Wages to go up for Microsoft Dynamic consultant’s in 2014

I got an email from Experis discussing Microsoft Dynamics market survey they ran recently.  Unfortunately I can’t seem to a link to the actual report but it was interesting and the results are good news for people working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

They have concluded from

  1. Permanent salaries and contract rates in 2013 were on par with 2012. However, we envisage these to increase in 2014, as demand is expected to increase for Dynamics Consultants due to Microsoft pushing this in the market.
  2. The biggest impacts in 2014 will be:
    • Microsoft’s enhancement of  user capabilities, specifically within the retail industry
    • Microsoft’s roll out of their latest versions of Dynamics AX 2014, due for release early 2014
    • The continual growth of clients upgrading to Dynamics CRM 2013
  3. Dynamics specialists have indicated that they are keener than ever to invest in their own personal development and training.  Enrolment in Microsoft courses will help keep specialists up-to-date with the latest releases.

I feel I should add the last part in, which is a link to their website

If you are looking to take advantage of the new job opportunities in 2014, visit our website for the latest openings.  Also they have a salary checker for people in the UK – http://experisit.salarytrack.co.uk//

Their findings are interesting, wages were static last year but now with the release of CRM 2013 there will be a requirement for customers to update to the latest version and this it seems puts a squeeze on the CRM resources and pushes the price up.

It also shows you the importance of keeping your skills up to date because not only will CRM 2013 skills be in demand but there will be less people with these skills.

Point 3 about personal training does sound in general like the people I have worked with whilst using Microsoft Dynamics CRM projects.  A lot of the people read/write blogs and have studied for the CRM certifications in their own time.  When new releases of CRM are released they make sure they learn about it.  At the moment CRM is quite fast paced with Microsoft making dramatic changes on a yearly basis, so if you didn’t keep up you would soon be left behind.

In general they seem a lot more self motivated and driven individuals, which is exactly the type of people you want to be working with I think.

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Hosk has made it on to the Dynamics Leader Board

After answering lots of forum questions and posting lots of CRM blog posts I have finally made it onto the the leader board.  I am the only non MVP to feature on the leader board so I am with esteemed company.

https://community.dynamics.com/braggerbadges/leaderboard.aspx

leader board

 

I am also 10th on the badge leaders, a precarious position and could be over taken at any moment.

I wasn’t sure it was possible to get onto the leader board because all the other people on the the leader board are MVP’s in either AX, NAV, CRM, GP, quite a few of them also have the Microsoft Community Contributor badge, MVP page.  Interestingly if you are an MVP you can get free membership to CRMUG for the time you are an MVP.  To get onto the leader board you basically have to get all the badges, which as you can imagine is quite difficult and takes a lot of time.

I have one more badge to get and that’s Problem Solver 5 a badge which only 22 other Dynamic Community members have.

My target after that is to try and get a Microsoft CRM Community Contributor Badge , This is a special badge awarded every six months to the top 5 members with the most verified answers in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM forum, providing notable contributions to the community.

I am currently in the top 5 contributors, now all I have to do is stay in that position until June!  Yes you don’t get this badge easily.

I have heard that Microsoft are looking at developing the leader board some in the coming months.  This will potentially have a monthly leader board and the ability to view all the members positions.

Check out the Microsoft Dynamics Community Leaderboard

Along with the new badges and lots of other improvements in the Dynamic Community there is also a leader board. The leaderboard shows a list of the 3 different top tens and this list includes all dynamic flavours AX, CRM, NAV and GP.

Below is the link to the standard Leader board

https://community.dynamics.com/braggerbadges/leaderboard.aspx

In some ways the leader board is a bit redundant because it’s mainly just a list of Dynamic MVP’s and really this list isn’t going to change very much because most of these people have got practically all the badges/points, so it will be very difficult for a non MVP to get onto the leader board.

but I also found a link which gives you lots more details about how many questions people had answered, how many verified questions and other interesting facts and figures.  Click below to see

https://community.dynamics.com/crm/p/leaderboard.aspx?badge=72

This link is a lot more interesting because you can view more statistics and even find yourself by clicking the highest badge you have.

if you have ever wondered how much effort the MVP’s put in to get their MVP status then you should look at the badges leader board section.

