No shortcuts to becoming an awesome Dynamics 365 developer

There are no shortcuts to being a good Dynamics 365 developer #HoskCodeWisdom

“The Road to excellence is difficult.  That facing adversity and challenges is part of the process, and that you should expect to encounter challenges that test you.”  – Nick Saban

A developer asked me how to stop making mistakes and improve.  The is no easy way to get get better as a Dynamics 365 developer or as a developer, there are lots of areas and skills to master and there will be always be more to learn.

You are always a student of Microsoft Dynamics 365 never it‘s master #HoskCodeWisdom

Learning Dynamics 365 is hard, you are challenged to come up with solutions to deliver customer requirements.  You are pushed out of your comfort zone into the uncomfortable place called the Project delivery zone.  Suck it up, breath it in and use it to get better quicker.

Finish work a litter wiser about Microsoft Dynamics 365 than you when you started  – #HoskCodeWisdom

No Shortcuts

Success doesn’t come from pie-in-the-sky thinking. It’s the result of consciously doing something each day that will add to your overall excellence – Nick Saban

Your vision is to be a master Dynamic 365 developer, to make this happen you need to work at improving everyday.  You need discipline to focus on improving your skills despite the many distractions.  You need to create a process of improving and carry out that process day after day, week after week and year after year.

There is no shortcut to developing skills, knowledge and experience the only way is to write code, create customisations, learn, make mistakes.

Experience and skills are created through time spent developing.

Becoming a good developer is hard but that is what makes the skill valuable because only dedicated people can achieve it.  If a goal isn’t hard then it’s not a worth while goal.

you need focus, determination and drive to keep working towards your become a good developer.  It will be difficult, you will work on difficult projects, it will challenging and you will often find yourself out of your comfort zone doing customisations you have never done before.

You should be relentless in the pursuit of your goal, be prepared of to work through adversity and hard times

You will speed up

When you are not practicing then someone else is using that time to get better #HoskWisdom
Becoming a Dynamics 365 developer like rolling a snowball.  It starts small and as you roll it in the snow it grows bigger and bigger.  You are picking up knowledge and skills and this translates into developing faster because you don’t have to stop and learn everything.
Learning to develop is like learning to drive, driving is difficult and exciting.  Everything you do is hard, adjusting the seat/mirrors, changing gears, looking in mirrors, steering, watching out for cars/pedestrians, not crashing.  The more experience you get, the more you practice the more of driving you can do without thinking.
Soon you are changing gears without thinking, instinctively looking your mirror and expecting cars.
Developers go through the same learning curve as they become more experienced with different Dynamics CRM customisations and scenarios.  This is Why .NET developers struggle with CRM Development
You can speed up the process by learning from the experiences of Hosk,

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Dynamics 365 – How to uninstall the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit


The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit gives pain and pleasure in equal amounts.

There will be times when you have had enough of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit or you want to uninstall it because it’s causing you more pain than pleasure.

You can find more information about the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit

I’m uninstalling it because I want to remove all the versions before reinstalling the latest version.  There were some problems with multiple versions causing problems, so I wanted to make sure it was completely uninstalled.

  1.  Make sure you have Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit installed
  2. Go to Tools –> Extensions and Updates
  3. Find Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit

uninstall-developer-toolkit-1 uninstall-developer-toolkit

4. Click uninstall and restart


5.  Repeat steps 2 – 4 because sometimes an older version will be hiding underneath your earlier version

Hosk’s Top Dynamics 365 Articles of the week – 22nd February


Mediocre people don’t like high-achievers and high-achievers don’t like mediocre people. Nick Saban

Success doesn’t come from pie-in-the-sky thinking. It’s the result of consciously doing something each day that will add to your overall excellence – Nick Saban

