How the Microsoft SharePoint PnP Community changed my career – and can change yours too – Community Camaraderie

It’s all about who you know!!… That phrase is often used about an undeserving person getting a perk because their father plays golf with some Senior Vice President or CEO.

Within the patterns and practices (PnP) community though it takes on an entirely different meaning. This is because it’s not about who you already know or your friend/family knows, but who you personally have the ability to know.

The PnP community gives each and every one of us (yes….you too) the opportunity to make connections and friendships that would have never been available otherwise. It lets community members have the opportunity to get help, give help and grow the community.

I mentioned in my first article how important friendship and team chemistry is to me, and how those in a team go out of their way to help each other, even when they have nothing to gain, because it’s the right thing to do!

It’s a personality trait of this community that everyone displays, from the seasoned veterans in SharePoint like Marc Anderson and Andrew Connell to first time contributors who have spent their own free and precious time to create something and then found the courage to share it with the community.

Once you take this first HUGE step, I promise you will find that community members you’ve never met will show their appreciation and gratitude for your contributions!

From those first steps you can then begin collaborating with each other more and more and before you know it, those faceless ‘community members’ go from online acquaintances to ‘real friends’.

‘Does this really happen??’, you might ask.

At a recent SharePoint Saturday, myself, Beau Cameron and Alex Terentiev (two of the smartest and nicest people you will ever meet) were all attending and interacting in each other’s sessions and one of the attendees who had been in each session asked, “You guys really seem to be very collaborative with one another, do you work together at the same company?’

We answered, ‘No’ and he asked, ‘Oh, then you must live near each other?’

‘Wrong again’ we answered.

So he inquired, ‘Then how in the world did you all meet and become such collaborative friends??’

We looked at one another, smiled and answered, ‘The Patterns and Practices SharePoint Community!’

It should not be overlooked for how amazing this is.

‘Why?’ you ask.

You’d be surprised how often I am asked, ‘Don’t most of you all work for consulting firms that are technically competitors?’

‘Yup’, I answer.

Or I get the question, ‘Don’t you find it difficult collaborating with such a geographic separation?’

‘Not at all’, I respond.

You see, at the end of the day, the PnP community casts aside any notion of discrimination or refusal to help because you might work for a competing firm. It doesn’t let any geographic space prevent progress on something we are all passionate about.

What matters is we are all people who love working with and helping each other around SharePoint and Office365.

As a fellow PnP community member who has both given and been given help, I am eternally grateful for every one of the amazing members of this community.

If anyone has been nervous about getting involved in the community, I highly encourage you to take that first step by submitting a sample, providing a demo on one of the PnP calls or reaching out to another community member to collaborate. I promise you will not regret it and might even find some amazing new friends in the process.

The friendships and relationships I’ve been able to form have truly changed my career and I promise, if you give it a try, will change your career too.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those in the community that have supported me and truly became my friends. You know who you are and you all rock!

To learn more about the Patterns and Practices community, visit:

Author: David Warner II

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