SharePoint, "Developers", and a name change

For years, SharePoint C# developers (heretofore, "SPcoders"), worked under the cloud of the rest of the development community believing that SP work was all plug & play of other peoples' development efforts, and there was very little actual coding to be done. This was, largely, incorrect, but no effort was really made to correct the masses, because hey, well, frak 'em.

In the last year, mostly due to the lack of coder supply in the SharePoint space to keep up with solution demand, paired with heavy third-party ISV company involvement in the SharePoint community, people that have spent their time doing anything with SharePoint that departed from writing content copy have started calling themselves "developers". I don't blame them, as there wasn't really a good word to describe what they did separate from a very competent power user much of the time, not in a way that fit nicely into a job title anyway.

The problem arose shortly thereafter however, as there was no way for SPcoders to differentiate themselves from the nu-developers at a glance. This was frustrating as a SPcoder, but while there was great sturm und drang on the Twitters over it, the real problem came at interview time. There's still a major supply & demand problem for SPcoders & nu-devs for recruiters, but the dearth of good SPcoder talent is not like anything I've seen. The good coders all have jobs, are all paid well, and generally aren't looking.

So, what happens? The nu-devs apply for the SPcoder jobs. C# experience requirements be damned, they're applying in droves. Thankfully, they don't get very far into the interview process. Not-so-thankfully, the first-level tech interview phone-screen guy gets to weed them out. And weed them out I have. So many interviews... so few getting the unqualified thumbs-up for the next round. What's the solution for all this? I've been thinking about this for a while, and, well... I've come up empty.

I've realized it's easier to sidestep the tidal wave than try to turn it back, and so, I recommend all SPcoders out there drop "developer" like it's hot from everything you can: job titles, resume headings, twitter bios, and -- as I've done here -- blog headings. It'll take some time, but hopefully we can self-define our way out of the mob back into our rightful spot in the world: mocked by non-SP coders, but paid extraordinarily well in the process. :)

So say we all.


P.S. I didn't get started on "architects" for a reason. Don't tempt me.

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