Patterns and Practices Client Side Development Special Interest Group

Earlier this year the Patterns and Practices core team realized that there was a need to expand the scope of what we covered, but that the core team itself couldn't scale. To address this we created the concept of the Special Interest Groups or SIGs. The first of these is the Client Side Development group which will focus on TypeScript & JavaScript development as well we development on the new SharePoint Framework. Our decision to start with client side development came from two places.

The first being that there was already a robust community around supporting the CSOM library and add-in development. But client side development was underrepresented in our samples and guidance. We often see that many of the performance problems in large portals tracked back to implementation choices in client script. Clearly better guidance was needed for JavaScript developers.

Second, internally we learned about the upcoming SharePoint Framework and immediately recognized an opportunity to help developers as they learn the new techniques and capabilities on offer. Part of this was the development of a reusable client library that easily integrates into SP Fx development, and the creation of samples and guidance. The library is currently available, the rest will become public when the framework is rolled out.

So what does the Client Development SIG do?

PnP SIG (JavaScript) - Weekly 20160602

First, we operate on the idea of Worldwide, One Team. Anyone is welcome to join and be part of the team through contributing to the git repo, creating samples, updating documentation, or being part of the conversation across our various social channels. More on those in a bit. Central to our work are three main tenants: supporting an elastic team, remaining community driven, and enabling developers.

The idea of an elastic team is the understanding that given our distributed and voluntary nature folks ability to contribute and be involved will fluctuate. We understand. That is why all of our conversations are public and our weekly team calls recorded, to provide an opportunity to catch up - as well as to provide a record of what we've done for anyone new to the team. Everyone has life, family, work, hobbies - so when you are able to join in we appreciate it! And when you need to be away, no worries, 100% expected and understood.

Remaining community driven is central to the entire Patterns and Practices program, not just the JS SIG. Without the community participation, feedback, and interest we wouldn't be of much value. We are always listening and evaluating feedback and suggestions.

Finally, and this is of key importance to me personally, is the idea of enabling developers. There are two facets to this - the first is enabling folks on the team who want to get involved and contribute to have a good experience and get to do some interesting work. Second is about giving those folks who consume our work a great experience as well, make it easy to use what we create - whether it is samples, guidance, or the library.

So how do I get involved?

There are four main ways to get involved with the Client Side Development SIG:

  • Join us in Yammer or Gitter to discuss ideas, issues, changes, questions, etc
  • Use the library in your projects and report any issues you encounter
  • Contribute to the library or the samples by writing new code and fixing reported issues
  • Attend the weekly calls to hear from and give feedback to the PnP core team and SIG program leaders

If you are interested in client side development, TypeScript, open source tools, or the new SharePoint Framework please join us! Look forward to hearing your ideas.

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