Thinking beyond the project
Nov18

Thinking beyond the project

Focus on business, people, customers and then technology, in that order #HoskWisdom when we focus on a delivering the project, we miss the goal of the project. Think beyond the project, focus on the helping the business be successful and use technology to help. Project Projects involve people, time and expense, they take time and effort. The measurement of success becomes… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog...

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Are people on the project waving or drowning?
Nov11

Are people on the project waving or drowning?

Sometimes it’s those who don’t ask for help, who need it most #HoskWisdom The difference between someone in water waving and drowning is small, but the difference could lead to life and death. How many times do you see people and teams complaining, but are they waving or drowning? Conflicting teams IT projects are stressful, delivered to tight deadlines. Teams need to get… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog Are...

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Projects evolve to create the right solution
Nov06

Projects evolve to create the right solution

Requirements create estimates, estimates create plans, plans create projects, projects create problems because the requirements, estimates, plans and projects were wrong #HoskCodeWisdom IT projects go wrong, you can’t avoid it but you can prepare for mistakes, get feedback helps you learn, improve and create a solution suited to the customer needs. You can’t get all the requirements… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on...

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Defining your project problems, helps you avoid them
Nov04

Defining your project problems, helps you avoid them

All I want to know is how this project will fail, so I can avoid doing that #HoskWisdom Project plans have goals, milestones and deliverables. They have optimistic paths into the future and run into trouble when the inevitable problems jump up and smash you in the face. Predict your potential problems and you can resolve them before they become problems. Focus on what might go wrong… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on...

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Things to consider when using Flows for data migration
Oct27

Things to consider when using Flows for data migration

“Show me a ten-foot wall and I’ll show you an eleven-foot ladder” ― Peter Bevelin Using Flow for data migration is easy but has limitations you should consider, these limitations can cause problems left the data migration in limbo, whilst waiting for the api limits for each day and Flows waking up and running When you hit the daily limit for Flows, they stop working until the… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their...

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Avoid certainty and embrace inquiry
Oct07

Avoid certainty and embrace inquiry

You control the decision, not the outcome #HoskWisdom There are no right answers, there is only questions and finding out why. There is no certainty, we have questions, ideas and our ability to make good decisions. The more you think you know, the less you question and the more assumptions affect your decisions. When you believe you are an expert, you stop listening to other… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog...

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Dynamics 365 October 2020 wave 2 error — Mobile Offline Profiles import: FAILURE: Mobile Offline Profiles import: FAILURE
Oct02

Dynamics 365 October 2020 wave 2 error — Mobile Offline Profiles import: FAILURE: Mobile Offline Profiles import: FAILURE

I was on a project which was manually applying the October 2020 Wave 2 update and after saying this never go wrong, what happens, yep, it goes wrong. The question is what do you when this happens. In reality you can only raise a Microsoft support ticket. I raise a P1 with premier support and Microsoft do not reply for 2 and half hours, clearly their idea of a P1 is different to mine. <p… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article...

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Why you should listen more than you talk
Oct02

Why you should listen more than you talk

“Never give reasons for what you think or do until you must. Maybe after a while, a better reason will pop into your head.” General William T. Sherman When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike…. Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on...

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Make time to invest in yourself
Sep30

Make time to invest in yourself

My new cat William It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about? Henry David Thoreau The days go fast, it’s easy to be busy all day but is being busy good and are meeting short-term goals coming at the cost of your long-term career goals. We start work, read emails, start doing something, attend meeting then more work, emails, meetings,… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog...

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What I learnt working on IT projects
Sep22

What I learnt working on IT projects

Don’t build solutions on assumptions, ambiguity and ignorance #HoskWisdom IT projects are a challenge, a good deal of fail and all of them are difficult. IT project can need lots of people, time, ideas and hard work. Projects face obstacles, problems and changes of priorities, these changes can defeat you or you look at them as opportunities to make the solution better, the quote… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their...

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Management and leadership books I read in the last 4 years
Sep10

Management and leadership books I read in the last 4 years

In 2016 I become a Scrum master on a enterprise project and was tasked with helping create a great Dynamics 365 team and I started out on my journey to improve the skills needed to lead. I started reading books on the following subjects Management Leadership Coaching Presence Communication Scrum/Agile DevOps Persuasion I read autobiographies of business people, football coaches… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their...

