Microsoft Dynamics Profile: New MVP learns to dance with Dynamics 365 CRM

March 30 2021

Newly-minted MVP Oleksandr Olashyn took quite the circuitous route on his way to a career as a Dynamics 365 solution architect.

Originally from Khust, Ukraine, the 26-year-old Olashyn was awarded the MVP in February. But his experience with dance began much earlier than his tech career and even became something he did professionally.

I participated in contests. It was classical dancing, but we also did different show programs, so tango or cha-cha or salsa in the show style. It was really fun to do. Fortunately, after I moved from my native town to Kiev to study at the National Technical University of Ukraine – Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, I continued dancing, but on a smaller scale. Later on, I unfortunately stopped doing that because dancing professionally in Kiev was a bit pricier than students could afford. When I moved to Poland in 2020, I wanted to continue dancing but the coronavirus messed with my plans. I'm eagerly awaiting for this to be over so I can practice [in a studio] again.

Olashyn, whose parents are teachers and mathematicians, says he's not the only one in his family to forgo a career in the arts for one in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field.

My sister, who's three years younger than me, is a really good pianist. She's really awesome. She was also competing in different piano contests and was winning them. So everybody thought that she would go to the conservatory to continue, but she decided to study quantum physics instead.

From dancing to programming to Dynamics 365 CRM

Ultimately, Olashyn's interest in technology and programming won out over his love of dance and he decided to pursue a career in the field.

I was always fond of technology and especially programming. I was competing in different programming contests since the ninth grade. In Ukraine we have contests between schools, at the city levels and the region level, and then on a Ukrainian level in subjects like history, math, and programming. I was constantly winning on a city level and doing pretty well on regional level. I decided that although dancing was really cool, programming was a bit more of what I wanted to work with in the future.

Olashyn's first taste of Microsoft Dynamics came about when he began working as a Dynamics CRM developer trainee at TComTech, a consulting company in Ukraine, learning everything on the job.

In 2017, Olashyn was hired by 3Shape, a maker of 3D scanners and CAD/CAM software solutions for the dental and audio industries, to work as a CRM developer and architect in its office in Poland. However, because of an issue with his documents he wasn't able to obtain a work visa, so the company decided to have him work in its office in Kiev. While he was working there, he took the opportunity to finish his master's degree. 3Shape then reassigned Olashyn to the Polish office at the beginning of January 2020.

I [work with] mainly sales and customer service modules, but we are also doing portals, mostly for external users. I am mostly blogging about what I find out about portals and how to customize them.

And on to Power Platform and the community

After about two years working with Dynamics 365 applications at 3Shape, Olashyn began working with the Power Platform, first with Power Apps and then later with Power Automate.

All this low-code, no-code mantra that Microsoft put as a cornerstone of Power Platform is appealing to me because it ease up development. You can create things really fast and when you need to, you can extend them if you have development knowledge. Especially, for example with the Power Apps component framework, when you need to push it even further. I really like that – the speed and how it is easy to start and to teach somebody how to use it.

Olashyn's community involvement mainly centers around the Power Platform, answering people's questions in forums. Occasionally, he also answers questions in Dynamics forums.

I think it was 2018 when I was first involved in community, mostly because I was searching for some answers. I would search on official forums and I would start questioning other people. While I was searching for my answers, I also found questions that I knew the answers to. So I started to reply to people and that's how I got involved. Then I heard about MVP Mark Smith and [his site] nz365guy and his 90-day mentoring challenge where he basically shares knowledge about how to become a MVP and how to develop yourself. So I took that and it actually helped me to [do more]. I started blogging after that and even being more involved in the community.

Olashyn also speaks at various events, including the Power Apps Portal Saturday, Scottish Summit, and Ukrainian Power Platform Saturday. He started his blog, Dancing with CRM, in June 2018, where he's recently written about portals.

Now that he's an MVP,  he feels a bit more pressure to continue his community work.

"It's one thing to get MVP but I think it's a bit harder to maintain it. I'm just going to continue doing what I'm doing and hope for the best," he says.

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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.

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