Is Dynamics NAV career promising and progressive?

Developer101Developer101 Member Posts: 462
edited 2014-08-07 in General Chat
I am an Experienced Navision developer (Technical and some Functional aspects) and been working with NAV almost 7 years experience now. I am having new job but I will be working on Oracle ebusiness suite, then I might get into development in future. The job is find paid. But i miss working with NAV now.

I took this job because I always wanted to work in bigger ERP software like Oracle or SAP. Now as I got into Oracle which is great but now I for some reason don't feel the same about it. Oracle ebusiness suite is really huge and unlike NAV , its seems really impossible one can do all modules and do technical development on top of that. One has to work on some part of Oracle and doesnt need to know how it was installed and what database looks like etc. Where in NAV i can do anything from installation, configuration, database, customization and functional too for all modules except manufacturing.

I still have a chance to go back to Navision. But actually what really bothers me is that Navision career is not highly paid as oracle or sap which is crazy. Other thing is Navision career doesnt seem to progressive. One starts as NAV developer and stays as NAV developer and I actually worked with NAV technical people who are having more than 15 years of proven experience but sometimes ins some areas I could come up with same or better solution than them honestly. They might be higher paid but I feel that still after working with NAV for 15 years they seem to be in same position.

I want to know what is the future if one stays in NAV. How much progressive this career is. I do like working in NAV and still when I get free I do some stuff in Navision but I am not sure if I want to do only that for many more years to come.

Please I would like to get your comments on my thoughts. Am i just stressing myself or is NAV really a promising career? Or all my thoughts are really wrong?
United Kingdom
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Comments

  • Alex_ChowAlex_Chow Member Posts: 5,063
    You already answered your own question on that long post.

    If your passion is in money, stick with Oracle.
  • Developer101Developer101 Member Posts: 462
    I might be wrong thinking that there is not much money in NAV as compare to SAP or Oracle. It might have alot of money as I get more experience. I want really experienced people to proof me wrong and what as I really need to decide soon if I want to go back to NAV. Please comment in detail.
    United Kingdom
  • genericgeneric Member Posts: 511
    MS is pushing AX on every deal at least in North America. In South America they are not even selling NAV, so it's up to partner to sell.
    If you look at percentage of customers on different Dynamics product, NAV has been getting smaller and smaller.
    MS is basically pushing NAV out of market where it had strength.
    You could easily put NAV from 3 to 50 users in older versions.
    With 2009 RTC and 2013, that is no longer the case for the 3 to 10 users system. It's too expensive to implement it.
    You need more consultant/programmer specializing in certain area to implement this.
    At the 50 project, there are other challenges. Performance is the main one. You spend weeks tuning the db before and after the project. Many performance issues is out of partner limit to do anything about.
    Adjust cost takes 6 hrs every night. Statements, aging reports takes hours to run.
    The whole reporting architecture, programming language to filter and loop through record set is to slow and not scalable.
    NAV will go away eventually. It doesn't make sense to support 4 different codebases. Stay with Oracle or SAP.
  • Alex_ChowAlex_Chow Member Posts: 5,063
    I agree with everything you said except this:
    generic wrote:
    If you look at percentage of customers on different Dynamics product, NAV has been getting smaller and smaller.

    The information I heard is the exact opposite. Do you have the source for this?
  • AyuWulanDewiAyuWulanDewi Member Posts: 5
    :-k :-k :-k :-k

    it makes me worry about my carrer :|
    Best Regard,



    Ayu Wulan Dewi
  • Developer101Developer101 Member Posts: 462
    Don't worry about your career.
    United Kingdom
  • mdPartnerNLmdPartnerNL Member Posts: 801
    They left out customers with modifications before 2013. It is too expensive to upgrade.

    In this area NAV will loose those customers because upgrading or choosing a different ERP is costing the same.

    AX doesn't look that difficult, and is still small enough for a developer to touch all kinds of different subjects.
  • genericgeneric Member Posts: 511
    Alex Chow wrote:
    I agree with everything you said except this:
    generic wrote:
    If you look at percentage of customers on different Dynamics product, NAV has been getting smaller and smaller.

    The information I heard is the exact opposite. Do you have the source for this?


