Sharepoint Training Review

Sharepoint Branding Bootcamp, Sharepoint Experts, taught by Heather Solomon
When: December 2007, Houston
Topics Covered: Branding, customizations
Overview: Excellent content and delivery, most useful training thus far. I finally got it through my head how to use content types, and the info about configuring CQWP and the dataview webparts was great.
Positives: Excellent instructor and materials
Negatives: No full examples of custom branded sites; hotel provided breakfasts and snacks were little more than sugar. Students have to supply their own SP environments.
Materials Provided: Several full-color pdf’s of well-written content with screenshots and step by step instructions; practice files; some free programs. All content digital.
Accommodation’s, meals, snacks provided: Hotel was fine, though the rooms got hot at night and the pillows were too fluffy. The breakfast and snacks provided were mostly sweets, so alot of very sleepy people.. Lunches were tasty. The trainers took us out for dinner on one night and they even gave us drink coupons (raspberry margaritas, niiice..)
Recommended?: Absolutely. Book it now.

Applying SharePoint 2007 – MOSS Advanced Features, Sharepoint Solutions
When: October 2007, Nashville
Topics Covered: Excel, Infopath, Content management
Overview: Good content and delivery. Some of the modules were on features that we aren’t using on our intranet, so me and my programmer ducked out and went to a state park 😉
Positives: Good overview of topics, friendly instructors
Negatives: Perhaps not deep enough in some areas that I was interested in, but I guess it’s hard when you are covering so much…
Materials Provided: Spiral bound workbook
Accommodation’s, meals, snacks provided: They have their own training center, so that was very nice. They have virtual environments set up for each student, a nice rec area with good coffee and snacks, and a Wii. The hotel was nice and comfy, and the area we were in was beautiful.
Recommended?: Yes

Extreme Makeover SharePoint 2007 Edition – Branding & Customization , Sharepoint Solutions
When: June or July 2007, Nashville
Topics Covered: Branding and customization
Overview: This was only a three day class, so it went rapidly. A lot of the techniques were more code-oriented. Some good instruction and ideas.
Positives: Good content, amiable people
Negatives: Some content too technical. Branding mostly consisted of simple alterations to existing themes and master pages.
Materials Provided: Spiral bound workbook
Accommodation’s, meals, snacks provided: They have their own training center, so that was very nice. They have virtual environments set up for each student, a nice rec area with good coffee and snacks, and a Wii. The hotel was nice and comfy, and the area we were in was beautiful.
Recommended?: Yes, IF Heather’s class is unavailable. If you can only take one branding class, take Heather’s.

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Update

Geez, it’s been a month since my last post… My company sent me to the Sharepoint Branding Bootcamp in Houston the first week of December. Heather Solomon was the instructor. I had heard that she was the branding guru so I convinced my company to send me. I totally recommend Sharepoint Experts, the people that do the Bootcamps, and Heather’s class was great. I also got to talk with Matt who teaches the admin class. These people have a passion for Sharepoint, for figuring it out and actually using it for real world projects. I am trying to convince my company to send our developers to their Developer’s bootcamp…

One of the great things about training is the ability to sit in a whole room filled with people who actually do what you do every day. Where I live and work, I am the ONLY designer I know who deals with Sharepoint. Trading war stories and ideas back and forth has been as beneficial as the actual classes I have taken. So far, I have taken three. I will review each in the future. My company is also letting the lead developer and me go to the Sharepoint conference in March in Seattle. I have never been there, never been to the west coast, and I’m beyond excited…