In-person conferences are back! And that is something that we all have been missing. From 06-08.04 over 500 people gathered in almost springy Berlin for a few days full of Power Platfom learning and networking.
The European Power Platfom conference, the first one ever, was held in the Titanic Chaussee Berlin hotel and it was a great choice. All the sessions were close together so there was also time for networking between the sessions and not having to run from one place to another 😀
I attended the conference as a speaker, but I was also given the possibility to attend the rest of the conference. So next to my session on 08.04, I also took in all the knowledge I could from all the experts. My session this time was about Dynamics 365 Marketing and focusing on the Real-Time marketing area. Definitely something that is getting a lot of updates and functionalities at the moment.
The 3 day conferece was very fitting length. You managed to attend as many sessions as you wanted, talk and network with people all around Europe and at the same time not feel too exhausted after.
Focusing on the Power Platform and everyting around it, the conference was packed with content about ALM, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, Dynamics 365 and there was even time for a gameshow that put multiple Microsoft MVPs and their knowledge about the Power Platform to the test 😀
All in all a very successful conference, from both an attendee and a speaker point of view! Well done #EPPC22 organizing team!
Day 1 – 06.04
The first day was all about tutorials. Everything from Governance and Azure services to a Power Platform Fundamentals Bootcamp.
Not much more for me to say about day 1, other that it was when I arrived to the conference for the speakers dinner. I didn’t unfortunately manage to attend any of the tutorials, but I heard that they were really great and hands-on. That approach always leads to great learning.
In the evening the organizing team had planned a welcome event for all speakers of the conference. It was a great possibility to chat and network with all the speakers whether they were long-time or new friends. And after a few beers or glasses of wine conversation was really flowing well into late night.
Day 2 – 07.04
The official first day of #EPPC22 was kicked off by a keynote speech from Charles Lamanna, CVP of Microsoft. He took us through the Low code revolution, where he talked about the direction Microsoft is heading and how creating low code apps has already helped a lot of companies improve their day to day processes.
The content of the session was great, but unfortunately, as the session was virtual, then half way through the session the internet connection started to give troubles. Luckily the sound lasted until the end, but there were troubles seeing the slides and picture.
Power Platform Best Practices – Timo Pertilä
A great session, where Timo went through some of the mistakes he has seen users make when starting to use the Power Platform. He divided the session in 2. At first he focused on the IT user and thereafter the (Citizen) Developer. For the IT, he took us through a process how to figure out how many environments make sense to have and to make sure that you have a control over who has permissions on creating nee environments. One key take away that also was repeated throughout various sessions: Do not use the Default environment!
Second point was about cost and looking into Dataverse capacity and licenses. And make sure that you have security in place and showed us how to use Data Loss Prevention policies.
For the citizen developer, the tricks were also very useful. Something that I felt that everyone working with Power Platform knows, but sometimes likes to ignore 😀 One area that really stroke a nerve with me, because yes, I am guilty of not doing it as well… Naming Convention. It is good practise to give your buttons, columns, labels, etc names that tell the person exactly what they are for. This helps other people get quickly aquainted with your app, flow or other aspect of Power Platform and to be fair, it also looks better 😀
One thing that I have actually never thought about was that bad, but after hearing Timo, realised is pretty bad 😀 is copy pasting code. Instead, it is better to refer to other controls. This way, the functionality stays the same as when you copy paste, but if you want to make changes, then you only need to do it once and not in all the places that you have copied as well. Smart! 😀
Generally a very good and informative session, bringing out the pitfalls that new or lazy users tend to fall into 😀
The Noble quest towards Model-Driven Apps – Malin Martnes, Michael Roth
SharePoint is not a relational database 😀 Michaels journey from SharePoint to Dataverse. Talking about the differences between the two products and when to use which. Great insights also from the new user perspective from Michael and Malin took the teacher role. Both products have their good sides and faults, but when talking about needing a relational database, then there is no discussion, it is Dataverse that you should be using.
There was also disagreement from the attendees to that, but at the end of the day, you decide yourself what brings the most value for your company, while keeping the cost also at a level that is reasonable.
I really liked that they also showed us the conversation between them, to see that not everything was that smooth and easy, but when going deeper into the problem, things start to make sense! 🙂
10 things to think about before you build an app – Luise Freese
Quote of the session: “If your app does not deliver $5 a month of value per user, then you should not be building it in the first place”
A really valuable session about what to think about before you create an Power App. The 10 things were:
- Build a minimal lovable product
- Data model and Architecture
- Componentize your app
And things should happen in exactly that order. One of the highlights for me was the section about “Minimal lovable product”. I am working very much with “Minimal Viable products”, but Luise put a whole new spin to the concept and I love it. Building something that the users love, instead of something that is bare minimum to what the users would need. With good communication and time boxing the efforts, this can be the new way for me to do things 😉
The lunch was exceptional and served at the EXPO area. It was that good that it deserves a section on its own. There was something for every taste, both warm food and salads and it was included in the conference pass price. That also meant that all people attending the conference were there at the same time. So the the fight for tables was real 😀
And to top it off..there was also CAKE! They got everything covered for us to take on the second half of the day 😀
The Power Platform Game show – Sara Lagerquist, Andrew Bibby, Antti Pajunen, Rebekka Aalbers,
Benedikt Bergmann, Joe Griffin
This was a very fun session. There were the hosts: Sara Lagerquist and Andrew Bibby. And then the contestants: Antti Pajunen, Rebekka Aalbers, Benedikt Bergmann and Joe Griffin. The contestants had to answer different questions about Power Platform in different categories such as Licensing, Product info, Explain abbreviations, etc. It was all on time and not as easy at it would sound. All contestants were struggling one point or the other.
Attendees also had the chance to take part with their phones, as one section was a competition between the attendees and contestants. And the winner was an attendee 😀
There was prizes for winners and the overall winner was decided by the audience. The winner was: The hosts 😀
The attendees were also all given a Bingo sheet, to capture different expressions that the contestants might say, in order to win prizes. There was one “Bingo” shouted out half way through the gameshow 😀
Great fun and a nice break from regular presentations. Although there was also plenty to learn from the questions.
Summary of part 1
This was the recap of the first sessions I attended at #EPPC22. Day full of learnings and fun, in the end my head was nicely tired and ready for relaxation in the hotel spa 🙂
Stay tuned for part 2, where I will recap the sessions I attended on the last day of the conference!