    I saw a slide on number of customers for each Dynamics product a couple of years ago and recently and NAV has decreased by about 30 %.
    MS is not dumb enough to release this info online.
  • davmac1davmac1 Member Posts: 1,279
    So we have one source that says NAV installations have increased in the last few years to about 92,000, and you have another source at Microsoft that shows they have decreased by 30%.
    One of those is obviously incorrect, or they apply to different things.
    From the little I have seen, I have the impression new installations are going in still for NAV.
    What I don't know about are the number of customers abandoning NAV - there would have to be a lot to account for 30%.
    Maybe the 30% reduction is the reduction in customer adds each year?
    I personally don't think the upgrade to NAV 2013 is that difficult - the biggest barrier is getting the users on board with the new look and feel - especially if they have very complex forms that won't work the same way.
  • genericgeneric Member Posts: 511
    It's not the number of customer decrease but percentage of all customers on Dynamics products.
    It just means that other Dynamics products are outselling NAV.
    Every MS salesperson pushes AX.
  • ppavukppavuk Member Posts: 334
    Well, I think MS will not drop NAV in foreseen future. NAV is one of most profitable ERP products for MS. Well, they attracting big fish to AX, but minnows need an ERP too :)
  • Developer101Developer101 Member Posts: 462
    Thanks for everyone for their input, I appreciate it. :)
    United Kingdom
  • Developer101Developer101 Member Posts: 462
    Thanks for everyone for their input, I appreciate it. :)

    The thing I love about NAV is its extremely flexible and its very customizable.

    A developer can touch all areas of NAV and there is always to learn and do more.
    United Kingdom
  • matttraxmatttrax Member Posts: 2,309
    My own opinion, which I suppose could be applied to other fields as well: Find a job you love, like working with NAV, and while you do it prepare the skills that would translate to other similar positions, should you ever need them. C/AL might not really be transferable, but Business Analysis, Project Management, SQL, .NET, and overall business concepts are. Use your time to your advantage and you improve your current position and prepare for the future all at once. Not to mention the NAV skill-set is in demand and in limited supply.

    So to recap: good pay, fun work, learn skills for the future. I personally can't ask for much more.
  • einsTeIn.NETeinsTeIn.NET BochumMember Posts: 1,041
    I think it depends on how you define career. If career means for you just increasing your salary then I think it's independent from the area you work in or the tool you work with. (Of course there are some upper limits related to the market, but I think you are more talking about getting paid fair, not getting paid anything you want.)

    First of all, you have to try to become better every day and better than anyone else in your area. People around you will notice that and your negotiation position will be better as well. Secondly, talk to your boss. He won't give you more money just because you do your work. You have to demand it, based on arguments and examples that show the good quality of your work. (No one will give you more just because you want it, you need to show that you are worth it.) And don't go over the top, check the market and be realistic. If your boss can't or don't want to pay you more and you're sure your quality is worth it then change the company and/or the industry sector.
    "Money is likewise the greatest chance and the greatest scourge of mankind."
  • Miklos_HollenderMiklos_Hollender Member Posts: 1,597
    I am well known to the be somehwat cynical, pessimistic, critical fellow around here, so take my views with a grain of salt, let's say that things can be better than I see it but you can safely say things are never worse than how I see it :)

    - It does not worth it IMHO to start a consulting company with emplyoees. Incredibly hard to find enough work to pay for salaries, and you have to increase them steeply year by year or else people leave after a few years. As consultants with 3-5+ years of experience are really wanted on the market. I know a UK company led by a genius level dude who still loses money on his consultants and makes it up barely on licence sales.

    - As a freelancer, you will have a significant problem of getting a developer licence, and hard to find work unless you are this extroverted type who networks, who develops a lot of contacts, professional friendships. I am not this type. I am the grumpy technical guy type (even though I consider that most of my expertise is not really technical but more like business processes - still).

    - As consulting companies are small, don't expect much of a career in the sense of promotions. Your boss is often the owner. Where could you be promoted?

    - Without promotions careers at consulting companies can get stale. After 10-15 years and being like 40 years are you happy doing the same hands on work as at 25?

    - Generally speaking the best or least bad part of the job is programming, because you have some peace working on code and usually customers are OK with paying for well done developments without much fuss. But a general purpose programmer like a web developer has so much exciting things and technologies to try out, Ruby on Rails yesterday, something else today, and above all outside C/SIDE "real" programmers have a chance to always work on really new things, because they can add many layers of abstraction. C/SIDE, C/AL is more like the BASIC scripts of olden times in the sense that you will keep typing the same thing again and again. You keep solving the same problems. In the "real" programming world it is usually not so.

    - So if you say enough of programming I will just do consulting, first of all although some of our members say stuff like "managing expectations", "telling people what they should not want" etc. I have never really saw that, in my mind 90% of NAV projects is listening to users, figuring out what would help them and then writing the code. You cannot really escape that. It is not SAP where you can just configure the standard product.

    - If you focus more on consulting than programming, it gets stressful and frustrating. At least programming new features is respected by users. Consulting not so much. Your employer wants to charge like €1000 for a day of training, the users spend half of it complaining, they don't get fully trained because of this, and then your customer does not want to pay the invoice because from the managers viewpoint it was not delivered. Incredibly frustrating.

