The successful growth of the Birmingham CRMUG

Learning and keeping up with Dynamics 365 is difficult, new features, services and functionality is being released at an increasing rate.  This makes working with the Dynamics community and sharing knowledge is more important now than ever

I presented at the Birmingham CRMUG on November 28th, with a presentation on change in Dynamics called – Dynamics 365 is survival of the most adaptable.  This was the 10th meeting of the Birmingham CRMUG and just over 2 years since the first meeting.

Many people have helped create the Dynamics community in the West Midlands, the group now has 151 members with 40 people attending the last meeting in November.

The beginning

On the 17th October I got an email from someone called Imtiaz sent me an email

Hi Ben

The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce has sponsored the first meetup, they have provided a venue and refreshments. The dates they have given me are 7th, 9th or 11th November. times 6pm – 8pm

Would love for you to cover some content on the first meet, or should I put it to the group to see if any one would like to present anything. The topic that have raised interest are Dynamics 365, Azure integration, ADX portals, CRM 2016.

what do you think?


I liked the idea but I didn’t like the idea of meeting up with only a few people, so I wrote a post to encourage more people to attend

Birmingham Dynamics Crm User Group has started – Join now 

I managed to persuade in person a bunch of people so the first meeting felt like a great start, here is a picture from the initial meeting

Where is CRMUG Birmingham now?

The last meeting of CRMUG had a great turnout with 55 signed up and 40 people attending.  Three interesting

  • Lucy Muscat – Use Microsoft Teams to Transform sales team collaboration –
  • Imtiaz Hussain – CRM Projects from Conception to Inception –
  • The Hosk – Dynamics 365 is Survival of the Adaptable –

The meeting was vibrant and has progressed from trying to get enough presenters to now have having a choice of presenters and topic.  The meeting can get a good balance of presenters to appeal to a wider range of audience members.

The future

You can’t know what the future holds but it doesn’t stop you excited about it.  Dynamics projects are changing fast with the maturing of the Power platform and CDS.  With Dynamics projects increasing in complexity, it becomes more important to share practical experience and talk about limitations and functionality with those who have done it.

As the CRMUG Birmingham user group grows, the value of attending increases because it attracts a wider range of people with different experiences and skills.

Attend the next meeting on February 6th and meet great Dynamics professional, read more about it here

D365UG / CRMUG Birmingham – Febuarary 6th 2019

Wednesday, Feb 6, 2019, 6:30 PM

Colmore Circus, Queensway Birmingham, GB

9 Members Attending

Our next Dynamics 365 User Group meeting in Birmingham will be on Wednesday 6th February from 6:30-9:00pm. The Wesleyan have again kindly agreed to host our event at Colmore Circus, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6AR. This is next to Snow Hill Station and a short walk from New Street Station. We’ll confirm the agenda soon … We will have all our usual ne…

Check out this Meetup →


Hosk’s recommended Dynamics 365 and other articles November 2018


IT projects are not about delivering technology they are about enabling users #HoskCodeWisdom

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. – Peter F. Drucker

Articles of the Month


Great Dynamics 365 articles this month



The Hosk – currently reading

The Hosk – last 5 recommendations

Selected  HoskWisdom

  • IT projects are complex, difficult and all about people #HoskCodeWisdom
  • Released code hides problems, bugs magnify them #HoskCodeWisdom
  • The more problems you find in design , the less panicking you do in delivery #HoskCodeWisdom
  • Passion in developers is great but only when combined with competency #HoskCodeWisdom
  • Code is like a fart. You love your own and disgusted by other peoples #HoskCodeWisdom
  • An architects diagram without a developer, is just a dream #HoskCodeWisdom
  • Days writing code go slow, projects go fast #HoskCodeWisdom
  • A good plan implemented badly gets the same results as a bad plan implemented well #HoskWisdom
  • Time is limited but few people act that way
  • The shower is where ideas rain down upon you
  • If you can’t control it, don’t worry about it
  • The opportunity to over think things is only a decision away

Last months Monthly articles

Last months recommended monthly articles

Hosk’s CRM Developer Articles

A collection of my favorite CRM Developer articles I have written

Why avoiding being wrong is slowing your progress

You got to go down a lot of wrong roads to find the right one. Bob Parsons

Is your goal being right or getting to the right solution?  People go to lengths to avoid being wrong but tomorrow will it matter whose was right or who came up with the idea?

