Interview with Luc van Vugt

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Luc van Vugt is the author of Automated Testing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?

Luc: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central development and testing

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Luc: For years I wanted to get a book out on automated testing for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central as this discipline was highly underrated. Finally Packt reacted positively a couple of years ago.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Luc: For the second version of the book I interviewed two hands full of peers in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central world on what was good about the first version and what would contribute to make the second version better. This research was spread over a couple weeks at the start of 2021. Next to that I did additional research on new topics in the course of writing the book.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Luc: While working on the book a number of different challenges came around. Content wise the main one was related to a number of new topics. Topics that I needed to dig in myself still. On this I got a lot of support from a few Microsoft FTEs in the Dynamics 365 Business Central development team. Layout wise a number of hurdles had to be taken as the standard Packt layout did not work out well. I pushed back on this leading to a fruitful discussion with the team and a much better layout.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Luc: When the first edition came out in 2019 Q2 not yet a lot of Business Central pros had been picking up test automation. Through the book, workshops I had been performing and also from a general push on test automation more have been picking up this discipline. With the second edition more advanced topics in the context of test automation could be discussed as the Business Central ecosystem is maturing on this. Test automation is finally becoming a relevant part of BC development. Or in other words: BC development is finally maturing.

Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Luc: Well, this is a no-brainer: this is the only book on this topic.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?

Luc: Experience the added value of test automation. Not only a time saver, but even more a substantial contributor to leveraging the quality of your code and software solution, and the quality of your development practice.
Next to that – and to me as important – introducing a fun factor as test automation makes development so much more fun to do.

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Luc: Learn from ones that share and share yourself. Get involved with the community.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Luc: https://fluxxus.nl

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Luc: There is so much on this in the Business Central world having an active community. Recently Jeremy Vyska started to aggregate a BC weekly called “Fresh Pot o’ MSDYN365BC”. This gives a great view on what’s going on. https://app.mailbrew.com/JeremyVyska/fresh-pot-o-msdyn365bc-pBu9HzzxBQmE/3

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Luc: In all honesty: the first edition project wasn’t a good experience. I did not really feel supported. Now with the second edition Packt has shown to have improved tremendously. I am very happy with this.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Luc: Yep, I am a Microsoft MVP which is a community on its own and I am board member of the Dutch Dynamics Community.

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

Luc: I do not really follow any tech journal, but I am actively following my peers on the internet and twitter and attending relevant webinars and conferences. Being a BC development trainer I need to dive into new topics on a regular basis. This forces me to be up to dat.

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Luc: Writing the book was a major part of my daily work since this project started in March 2022. The initial planning was based on the outline written for Packt and stretched from March 8 till August 16. The execution of it went smoothly. We even rescheduled it as I was ahead of time. In the end, however, we got delayed to two major reasons: (1) the three reviewers I introduced did such a good job and suggesting great improvements that the work load grew substantially (almost 30% of the whole project) (2) the last two – and new – chapters needed much more research than I had projected. Except for the last chapter everything was finished on August 16. getting the last chapter complete took almost an extra month partly due to all other work that I needed to pick up again.

Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Luc: Whatever style guides tell you: write your “story”.

You can find Luc’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

Available on Amazon: Automated Testing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central