First of all, I am really sorry for this huge gap between the last post and this one, few unexpected things occurred and even though the draft was sitting on my desktop for a long time, I could not finish it sooner. I have taken a little more space and consequently few more seconds of your precious time in an effort to provide a complete view of skills (in my opinion) required at Microsoft Dynamics CRM Tech Lead level.
In this third article of the series Desired Skill Set for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Technical Resources, I will describe what is expected of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Tech Lead.
I would like to point out an obvious fact here. If you have followed these articles from the very beginning, the skill levels are additive i.e. as we climb the hierarchy, each level includes the skillset from the previous level and additional skills.
Ideal total years of experience – 7 to 10 years
Desired technical skills
- HTML (Level 300)
- ASP.Net (Level 300)
- C# (Level 300)
- Reporting and Business Intelligence Tools (Level 300)
Microsoft PowerApps and Flow (Level 200)
- Microsoft Azure (Level 300) – Expert level command on Microsoft Azure and its integration areas with Dynamics CRM are compulsory at this stage. Additionally, understanding (Level 100-200 is sufficient where it is mentioned otherwise) of the following sub areas of Azure is an added advantage.
- Azure App Service – Level 300
- Azure Active Directory – Level 300
- Application Insights – Level 300
- API Management
- Azure Search
- Azure SQL Databases
- Redis Cache
- Data Factory
- AI + Cognitive Services
Internet of Things – Helpful with Connected Field Services
Microsoft SQL Server (Level 300) – A Tech Lead must have good command over Microsoft SQL Server as it can play critical role in data migration, archival, warehousing activities. S/he should be aware of SQL Server Integration services and its role in various integration scenarios. Also, many Dynamics CRM deployment do demand for OLAP, which can only be answered with the help of SQL Server Analysis Services. And in the end, let us not forget SQL Server Reporting Services which is at the core of the reporting engine of Dynamics CRM.
Microsoft Windows Server (Level 200) – A Tech Lead should know the basics of a Windows Server deployment. This includes (but not limited to), DNS and DHCP configuration, Domain configuration, IFD configuration, Certificate Authority configuration, troubleshooting and maintenance.
Understanding of Enterprise Architecture Patterns and Practices (Level 200)– This is a new entrant if you have checked the previous two articles of this series. If you have spent 7 to 10 good years in technical roles then there is no way you have not heard of established Patterns and Practices (No, I am not talking about GoF patterns here) in software development. Similarly, there are patterns which exist. I am quoting the definition from Wikipedia as it is:
An architectural pattern is a general, reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem in software architecture within a given context. Architectural patterns are similar to software design pattern but have a broader scope. The architectural patterns address various issues in software engineering, such as computer hardware performance limitations, high availability and minimization of a business risk. Some architectural patterns have been implemented within software frameworks.
I strongly recommend a bit old book as a reference for aspiring / practicing Tech Leads / Architects: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture by Martin Fowler (https://www.martinfowler.com/books/eaa.html).
After you have delved in various Dynamics CRM implementations you would know that the moment you are trying to implement CRM / xRM for an enterprise, you will have to envision a bigger picture, and you certainly will not be limited to challenges presented by Dynamics CRM, in such cases, Enterprise Architecture patterns can increase your success rate by manyfold.
Integration Tools and Practices (Level 200) – Yet another fresh candidate in our list. As a Tech Lead, one has to have knowledge of various integration technologies. Good grasp on an Enterprise Service Bus (Microsoft BizTalk Server / BizTalk Services, Tibco ActiveMatrix, Windows Azure Service Bus, IBM WebSphere ESB, SA Process Integration, to name a few) – now will help a lot as well. It is expected from a Tech Lead to understand the various interfaces / options available for integration and S/He must have technical capabilities to do a quick PoC to quickly demonstrate / finalize integration method from multitude of choices. It is also imperative that recommended practices are followed while the choices are made. This responsibility generally falls on the shoulder of an architect, but sometimes architects lean on Tech Leads to provide them inputs basis which the decision can be made.
- Network and Infrastructure (Level 200) – At this level, more than basic understanding of network and infrastructure is essential. From setting up IFD to providing bandwidth / network benchmarks, setting up dev/test/staging/prod environments, contributing to configure servers, providing and optimizing load balancing of various components, Network and Infrastructure knowledge will help a Tech Lead to contribute significantly to Infra/Network teams in their day to day activities.
You may want to have a look at the previous articles of this series at: