After too long (last edition was in 2019), we finally can look forward to a new edition of THE best technical conference for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: BCTechDays (formally known as NAVTechDays).
If you run through my blog (or simply search for “NAVTechDays“), you probably notice that I’ve always been ecstatic about this conference. And the reason is that BCTechDays simply checks all the checkboxes on my list for “the perfect conference”:
- Pre-conference workshops: for all people that come to Antwerp from far for only 2 days is may be too short. They can combine their stay (if they are fast enough to register) with 2 days of hands-on workshops of one or two topics. They are pretty cheap, and obviously add a lot of value to your trip to Belgium.
- Community driven: anyone in the community with good ideas for topics, gets the chance to send in suggestions, and get picked for delivering sessions. This year, a record number of 48 speakers will be present for delivering cutting edge content for you during the days. Do know, while everyone gets the chance to send in ideas, all content is carefully screened to see that the content is unique, good, in depth, .. .
- Not a Microsoft marketing show: while I truly value Microsoft’s presentations (it is simply necessary that Microsoft introduces all new features, and their intent …), I personally always look forward to content from the community: how they apply the features, possibilities, hacks, … to do the business in the best way they can.
- Deep Dives: NAVTechDays was the first conference I went to, that was courageous enough to do 90-minute deep dive sessions. And it really works! In stead of short overview-sessions, you have the time to really go deeper into a topic, and touch the topics as deep as it needs to be touched. Why I think it’s courageous? Well, because obviously, when you do longer sessions, then you have less topics to announce. Some conferences announce an insane amount of sessions – but most sessions are “just” 45 minutes .. Which hardly gives the speakers any time to go deep enough (obviously depending on the topic). 45-minute-sessions has been my nemesis – I always seem to having to drop some content during the session 😱 – which I hate, because it’s simply not a full story that you’d deliver.
- Comfort: NAVTechDays stands for comfort in every single way. I have been to conferences where I had to pay for drinks on the evening reception (that was not a free conference, by the way), or where the first day even water was not available during the conference, or where sessions were held in cold rooms, with uncomfortable chairs, or speakers had to stand next to the table that had the projector (cable too short) and hold their laptop during the session (table too small) .. . I’m not joking. At NAVTechDays, both attendee and speaker get the best experience EVER: Top notch presenting equipment, huge screen, all comfort in a decent speaker room, insanely comfortable chairs (movie theater chairs), awesome food, free drinks (including soda), decent party, .. . Last time, there was even an hairdresser in the expo (not that it has any use for me .. I lose my hair without the help of a hairdresser .. 🤷♀️).
- Re-visit sessions: if all of that wasn’t enough, you will be able to watch the sessions for all years to come. That’s obviously very valuable. Besides BCTechDays, I don’t know any conference that shares the content that was delivered during the conference. BCTechDays does – and you can find it here: mibuso.com playlists. It’s not like the BC Launch Event either (which are unsearchable and get removed after 6 months) – the videos are there to stay!
- … (and there is more .. but for you to find out 🤪 )
The content this year looks very promising. Just a whole lot that will be covered by both Microsoft AND the community. Microsoft will deliver somewhat shorter topics in smaller sessions of 45 minutes, while the community speakers will do bigger deep dives (all of which from their own experience, which makes it in my opinion insanely valuable) on a wide range of topics as well. The reason for Microsoft to do these shorter sessions is because the conference has been moved to September, while there will be a release in October. This way, Microsoft’s speakers spend less time preparing, and will be able to focus on their expertise. So, still deep dive, just smaller topics in those cases. Here’s the list of sessions:
- Git under the hood (90 MIN)
- OAuth revealed (90 MIN)
- Telemetry for Business Central from basics to advanced usage (90 MIN)
- Being more efficient with VS Code (90 MIN)
- Coding 4 Performance (90 MIN)
- Above and beyond – When BC is not enough (90 MIN)
- ALM Accelerator for Power Platform [CoE Starter Kit] (90 MIN)
- Optimizing SQL queries in Business Central (90 MIN)
- Improve the quality and readability of your code using tools from Microsoft and the BC community (90 MIN)
- Bad habits of AL Developers (90 MIN)
- Multi-Application Architecture (90 MIN)
- Advanced topics in test automation (90 MIN)
- Universal Code – Target must be cloud (45 MIN)
- Business Central Performance Toolkit (45 MIN)
- Troubleshooting Business Central SaaS environments (45 MIN)
- Permissions revisited (45 MIN)
- Collaborating on Business Central’s open-source platform (45 MIN)
- What’s new in Business Central clients for AL developers (45 MIN)
- Adopting “Onboarding first” (developer mindset) (45 MIN)
- Build collaborative apps for Business Central with Microsoft 365 and Teams (45 MIN)
- Better together: Business Central and Dataverse (45 MIN)
- Empower citizen and pro AL developers to do more with Power Platform (45 MIN)
- Customizing the developer experience (45 MIN)
- Cloud Migration (45 MIN)
And the pre-conference workshops are promising as well:
- Developing VS Code Extensions for AL Language
- Coding 4 Performance
- Developing custom APIs for Business Central
- Azure DevOps is a Game Changer!
- Microsoft Power Platform – Start with ALM
- Telemetry in a Day
- Writing your own automated tests for Dynamics 365 Business Central
- Multi-Application Architecture
- Business Central Performance Toolkit
- AL:GO for GitHub
- Troubleshooting Business Central SaaS environments in production
- Efficient Development in AL
- Capture the flag, a Business Central cybersecurity fun game
For all I know, there are still seats to all of these workshops, but they are filling up quite fast, so if you made the right decision to go to BCTechDays, I would register as fast as I can!
So – let’s meet in Antwerp on September 13th & 14th 2022 for a workshop, and/or September 15th & 16th 2022 for the conference!
I’m very honored to be part of this edition again. This is the one event where I still get insanely nervous for, for which I prepare for months .. . Well, now for sure, because it’s going to be a very busy event for me, although I managed to focus around one (what I think very important) topic: performance.
I’ll be doing a workshop “Coding 4 Performance” with hands-on, pre-defined performance cases where we will use different tools to prevent and investigate the issues .. and I’ll do a session around the same topic as well, where I plan different cases, and a different angle to anything “performance” and “Business Central”. You want to know more? Well – you’re more than welcome to the sessions 😜.
Since last week, I even have one more session, and this time again together with my brother-from-another-mother: Vjeko. We’ll do an updated version of the “Bad Habits” session, where we won’t focus on anything C/AL anymore (we did that in 2016), but obviously, with Apps, extensions, appsource, … there is a whole new set of “what not to dos” which we’re eager to share!
ALOps is sponsoring again as well
This year, the ALOps team will have a booth again at BCTechDays. Don’t know what ALOps is? Well – we provide an easy-solution to manage anything Business Central development on Microsoft Azure DevOps. And this year, we have a lot more to announce – please come by our booth when you’re interested to take Business Central development seriously in your company ;-).