There’s one phrase, one word, that defines a huge chunk of what I talk about, post about, and am passionate about. It’s no exaggeration to make the claim that I use the hashtag #community in around 90% of my social media posts. It’s also not an inaccurate statement to say that I’m the crazy guy who will run up to people and probably just shout “#COMMUNITY” at everyone and anyone… and all for very, very good reason.

Yesterday, 11th May 2019, was the phenomenal “experiment” of having a short hackathon with 10 teams, in 6 countries, over 4 continents. All live-streamed and all run as if we were all in one location.

This was the brainchild of the Awesome Ee Lane Yu and the rather bonkers, but just as awesome, William Dorrington and would see the launch of a whole new TDG platform called TDGi.

It originally was a bit of a joke between the UK and Australia, a Microsoft Stack version of the Ashes, but as the days and weeks went by more people shouted “ME TOO” ith the USA pulling together a team only a couple of days before the event itself.

No prizes, no big presentations from companies and charities. Just a quick word from Will laying out the ground rules, and then an impassioned talk from the judge for the day – Elysia Bartel – about the challenges and needs surrounding agriculture now and in the future that we seem to be heading towards.

And with that all done, a 2 hour hack begins… and then ends.

It’s hard to imagine that 2 hours could result in much and yet every team delivered functional, working, phenomenal solutions – some of which could be rolled out live with only a minor bit of fettling and tweaking.

Now so far this has been a tale of a hackathon… been there, blogged that – but this is just an example of how the community pulls together and can deliver world-changing solutions. It was what was happening before the hack, during the hack, and what happened after it, that really goes to demonstrate what I really love about it.

In the build up to the event, there were constant chats via LinkedIn, Slack, WhatsApp, Twitter and anything else imaginable – everyone bigging each other up, and not one single ego on display.

During the event there was jokey smack-chat, but all good-hearted and in very good humour. When the judging began everyone was blown away and predicting each other would win… again, no sign of any ego whatsoever.

As a brief aside – Huge congratulations to the winners, Team Philippines, and to the 2nd & 3rd place teams from Singapore!!! Deserving winners who truly delivered unbelievable work.

After the event the social chatter continued, and continues, across all the channels and across all the continents.

Here in the UK, it was time to have a laugh doing some recording – most of which is probably not suitable for public consumption – and off to spend time together at the local German Bar!

We laughed, we nearly cried, we chatted, we debated, we pranked, we advised – and THAT was #community at work!

In my 20+ years working as an IT professional I have NEVER known anything like it. The way we all come together and support each other, the way there are zero egos, the fact that we all know that we can contact any single individual directly for support or advice (or just for a laugh).

Everyone has their strengths, and their weaknesses – but we all compliment each others skills and knowledge, and we all are determined to work together to do whatever we can to use this for something amazing.

This is what #community is all about.

This is why I spend so much time telling everyone to get involved, and pushing people towards all the communities that there are.

What I also love, is that there is no “preciousness” about the communities – you can be in the Dynamics Usergroup and still champion TDG and #PowerAddicts. Yes, there are a lot of different groups out there but, more often than not, we all are united as one gigantic global community.

#community – a simple hashtag, but one that means so much more than can often be appreciated.

Community Links

I can’t leave this blog without posting some links to parts of the community. It’s not possible for me to capture it all and I’m not going to post links to individuals Twitter feeds as there are far too many and you need to find the ones that resonate with you for yourself.

However, there are some good starting points that can definitely recommend:

  • TDG: A collective of people all over the globe, with a passion for all things Dynamics and Power Platform. Education, Sharing, Collaboration – all this and more!
  • Dynamics/CRM Usergroup(s): With groups all over the world, active forums, and some of the best people in the community. If you’ve not been along to a UG meeting, you really need to get to one as a matter of priority!
  • All the other Usergroups: The same people that bring you the Dynamics/CRM UG also have groups for everything from PowerApps, Flow, PowerBI, Business Central and so much more. Check this page for the full list and links to them all.
  • Microsoft Community: Currently in the process of being revamped and updated, but when this is back this is the official home of Microsoft Communities for Dynamics and more. With forums, blogs, videos, documents and all sorts – one to take a look at.
  • Twitter hashtags to look at for: Definitely keep your eye out for #PowerAddicts, #TDG, #PowerApps, #Flow, #Dynamics, #TDGe – and that’s just for starters, and just the ones that come to mind right now.
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