Summit 2023

Once again, the time has come to close the books on another incredible Acumatica Summit at the massive Wynn hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. To say it was an incredible event would be an understatement. From the Acumatica sponsored racecar to the amazing presentations, this event had something for everyone.

Hackathon 2023

As must be very obvious by now, my favorite part of the Summit event is the annual community Hackathon. This year was no exception. ChatGPT and the new 2022 R2 API access to automating the publication of customization projects ruled the Hackathon this year. Every presentation was fantastic, even with common themes being represented from different perspectives by each team.

Developer Sessions

The developer sessions held particular significance to me this year as I stepped outside my comfort zone and presented a short portion of two sessions. Unfortunately, winter weather back home and numerous flight cancellations led those from my company to have to make an early exit on Tuesday, forcing me to miss Acumatica Workflow: Coding Best Practices by Alexander Nesvizhsky and Save time Everyday with PowerShell by my friend, Robert Waite. I know that these must have been incredible sessions as I know both presenters are highly knowledgeable and have a great passion for their topics.

CMMS-Lite: An Acumatica Community Project

If you have followed my blog for a while, you surely noticed that I haven’t posted much in the last few months. Well, not to place blame, but the main reason is that most of what I have learned worth posting lately has been related to my work on a new Acumatica Community project called CMMS-Lite. One of the side-benefits I had hoped for in working with this project was to open my mind to learning more things that I could share with the community. What I hadn’t expected was to find myself wanting to hold off on publishing anything until the project was released and made public. On the upside, that time has come! I hope this means that I’ll be able to remember enough detail of some of the lessons I learned to add as new content here in the upcoming weeks.

Read the full blog post about CMMS-Lite here on the Acumatica Blog:
CMMS-Lite – An Acumatica Community Project – Acumatica Cloud ERP

As my friend and fellow developer on the project, Josh Van Hoesen, and I presented on Monday, the project has been completed for Phase 1. This doesn’t mean that the team completed development on all the features we ever discussed. To the contrary, it means we found a point where the most basic core features appear to be stable, and we now feel that we have a solid foundation to start Phase 2.

Developer Stories

For as verbose as I am, you may find it hard to believe that I really am a very private person. I talk a lot about the things for which I have great passion, but I don’t really open up publicly on a broad range of topics very often. If you were in the right place at the right time, you heard me open up about my journey in a very personal, and since the room was crowded, a lot of people heard that story.

What am I talking about? On Monday, we had a session intended to show the different perspectives of developing in the Acumatica community as an ISV, a VAR, and Customer. The presenters for these were Patrick Chen, Kulvir Kaila, and me, respectively. While we all had different stories, we all shared our unique “keys to success” in addition to several keys that were common to all three of us. These common keys are a vital part of learning, growth, and holding a finger on the pulse of the Acumatica Developer community. No matter which perspective you have with development, make sure the ones below are part of your daily, weekly, and monthly routines.

Common Keys to Success

While I always hope that I “do a good job” when asked to do anything, that is especially true when it comes to directly influencing our community. Perhaps the most touching moments for me were when some of you came up to me and shared how I had inspired you, how similar our stories are, or how something I said made you take a step back and rethink what is important. While these interactions pulled on my heart and endeared me even more to these members of the community, the simple truth is that I never believed that I was anything more than a worker bee in a sophisticated engine of support. To everyone who shared what my story or other discussions at this event meant to you, you have my heartfelt gratitude for sharing your comments.

Developer of the Year

To be completely honest, this is a topic that I really didn’t want to bring up because I don’t want to “toot my own horn”. However, let’s just get it out of the way so we can move on to the most important take-away you can have, which I shared in my developer story.

If you haven’t figured it out from the previous paragraph and section title, I was honored to receive the Acumatica Developer of the Year award this year. Now before you start bowing down to me as some programming god, let me make it very clear that this does not mean that I proved to be the most talented programmer in the community. However, being surrounded by the best developers in the world in the Acumatica ecosystem, it is unbelievably surreal to receive such an amazing award.

To be considered, you must first be a Developer MVP in good standing. Simply being invited to be a Developer MVP a few years ago was an incredible honor in itself. This group of developers comes from the community all around the world and commits to serving the community at least to a minimum standard. The Developer of the Year is selected from the Developer MVP’s who go above and beyond these minimum requirements in serving the developer community.

Developer of the Year 2023, Mark Franks Presents the Award to Brian Stevens

So… what was this most important take-away that I shared in my developer story? I’m glad you asked!

To really understand how surreal receiving this award is to me, understand that just four years ago, I was in over my head as a developer in this community. Four short years ago, I was still trying to understand event driven architecture and how to follow object-oriented programming. I had spent 20 years on a legacy system that was top-down meaning every line of code was followed by the next line of code executed explicitly. Did you catch four short years ago? My point is, if you connect with the right people, commit to helping others as a way of learning more yourself, and really apply yourself, anything is possible.

Happy Coding!

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