OOTB Sharepoint – Software emancipation vs. the shackles of technical debt

Good friday reading regards the argument

Never use Sharepoint OOTB

vs.

SharePoint OOTB is totally worth it

Having reviewed the above and working in an organisation at the moment where OOTB is the current mantra (and in-house joke amongst the developers) I find myself fascinated by the questions/propositions of OOTB vs. Customisation and (at the moment) without a rock solid position on the matter.

Some things I do think though are:

– There is a conceptual divide.

  • Some devs are like –  ‘the software is mine and any customisation needs be done by me or via software that I create’. This school is quite open to more efficient methods like TDD, Unit testing, refactoring, agile etc. but the idea that they’re the ones in control stays at the forefront af the approach.
  • Other devs (I think like me) look at something like SharePoint and go ‘Awesome’ now I can have the customisations taken care of by users who know what they want (or think they do 😉 While we focus on building awesome infrastructure and tools to allow them to do it. The classic example is page design/layout. The amount of back and forth that can occur trying to get the design to be exactly what some designer/client wants it to be can easily drive me to drink (not a very long drive on a Friday night I’ll admit ;-); So the idea of giving that user tools they can understand and telling them ‘give me a yell when your done’ seems massively appealling. I like the idea of software dev as a ‘role’ versus software dev as a function. Software dev/Information system mgt. has to occur; but whether it’s an individuals whole job (like me) or 10% of everyones job (distributed design tasks) is a question/debate worth having as the world moves on and 90% of your train ride co-passengers spend 80% of their time update facebook pages.

That’s all I got for now but I’ll keep following the issue.

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