The different roads to Microsoft Dynamics development

May 28, 2021

There are plenty of Microsoft Dynamics developers at delaware, each with their own story. Which twists and turns have they taken in their career paths? What choices have led them up to this point? And what’s their secret to success?

5 developers, 5 different stories!

The Dynamics Development team at delaware is a colorful group of unique colleagues, each with their own story to tell. How did they all end up in the same team? We’ll leave it to Tom, Guillaume, Valentin, Charissa and (another) Guillaume to tell you all about their journey.

Meet Tom: the teaching business engineer

Tom De Malsche (27) first heard about delaware in a noisy bar with some friends. What did they have to say/shout to convince him to apply for a job? And what would he say to his younger, beer-sipping self now?



When did you join delaware?

“I’m originally from Grimbergen, but I stuck around in Ghent after my studies. Once I had my business engineer degree in hand, I started looking for a job with only a general idea of what I was looking for. Luckily, some of my friends had just finished their starter track at delaware and, during a fortunate night out, they convinced me to give it a shot. After an eye-opening talk during my application, it became clear to me that I really wanted to do programming, so I was offered a position in the Dynamics Development team in March 2017.”


Over the years, how did your career path evolve and what’s up next?

“In my first year and a half, I was practically a sponge, gathering up all the IT knowledge and skills I could get my hands on. As a business engineer, I did have some development skills, but it was mostly my soft skills that proved their value in the beginning. Giving trainings, presenting projects and explaining solutions were the parts of my job where I could shine. Meanwhile, I got up-to-speed with the hard IT skills necessary as a Dynamics developer, and could now combine these with my great understanding of business and functional needs. That is why my focus has somewhat shifted to training others and focusing on presales: in both you need to understand our solutions and explain them clearly to those that don’t have the same IT background as you.”


What are you currently working on?

“I am currently the technical responsible for three Microsoft Dynamics development projects. In this role, I get the opportunity to take more responsibilities and grow my career step by step. At delaware, your job title doesn’t limit you. You can always commit yourself to taking on different tasks or roles, if you feel that is where you want to go. In my case, that way leads to a more functional set of tasks, in line with my strengths. I love to explain difficult, technical solutions to customers and colleagues, and delaware gave me the freedom to pursue this part of my job. Apart from my project work, I also support our interns and teach them what my job and the delaware culture is all about. This is always an eye-opening experience for me, as their fresh look on things makes you question some of your own self-proclaimed truths.”


What tips would you give your younger self?

“The number one tip would be: if you have never done something, chances are high that you’ll be great at it once you take the time to learn. Don’t be too modest to keep on learning from different resources, be it Google, YouTube, evening classes or on the job. And always be critical of yourself and keep your eventual goal in mind when you want to pick up new skills. This is something I reflect on once in a while, and luckily, delaware offers its employees the chance to switch their career path in the company if they feel the need. Oh yeah, and don’t stress too much on the dress code, no one expects you to wear a button-up shirt when you come to the office.” 


Why should other people apply at delaware?

“At delaware, there’s very little red tape. You are supported by an amazing Support and HR team, so you can focus efficiently on your job and your projects. I like working in our flat corporate culture, where even our managing partners are down-to-earth and great at communicating what’s next for the company. Just as my friends told me one night in Ghent, delaware is a great gang of young, fun and driven people who are always pushing to be their best selves.”


Meet Guillaume D.B.: the intern turned developer

Guillaume De Bue (25) started his delaware journey as an intern during his Applied Computer Sciences studies. His first assignment was to immediately build a truck arrival simulation and present it to the entire Dynamics Development team. It certainly got his wheels turning!


When did you join delaware?

“When I was finishing my studies for Applied Computer Sciences (ERP & IT) at Vives in 2018, I had a choice of 50 subjects for my internship, but my eye quickly fell on the internship at delaware. It spoke to me because I immediately had some responsibility for my own small development project, and it gave me a taste of what the real job was like. I could also fall back on the support of my colleagues, who taught me how to operate different platforms and internal systems.”


Over the years, how did your career path evolve and what’s up next?

“During my first year, I followed a quite atypical path, as I learned my way by giving go-live support for several projects. The next year, I got the chance to work independently and on-site with a customer, who I still support on a weekly basis. I was really glad to communicate directly with the customer and build a bond with them. I learned a lot from this experience, which came in handy during last year’s project, in which I had more responsibilities to provide customizations, manage releases and follow-up on the communication with the customer. Before I think about the next step in my career path, I want to work on my current skill-set first, become a trusted, go-to colleague for advice on Microsoft Dynamics and eventually take the lead on more and more projects.”  