The number of questions they have answered (or attempted to) is incredible, I knew they worked hard and contributed a lot to the CRM community but the amount of effort they have put in certainly deserves respect and shows you the levels you need to reach if you want to be a CRM MVP.  I was only looking at the highest badges but you can you view other badges to find yourself (assuming you haven’t got the highest badges)

The first pictures show those people who have got the level 4 badge and the numbers are total questions answered.  So you get a count for every time you answer a forum post (but doesn’t have to be proposing an answer). I feature on this one with a small 300 which is way behind Jason Lattimer and Gus Gonzalez

level 4 - total answered questions

Problem Solver 5 shows how many verified answers the users have, Jason Lattimer has an amazing 394!

problem solver 5

The trouble shooter 5, shows the people with trouble shooter 5 and the number of suggested answer

trouble shooter 5

First Impressions of CRM 2013

I started a trial of CRM 2013 and I have to admit I really liked the lack of popups, it seemed to make it a lot more smoother and easy to keep track of what your were doing without having to peek at the 10 internet browsers.  I actually did this a while ago but didn’t get round to publishing this blog post but it was still my first impression

crm 2013 first look

I automatically opened the CRM instance in IE but then thought I would try it in Chrome, woah, it works and feels just the same as IE.  I would also say CRM 2013 looks lovely

I was doing a fair bit of stumbling around, I create an account and then trying to create an account, pressing the plus. I pressed the associated view and then wondered how to get back to the account.

I’m not saying this is negative, it’s just different and there is no reason to fear change.  I logically worked out if I clicked on the account, it should be a hyperlink and take me back to the account, pow, back I was.   This time I added the contact, search and then add, this displays (I was going to use the word popup but that is just plain wrong, nothing popped up, it was more of a bar) a bar of information for you to add the new contact.

It was smooth and slick but the one thought that kept popping up in my mind was, how the heck do you develop these things yourself?  This is going to be very different from CRM 2011

The social pane is an interesting feature, it’s something which Microsoft have added and is both useful and frustrating.  It’s quick and easy to use and has functionality in you couldn’t add using the standard GUI.  It has three tabs, posts, notes and activities.

social pane

I have also answered lots of forum questions with frustrated users who have found they cannot modify the social pane and the functionality within it for notes and calls is not what they want.  Hopefully Microsoft will make this customizable in future rollups.

Business process flows are an unusual concept.  There is a form that sits on top of the form which is used to encourage people to fill in the data for the record.  The fields are also on the main form but they sit up the top prompting users to fill them in.  It’s quite a good idea but I did now and again find it annoying without any idea of how to get rid of it.

Overall I enjoyed using CRM 2013 and although initially it was slow finding my way around, I really liked the fact you didn’t have lots of windows popping up everywhere.

There are also some good new features in CRM 2013 which I have had a little look at.  I have tried a business rule and realised I needed to create two business rules, one to do something and another do undo.

It feels to me like CRM has moved forward in the import area of looks, this matters to customers, especially when attracting new ones to projects.

Why you shouldn’t put unsupported customizations in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

I was answering a CRM forum question on unsupported changes in CRM.  The developer wasn’t really sure why it was important not to put in unsupported changes into CRM.

Here are my thoughts on why you should not put in unsupported customizations

The main problem with unsupported changes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, is there is no guarantee they will work in the future because it may use/reference some functionality that Microsoft will change in the future or possible remove

if your CRM instance has a problem and there are unsupported changes in the code Microsoft support will not help you (only offer limited support) because the unsupported changes may be the cause of the problems you are experiencing.

finally when it comes to upgrading the solution, the unsupported changes may not work and could cause difficulties when upgrading.  This probably seems a long way off when you are putting the change in but upgrading versions of CRM will involve a lot of checking anyway, you don’t want to make more work for yourself later.

It can be difficult because sometimes the customer really wants the unsupported customization but you need to inform them of the drawbacks of doing this

MVP writes about the dangers here
http://gonzaloruizcrm.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/risks-of-unsupported-customizations-in.html

Below are some links to what are unsupported and supported changes in the various different versions of CRM

Unsupported changes in CRM 2013
http://msdynamicscrmblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/common-unsupported-customization-practices-in-dynamics-crm-2013/

supported and unsupported changes in CRM 2011
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg328350.aspx

CRM 4 – unsupported customizations
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb928224.aspx

CRM 2011 – Error registering plugins and/or workflows. The resource string “ErrorSerializingRegFile” for the “RegisterPlugin” task cannot be found

I got this error today. whilst trying to deploy my updated CRM 2011 plugin

Error      1              Error registering plugins and/or workflows. The resource string “ErrorSerializingRegFile” for the “RegisterPlugin” task cannot be found. Confirm that the resource name “ErrorSerializingRegFile” is correctly spelled, and the resource exists in the task’s assembly.           C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\CRM\Microsoft.CrmDeveloperTools.12.targets             176         4              CrmPackage

 

This is one of those frustrating errors because to my knowledge nothing had really changed.  This forum post was very useful and set me off in the right direction.

http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/16f85a83-236d-4789-b3e4-02e6d4a4e5f1/errorserializingregfile-plugin-deployment-error?forum=crm

Now I have had this problem before and will no doubt have this problem again in the future.  The reason for the problem in this case was because RegisterFile.crmregister file was read only.  When you click deploy visual studio will try and write to this file and was failing because it couldn’t write to it.

So to resolve the problem you need to check out or make editible the RegisterFile.crmregister file.  Deploy again and it will hopefully work without any problems