Typically, week 3 of our technical track is where things start to come together. Where AL meets BC. Where the technical and functional sides are inseparably looking in our face. With a load of work ahead, after three weeks of working on the job, we met again in hotel Mooi Veluwe in Putten, Netherlands, on the 17th of October.
week 3 – technical track
Monday through Thursday
In this week students were learning about the various patterns used in Dynamics 365 Business Central. The standard data model, with its 3 layers of configuration, operation and history. The architectural patterns like master data, journal-ledger and the posting routines that link them. Through as short as possible introductions and instructions enabling them to get their hands on coding as much as possible and work in their own pace.
In this mode during a major part of the week, from Monday through Thursday, the students worked on a big case called Seminar Registration with step-by-step coding instructions and in-depth explanations on the context. Coding, reading, coding, learning, coding, failing, coding, testing (oops, that’s also part of the work), meanwhile building up an understanding. Challenging for sure it was, this overwhelming load of information and new skills to be learned. Like being thrown into rough sea: luctor et emergo (“struggling and emerging”). Each student in his/her own way, and each of them succeeding. On the day itself or later on in the week.
But the students were not only challenged on BC only related matters. In this week we simulate as much as possible their future working environment by including Azure DevOps to an as-full-as-possible extend using sprint backlog and task board, by requiring pull requests that are validated by a number of criteria including a successful build pipeline run and the review by the trainer – their substitute customer or development lead. It was great to see how this in general was picked up, and of course once in while also brought individual challenges.
Next to the hard working there was room for some more relaxed things like the daily quiz and our Thursday evening “boardgame happening”. With a drink at hand we played, like the previous week, Mexican Train.
To allow the things learned to be digested more, Friday was, as has become a tradition in our training, directed to a new case: Support Registration. Based on much more high-level requirements and a sprint backlog a simple support registration module has to be build. Reading and investigating the requirements, asking for clarification from the customer, determining a rough scope and before we parted to go each our own way home, setting a deadline for the final delivery of the app somewhere in the weeks to come.
Learning is not just a one-dimensional thing where subjects are handed over as input to a student which on her/his turn processes it to output like skills and knowledge. Learning is about growing as a human being gaining insights, indeed, in the subjects, but also – and maybe even more – in taking the next step in one’s personal development. As such it of great value, IMHO, to help a student to reflect on this personal part of this journey. To consciously look at what is going well and what are the things that seemingly are thresholds to take. For this I did let them write down one top – what are you doing well in your own opinion – and one tip – what could you or would you like to improve on. This I used for our weekly 1:1 and appeared to be of value to them. A compliment to each of the students to their openness and willingness to learn.
Now that week 3 has passed our outlook is on the next week, week 4a, starting on 14th of November 2022. Based upon the Seminar Registration case the technical track will tackle Reporting and Automated Testing.
Looking forward to our next course week.