What are you currently working on?

“This year, I’m alternating my weekly or daily support for my previous customers with interesting projects for Rode Kruis and DPG Media. For this last customer, I’m assisting with the go-live of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations in Denmark and the Netherlands. It’s been a great experience to be part of a larger development flow and to witness the end-to-end services delaware can offer thanks to all our different, compatible solutions.”


What tips would you give your younger self?

“Dare to ask questions. That’s it. You don’t need to do everything on your own and it’s ok if you sometimes have to rely on your colleagues. And don’t be pressured into finishing an assignment too quickly. I often take a moment during projects to take a step back before providing a solution to go through the process with a colleague. You might have all the technical knowledge when you start out, but having a feeling for business needs and processes becomes equally important. So keep on learning!” 


Why should other people apply at delaware?

“That’s simple. You have the room to grow and choose your own path. Maybe you start as a technical-minded back-end developer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become a more general technical lead or a project manager. Even after several years at the company, I still have a lot of prospects to work towards. And you don’t have to do this alone. You can always follow trainings for your hard or soft skills, or learn directly from your more experienced colleagues. Everyone is approachable at delaware and our own Dynamics Development team is a young, tight group of people, who like to socialize at work or after-hours at a local bar.”

Meet Valentin: the passionate French-speaker

Until recently, Valentin Gysels (29) was the only French-speaking member of the Dynamics Development team. Nonetheless, his colleagues welcomed him with open arms and are always available if he needs any help or advice.

Valentin: the passionate French-speaker


When did you join delaware?

“I first heard about delaware during my Information Management studies in Brussels, and I wanted to join quite quickly after my graduation. During my application in September 2019, I was immediately sold by the values of delaware, the focus on work-life balance and team spirit in general. And those weren’t just big words. For me delaware has been one big family and when I’m working at the office in Wavre, I always feel right at home.”


Over the years, how did your career path evolve and what’s up next?

“As I had just joined delaware a few months before the first lockdown of 2020, I luckily had the chance to get to know my colleagues in person before we all had to work from home. They guided me through my first small development assignments, during which I could learn the ropes. After I felt comfortable with my set of skills, I requested some more responsibilities, and now I manage more complicated development tasks and larger flows. In the future, I would like to be responsible for the blueprint start of a project and take up the role of technical lead on a project.”  


What are you currently working on?

“Now, I combine a project with mostly bug fixes or small developments with larger projects, working on bigger developments or preparing releases for production once or twice a month. These are more complex and can require a two-day preparation, with a status-quo meeting each morning. Before the pandemic, I used to work at the customer once a week, twice at the office in Ghent and twice in Wavre. This change of scenery always provided a nice change of pace and was very beneficial to my work.”


What tips would you give your younger self?

“I would advise my younger self to work a bit harder. As a student I could get quite lazy once in a while and start to procrastinate my work. Now I know it is easier to get your work done if you set your priorities and plan your tasks accordingly. I would also tell myself to ask for help quicker than I did in the past. I was always afraid to ask for assistance when I was stuck on something, because I didn’t want to bother my colleagues. But I have now learned that they are always willing to help whenever they can.”


Why should other people apply at delaware?

“I think if more people knew the values of delaware are not just hollow words, but that they really live in the company, more would be lining up to join. Employees are given the freedom to take more responsibilities if they want, they are supported by caring colleagues and respected for their own unique qualities. If you’re working with colleagues, or even alone in the office or at home, you feel that everyone is committed and working together to offer the best IT solutions they can. You really won’t find a better company elsewhere.”

Meet Charissa: the shape-shifting geologist

Charissa Stevens (35) was right in the middle of her career as a geologist, overseeing environmental sanitation projects, when she made the switch to IT. What made her turn her life upside-down and is she still happy with her choice?


When did you join delaware?

“I studied Geology and Environmental Management, so naturally I started working for a soil decontamination company when I left university. It wasn’t until I was put in charge of new software implementations at my previous firm, that I was intrigued by all the possibilities in IT and was stimulated to rethink my career path. During my IT job search, delaware quickly became my first choice as they offered a wide range of technologies and basic on-the-job trainings. I started at delaware in September 2016 and I haven’t regretted my decision since.”


