This is the first of 4 articles on using containers for SharePoint Framework (SPFx) development. Disclaimer While I have learned a lot about containers over the last 2 years, I do not claim to be the final authority on this topic. My goal over these next 4 articles is share what I have learned and how I use that knowledge in my daily life as a SPFx developer.
Almost 2 years ago, I wrote a post on how to setup up your SPFx developer environment because, at that time, I found the available documentation to be very “challenging” to understand. Since then, the official documentation has gotten much better and if you want a walk-through that explains everything, follow the link in the next paragraph. BLAH BLAH BLAH! Just take me to the code! Even though this post is more wordy than I like, this is the Quick Start guide I use when I am setting up a new computer to work with SPFx.
This will be short, since I can’t talk about details without getting in trouble. Microsoft hosts an annual Hackathon for their employees and this year, for the first time, they allowed MVPs and RDs to participate. Since I had never participated in a Hackathon before, I was eager to see what the experience was like. One of the biggest challenges was just picking which project(s) you want to be a part of.
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.