As part of the SharePoint 2013 beta 2 “big bang” release activities, we just released also training materials for the IT Pro’s and Developers. This time around I’ve been working as program manager and instructor on the IT Pro side and for the Developer side we used Critical Path Training for material creation. This was quite similar engagement as what we did for SharePoint 2010 few years back, when I was responsible of the Developer side.

Even though I’m developer by heart, when I was approached with opportunity for leading the IT Pro side content creation, I could not refuse and since we had excellent guys from Critical Path Training taking care of the developer side material creation, under coordination from Microsoft product marketing, this was a no brainer. This was again nice change from actual customer engagements, since at the time was just finalizing my previous big customer engagement where I had worked for 1,5 years full time. Internally we called these now released training materials as “Ignite” trainings and we have had already quite a few deliveries for early adaptor programs during past year.

Personally this also gave me great opportunity to work mainly from home with approximately one week of travel per month… since I’m still quite fresh dad (first one is now 7 months) working from home provides flexibility on actual working hours without need to leaving to customer on each morning. I’ve been lucky to be able to choose my own engagements or projects already for years, so that I can match working model on the family situation.

Introduction to released material

IT Pro training

So – what was actually released? – For IT Pro side, which is also targeted for Architects and System Analysts, we released 50 individual videos which are from 10 minutes to 1 hours, depending on topic. We also released all presentations used for these recordings, so that you can use both videos and presentations offline as well. Here’s some stats on what was now released.

  • 50 videos
  • Overall video time 15 hours and 14 minutes
  • Overall slide count 748

Objective was to concentrate mainly on changed topics compared to previous SharePoint version in 200-300 level, but for many topics, we also explain quickly the basics for introduction perspective. Topics vary from the infrastructure architecture planning to functionality introduction, so that you should get overall understanding on the key SharePoint 2013 functionalities even though you wouldn’t be a “server dude or gal”, rather you’d like to understand for example the new capabilities on WCM side.

Here’s the complete set of modules, with descriptions, which each has one or more videos.

  • SharePoint 2013 IT pro introduction and overview
    • Get an overview of key changes and new concepts in SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Foundation 2013.
  • SharePoint 2013 system requirements
    • Learn about the hardware and software requirements for SharePoint 2013 and supported browser levels and setup considerations.
  • SharePoint 2013 architectural changes
    • Learn about key architectural changes in the SharePoint 2013 platform. We'll highlight the most relevant changes from an overall architectural perspective.
  • SharePoint 2013 server farms and site architecture planning
    • Plan for server farms and sites in SharePoint 2013. Learn about planning for the distributed cache, changes in alternate access mappings and self-service site creation, new features in themes, and new ways to share sites, lists, and libraries.
  • Office Web Apps 2013 architecture and deployment
    • Learn about the new architecture and deployment model for Office Web Apps including architectural changes, deployment options, and operation aspects.
  • SharePoint 2013 service application architecture and individual service applications
    • Get an overview of about changes in individual service applications in SharePoint 2013, including new service applications, general considerations, and changes in service application architecture.
  • SharePoint 2013 enterprise search overview
    • Learn about the redesigned Enterprise Search in SharePoint 2013 including architectural changes to physical and logical topologies, details about configuration options for crawling, content, and query.
  • SharePoint 2013 social features
    • Social is one of the largest investments in SharePoint 2013. New features and capabilities provide a better and more comprehensive story for social computing in SharePoint 2013. Get a walkthrough of social features in SharePoint 2013.
  • SharePoint 2013 enterprise content management and web content management considerations
    • Get an overview of key changes and improvements in enterprise content management (ECM) and web content management (WCM) in SharePoint 2013. Learn about new capabilities from eDiscover improvements to major new capabilities for WCM-driven sites.
  • SharePoint 2013 customization options and management
    • Learn about the new customization capabilities in SharePoint 2013 and what that means from IT pro perspective. Learn about required infrastructural changes for new customization capabilities and setting up team development environments.
  • SharePoint 2013 authentication and authorization overview
    • Get an overview of changes in claims-based authentication in SharePoint 2013. Learn about new support for OAuth and how it's used in SharePoint 2013. Also see how OAuth is used in Server to Server (S2S) authentication scenarios.
  • Overview of SharePoint 2013 business continuity management
    • Learn about the approaches and techniques to use when devising a meaningful and cost-effective business continuity management (BCM) strategy for SharePoint 2013.
  • Upgrading to SharePoint 2013
    • Learn about the different facets of upgrade preparation and understand the key skills and techniques you'll need to successfully upgrade to SharePoint 2013