    - You can try to switch over to the end user side, internal consulting, and then try to either get into more general programming for there, or try to get promoted out of the whole thing into something like general project management then operations management. For moving into general programming the problem is that you will have to use a Microsoft environment, and I can tell you, for example for web development, based on how awesome something like Ruby on Rails is, ASP.NET is a huge letdown. As for getting promoted out of the whole thing, if you can find a really big company... but really big companies are more likely to use SAP. Oooops. And in general managers like to put people into boxes. If you are the "Navision wizard", you get put into this box and you can never get any tasks that gives you the chance of growing your skills in a different, more project and operations management oriented way. Nevertheless this is the only thing I think has a chance, so I am still trying.

    - If you are lucky, working at an end user side you will one day realize that whatever customization they want must be wanted by thousands, and it is a good idea for making an add-on. This could be a business idea that could turn you into an entrepreneur. I might one day try this.
  • Miklos_HollenderMiklos_Hollender Member Posts: 1,597
    generic wrote:
    ...

    Hi Generic,

    I had my share of performance headaches and basically today I see that with modern hardware, especially the kind of virtualized stuff provided by hosting companies, they kind of go away automatically. Still in 6.1 Classic, maybe RTC is different, but stuff like 17GB databases work lightning fast in it. I don't know what exactly the hardware wizards are doing but it is working well. 8 GB RAM, 2 2.66Ghz
    processors, it is not even that big. I think it is the hard disks that got sped up. BTW in these hosting cases the client is installed at a server and everybody used it through MSTSC. Or maybe separate terminal server still hosted.

    What you say about the code base may be true. I have last seen AX when it was like 3.0 and it looked horribly unstable. Nevertheless it is many ways a more modern product (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamics_A ... nd_X.2B.2B ) and if they will only keep one, it will be this one.
  • Miklos_HollenderMiklos_Hollender Member Posts: 1,597
    matttrax wrote:
    My own opinion, which I suppose could be applied to other fields as well: Find a job you love, like working with NAV, and while you do it prepare the skills that would translate to other similar positions, should you ever need them. C/AL might not really be transferable, but Business Analysis, Project Management, SQL, .NET, and overall business concepts are. Use your time to your advantage and you improve your current position and prepare for the future all at once. Not to mention the NAV skill-set is in demand and in limited supply.

    So to recap: good pay, fun work, learn skills for the future. I personally can't ask for much more.

    Except Mattrax that all the recruiters that keep calling me are looking for experience with a specific product. They are not technical people. All they know is if a client needs someone for a position with product X, they should be looking for 3 - 5 years of experience with product X. When and if we will ever need to switch products, it is going to be hard, because only people with actual experience in the field, and not recruiters, understand transferable skills.

    What I hope is that MS will be clever enough to always keep around the brand name even if as an empty shell. After all a brand name, goodwill, market presence, instant recognition is valuable for them too. If one day NAV will only mean like a special licencing package for AX, recruiters will not know that thus it will be OK.

    I admit Microsoft made a good decision by renaming Navision to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Axapta as Microsoft Dynamics AX etc. Because this is how nontechnical people think. If you know Microsoft Dynamics NAV instead of AX then in their mind you got out of 19 letters 17 letters right and that is good enough. I keep getting called for CRM projects even though my CV clearly say I had only 1 project with the first version, but they think, MS Dynamics is MS Dynamics.
  • einsTeIn.NETeinsTeIn.NET BochumMember Posts: 1,041
    As a freelancer, you will have a significant problem of getting a developer licence...
    I'm not up to date in that case, but I remember that I once had my own license file. Why did that change? And how do freelance developers work then today?
    If you know Microsoft Dynamics NAV instead of AX then in their mind you got out of 19 letters 17 letters right and that is good enough.
    :lol::lol::lol: That's absolutely true! :lol::lol::lol:
    "Money is likewise the greatest chance and the greatest scourge of mankind."
  • Miklos_HollenderMiklos_Hollender Member Posts: 1,597
    And how do freelance developers work then today?

    I don't know all the details, but AFAIK it was always discouraged and now it is simply discouraged more. After all it is not good for Microsoft that a partner sells a licence and a 80 day project at €1000 a day, and when it is done the next turn of improvements is done by freelancer for €500 a day, because he/she has hardly any overhead costs, and then their partner is unhappy. I think Navision AS / Microsoft always considered this sort of freelancing bad for their business, and even borderline unethical.

