If you go to a SharePoint conference, chances are high that Christian Buckley will be there. An active member of the SharePoint community, Christian travels the Western United States and the greater world spreading the SharePoint love. Find out how Christian found his passion in this interview.
An Interview with Christian Buckley
CMSWire: What first brought you to the information management industry?
Christian Buckley: I’ve been working in high-tech for almost 22 years, beginning with a hardware re-seller outside of Sacramento, California. While my degrees are in business and marketing, I started as a business analyst and then a technical project manager, and was just always attracted to the technology sector. I love the variety -- of projects and of people.
CMSWire: What project are you working on now that you'd like the readers to know about?
Christian: I just wrapped up a year-long series of governance surveys and I am about to publish the whitepaper. I will follow up in January with an e-book on best practices for building and implementing a governance strategy based on the survey findings. I’ll also be sharing some of the details in my keynote address at the European SharePoint Conference in Copenhagen in February.
Other than that, I am writing four or five articles a week through a number of communities and blogs, and reviewing books by a couple friends, and preparing to work on a 2013 version of my book, "Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Creating and Implementing Real-World Projects" for MS Press.
CMSWire: What excites you most about your field today?
Christian: From the SharePoint standpoint, it’s the fact that the dialog is moving from an infrastructure conversation to a business conversation. Don’t get me wrong, the infrastructure of people in SharePoint are some of the brightest out there, and you will continue to need their expertise. At the end of the day, SharePoint is a business platform.
What we need are more experts on what to do with the platform rather than the nuts and bolts of keeping it running. But my entire world is not SharePoint. As a technology evangelist and corporate strategist, I love talking to people about broader collaboration and knowledge management topics -- an area in which I've been involved in since 1997.
Many of the niche technologies we've been playing with for 10+ years are beginning to go mainstream (social, real-time analytics, big data, product life-cycle management) and that is very exciting.
CMSWire: Was there ever an "aha" moment in your career and if so, what was it?
Christian: Definitely. For me, it was the mid-90’s when I made the shift from an analyst on the technical track (EDS wanted me to become a programmer) to project management. It was a realization that where I was most passionate, and where my skills were developing, was in organizing complex ideas into consumable actions and data. I became a bit of a process nut, and for several years specialized in organizing and running project management organizations (PMOs) and working as the liaison between engineering and the business users.
But I can remember back to that decision. It was literally “You need to go to Texas for 6 to 8 weeks and start your engineering training” or go a different path. About a month later, I took a new job as a PM with a different company (Pacific Bell) to follow the new path.
CMSWire: What would your one or two biggest wishes for the industry be for 2013?
Christian: I wish more people would understand that there is little to no value in being anti-community. I am very involved in my local user group and in bringing technology events to under-served communities, and am constantly running into people who want to “own” and “control” their community rather than let it flourish. Just as you cannot raise yourself up by knocking others down, communities don’t grow unless you open them up to everyone. I guess this is my “Can’t we all just get along?” statement.
CMSWire: Is there anything else our readers should know about you?
Christian: Avid music collector of 1980’s new wave. Some fun pictures of me floating around out there with the Duran Duran haircut, DocMartins and trenchcoats. I may or may not acknowledge their existence, depending on the audience. I’m always a bit of a practical joker. One of the best that stands out to me was getting six or seven co-workers to unknowingly show up to work dressed in identical outfits. It was hilarious.
Speed Round: 6 things you should know about Christian
1. Right now I am reading
Ruins, second book in the Pathfinder trilogy by Orson Scott Card. Huge fan of OSC.
2. Quote to live by
"When you capitalize on what is unique about each person, you stimulate individual excellence. And when people excel, they not only stand out -- they stand tall." -- Marcus Buckingham
3. The best word ever said
4. When not working
I am spending time with my wife and four kids
5. Word that should be struck from the dictionary
Anything with a typo, I suppose.
6. Best song ever sung
Oh, you can’t ask a music collector to pick just one. But one song that pops into my head that I absolutely love is ‘My Last Two Weeks’ by Peter Murphy, from his best album by far, Love Hysteria.