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What the winningest NFL coach (Don Shula) can teach us about IT projects
Sep04

What the winningest NFL coach (Don Shula) can teach us about IT projects

  I read Don Shula: A Biography of the Winningest Coach in NFL History, Don Shula coached in the NFL from 1958 to 1995 and won more games than any other NFL coach and the super bowl twice. Shula was successful over a long period, he evolved and adapted to different environments, people and situations. Adaptable Environments, customers, people and technology changes. The actions that… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on...

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SQL 4 CDS - querying teamroles
Jul08

SQL 4 CDS - querying teamroles

  In my previous post on the SQL 4 CDS XRMToolbox tool, Dynamics 365 tool you should use — SQL 4 CDS, I used it to check for deactivated workflows, get versions and export data. I have been using it to verify my releases have worked correctly. After I run a release I check for deactivated workflows and business rules. I am using AD Group and AAD Security group teams (Dynamics 365… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on...

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Dynamics 365 - mobile offline profile error
Jul06

Dynamics 365 - mobile offline profile error

  I have a love/hate relationship with Mobile offline and today it threw an error in one environment that wasn’t occuring in the any of the other environments with the same Mobile offline profile setup. Exporting Mobile Offline When you add a mobile offline profile to a solution and export, it will automatically add any entities that are linked by Metadata. In my mobile offline… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on...

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Dynamics 365 and AD security groups
Jun23

Dynamics 365 and AD security groups

Dynamics 365 has some security features which integrate Dynamics 365 with AD Groups. AD Groups can be used to grant and restrict access to a Dynamics 365 environment and with AAD security teams you can automatically add users to teams. I hate doing manual tasks (Dynamics 365 — The cost of manual deployments activities) and if it can be automated it should, so AAD security teams offer… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on...

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Dynamics 365 - MB-200 Microsoft Power Platform + Dynamics 365 Core study notes
Jun18

Dynamics 365 - MB-200 Microsoft Power Platform + Dynamics 365 Core study notes

  I recently passed the the MB-200 certification and here are my study notes. The notes are best used once you have gone through all the skills required and our in the final week of studying for the exam and our trying to lodge the data in your mind. They don’t cover all the parts of the exam but focus on the areas I needed a refresh. I have notes which are for past Config and customisation… Continue Reading Hosk’s...

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Hosk’s top articles of the week - 17th June
Jun17

Hosk’s top articles of the week - 17th June

  I want problems to punch me in the face, not sneak up behind me and kick me on the butt #HoskWisdom Articles of the week < p class=”graf graf–p”>on being lost — strategy and context Long and interesting article on business strategy Top 10 articles of the week Inversion — James Clear Richard Feynman and mental models How I’m learning Machine Learning (without being a math genius) habits of high…...

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Dynamics 365 tool you should use - SQL 4 CDS
Jun17

Dynamics 365 tool you should use - SQL 4 CDS

  SQL 4 CDS is a XRMToolBox tool from Mark Carrington that will change the way you query data in Dynamics and can speed up query multiple environments. You can create scripts which you can quickly run in any environment. Data When you are an experienced Dynamics 365 user the GUI can slow you down, when maintaining the system you want to view certain data that highlights problems. The first… Continue Reading Hosk’s...

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Remove unnecessary requirements and deliver the project on time
Jun16

Remove unnecessary requirements and deliver the project on time

If functionality isn’t a clear yes then make it a clear no #HoskWisdom User want everything that will make their work easier, but what do they really need. If you can remove those unnecessary requirements, you increase the probability of delivering the project on time and reduce the complexity. Wish lists When gathering requirements and creating a solution,… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog...

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The two skills of modern developers are creating solutions without code and deploying them automatically
Jun12

The two skills of modern developers are creating solutions without code and deploying them automatically

The two skills of modern developers. Creating solutions without code and deploying them automatically. The driving force of successful projects is being able to deliver solutions into production, to get projects over the finish line. To deliver a project on time, stick to out of the box (if you can), is a good in theory but in reality companies processes can’t always align with out of the… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article...

