It's been a big year for Office365 and SharePoint. If you are a developer, you have likely seen all of the news around the SharePoint Framework. Currently, we have access to:
This new framework is a modern take on the old SharePoint development models and gives you the ability to customize the new "Modern UI" for Office 365. SharePoint 2016 On-premise will receive the SharePoint Framework in Feature Pack 2. Now this is all great, but one of the questions I always see is:
"Is it too early to look at the SharePoint Framework?"
How you interpret that question can result in different answers. Yes, the SharePoint Framework is new. At this early stage, a lot of updates are coming out and so many developer's comfort levels are being encroached on because it feels a bit unstable. Many people I've talked to have wanted to adopt SPFx but are concerned with the toolchain and concerned it may be a bit too early for use.
However, if you interpet this question as it is written, the answer is no. It's never too early to "look" into the SharePoint Framework. In fact, I encourage it! The SharePoint Framework is evolving quickly and one thing is inevitable... it's the direction we are moving. The benefit of adopting SPFx early is that you can grow with the platform, heck you can even contribute to a growing community! Why wait?
Now, I'm not telling you that SPFx needs to be in your client's production environments right now (though webparts are GA), but it should definitely be in your development environments. Start early, learn what you can and can't do with the current versions and start thinking about how your existing solutions may be able to move into the SharePoint Framework development model. In my mind, it's never too early for education...especially when it comes to learning a new toolchain with Node/Webpack/Gulp/TypeScript. So I recommend to all developers...
Start now and grow with the platform.
Need help getting started? My good friend Matthew Bailey has a great introduction to the SharePoint Framework found here.