    Personally I think a company could be started that would actually sell some licences and have a totally valid developer licence and people with certifications, but would not be the usual kind of hierarchical business with fixed salaries and large overheads and a rented office, but it would be simply a "co-op" for freelancers loosely cooperating, with hardly any overhead. Like a guild. Set a minimum rate, collect a very small percentage for common costs like accounting, and let the members loose.
  • mdPartnerNLmdPartnerNL Member Posts: 801
    And how do freelance developers work then today?

    Personally I think a company could be started that would actually sell some licences and have a totally valid developer licence and people with certifications, but would not be the usual kind of hierarchical business with fixed salaries and large overheads and a rented office, but it would be simply a "co-op" for freelancers loosely cooperating, with hardly any overhead. Like a guild. Set a minimum rate, collect a very small percentage for common costs like accounting, and let the members loose.

    This is exactly how we work today as a partner. Keep the costs low.
  • Alex_ChowAlex_Chow Member Posts: 5,063
    This is exactly how we work today as a partner. Keep the costs low.

    This is exactly how customer wants their implementations. Cost low.
  • einsTeIn.NETeinsTeIn.NET BochumMember Posts: 1,041
    So, that means the only way to really work as a freelancer is to find/start a company to get a valid developer license?
    "Money is likewise the greatest chance and the greatest scourge of mankind."
  • mdPartnerNLmdPartnerNL Member Posts: 801
    For now yes. This year Microsoft stops the NAV partner network for smaller partners in the NL.

    We were asked by Microsoft to join a new partner company Q.B.S. as they will takeover some work of Microsoft.

    Im expecting to get a developer license from QBS but am not sure. To busy now to find out.
  • DenSterDenSter Member Posts: 8,281
    I do not recognize the doom and gloom scenario of some people in this topic at all. For me NAV has brought me a VERY nice career, and I am still enjoying it VERY much. I have fulfilling and challenging work, the people that I work with and the customers I work for are all fantastic. Sure there are things that could be better, but anybody that tells you in any field that they don't have those is just lying.

    Surely I could have found the same type of fulfillment in other areas, but this is the world I happened to roll into, and it has been, it currently is, and it will continue to be great for me for a long time.
  • ArmondsArmonds Member Posts: 66
    http://www.zdnet.com/microsofts-top-eig ... 000017844/

    "Lead with CRM and Dynamics AX"

    so NAV isn't priority for MS
  • DenSterDenSter Member Posts: 8,281
    You can't draw that conslusion form that article. NAV is making a crapload of money for MSFT, it has a LOT of priority.
  • Miklos_HollenderMiklos_Hollender Member Posts: 1,597
    Alex Chow wrote:
    This is exactly how we work today as a partner. Keep the costs low.

    This is exactly how customer wants their implementations. Cost low.


    That's because the customer is used to situations where they can sufficiently check and enforce the quality of the product or the service, or even that is somehow definable i.e. that there are some kind of objective standards or general agreement so that every "layperson" can have an opinion if it is well done or not, roughly.

    My biggest surprise in this industry starting 10 years ago was that it is not true, you could make one mistake right at the beginning, like finding a customer who is outside the industries the standard product was meant to (but Microsoft never really told you that that for example you cannot really use the Jobs module for construction) and not finding an add-on to them, and from there on you can spend 100 days working with the absolutely best and brightest and most motivated consultants who hack everything to pieces and rebuild it perfectly and elegantly and still end up with something that is hard to use and kept alive on a daily lifeline of RDP support. And yet you cannot really say it was a bad job in the sense cold food with hair in it in a restaurant is clearly a bad job, it is something as little that someone at the beginning did not have enough experience with that industry, nothing more.

    Ours is a weird profession, in the sense that we really cannot tell people what they have to do in order to succeed, cannot give a script, nor can determine fault and responsibility truly, we are a "guru" type of profession where simply having people around with a lot of experience helps increasing the chance that big traps will be avoided but that experience can never be condensed into rules.

    And this is why customers who want everything are going to suffer in the long run. They have no idea exactly what quality they are getting because there is no objective definition or perception of quality here to begin with.
  • Developer101Developer101 Member Posts: 462
    Right! first of all thanks every one for their input. As I had mentioned before I had an opportunity to move to Oracle but I did not take that opportunity and stayed with NAV which is also great.

    But now I am getting an opportunity to move to AX. What is every one's opinion? I have been with NAV nearly 9 years now.
    Has any one moved from NAV after long experience to AX?
    Thank you :)
    United Kingdom
  • mohana_cse06mohana_cse06 Member Posts: 5,480
    Has any one moved from NAV after long experience to AX?
    Yes, I have seen people moving (or trying to move) from NAV to AX in India to get paid more and for more opportunities..
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