There are 3 types of SharePoint developers

There are, in my opinion, 3 types of SharePoint developers. Each of them are able to develop “SharePoint Applications”.

The term “SharePoint Application” is a umbrella term. An intelligent view on a complex list or a custom workflow activity are both “Applications”. You do not need Visual Studio or SharePoint Designer to build applications. With that in mind you can divide the developers into 3 major groups:

  1. The End User SharePoint Developer (EUSPD)
  2. The Power User SharePoint Developer (PUSPD)
  3. The Advanced SharePoint Developer (ASPD)

Each developer uses his own typical set of tools. This article describes each developer.

The End User SharePoint Developer (EUSPD)

This user has typical contribute or owner permissions on a site. He is able to create or modify personal or shared views. With those views he can filter or sort (complex) lists of data so that it fits his (or his team members) needs. When this user has owner permissions he can also add web parts to certain pages and connect or filter them.

This user uses Internet explorer or another web browser to develop his applications.

The Power User SharePoint Developer (PUSPD)

This user is a site owner or even a site collection owner. He can develop more complex applications. He modifies web part pages, create connections to external data sources and visualizes the data on dashboards. When needed he build workflows in SharePoint Designer and he can even add some pieces of Javascript (SPServices) code to pages. This user has typical an IT background. This kind of developer is very important in an organization because he can build many quick-win applications.

This user uses mainly Internet Explorer and SharePoint Designer to build his applications.

The Advanced SharePoint Developer (ASPD)

This is the hardcore developer that lives inside Visual Studio. He build features, solutions, workflows, … The sky is the limit for this user. Beware of this kind of user! Do not call him to soon. Always try to build your applications with the PUSPD first. Writing custom code is time consuming and harder to manage.

This user uses Visual studio to do his work.

Graphical overview

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Conclusion

As you can see the term “SharePoint Developer” is a complex one. Everyone can be a SharePoint Developer. Most SharePoint End Users are already developers without knowing it. They have the permissions and the development tool installed on their workstation. In my opinion the PUSPD is the real “SharePoint Champion” of the organization. He is able to create quick-win applications that are highly maintainable.