So You Want to be a Microsoft NAV Developer? What is involved in Microsoft Dynamics NAV training?
You’ve chosen a noble profession! I liken software development to Mozart, the great music composer. While he never performed in a ballet, many ballets would never have been performed without him. While he never delivered a child, many have been delivered to his music. While he may have never taken the stress from anyone’s day through his words or actions, his music has soothed many souls.
As a NAV developer, you will have the opportunity to enrich lives and businesses. You will have the ability to make a user’s work day more efficient and less stressful. You will be able to open doors for businesses that otherwise would be closed and pave roads for business expansions. And, while I’d liken other ERP systems to a Spinet Piano, when developing in NAV, your piano is a Grand Piano!
I’ve been a NAV developer for 7 years total now – 4 of that with ArcherPoint, and three before that working for a company that was fortunate enough to have ArcherPoint as their value-added reseller (VAR).
Coming from an IBM Mid-Range systems background, I had been a business consultant and software developer in various versions of RPG for 12 years, working with over 45 different companies. But when I began my NAV career, there were very little resources available to learn NAV, which was then called Navision. Literally, there were no books available to me. Primarily, I had a 4-day quick course from a trainer, and jumped in. It was sort of like learning to swim by being thrown into the pool!
Finding training and resources
During the time I was learning NAV, I made many calls to ArcherPoint for help. Your VAR is your best friend when it comes to learning any part of NAV, including development. Involve them in your learning, and you’ll have questions answered that you’d never know to ask.
Mibuso.com is another great resource, with an online forum that is available to you just for signing up as a member, as well as downloadable code. You can learn a lot just by searching the forums. I’d encourage you, as a new NAV developer, to sign up and review the site often. It’s rich with expert advice – and it’s free!
With a membership to the NAVUG user group, you have several training options, and events you can attend. They also have a free forum onsite, with excellent community participation. Likewise Dynamics User Group, which covers the entire Microsoft Dynamics family, has many online resources, including a forum, and blogs.
CustomerSource is another resource filled with NAV application and development training and documentation. Talk to your CustomerSource administrator or VAR to get a login to the site and gain access to the information there.
But if there’s one thing I wish had been available to me as I newbie NAV developer, it’s a book by Matt Traxinger, a Microsoft NAV MVP and my associate at ArcherPoint, titled “Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Programming Cookbook”. Matt has put together a sort of “how to” collection of code samples for just about anything you could need in NAV. I’d encourage you to get this book, which is available not only in hardcopy, but downloadable for your Kindle as well.
There are other great books available as well, including some related to the application itself rather than development. Do a quick search online and you’ll find a wealth of information is now available to you.
And this by no means is an all-inclusive list of resources! Today, unlike when I started working with NAV, there are many resources, events, and training tools available to you. Search online, get involved in the user community, and talk to your VAR. Whether you’re a visual learner, need a classroom setting, or prefer to read, there’s something available to you.
Jump into the pool!
I am firmly convinced that the best way to learn is by doing. Don’t be afraid of NAV! If you setup a good development environment, which we will talk about in the next issue of this blog, you should have no worries about adversely affecting your production database.
Start with something small, like putting a field on a form or page. The sense of accomplishment you feel will fuel your ambitions.
Until next time, to quote Dora from Disney’s Nemo, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, just keep swimming.”