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Earlier this week I had the pleasure of spending a day with the Microsoft Patterns & Practices group which is working on developing some good guidance for SharePoint developers. I'm real excited to see this being developed for those of us in the SharePoint development community. However, I'm even more excited that they are heavily relying on input and feedback from the community at large that sits outside the walls of Microsoft. I'm honored to be a part of this process which is a ton of fun working with some of my fellow colleagues in the community as we did on Monday.

So what are the P&P guys focusing on? Here's their focus based on requirements that real customers have reported based on surveys they've conducted (note: these are not things Microsoft has concocted... customers are asking for this and thus, they are going to deliver):

  • unit testing & debugging
  • packaging & deployment (including WSS solution package upgrades & maintenance)
  • setting up and configuring a team development environment
  • understanding which SharePoint components & Features to use and when to use them (including when you should roll your own components vs. using the OOTB stuff)

I love the fact that unit testing is at the top of the list. Know they aren't just going half-way on this... we're talking TDD & mocking!

Earlier this week the P&P team posted a new drop of a sample project (which includes a CHM help file) on CodePlex so you can see where they have been working... it's quite a big project... check it out: SharePoint Guidance.

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