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If you’re wondering about the title of this blog post, it’s a paraphrase of a Dutch proverb. The proverb just says that it’s often easier to ask questions than to answer them, an experience we all have at points in our life. While we’re on the subject of proverbs, currently my favorite one is a Mongol proverb that says: “A detour of 10 miles is not much, if you’re a mad dog.” If you can top this one, please comment on this article.
Have you experienced the thing where someone at works comes to you, and asks a simple and innocent question that is quite hard to answer? To draw from a personal experience, during the start of my career in software development I worked as a software developer and was hired by a large construction company. We created a web site or them, it looked quite cool, and it even had a Flash App on it that allowed end users to construct their own homes on the fly. During the final presentation, the customer was happy too, walked up to the software architect (for the record: not me), and asked such a simple and innocent question: “It looks great, but you haven’t shown me the Content Management System (CMS) yet that allows us to manage the contents of the web site.” Well, talking about awkward silences, most IT companies back then did the “big bang” software delivery thing and the reason the CMS wasn’t shown was because it wasn’t built. It wasn’t built, because it wasn’t in the user requirements. According to the customer, it wasn’t in the user requirements because it was obvious that it was a user requirement.
In SharePoint world, and how I love to see the world thru SharePoint glasses, the most recent widely popular example of this type of question is this: “Oh, we almost forgot, and make sure your custom solution also supports Office 365”.
A more traditional SharePoint question is the one where an administrator or Enterprise Architect comes up to you and says: “Please do specify the exact accounts and permissions you need for your SharePoint installation.” It’s a common question, and although I’d like to answer it with: give me a couple of service accounts, local admin rights, and make me SQL Server admin for the database server, IRL things don’t work like that. Because of that, I started documenting it for SharePoint 2013, and ya’ll are welcome to help: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/14500.sharepoint-2013-best-practices-service-accounts-en-us.aspx