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Dynamics 365 - Different environment, different country label
Jun09

Dynamics 365 - Different environment, different country label

Whilst setting up a new environment I ran into an odd and annoying currency problem. The Problem Created new environment Imported base solution (entities, views, fields, security roles etc) — worked Imported processes (workflows, Flows, Plugins, etc)- mostly worked After the import I saw that 30 workflows were in a draft state (always check for workflows in a draft state, this… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog...

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Dynamics 365 solution error - Components are missing, import the managed solution with these Components (Active)!
Jun02

Dynamics 365 solution error - Components are missing, import the managed solution with these Components (Active)!

Importing managed solution is more of an art than a science #HoskWisdom Sometimes importing a managed solution without getting an unhelpful dependency error can feel like skiing down a black run blindfolded, on one leg and with the sun in your eyes. Even though I have experienced different errors whilst, there is always a new one to baffle me. You can get error exporting… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog...

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40 Tips to help you improve as Dynamics developer
May27

40 Tips to help you improve as Dynamics developer

You shouldn’t write code, you are not willing to test #HoskWisdom I have compiled a list of tips to improve as a Dynamics developer made up of blog posts I have written and blog posts I should have written. Get certified to broaden Dynamics knowledge –The benefits of Dynamics certifications Answer forum questions Microsoft Dynamics 365 Community Forums, CRM forum Know what value to… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on...

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Dynamics 365 - The cost of manual deployments activities
May26

Dynamics 365 - The cost of manual deployments activities

We can create a customisation that meet customer requirements quickly but they must be maintainable and moved between environments without manual tasks or you create a growing maintenance backlog. The creation of a customisation is only half the work needed. Lets walk through an example which will show the cost in time of manual data and customisations. Scenario We create a workflow which… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article...

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Dynamics 365 - Document templates, guids and workflows
May21

Dynamics 365 - Document templates, guids and workflows

When it comes to guids, take your lead from the boy band NSYNC #HoskWisdom I had a problem with Document templates, guids and getting out of sync between environments. When guids are out of sync, manual work is needed every time you deploy, this can add up to a lot time of the course of a project. Document Templates are an impressive feature that allows you to create Word or Excel… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their...

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Creating a Flow which triggers where regarding field = lead
May19

Creating a Flow which triggers where regarding field = lead

I was writing a flow my SMS entity, like the email entity the regarding can be any type. I wanted my Flow to only trigger if the Flow was of type lead. There is a useful looking Dynamics content Regarding (Type) Regarding (Value) Behind the hood, it’s looking up the logical name (I think) The values in the output body of my Flow “_regardingobjectid_value”:… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog Creating a Flow...

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Hosk’s top articles of the week - 17th May
May18

Hosk’s top articles of the week - 17th May

  You have more to fear from friends than from enemies — Robert Greene Articles of the week Coronavirus — the basic dance steps everyone can follow Top 10 articles of the week I Just Heard That Monoliths Are The Future Of Software Development Change the Way You Persuade 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice The Burden Of Skepticism 5 books every developer must read before… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog Hosk’s...

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Dynamics 365 and ALM/DevOps Information to get you started
May16

Dynamics 365 and ALM/DevOps Information to get you started

ALM takes the boredom out of development #HoskWisdom ALM and automated release management has moved from a nice to have to a must have for enterprise projects in Dynamics 365. The more developers you have working on a project the more important setting up ALM and release management. ?Without ALM you will waste hours manually deploying and having merge and build problems. There is an… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on...

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Woohoo - You can query Dynamics 365 (CDS) with SQL….again
May15

Woohoo - You can query Dynamics 365 (CDS) with SQL….again

When was the last time you heard anyone getting excited about SQL? #HoskWisdom   It’s a crazy world when Microsoft announces NEW functionality of being able to Use SQL to query data in CDS and the Dynamics/Power Platform community get excited about it. Some things go together to make something beautiful, Strawberries and cream Chaz and Dave Nerds and computers Now after a… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog...

