in SharePoint, which has been my primary development focus for almost 15 years.
Recently, I had to set up a new development machine. These days, my primary development tasks are centered around SharePoint Framework (SPFx) solutions, so setting that up was my first goal. Everything was going smoothly until I tried to install the certificate that the development web server needs for developing SPFx solutions. From there, I descended down the certificate rabbit hole. After a couple of days of research and asking everyone I know for help, I was finally able to complete the task and decided that I better document it before I forget.
Conferences are slowing coming back and I am personally looking forward to talking to attendees, sponsors, and speakers in person again. First on the agenda this year is the M365 Collaboration Conference (formally the SharePoint Conference) in Orlando, FL, Jun 8-10. The “big” conference is still scheduled for Las Vegas in December, but this is a hybrid event that promises to be an exciting time as we transition from the virtual world we have lived in for the past year.
One of the most exciting changes to SharePoint in the last few years is the advances in custom formatting of columns, views, and forms. These capabilities have transformed lists from functional tools that are pretty boring to exciting, dynamic, visual presentations of data with colors, icons, and almost anything you can design in HTML/CSS. By default, most of the custom formatting samples for columns are shown in a single view, but it is just few steps to make this formatting active in every view.
I’m always excited when I earn a certification, but some are more special than others. I have been working for over a year to learn all the skills needed to earn the Microsoft 365 Developer Associate certification. While I have been working as a SharePoint developer for almost 15 years, most of my work has been in very specific areas, like webparts or apps. Certifications normally require more skills than one person would have experience in, even someone doing this as long as I have.
I recently took my first vacation since the Covid-19 pandemic began. We travelled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and to be completely candid, I was nervous. For the last 10 years, I have travelled often for work and pleasure, but this is the first time in over a year that we have been on an airplane. While I think my health is pretty good, I fall into the high-risk category for Covid-19 based on the official guidelines.
Recently, I built a web part for a client, which led to a discussion about why the web part background was static white, which did not reflect the branding on the page. My quick fix was to just change the color manually, but now I wanted to know more about how I could build webparts that are aware of the area that they are in. It turns out, there are several options, depending on the capabilities needed and the web part framework.
Microsoft warned us! The Document Object Model (DOM) on web pages was a common target in my pre-SPFx solutions, especially the ones that used jQuery. When SPFx came along, Microsoft was very clear that the classes and element ids on the modern page were not an API. By that, they meant that there was no contract with developers that those values would not change in the future. The future is here!