#HoskWisdom Favoutes this week

  • If you don’t learn to fail, you fail to learn #HoskWisdom
  • Developers dance to the speed of the project and the tune the project manager plays #HoskCodeWisdom
  • You know nothing Jon Snow, particularly about writing an auto number plugin in Dynamics 365 #HoskWisdom #HoskCodeWisdom
  • Good code comments itself, bad code is commented on by developers saying “What the f**k is this meant to do?” #HoskWisdom #HoskCodeWisdom
  • Less code is always more #HoskCodeWisdom
  • if your code is not readable it’s not maintainable #HoskCodeWisdom
  • I’m not a programmer, I’m a code delivery ninja #HoskCodeWisdom
  • The Hosk crushes bug totally, until they wish there were never created by me #HoskCodeWisdom
  • You are only as good as your last line of code #HoskCodeWisdom
  • The code in your source control is only as good as your weakest developer, unless you review it before it’s checked in #HoskCodeWisdom
  • Having a great idea is not enough, it needs hard work to turn the idea into something real #HoskWisdom
  • Get out of the comfort zone and move into the difficult, scary, no idea, uncomfortable zone. It’s better for you #HoskWisdom
  • The end is important to others, the journey is important to you #HoskWisdom
  • Ego lets you hear praise and ignores criticism, yet it is criticism which helps you improve #HoskWisdom
  • Fear will always exist, you control it or it controls you #HoskWisdom
  • Business rules and JavaScript are like electricity and water, they don’t mix well #HoskWisdom
  • I have been sent from the planet scrum to master you, now sprint you monkeys and no sitting in meetings #HoskWisdom

Want more #HoskWisdom then follow #HoskWisdom, #HoskCodeWisdom or follow @BenHosk

Articles of the week


I haven’t blogged for a month so there are a few articles of the week

Freeing Storage Space in Dynamics 365

Top 20 new features in Dynamics 365

Our organization is relocating – poor performance in Dublin data centre

Useful Dynamics 365 Downloads and Resources

Best of the rest

What I learnt from CRM Saturday Paddington

Microsoft releases new update for Social Engagement with Social Selling Assistant and more

Dynamics 365 new BPF architecture gotcha

Dynamics 365 Roadmap: Dynamics 365 Portals – Why You Need Them (and How to Try Them Out for Free) 

PowerApps Is A Game Changer

Recover Dynamics 365 portal fails

Leveraging Dynamics 365’s Common Data Model: An Architectural Discussion

State of Microsoft Dynamics 365 in 2017 – My Speaker Notes

Built-in Site Map Editor in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM 8.2

CRM Forms loading too slow: Check OUT this USEFUL list

OMG, do YOU use CRMojis?!

What You Need to Know about the Hustle and [Microsoft] Flow

Dynamics CRM Build Tools

CRM Saturday – XrmToolBox with Jonas Rapp

Microsoft Flow Can Extend Dynamics 365 more than you ever imagined

understanding your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online Licensing Options

Integrate Power BI with Microsoft Dynamics 365


C# Coding Conventions (C# Programming Guide)

10 golden rules for becoming a better programmer

Scaling Git (and some back story)

Continuing the evolution of the Microsoft MVP Award!

How to Measure Team Agility


Bill Belichick on Super Bowl win: ‘We’re five weeks behind the other teams for 2017 season’

Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber

moving interview

Tribal Leadership: The Key To Building Great Teams

How to help kids fail

Bill Belichick’s Five Lessons For Innovators

Behavioural interview question

The Hosk – currently reading

The Hosk – just finished reading

Hosk’s CRM Developer Articles

A collection of my favourite CRM Developer articles I have written

CRM 2016 – Tips on passing the MB2-712 customization and config exam

All the CRM 2016 content to help you pass the exam

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What I learnt from CRM Saturday Paddington

Code problems are hard to find and easy to fix, people problems are easy to find and hard to fix  #HoskCodeWisdom

The secret of Dynamics 365 projects is knowing what’s on the other side of customer requirements #HoskCodeWisdom

I attended CRM Saturday, a CRM event held on a Saturday, surely not many people are going to go to that, in their own time?

It was scheduled for 100 people and fully booked with people flying in from Europe to present and attend.  The final numbers were around 80ish people, a good turnout.

The first thing I learnt was CRM Saturday was awesome and Microsoft’s offices are pretty cool.

It was a trek to get there, waking up at 6 am and walking to the train station on a dark rainy Saturday morning


The Capgemini team had three people attending, it was useful to compare our development practices with the standards other Dynamics 365 developers use.  We had Kriss the Dynamics DevOps Ninja, Joao the Dynamics CRM capability lead (the only person who knew business processes were now entities) and the Hosk

The Hosk gathers requirements like a butterfly and codes like tiger #HoskCodeWisdom

The day started with an overview from Raz who had a slide saying CRM forever, not accurate because it‘s Dynamics 365 and business apps now.

