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!
I recently ran into a situation where building and debugging a SPFx web part seemed to go off the rails. Then I figured out that my normal pattern of skipping the ‘gulp clean’ command during project deployment had cause what I thought was bizarre behavior in Site Collection Features and toolbox. I was working for a client that does not have a dedicated development or QA environment due primarily to political reasons.
Have you ever found yourself looking for an icon, but not able to quite track down the perfect one? Between SPFx projects and the new modern list formatting capabilities in Microsoft 365, I am often looking for the icon to perfectly represent my idea. Until now, this process involved browsing through the Fluent UI website in hopes that I will stumble across one that works. Now there is a better way: Flicon.
As the development pendulum has swung back to the “front end,” I find a majority of my time in VS Code. Back in the early days of VS Code, I missed the rich toolset of Visual Studio, but as I became more comfortable with the combination of command line and graphical interfaces in VS Code, as well as the explosion of awesome extensions for VS Code, I found myself opening Visual Studio less and less.
For the several years now, I have concentrated on helping developers to get started coding in the SharePoint Framework (SPFx). My primary message has always been that, “despite it being a complete departure from previous coding approaches in the SharePoint, it’s not as difficult as it seems and you should just give it a try.” I am updating that presentation to include recent changes to SPFx as I prepare for upcoming engagements at North American Collaboration Summit (NACS) and ShareCloud Summit and will post it on this site when available.