I was reading through comments on my article over on EndUserSharePoint.com (The SharePoint Community Needs More Content: How You Can Get Involved) and was inspired by something Nick Hadlee stated: “once you start getting involved in the community then it becomes a little addictive.”
There is tremendous value in becoming part of the SharePoint community, whether as an End User who works with the platform, as an IT Pro that helps shape how SharePoint is deployed, configured, and used within the enterprise, or as a Developer that helps extend the platform through customizations and integrations. All of these voices need to be heard, as your experiences may help others – and likewise, you may learn a lot from the experiences of your peers, industry experts, and others who are creating business solutions on SharePoint.
Here’s the issue: once you get involved in the energy and camaraderie of the SharePoint community, you’ll be hooked. What we need (tongue solidly in cheek) is a support mechanism for those who have become “ensnared” by the SharePoint community and need to address these individual and shared experiences with people who have lived through it.
My proposal is that we go with what works. I have taken the liberty of modifying the original Twelve Steps, as published by Alcoholics Anonymous, to fit the unique needs of the SharePoint community:
- We admit that we were powerless over SharePoint installs—that our environments have become unmanageable (especially without PowerShell or 3rd party tools).
- We have come to believe that a power greater than ourselves, through the certification process, can restore us to sanity.
- We have made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of technical support, per our paid customer or partner support model.
- We have made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- We have admitted to management, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our SharePoint addictions.
- We are entirely ready to work with fellow community members to address the work / life balance issues.
- We will humbly build a plan to address our shortcomings (which may/may not include a formal social media strategy).
- We have made a list of all persons we connect with via Facebook and Twitter and have reached out to let them know we are seeking help and guidance on better managing our SharePoint careers.
- We have made direct amends to friends and family members who may be users of competitive products (Notes, Plumtree, eRoom, etc).
- We will continue to take personal inventory and when we don’t have a technical answer, to promptly admit it.
- We will seek through reading, webinars, and interaction with other members of the community to improve our conscious contact with MVPs and MCMs, developing our own skills and leveraging theirs to accomplish our business goals.
- We have had a professional awakening as the result of these steps, and we will try to carry this message to other SharePoint community addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Note: Hopefully this content does not offend anyone – just having some fun. On a serious note, the AA 12 Step Program has helped millions of people overcome addiction, and has shown to have a much higher success rate than any other recovery program.