Ask Hosk - I’m a functional consultant who wants to become a Dynamics developer

Here is a question from one my readers which is a common question, so I am putting the answer here so lots of people can read it.

Question

“I am working as a Dynamics 365 functional consultant But I want to become a Dynamics developer. Can you please give me an idea on what are the pre-requisites for this? I have basic knowledge of C# and MSSQL”

Hosk advice

Moving from a functional consultant to Dynamics developer is an easier path with the progress of no code and low code solutions. Power Automate, Power Apps and Logic apps offer lots of ways to create customisations that would normally have taken C# code.

Become a Dynamics 365 expert

Study for the MB-200, It has free online training at the bottom of the link.

Do not cheat and download answers because if you get caught the results of all your certifications will be voided. The value of certification is in the journey of learning, not the certification.

Don’t just study by reading, get a trial of Dynamics 365 and try the functionality out. The goal is to increase your knowledge and practical experience. Dynamics 365 doesn’t work as written. There is trial and error when using functionality, this helps you learn and understand how features work.

You don’t know when to use functionality unless you understand how it works, and its limitations. People who say they will learn it when they need it are under prepared and they waste time creating solutions that look like they work but don’t.

Study other Dynamics 365 certifications and Power Platform. Be an expert in Dynamics 365, use as much of the out of the box functionality as you can — To deliver a project on time, stick to out of the box (if you can)

Other training on Microsoft Learn

The Microsoft certifications are respected by employees and show you have Dynamics 365 knowledge. A certification might get you a new role but you your experience, knowledge and skills will keep it.

Dynamics partners need their Dynamics professionals to be certified so they retain their gold partner status.

Get a trial of Dynamics 365

Knowledge of Dynamics 365 is only useful if you can create customisations in Dynamics 365 and understand how it works.

Your job will involve using Dynamics 365, knowledge helps but practical experience is necessity. You can’t learn to drive a car by reading how a car works and a driving manual. You need experience driving.

Write code

If you want to be a developer then write code and creating customisations. The more you practice this the better you will get.

You need to create plugins, custom workflows, JavaScript, Typescript in a Dynamics 365 environment and there is nothing stopping you.

When someone says they want to be a developer but hasn’t got a Dynamics 365 trial and attempted to create all the different customisations then they are not doing all they can to help themselves become a Dynamics developer.

Create customisations and write a blog post, so any potential employers can see you have the knowledge and skills to be a Dynamics developer.

CDS

Learn about the common data service and how it works with Power Apps and other Dynamics services.

Dual-write is now available, understand what it can do and how it works

Dual-write is available to integrate Dynamics applications in near time

Power BI

Power BI is the common report writing tool for Dynamics 365 services, you can download Power BI desktop and create reports. The best way to learn is to practice writing reports.

Power Platform

Power Platform is where Microsoft is investing a lot of money, so expect this to be at the core of Dynamics and Power Platform projects in the future.

  • Create Canvas apps
  • Create model driven apps
  • Create Power Automates (Flow)

PCF controls are great and offer a powerful way to customise Dynamics forms.

Power Portals

The portal functionality is powerful,popular and features on many projects. There is a configuration and liquid templates to understand. Liquid templates are a half way house between code and configuration, they are not hard to learn but they take time to learn. A useful skill to learn.

Portal pricing has changed, useful to understand

Understanding Power Apps Portals pricing and how it differs from Dynamics Portals

Azure

Learn about Azure because more functionality is created outside Dynamics 365 and Azure works nicely with Dynamics 365/CDS

Create Logic Apps

Create Azure Functions

Read blogs posts

Read these blog posts

Other Dynamics blogs here

List Top 25 CRM Blogs

Follow hastags

  • #MSDYN365
  • #Dynamics365
  • #PowerPlatform

Read books

I tell developers to start by reading Clean Code to help master the basic of coding.

Read about SOLID principles and try to implement them

Recommended reading for software engineers

Finally

There is lots to learn to become a Dynamics developer. it takes you a long time. Don’t be disheartened by this, be encouraged because if it was easy the world would be full of good Dynamics developers.

Don’t learn everything at once, keep learning new skills and functionality all the time. Pick some of the areas and focus on them first.

Being a Dynamics developer is not a skill you can master, it’s a craft you can keep improving at.

I have another post more focused on software engineering and developer skills coming up, so stay tuned.