Power Use Cases
During my Power Platform career, I have been extremely fortunate to have worked for great causes on some really cool solutions. However, the one commonality that helped me get these opportunities was displaying what I could do, not what I knew or what I studied (although those did help a lot).
In every interview I had, I was always ready to present solutions that I had built. The one thing I was extremely cautious over was what I demoed. Data confidentiality is not something to take for granted. Say you developed a solution for your current company or existing client, and now you are looking for a new journey. Demonstrating intellectual property that does not belong to you without consent or appropriate NDAs is not something anyone should be doing.
To avoid these issues, I started developing solutions in my own tenant that I believed were fun, useful, and solved general use cases. Over time, I built a variety of solutions. I built a Project Management Tool, a Client Onboarding Solution, an Accounting Package for invoicing, a Password Manager, and even an invoice generator for my wife to use for her clients. These now belong to me. They live in my tenant and I control production data vs. dummy data.
After building my own portfolio of solutions, it became much easier to demo the content I built and go over the approaches I took to complete a viable solution. This helped display what I was able to build without having to breach any existing contracts. It was a win-win.
The Flip Side
Although this was an approach I took, I was also fortunate enough to be sitting on the other side of the table, where I was asking the questions. I am very much aware that maybe I am personally uptight about intellectual property and wish to ensure I respect my previous employers and contracts, but that may just be me. It was a learning curve to sit with people and see them demo their employers or clients solutions to me, sometimes with production data. It kills me to sit through those sessions, but that’s a hurdle I need to overcome for myself #SelfGrowth
At times, I even asked who the solutions belonged to, if they were allowed to share intellectual property, or if the data was live. It was something I didn’t want on my head. Some individuals proceeded to demo anyway; some took a step back and said “Good point, maybe it’s not a great idea”. I still cringe over it.
As a developer who also worked for employers and contracts, it was not always easy to find the time to build your own solutions. You had licensing costs, brain farts with ideas and use cases, and more importantly, time to actually build.
My Stepping Stone
There were times when I was being interviewed and was requested to present a use case provided by the hiring team. Use cases and tests are definitely fantastic ways of reviewing someone’s skills and evaluating what they are capable of. The downside of these tests is more on the developer’s side. Sometimes you feel that you are experienced enough to not be tested, and you are 100% right. Other times you feel you may be wasting hours building this test, only to be told, Thank you very much, but we’re not interested. It can be a frustrating experience.
Power Use Cases
After speaking to a few expert recruiters, including the amazing Sarah Jones and Sam Saunders, I decided to start a small initiative. Power Use Cases. The idea is to provide the community with free use cases and ideas that consist of As-Is details, To-Be requirements, proposed user stories, and even datasets and resources. Not only does tackling these use cases allow you to build solutions to fill your portfolio, but it is also a fantastic way to prepare for potential interviews and gives you something to show off without having to worry about issues like data and intellectual property breaches. You own this now!
I published my first Power Use Case last week called “Classroom Attendance Tracker”. This use case and all its related resources can be found here. There’s a whole bunch more on the way, so be sure to follow my Power Use Case repository here and make sure to share any solutions you build! We’re a community. We learn from and get inspired by each other 😁 #PowerUseCases