Power Apps Developer Bootcamp 2021 – Tripple “MyFirst”

Last year I’ve attended the “Power Platform Developer Community & PCF Saturday” (here the recordings from last year) and it was the most intense experience as an attendee I’ve ever had. Maybe because it was the first time the content was like especially made for me, both as a developer and as a PCF enthusiast. So when Raz asked if I would like to organize the PCF Bootcamp, I didn’t hesitated a second.

1. My First Event as an Organizer

Of course I knew I’m not the best speaker, but I was happy to contribute to bring the knowledge closer to the community. And I was not alone. We had awesome organizers: Razwan Choudry, Danish Naglekar, Victor Dantas, Yash Agarwal, Arpit Shrivastava, Samit Saini. A lot of community hard lifters, with experience in organizing.. and me.. the newbie.

The event was on four days, split on three weekends. My part was the second Saturday. Of course I did the “front end day” (since it includes PCF), together with Danish and of course with Raz, but we had several meetings also with the other organizers. And even during the event, we had support from the others, like Victor jumping in when we needed help. Thank you Danish for the great collaboration during the whole time. Even middle in the night you jumped in when help was needed.

The speaker line-up was really awesome. It’s really amazing how the community leaders apply each time to speak to events, and share the knowledge, even if that means a lot of work and preparation. Thank you Tae-Rim Han, Julian Sharp, Benedikt Bergmann, Ivan Ficko, Danish Naglekar and Scott Durow for presenting on that day and making the event awesome. Really awesome sessions! #CommunityRocks. This community exists, and they don’t let you down. Like Scott Durow and Ivan Ficko who accepted right away to be on the Q&A Roundtable. Thank you!

Last but not least, I would like to thank the Microsoft PCF product team for always being there for the community. The PCF is the base of everything in PowerApps. Only looking at everything what’s being implemented right now: PCFs for Model-Driven Apps, Canvas Apps, Portals and even CustomPages, I can tell how busy they must be. But they still take the time to connect to and support the community, being open to feedback. Special thanks to Hemant Gaur the Product Manager on PCF team, for supporting and encouraging us during the preparations and being our keynote speaker. For the Q&A session we had two special guests from the PCF product team: Kaushik Kaul, Engineering Manager on PCF and Todd Trotter, Primary Architect on PCF and the creator of the technical design of the PCF, the one who made the first PCF :-). Huge thank you for being there for the event and the community, waking up early on a Saturday morning for joining us. It was an enrichment for the community, and for me definitely my highlight of the event.

2. My First npm Package

I had also a session. I’ve chosen to speak about React Hooks in PCF development. I was thinking to this since a very long time. I wanted to share not only the benefits I see in using React (custom) Hooks for PCF development, but also to try to help the community by providing some ready-to-use custom hooks. So I’ve made my first npm package (open source of course). It’s still a work in progress. Until now there are a few hooks inside like: useEnvironmentVariable, useResourceImage, useResourceImages. I also have a first hook for a dataset: usePaging, which should help to implement paging in a dataset PCF. Have a look at the next slide: if I can split the component in smaller React hooks, I get more manageable React Components and drastically speed up the development. Being able to replace the left part of the slide with the few lines of code on the right side (using the npm package @dianamics/pcf-utils), I hope we can make even dataset PCFs much easier to write and maintain.

There are still a few more hooks to come, and there is still a lot of work to do. Stay tuned!

Beside the readme you can have a look to the source code. There is also a github repository for an example of a dataset PCF using this npm package, which is looking like this (for now):

3. My First Sketchnote

Lately I had the chance to watch a very inspiring session about sketchnotes, by Nitya Narasimhan and Luise Freese. It was just amazing, and made me have the feeling that I can really extract the essence of a session in a piece of paper which I wouldn’t forget that easy. Nitya und Luise told us that we should just try it, even if we don’t have drawing skills (which I don’t). I’ve watched some youTube videos, and that’s the result: the sketchnote of my React Hooks session on the Developer Bootcamp. Not sure if I’ve got the essence of what I should have take care of, and definitely not looking that nice as the sketchnotes I’ve saw, but I did my best 🙂

I kind of knew that I would have a lot to erase, and I was afraid it would be too hard with paper and pencil. So I went digital, but first I had to learn the tools. I’ve used SketchBook App by Autodesc Ink, free to download from the Windows Microsoft Store.


Ok there is a another small “MyFirst”: I was asked to provide the slides. So I’ve made a small video including all the slides, which I’ve uploaded to youTube (my first video uploaded ever). When the recording from the Bootcamp will be available, I’ll update this blog. Until then, you can see the slides:

I’ve used a lot of resources. Maybe you want to have a look:

  • Migrating From Class To Functional Components With Hooks: Link
  • Understanding React Hooks: Link
  • How Are Function Components Different from Classes? by Dan Abramov : Link
  • Are Hooks slow because of creating functions in render? (React docs): Link
  • Building Your Own Hooks (React docs): Link
  • Class components Vs React Hooks: Link
  • React’s useEffect & useState hooks: Link
  • Why React Hooks over HOCs: Link
  • Writing Your Own React Hooks, the Return Value: Link

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