Over the years, how did your career path evolve and what’s up next?

“First, I joined the Enterprise Information Management (EIM) team and worked on Open Text software and applications. In the meantime, I was following classes in Applied Computer Sciences as a working student. It was during these studies that I figured out that programming was more my thing instead of software configuration. So after three years, I was graciously allowed to make another career switch within delaware to the Dynamics Development team. I am still finding my way in my current job role, which actually doesn’t really has a fixed description. Looking forward, I want to keep on growing towards becoming the technical lead on a project.”  


What are you currently working on?

“Since I joined the Dynamics Development team, I have steadily grown my programming skills and know-how. After a period of self-study, I was introduced into various Microsoft Dynamics projects, while my colleagues were always ready to help me grow and give me advice when necessary. Thanks to this jump-start, I can take up more and more responsibilities in the team as I gain more knowledge. Currently, I’m working on three main projects in various industries (one of which for a dredging company, which feels quite familiar). Additionally, I’m also involved in pilots and new implementation and integration of Azure Data Lakes and business documents.”


What tips would you give your younger self?

“I would advise myself not to wait too long to make changes in your life if there are other things you enjoy doing more. Even in a steady, well-paying job, you can be unhappy, but it is up to you to make the change. In my own case, I waited too long to make the switch to IT, but now I can recognize the same situation quicker and trust my feeling to shake things up once in a while. If you do run into challenges, try to keep an open mind and work things out with your colleagues or customers. Recognize they have their own method of doing things and find a common way forward.” 


Why should other people apply at delaware?

“delaware is the place to be if you want a change of pace. The homely office atmosphere, surprisingly active team events and inspiring company conventions make you feel like you belong. You are always challenged to get the most out of yourself and take charge of your own career, on your own tempo. Class trainings, mentorship programs and buddy projects stimulate you to grow your knowledge, while you keep improving your skills on the job. Even when you feel the need to explore other technologies, solutions or software, you always have the chance to shake things up if you speak up.”


Meet Guillaume P.: the experienced technical architect

Guillaume Paunet (43) already has 20 years of IT experience under his belt and only recently joined delaware. Why change companies this far in his career? And how were his first months in the Dynamics Development team?


When did you join delaware?

“I joined delaware at the start of 2021, after having built up my IT experience working 15 years in a small account software company and 5 years for an ERP integrator. As the Belgian ERP and Microsoft Dynamics world is quite small, I was already very familiar with the house-hold name of delaware. I knew their great reputation and my friends and family who work for SAP also had very positive experiences with the company. So, I gave it a shot, sent in my resume and was quickly invited for an interview. My application process went smoothly, so I was up-and-running in no time.”


Over the years, how did your career path evolve and what’s up next?

“During my first days at delaware, I had plenty of time to learn the company structures, the people, and the internal processes. I could take my time to grow my responsibilities in small, but meaningful, steps without too much pressure on my shoulders. After the general introductions, I have been educating myself and reading up on new technologies, as you have to keep track of what’s going on in the fast-changing ERP world. Luckily, delaware gives you time to learn in between your regular tasks and projects. In the near future I also want to take some Dutch courses, because I believe it is crucial to communicate with all my colleagues in their own language. My ultimate goal is to assist the Go2South project and expand the market for delaware in Wallonia and Luxemburg.”  


What are you currently working on?

“Now that the honeymoon days are over, I’m involved in four different projects as a developer or technical architect. Keeping busy and learning on the job is the best way to grow, so I don’t mind this approach at all. On top of that, I’m also working on various pre-sales projects for Go2South, a program that is expanding fast, with a lot of new customers joining every month.”


What tips would you give your younger self?

“Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to change. Even though this is only my third job in 20 years, I would still recommend to change sceneries every so often if you are feeling stuck in a job or a company. Now, I feel like I’m home and part of a team, even though I just joined. Receiving that amount of support from colleagues was a big change for me, as I previously worked mostly independently. Now, I couldn’t be happier collaborating closely with other experts.” 


Why should other people apply at delaware?

“What initially drew me to delaware were their human values and team spirit. It’s a place where you can grow your career from the ground up. From the onboarding process to your first project, you get the time to learn, develop your skills and grow your knowledge. And if you feel you need some more training, you are free to follow more internal or external courses. In my opinion, this is quite exceptional and the first time I experience it for myself in my 20-year long career. If I had known this in advance, I would have applied sooner.”