Now is as good a time as ever to get on board with the Dynamics and Power Platform Communities

3 weeks ago I had the good fortune to attend the Dynamics 365 Saturday event in Toronto, Canada, and it got me thinking about what a great space Dynamics and the Power Platform is to be in and what a fantastic community surrounds it. I myself have only recently begun to become involved with the Microsoft Community - despite having been involved in the development of the Portals Product from back in the Adxstudio days.

As you get older, you learn to appreciate that you really do have something to contribute and start to learn the value of "paying it forward" and volunteering your time to contribute to the community and share your knowledge. A lot of people who I've connected with over the past year by attending events certainly have much to share, and trust me - I know how it feels to feel like you are so far behind that it's impossible to catch up or make an impact. But something to consider about this space in particular is that it's really still just heating up. Thing are coming together in a huge way with the power platform and there are incredible opportunities to utilize PowerBI, Flow, and Canvas Apps alongside Microsoft Dynamics 365 to drive solutions more innovative than have ever been seen before. It's never too late to learn and to contribute!

The entry point of the Dynamics Community is, well, the official Dynamics Community. There they have discussion forums where you can go to both answer questions and build up your cred, or ask questions when you are stuck on something. They've also got a help wiki that you should check out to brush up on your skills.

Another good place to start with by following and getting involved with the CRM User Group (CRMUG), and the Dynamics 365 / Power Apps User Group. From my perspective it's a bit odd that D365UG and PowerAppsUG two user groups are separate, but they are and one should follow both of them. What's great about the User Groups is that there is a huge backlog of learning content and blogs available that you can go through to get up to speed on the tech as well as discussion forums were you can go to both ask and answer questions. Helping people on the forums is a great way to give back to the community!

The User Groups also host conferences that you can attend, although they are not free. and these events have tons of great presentations and are awesome opportunities to learn, share, and network. For years our in-house MVP here at the KPMG Microsoft practice, Colin Vermander, has contributed to these events and I've had the good fortune to present at a few as well. Earlier this year in march I presented at the UGFocus event in Houston.  This event was special because it gives presenters the chance to present extra-long, 1.5 hour sessions which allows them to go a lot more in-depth than at typical events. I learned a lot and made tons of great connections at this event!

Now if you are interested in attending events but have a limited budget, keep your eyes out for upcoming Dynamics 365 Saturday events that may be coming to your area. These events are free and have lots of great presentations as well - in fact the last event I attended had presentations from some of the top guys in the Portals space.

If you've missed out on D365Satuday or if there's no events in the near future near you, there's lots of virtual presentations out there as well. Recently I've started listening to podcasts such as "refresh the cache" over on crmaudio and of course there's the community group that we at KPMG Adoxio have a very long history with - xRMVirtual - they'd got an webinar coming up on June 18 that I recommend attending on Portals and PowerBI.

Good luck on your journey - I know mine is just started out and i'm very excited to be involved!