At just over four years in the Dynamics AX team, I shipped two major releases (Dynamics AX 2009 & Dynamics AX 2012) and contributed to things you'll be seeing in the future. And now it's time to take a new journey.

 

WHAT I LEARNED

Customers. I got a chance to see deep inside a lot of customer scenarios. Almost certainly this was the most involved I've ever been with customers and it was a refreshing experience. Beyond helping them adopt our technology and tools, I saw how important it is for them to understand our long-term commitment to this space and how much they need us to demonstrate leadership.

Platforms. My team's #1 goal in AX 2012 was shifting from the old MorphX/X++ reporting framework to the SSRS reporting framework. Leading that change was an amazing challenge and responsibility. It taught me a lot about how hard it is to move developers into a new platform and I have much more sympathy to their pains during these tumultuous transitions. In the future, I hope to be a part of another major platform shift so that I can put what I have learned to use.

Managing Distributed Teams. I had anywhere from a 2 to 50 reports (mostly developers but a couple of Program Managers) spread across locations in the US and India. Dealing with the scale of this operation as a manager was amazing experience. I know I have become a better communicator and facilitator and leader.

Managing People. I gave big challenges and lots of space for my reports to get them done. And I had excellent people who worked for me who did rose to those challenges. Leaving the team I feel proud that things will run fine without me around.

Being Managed. Having a great manager is an awesome feeling. My manager is a brilliant human and I hope to work with him again.

 

FUN FACT

I wrote the core printing engine in Dynamics AX 2012. I don't mean I just wrote the spec. I mean I wrote the code. If you are familiar with MorphX/X++ reporting, you may know that whatever size the report pages are, they will automatically be scaled to fit whatever paper you print to. Unfortunately, this is NOT what SSRS reports do. People were getting concerned that would not be able to replicate this very important feature with SSRS. Having some familiarity with printing and computer graphics, I was more hopeful. In December of 2010 I sat down with Visual Studio and spent about a month figuring the entire thing out and my code was put into the product and is used to print every production report and autoreport.

 

MY NEXT JOURNEY

All I can say is I'll be working on "Big Data" in Bing and am very excited. As I can I'll post more here in the future.

 

AX BLOGGING FOR BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

Please look toward the existing AX BI blog we have: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dynamicsaxbi/ . I've talked to my team and they want to re-establish a publishing cadence on that blog and our associated YouTube channel.