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How will IT projects change when the lockdown ends
May07

How will IT projects change when the lockdown ends

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. Alan Watts After much of the world has been in lockdown for the last month or more, the curve has been flattened and plans are being made to reduce the lockdown, go back to work and restart the economy. What will it be like? Can we go back to normal until everyone is… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog How will IT...

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Why are you so busy? And what can you do about it?
May04

Why are you so busy? And what can you do about it?

“It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”– Henry David Thoreau Whenever you ask someone how they are, they often reply busy. Everyone is busy, to-do lists grow longer each day, meetings take up half the day, and that’s before any problems appear from now where to cause disruption. What about if I asked a different question? Are you… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their...

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Dynamics 365 — how solution layering can help you resolve solution updating problems
Apr29

Dynamics 365 — how solution layering can help you resolve solution updating problems

A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved. Dorothea Brande I was importing a managed solution into my test environment, only to find it wasn’t updating the Canvas App. There can be many reasons for solutions not updating and this post will discuss the cause and the solution. Environment setup Below are the environments we use. Dev → Dev Master → QA/UAT/Training < p class=”graf… Continue Reading Hosk’s...

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How development used to be (15 years ago)
Apr28

How development used to be (15 years ago)

Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday’s code. — Christopher Thompson I was listening to the Orb song little fluffy clouds and it made me think of what development was like when I was young. Whilst on lockdown and working from home, it highlighted how much the world has changed for developers. I have been a developer… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their...

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Dynamics 365 and creating a reporting database
Apr27

Dynamics 365 and creating a reporting database

Data migration takes at least 4 times longer than everyone estimates #HoskWisdom It’s a common requirement to create a different data source for reporting this allows data to be aggregated and reduces the load on your production instance of Dynamics 365. This post will look at the options to replicate your Dynamics 365 database to a SQL database. Azure SQL database < p id=”0fd1″ class=”hp hq ap by hr b hs it hu iu...

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20 things you know only if you have worked on an IT project
Apr24

20 things you know only if you have worked on an IT project

Plans are worthless. Planning is essential~ Dwight D. Eisenhower  The road to a late project is paved with extra requirements Trying to cleanse data in a legacy system is as easy as staring at the sun ERD’s are always wrong but no one wants to fix it 5 minutes after creating a project plan it’s out of date The sales team always over sold the solution Data migration takes… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog 20...

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Why adding more people to a project doesn’t make it go faster
Apr21

Why adding more people to a project doesn’t make it go faster

    At no point in an IT project I have seen time made up without removing large parts of functionality. The common reaction to a project failing behind is to add more people to it but Brook’s law reminds us “adding manpower to a late software project makes it later” Federick Brooks This article will look at the reasons adding more people to a project does not speed it up and… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their...

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Advice to Dynamics 365 developers who want to improve
Apr20

Advice to Dynamics 365 developers who want to improve

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.” —T.D. Jakes It’s a great time to be a Dynamics 365 and business apps developer with opportunities to take on enterprise projects with companies digitising legacy applications. Complex projects need developers who do more than write code and create customisations. This article is the advice I… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article...

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The code you take away as important as the code you write
Apr15

The code you take away as important as the code you write

“Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.” ― Greg McKeown < p class=”graf graf–p”>The code you take away, helps as much as the code you add. Good developers remove code and improving the quality and maintainability of the code base but no one tells you that when you start your journey as a software engineer. Code only what is necessary Once code is released to production, you can’t…...

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one simple tip to improve you development and project estimates
Apr14

one simple tip to improve you development and project estimates

It isn’t just developer who underestimate tasks, it’s everyone and it’s all the time #HoskWisdom When we estimate tasks, we underestimate the time it takes because we overestimate our abilities and believe our future involves fewer problems. Most estimates assume no problems, mistakes, other activities will distract us. Using the outside view (similar examples), can help avoid this… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their...

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Ask Hosk - I’m a functional consultant who wants to become a Dynamics developer
Apr10

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… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their...

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How to convert an unmanaged solution into a managed solution in Dynamics 365?
Apr07

How to convert an unmanaged solution into a managed solution in Dynamics 365?

