Where is the line between Power User and Developer in SharePoint?
SharePoint power users are loosely defined as folks that have a knowledge base in SharePoint above and beyond that of a general SharePoint User. In training/marketing materials Power users are normally listed alongside a Site Owner or Site Collection Administrator role. Power users are invaluable to the growth and adoption of SharePoint within organizations as they usually have a better understanding of the features and functionality available out of the box that can enhance the end user experience and are essentially a translator between IT and the business when it comes to requirements. Recently it seems that the lines between developer and power user are being blurred and I am not sure that is a good thing.
During the future of SharePoint event Microsoft announced that they will be rolling out Microsoft Flow and PowerApps as built-in applications within SharePoint Online. The news of Microsoft Flow and PowerApps being rolled out was not groundbreaking as both have been on the radar for a while but having them built directly into SharePoint Online is a big deal. Microsoft Flow and PowerApps are not going to replace developers as there are definitely limitations on what those tools can do but they add a couple more tools to an already crowded power user tool belt.
I don’t necessarily think that providing more options is good thing without clear guidance and I know this is all pre-release anyway but it is concerning. We already have trouble with people being overwhelmed by the learning curve with SharePoint and adding a few more tools to the tool belt might not be a good thing for the right now. I really hope that there is some clear definition around use cases for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow as well as guidance/training available for power users directly from Microsoft. We definitely don’t need another InfoPath situation in the SharePoint community.