Today’s guest blogger is MVP Julie Yack. Julie is one of the founding partners of Colorado Technology Consultants, Inc. and currently serves as the company’s Chief Operations Officer.
This list is a revised version of the bit I did with Anne Stanton at Convergence DayONE General Session. It is far from complete, but hopefully thorough.
The most important resource is YOU. Sure, on the surface that sounds cheesy, but hear me out. All of the great resources won’t do you a bit of good unless you do something. As giving as the community is, and they are great, you have to accept the help and go make CRM (or xRM) with it.
User groups are one of my personal favorite resources. Imagine this…the best in your profession giving of themselves to teach you how to do what they do? The best ones for CRM… xRMVirtual (developer nerds using CRM for other things) and CRMUG (some free things some paid memberships, more user/mgt side of things).
Microsoft team members. Not sure there’s a link here for you, but the product team at Microsoft are a really great bunch. They genuinely want your feedback to make a better product. They want to help you succeed in what you do with the resources they’ve given us. You need something? Let me know, I’m happy to make an intro for you to anyone on the team.
Official blogs. The high-level team one is here. The posts come from MVPs, Microsofties, industry experts, etc. You’ll get links about updates to the product, the newest documentation/SDK, events, etc. From here there will be links to the author’s own site so you can then add them to your own resource list.
TechNet CRM Wiki. A group of product team folks, MVPs and other experts manage this and aggregate info for you. Look here for a collection of best practices, resources, etc. The plan is to keep things here in perpetuity as a forever resource for you/us.
Social. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube. All great places to learn stuff and meet people to learn more stuff from. On Twitter you can search on key terms (with and without a hash#), you can then find the people posting those things, and follow them. LinkedIn groups send you updates on discussions related to those group topics. Facebook is an area of debate of its professional value, I find value there, you may not. Whatever works for me works for me, whatever works for you works for you. There is an official Dynamics CRM YouTube Channel too.
Channel 9. This is a well-known resource in the overall .NET developer community, but notsomuch with CRM developers. Channel 9 has great videos in digestible lengths on many topics that would help a CRM developer. Go look at the site, search on CRM and tadah! Loads of results.
Microsoft forums. So, you have a huge problem overcoming this whatchamacallit and can’t see to locate the answer anywhere. Go to the forums and interact directly with the experts. Product team folks and CRM MVPs hang out there answering (and asking) questions. I go there often when I hit a roadblock on something.
Dynamics CRM MVPs. So we get this honor based in part on area of technical prowess, but more so for our commitment to giving back to our professional community. There are many many specialties, but current count of CRM MVPs is 49. We come from all over the globe and are really truly here to help.