“You see, but you do not observe.” — Arthur Conan Doyle, A Scandal in Bohemia I had an unusual scenario where an environment was setup with an unmanaged solution and I wanted it to be a managed solution and I needed to convert it. All environments beyond Dev should be managed, so users cannot change customisations. Changes should be made in development and the other… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog How to...

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Hosk top 10 articles of the week - 6th April
Apr06

Hosk top 10 articles of the week - 6th April

S. N. Behrman meant when he said “At the end of every road you meet yourself.” I have been interested in Systems thinking and Coronavirus Article of the week The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming Larry Brilliant is a amazing and this article is great Chesterton’s Fence: A Lesson in Second Order Thinking This is so relevant for… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog Hosk top 10 articles of the...

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Why IT projects estimates are wrong
Apr06

Why IT projects estimates are wrong

Why we start IT projects as optimists and finish them as pessimists #HoskWisdom No one starts a project thinking “this project will be late”. When we start project the requirements seem straightforward, the solution seem good and you have an eager team ready to go. Then the project starts………… Suddenly the assumptions are wrong, requirements are multiplying and SME’s have… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog Why...

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Dual-write is available to integrate Dynamics applications in near time
Apr03

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

Dual-write brings the possibility of integration with configuration not customisation, woohooo Dual-write was released this week after a year of people trying it and deciding it isn’t ready yet. I sometimes criticise Microsoft for releasing functionality early but the advantage is we get to try the functionality, help Microsoft test it and get a deeper understanding of what the… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their...

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To deliver a project on time, stick to out of the box (if you can)
Mar31

To deliver a project on time, stick to out of the box (if you can)

There is never enough time to build the solution the customer thinks they want #HoskWisdom Don’t ask a developer if a requirement needs code. Don’t ask users what enhancements they would like and don’t ask a barber if you need a haircut. A developer told me he worked on a project that delivered on time and the customer loved it. I have worked on many projects and few delivered… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog...

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Articles and quotes to make you think - 19th March
Mar19

Articles and quotes to make you think - 19th March

Here are the best articles and quotes I read last week, which got me thinking. Quotes Gather together the things that change for the same reasons. Separate those things that change for different reasons Robert C Martin “Unless people can express themselves well in ordinary English, they don’t know what they are talking about.” Russell L. Ackoff Latest Hosk articles Code should be… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their...

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Code should be the one version of the truth, don’t add comments
Mar05

Code should be the one version of the truth, don’t add comments

  “Code never lies; comments sometimes do.” — Ron Jeffries Code should be self documenting, the purpose of classes, methods and variables should be obvious that you can understand it in six months time. The reason I don’t like comments in code is because you have to maintain the code and the comments. I have seen examples where developers have changed the code but not… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog Code...

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Articles and quotes to make you think - 3rd March
Mar03

Articles and quotes to make you think - 3rd March

Here are the best articles and quotes I read last week, which got me thinking Quotes “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well,” Robert Louis Stevenson Best practice is, by definition, past practice — David J. Snowden Latest Hosk articles Are your best practices out of date? Dynamics 365 — Error when exporting a solution 10 Interesting… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on their blog...

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Are your best practices out of date?
Feb28

Are your best practices out of date?

Today’s ‘best practices’ lead to dead ends; the best paths are new and untried. Peter Thiel The best practices we use today are built on historic environments, they are past practices that were previously successful. As environments change, best practices should adapt and update. Best practices are not static, they evolve and improve to take advantage of new thinking, technology and… Continue Reading Hosk’s Article on...

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Dynamics 365 – Error when exporting a solution
Feb25

Dynamics 365 – Error when exporting a solution

If debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in. Edsger Dijkstra   I got an error message when the ALM tool was exporting an unmanaged solution from an environment and packaging it up before deploying it. The ALM tool sometimes errors but usually around data. This problem needed more thinking to resolve it because I wasn’t sure… Continue Reading Hosk’s...

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SCOTtish summit 2021

On February the 27th Scottish Summit 2021 will come to you as a virtual event. With over 250 sessions from all Microsoft technologies. You need to register for your FREE ticket and download the Scottish Summit App to see all the great sessions.