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Some Thoughts on Pumpkin Carving and NAV Development

View of one of Matt Traxinger's pumpkin creations with the ArcherPoint logo

Autumn is my favorite time of year, especially October. Not only is it home to big events like my birthday, but we have all four of the major U.S. sports going at once, and it seems like everyone has some sort of holiday to celebrate. Canadian Thanksgiving, Diwali (Indian festival of Lights), and my favorite: Halloween.

I’ve always thought the best Halloween tradition was pumpkin carving. You probably didn’t know this about me, but I carve crazy pumpkins. I’ll spend days carving designs in pumpkins so big that a single person can’t carry them. It’s my one artsy thing. As I was working on one this week, I started thinking about how far I had progressed with my skills and realized it wasn’t that different from how I had progressed with Microsoft Dynamics NAV over the years.

When I first started pumpkin carving, I wasn’t very good. I had a giant kitchen knife probably two inches wide, and I cut out those triangle eyes and a goofy grin. It wasn’t bad. It certainly worked, but it was a hatchet job. It was the best I could do with the tools I had, though. I graduated to using those Pumpkin Masters books you see in the grocery stores, essentially using other people’s templates to learn how to do the job more effectively—not unlike the work Partner Ready Software and Microsoft are doing on Design Patters for NAV development.

Now I use different sized exacto-knives, scrapers, saws, and occasionally even pull out my Dremel rotary tool (the smell of burning pumpkin is better than it sounds). With NAV, I’m in and out of the posting codeunits much the same: Using shortcuts I’ve picked up over the years to complete the work faster; combining design patterns I’ve worked with to create more elegant solutions. I have the knowledge and the tools I need to be successful with NAV just like I am with pumpkin carving.

I’ve even moved past that and started to share my knowledge with others, be it through NAVUG (the Dynamics NAV User Group), the ArcherPoint internship program, or getting my sister-in-law to carve her pumpkin using dental tools. It’s been a fun journey over the past decade on both fronts, and I’m excited to see what new things are ahead. Happy Halloween!!

How do you get creative with NAV? Tell us in the Comments section, and, as always, be sure to read more ArcherPoint developer blogs. If you have any further questions about customizing in NAV, please feel free to contact any of the NAV experts at ArcherPoint.

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