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Reflections on BC Tech Days 2024: Xpand's Software Development Engineer's Point of View

Oleksii Nochovnyi, Software Development Engineer, Xpand 

Intro

My second-time experience of attending the BC Tech Days conference in Antwerp as a software development engineer was similar to that of the majority of the attendees. The city, which is known for its big harbor and industrial projects, attracted technology enthusiasts and professionals alike. The great energy spreading at the conference and the city’s charm made for an unforgettable experience.

I was really interested in how the event has evolved since 2022, when I first attended, what had changed, improved, and what transformations were made by the organizers. And, of course, what the new sessions would be, which latest technologies would be shown. And last, but not least – what about the new networking opportunities? The Mibuso team did a great job this time again! 



Not familiar with BC Tech Days? We've prepared a short summary for you.

BC Tech Days is a premier conference for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central enthusiasts, taking place annually in Antwerp, Belgium. The event features a range of sessions from industry experts covering the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in the Business Central ecosystem. Attendees can participate in insightful sessions, hands-on workshops, and networking opportunities with peers and professionals.



Sessions

The sessions at BC Tech Days were both enlightening and inspiring. I was particularly impressed by the diversity of topics and the speakers' expertise. I want to highlight some of the most interesting ones and give a brief "intro" to each of them:

AL Development for OGs – The man, the legend, the great – Eric Wauters (Waldo) and his best possible Copilot (but no AI here) – Arend-Jan Kauffmann. Why OGs? Because of the Original Gangsters. Am I really an original gangster? Not sure, but do we have a lot of real originals? Many of the attendees were just gangsters listening to the real OGs' storiesabout how to improve performance, use new technologies, and best practices (such as interfaces and namespaces), etc. The session also covered how to validate and sell the importance of tests to customers or at least the company itself – a crucial topic for those of us who consider ourselves tech gangsters. The presenters provided great real-world examples and explanations. It was a fantastic session, with great energy and a combination of skills from the best-known people in the DEV BC community. You definitely need to attend the conference just to see the synergy in this team!

Copilot Development: AI-Powered Extensions for Business Central – Yep, AI again. A new field of AI growth was found here in Business Central. The session included great explanations and shared experiences on how to develop and which direction to grow. And yes, from now on, each developer should be a prompts engineer as well. That's the new trend in this AI era!

Microsoft Presents: Tri-State Locking: Reducing Locking in the Runtime – A new generation of working with a locking mechanism in BC, which can be enabled as a feature and will soon become the new standard for working with data. So, let’s be prepared and test this in our local environments! (Yes, yes, yes, in answer to the possible question of whether this is a cloud-only feature: I was told it should be available on-premises by changing the custom settings of the service.)

That’s only some of the sessions I mentioned, but of course, many more interesting sessions were available there.

Connecting with new and old friends

Is this the best part of the conference? From my point of view – it's certainly of great interest! One of the most rewarding aspects of BC Tech Days is the opportunity to reconnect with familiar faces and meet new ones. I encountered many well-known individuals from our customers and direct partners, as did my colleague Vadym Novytskyi. These interactions not only strengthened existing relationships but also paved the way for new collaborations. Additional thanks to the conference sponsors, who not only attended but also shared really interesting knowledge and products.

Engaging with Customers in Antwerp

Beyond the conference, I had the chance to work from a customer’s office in Antwerp. This provided a valuable opportunity to meet with people in Belgium in person, further solidifying our business relationships. Being able to discuss projects face-to-face and understand their needs more closely was incredibly beneficial. It reinforced the importance of personal interaction in building strong, lasting partnerships.

Conclusion

Attending BC Tech Days in Antwerp for the second time was a truly enriching experience. The growth and improvements over the past two years were evident, making the conference more impactful. From insightful sessions – AI is here, right? But we should not be afraid of it, we should use it! The locking mechanism was reviewed. Finally. After all these years.... Isn’t this great? – to meaningful connections with many great and interesting people, the event exceeded my expectations. I look forward to continuing my journey with BC Tech Days and witnessing its continued evolution in the years to come.

P.S. Remember, we are all future prompt engineers, so get ready to dive deeper into AI prompt engineering!

Resources:

All sessions can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/@mibusocom

Sessions Mentioned by me:

Copilot Development: Al-Powered Extensions for Business Central https://youtu.be/HgSytz-yOmY?si=_VIw5J5klllXK2ua

Microsoft Presents: Tri-State Locking: Reducing locking in the runtime https://youtu.be/Z1avFd77I18?si=weJmts1f1TbznhrR

BC Tech Day website: https://www.bctechdays.com

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