You can find more details on the IT Pro side training also from the TechNet SharePoint 2013 welcome page.

Developer training

Developer side has also massive amount of videos and excellent content for new customization capabilities for SharePoint 2013. Development training manager is managed and coordinated by Keenan Newton (Senior Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft). Actual videos and presentations for them was and is created by Critical Path Training with help from key program managers from Microsoft product group.

You can find more information concerning SharePoint 2013 Developer training from MSDN SharePoint developer landing page.


It’s been truly a privilege to work with such a skillful team for the past year for creating this package to be available. It’s interesting how new technology enables you to work closely with people cross the world without any issues. When we started, our initial team looked little bit different, but this is the full list of instructors who have been responsible of the content creation for IT Pro side.

  • Steve Peschka, Principal Consultant, Microsoft
  • Vesa Juvonen, Principal Consultant, Microsoft
  • Luca Bandinelli, Director, World Wide Communities
  • James Petrosky, Principal Consultant, Microsoft
  • Bryan Porter, Senior Engineering Service Engineer

As mentioned already, developer side content was mainly created by people from Critical Path Training, key resources being following people.

We have used and will use also additional people in our program deliveries during spring and autumn 2012. These people have been helping on individual deliveries by working as instructors for some modules, so we haven’t have the same team traveling for each delivery, except some of us, like yours truly (hoping to skip few travels though on autumn). It’s not a coincident that there’s quite a few MCM’s (Microsoft Certified Master) in the list for ensuring highest possible quality for our deliveries.

  • Ali Mazaheri, MCM, Technology Architect, Microsoft
  • Chris Gideon, Senior Premier Support Engineer, Microsoft
  • Kirk Evans, Principal Premier Support Engineer, Microsoft
  • Mitch Prince, MCM, Delivery Architect, Microsoft
  • Avneesh Kaushik, Senior Consultant, Microsoft
  • Israel Vega, Senior Consultant, Microsoft
  • Neil Hodgkins, MCM, Senior Engineering Service Manager, Microsoft
  • Wayne Ewington, MCA & MCM, Principal Consultant, Microsoft
  • Tajeshwar Singh, MCM, Senior Consultant, Microsoft
  • Ali Powell, Delivery Architect, Microsoft
  • Shane Young, MVP
  • Todd Klindt, MVP

We’ve also received tremendous support from the SharePoint product group for making sure that we cover all important topics for SharePoint 2013. There’s been too many program manager’s involved, for mentioning them all, for helping us with interviews, documents and reviews. I also want to thank our awesome program sponsor Bill Baer (Senior Product Marketing Manager), who have been helping us cross the journey.

Summary & next steps

Due timing challenges, we were forced to do some of the videos quite early, which means that there’s some minor inconsistencies with beta 2 builds, but these are nothing major and those will be fixed for following versions of the material. When we work product as this size, there’s always some late changes which we could not get updated for videos. Anyways, this was our initial public release for this material, but we will continue working with it towards the RTM version (official released versions), meaning that we will release similar set of updated videos and presentations when the SharePoint 2013 RTM version will be released.

There will be also other training packages and material released based on this and other programs, which will be available on more regional or country level, meaning that we will release re-usable training packages, like we have done with older versions as well.

We are more then interested of hearing any feedback, comments or suggestions for changes for upcoming versions.