Being wrong is the path to success with a detour.  We seek out when we are wrong, understand why and move on.  Our ego demands we right, our feelings hate being wrong but the quickest way to improve is by failing and feedback from others.

Admitting you are wrong is short-term pain for long-term gain.

When you can handle being wrong, you end up being right.  An interesting TED talk being wrong by Kathryn Schulz

People spend time to avoid being wrong but it’s quicker to try, be wrong and move on. The time wasted on avoiding being wrong could be used on working on trying new ideas.

Being wrong is painful, you feel stupid, frustrated but this is your reaction to the event, when you reflect later its positive, you learned a lesson and corrected your path.

It’s difficult to admit being wrong because it‘s initially painful to admit being wrong publicly.  The goal is to do it right, how you get there isn‘t important tomorrow, so try to keep your perspective long-term.  You learn by doing and often learn more by doing it wrong because you stop to understand your mistake so you can avoid it in the future.

We  learn less from success because we don’t reflect on what we did right and assume we will do it again

Is it important to be wise? do you want to be right or do you want the right answer?  If being right means you personally are wrong, would you take it?

Code reviews

Code reviews are great for learning, an experienced developer checks your code, highlights bad code and suggest improvements.  Despite the benefits it feels like the reviewer is critising your code but attacking you as person.  This is an emotional reaction to being wrong and being critised, we have to overcome this with logic and understand this feedback is a great way to improve quickly.  It leads to a higher quality code base and developers write better code, helping individual’s long-term prospects.  It’s beneficial but not easy but it gets easier with practice.

Reactions are emotional, they happen quickly and bypass thinking, the reaction is to defend your code.  You respond by attacking, they defend and then they react and attack.  The topic of the discussion is lost in the emotional responses, defending and attacking the ego.  Time  on your ego and being right, short-term gains drive this behaviour.

The long-term logical view is to focus on learning, getting feedback and getting to the right solution.   Winning arguments come at the cost of learning , you learn when listening.  Winning an argument means you end the discussion with the same view as you entered, talked more than you listened and learnt nothing.  There is no winning when arguing.

Your goal as a software engineer is continuous improvement, being wrong, making mistakes and honest feedback are good teachers.  We learn more from being wrong because we stop to analyse, when we are right we assume we have done it right once and we will do it right again.

knowledge is powerful

Long lasting change comes from knowledge and the ability to use that knowledge effectively and to write better solutions. Static Code analyzers help highlight code which breaks best practice.  This is frustrating initially when lots of your code triggers error but learning the logic behind the rules helps grow your knowledge.

When you copy and paste code you bypass the learning and don‘t acquire knowledge.  Its like getting the answers to a test, you pass that test but you don‘t have the knowledge to pass other tests on the same subject.

Understanding allows you to alter solutions and adapt your knowledge to solve to different problems.  If you have copied the answer from the internet this brittle solution will break as soon as problem changes.  You can’t adapt solutions which you don’t understand.


Embrace being wrong, it’s a step on the path to understanding and developing a deeper knowledge of your area of expertise.  Our fear of being wrong is exaggerated, people respect someone for admitting and fixing their mistakes.

Mistakes occur when pushing yourself and doing things you don‘t have experience in.  Getting out of your comfort zone, working through mistakes is how to improve at a fast rate.  Playing safe and avoiding errors results in not learning and highlights you are playing too safe.

The focus should not be on being right but creating the right solution.  If you can avoid fearing being wrong, you will try harder things and push yourself to do more.  Admitting mistakes and avoid wasting time arguing or avoiding being wrong allows you to do more.

Building your tolerance for mistakes is the path for faster growth and improvement.