10:00 AM – Developing Dynamics 365

Baris Kanlica & Ramon Tebar Dynamics CRM MVP

Developing Dynamics 365 New Platform Features & Deprecations

What I learnt

This was my favourite talk seeing new Dynamics 365 functionality in action, it gave me a better idea of how it could be used in Dynamics projects.

The Data export service runs every 15 seconds to 15 minutes and exports entities to a database.  I hadn’t realised it could be used as tool to keep a sycnronised copy of the CRM database.  You could use this for reporting or access via an application, reducing load on Dynamics CRM.

App modules allows you to create a mini version of Dynamics 365 for a specific set of users and block out the noise of entities they are not interested in.  You can bring an app approach to CRM

11:00 AM  – Extending CRM with Azure & Cognitive Services

Marco Amoedo – Dynamics CRM MVP – HCL

Hosk learnings

A glimpse of what Dynamics 365 projects might look like in the future.  Using the data held in Dynamics 365 and linking with analytics like voice recognition, face recognition, sentiment from text.

The reason Microsoft removed CRM from the product is the Dynamics platform is used to create business application and linking the data in Dynamics 365 to any other services.

12:00 PM Unified Service Desk in 60 mins

Neil Parkhurst – Dynamics CRM MVP

Neil Parkhurst introduces you to how Unified Service Desk can be configured to provide a Call Center Solution


Hosk Learning

USD seems to be improving and in the demo it seems easy but I still hope to avoid USD projects 🙂

2pm – Agile CRM Release Management & Microsoft Dynamics Solution Enhancements

Raz Dynamics – Dynamics Community Moderator

This Session Reviews how Dynamics CRM Solutions and dependencies are structured with a focus on providing practical tips for managing and deploying crm solutions for Agile Projects. This will also prep you for the importance of the next session on Continuous Integration / ALM by Wael Hamze.

Continuous Integration/Delivery for CRM Projects : Dev to Live in a Flash

Find out how you can automate the build and deployment processes for your CRM solutions. The session will demonstrate how the latest tools from the CRM SDK, Visual Studio Online & xRM CI Framework can work together to implement end to end one-click deployments of your enterprise Dynamics CRM Solutions across all your environments. This will allow you to deliver CRM more frequently in a consistent and reliable way.

Hosk Learning

This was a good demo and it shows how well Capgemini have set up our Dynamics 365 project because we implemented a CI environment very similar to this.  Big projects with multiple developers need CI and automation if they want to be delivered successfully.

4:00 PM – Test Automation framework for Dynamics CRM Development

Jordi Montana – Dynamics Value

Jordi Montana introduces Developers to his Exciting new Test Automation framework for Dynamics CRM Development

Hosk Learning

Another best practice many Dynamics developers don’t do because it’s too hard to unit test plugins.  I don’t think developers should put code in plugins and if they organise their code they can decouple the CRM SDK and avoid testing it.

The FakeXRMEasy framework is on github and a tool to help developers test their code with the use of a in memory database

Unit Test for Microsoft Dynamics CRM using

Funny things

It was great to meet people from the Dynamics 365 community and meet Hosk blog readers, it’s cool to hear how my blog has helped other people as much as it has helped me to write the blog posts.

Someone asked me how old my blog was, it’s about 6 years old now, so my blog is in primary school.

Someone said I looked smaller than my picture and more Chinese like in person!!

I had a great time in the pub after, Dynamics people are friendly people and pretty thirsty.  After a long day I made the last train home by 2 minutes which involved some running.


CRM Saturday was great fun in lots of ways

I Learnt thing about Dynamics 365 and the new functionality and how cognitive services can integrate with Dynamics 365.   It might be possible but I can’t see many projects which would need to leverage cognitive services but Dynamics 365 projects are changing.

It’s fun meeting people from the Dynamics 365 community and talking about Dynamics 365

It’s always good to meet Hosk Dynamics blog readers

For those interested, the next CRMSaturday is in Dublin and there are lots more in the pipeline for 2017