24 December 2018.
2 billion people in more than 160 countries celebrate Christmas today. 7 billion people will celebrate New Year in 7 days. Which means that it's no better time to recap the current year and think about 2019!
That was the first month of my freelance career. My previous contract was finished on 31 Dec 2017, and I decided not to prolong it. 2 reasons for that: my employer was not focused on NAV and did not invest in new technologies. So I decided to work on myself. It was scary (with a son and pregnant wife), but I felt this is a necessary step.
The goals were set:
That was an experiment. I created vscode extension that recommended AL developers images for the NAV actions according on the action description, based on AI technology. It became popular for some months (about 250 downloads), but then Microsoft published an update to AL extension with the Improved support of the Image property that did more or less the same, but quicker and with the embedded preview of an image. After that even me moved from my own extension :) So, now iAL is not supported. But it gave me good experience in TypeScript, Azure Functions and Machine Learning.
NAV2018 Launch in Russia
I took part in the official launch of NAV2018 in Russia. I showed how to create AL extension to analyse tweets with #MSDynNAV tag with the power of Flow and AI.
The source code is here.
We relocated to Thailand. That was an awesome experience and a dream of previous years! To spend winter in summer. I worked for my previous employer remotely during the first half of the day, and then we spend time on the beach, travelling around and enjoying nature.
The first goal was achieved!
As I was already in Thailand, I could not miss Directions ASIA in Bangkok. That was an amazing event! I met many people in person for the first time.
But of course the main hot news was re-branding of NAV to Business Central - with a new web client, better extensions support, headlines and so much more!
After Directions ASIA I wrote a blog How to get new Dynamics 365 Business Central and extend it, which passed 12K views and became the most popular blog of mine ever.
2 of April - without any jokes, very important date - the official launch of Cloud Business Central.
I was holding 2 webinars on the NavSkills channel, with 11K watches in total
Thanks, Mark Brummel for the opportunity, and I encourage everyone to share your knowledge on that channel! Mark is always open to your contributions!
Finally! I was awarded as Business Applications MVP! So thankful for the community and Microsoft for that special moment in my life!
The second goal was achieved!
At those moment #ReadyToGo program just started its journey, and partners began to dive into the world of AL and Extensions 2.0. The courses were mostly in the classes, and guys from CRS and Plaatan.TV did incredible job travelling on-site and sharing their knowledge.
I had no opportunity to travel (I still was in Thailand:)... So, i decided to make a small revolution here and provide a web course. I didn't know if our ossified community will accept it, but anyway I prepared content and launched promotion together with Luc Van Vugt .
And we had success! The first group was gathered and web class was launched, with great feedback provided at the end.
The second group passed my online course, with the same great feedback. I also found that other partners began to provide the same way of training online :)
My recap would not be complete without the World Cup, which took place in Russia. Despite the fact that I didn't attend any game I enjoyed the show like everybody in the world! And our team played so well! Thanks, guys!
Not many knew that my second passion was (and is) AI and ML. I worked with technologies from 2016 in parallel with my Dynamics NAV job. And up to July got some experience: theoretical and practical.
I did not want to choose between Business Central and AI, so I decided to promote an idea to use them in combination. And from that moment my AI contributions were born.
Frankly speaking the brand AirApps was born in my head in Thailand, just before Directions ASIA. I thought that it's a good name meaning: light, simple apps with a fresh UI for Business Central, architected to use in the cloud.
But in July this name was reborn in my head :) I saw the new meaning - AI Ready Apps. So all my next activities held under AirApps. Let's see what will happen with this brand in the future.
While writing this post I set about 10 minutes thinking about "what there was in the august..." And suddenly i remembered - "Oh yes! I became a father! Twice..."
1st August, Teona - my daughter, was born!
As a real farther and a project manager:) I supported all "the process" from the beginning to the end:))
One more group was trained online about App Development 4 BC. With one exception. That was a group that did not see Business Central before:) Yes, they were GP partners, so i extended my course for Non-BC partners.
1st October. Microsoft announced the death of C/AL in 12-24 months, new upgrade strategy and new roadmap!
and MacOs support for VSCode :)
That was my moment of favour! :) First time ever, I was a speaker at the international conference. 2600 attendees, 11 sessions in a parallel! That was crazy!
My topic was about Machine Learning and Business Central. I shared a stage with unbelievable Steven Renders.
Feedback was different. I realized that many partners even not ready for AL, not to mention the AI. But I believe in AI and the way it will change the world. So, I encourage everyone to start AI journey today!
And yes! I was selected to be a speaker at TechDays! And not only to hold a session, but also to hold 2 full days of master classes!
I was preparing like a crazy :)
But everything was so perfect!
Two groups: 10 and 25 attendees. And also MVPs among my students. Thank's guys for your trust and interest in AI technology!
And then was a session! 700+ attendees in the room! Thanks, Steve once again for support!
The recording of the session is here.
Was (and still:) so proud to be among these people!
The third goal was achieved!
After NavTech Days interest of partners to AI was increased, so I was asked to hold a private training for INECTA Co.
We finished in 3 days, and now guys are fully ReadyToGo with AI.
I believe this course will become very popular in 2019. I already have plans to start it as online initiative in January 2019.
The last public webinar in 2018 was on the NavSkills channel about Tenant customizations.
That was a webinar based on a real-life experience with per-tenant extensions, and if you watched it (or will watch it here... and you will :) you saw that it was a LIVE experience - even me learned something new!
That was the global initiative from Head Microsoft office. 67 countries decided to hold this Bootcamp on 15 of December. I decided to organize it in Moscow.
170 registrations, 6 hours of great content! That was an awesome experience!
The last goal for the 2018 year was to have average income not less as a year before, when I had fix contract job. And this goal was achieved!
Thanks to all the partners, who outsourced their projects and students of my classes for your trust!
I always try to do more than my customers expect from me!
As today is Christmas, then I will finish my blog post with wishes for the next year.
Dear Santa ... I wish
In November, Marko Perisic decided to leave Microsoft. I wanted to say "Thank you" once again for all your passion and inspiration! All the best for you, Marko!