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How I got into SharePoint – Russ Norton (Republished)

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series How I Got Into SharePoint

How long have you been using SharePoint?: 4 years, 1 month, 18 days

What’s your current role: General Manager & SharePoint Trainer at 3grow Australia

Your Story: I had been delivering IT training - mainly around Microsoft Office – for nearly 5 years when I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to work for Combined Knowledge. I jumped at the opportunity to test myself in the training world by delivering courses on such a huge tool as SharePoint. Although I’d had exposure to SharePoint before I joined Combined Knowledge, there was still a lot to learn, and with the help of Steve Smith, Brett Lonsdale and Craig Carpenter, I delivered my first course after 5 weeks, and I’ve never looked back. Since then, I moved onto delivering courses, workshops and consultancy in InfoPath, SharePoint BI, SharePoint Designer, WCM, Nintex Workflow & Reporting… the list goes on!

The great difference between teaching general MS Office applications and SharePoint is this fantastic community where SharePoint users, developers and IT pros can share their knowledge and experiences. One of the primary ways this is done is via User Group meetings, Conferences, and SharePoint Saturday events all around the world… so it felt only natural to get involved in speaking at these events to pass on my experiences.

Another huge personal benefit of getting involved with Combined Knowledge was the opportunity to travel – delivering training all over the world, from USA to India to Qatar, to Iceland… it’s a tough life! When I was sent to deliver a few courses in Australia I fell in love with the place, so when I was then offered yet another fantastic opportunity – to help set up and run the Australia branch of 3grow (previously just based in NZ), the the Asia Pacific partner of Combined Knowledge – I could hardly refuse, that would’ve just been daft! So in May this year I made the massive step of moving to Melbourne with a fantastic team based over the ditch in New Zealand.

What’s next for you: As I am still in the early stages of this exciting venture, my intention is to help provide Australia and the rest of the Asia Pacific region with the best SharePoint training on offer, and under the guidance of the guys in NZ – Rachael Lake, Chan Kulathilake & Mark Orange – I have no doubt we will succeed in this, and earn the fantastic reputation which the team’s efforts deserve. To this end, I will be continuing to get involved in events such as User Group meetings and SharePoint Saturday, and of course I’m very much looking forward to the Australia and NZ SharePoint conferences in March 2012… Hopefully I’ll catch up with some of you SharePointers there!

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