Monthly Archives: June 2020

Should Accountants become Microsoft Power App Developers or Lion Tamers?

Accountants as Power App Developers

Microsoft have recently started badging PowerApps plus Power BI plus Power Automate as the Power Platform. As an ex-accountant turned Power Platform developer I have started to consider the skills that my accounting life has given me, how they apply to the accounting profession generally and also the areas accountants might actually find difficult when it comes to solution development. A word of warning – I probably won’t go into the Lion taming bit very much in this article. I’m sure that there’s a self help group out there for you…

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SCARF – The 5 things that REALLY get people motivated

And how they relate to Storytelling with Data

I took a look at a book recently by David Rock called Your Brain at Work. I must admit that I didn’t hold much hope out for it, but I thought I would give it a go.  

5 years on from originally reading it I found that the points resonated for me as being applicable to Storytelling with Data. 

If you want to tell a story that the audience will listen to, you need to make them care, and I very much suspect if you have the points below in mind you’ll have a chance of being successful with getting the attention of the audience.
There were quite a lot of passages that were helpful such as prioritise prioritising (i.e. Prioritise what you need to do it as the first thing of the day) but the part that resonated the most for me was the section around how the brain is geared for survival. Essentially we walk towards reward, but run from danger and when we are running from danger it is hard to think properly and deeply. The book then went on to categorise these domains using the SCARF model where each letter signifies a certain domain as follows:-


It’s difficult for any of us to say that we are not affected by status in some way, but it may take different forms. There are those of us who seek this through job titles, salary, a bigger desk, not having to make the tea etc and there are also those who might achieve status through recognition by peers and so on.


The caveman in all of us craves certainty, because certainty means survival. In the real world this might translate to holding onto your role, knowing where the next client is going to come from or, quite often, what the next request might be from customers and clients you service, and whether you might live up to this.


This is around the degree of control over what we do and when we do it. This is particularly relevant in the manager/subordinate relationship. Most, but not all people, seek autonomy and this can impact on management style.  The Brexit argument delivered via the bus is primarily about autonomy.


Mankind’s success has been in large part due to it’s ability to act as a collective and we build maps in our minds over time where we are socially connected. Facebook probably has an awful lot to thank for this attribute.  Whilst this isn’t borne out in the Brexit bus example it is true to say that “loneliness” is extremely toxic for humans because in times gone by this would equate to a very short life.


Everyone likes a bit of fairness, but one persons fairness is not the same as another’s. The Brexit bus pulls out this emotion very well and even uses the colour red to emphasise the point.
When you’re telling your stories, keep these points in mind, if you pick up on just one of them you may find your audience more attentive and your message better received.  I’ll be exploring this further in the weeks and months to come.

Office 365 and Power Platform Learning Links

Microsoft Power Platform

Here are a series of links that will help you to be successful with the platform.

Getting Social

Alternative Blogs

Techniques for better Apps

In a Day Series

Getting to your admin sections

Microsoft Teams Ipad Tutorial for Beginners – Updated


Microsoft Teams is the best tool for online collaboration and works very well on the iPad. This is an update to my original Teams Ipad video, which had only been intended to go out to a handful of people. In this session we cover every part of teams on an Ipad – at least all the things I can think of. If you want to skip to creating a meeting you’ll need to head over to the 16 minute mark.

Monitoring Power App Performance

Let’s face it – it’s not always easy to see why our apps, and in this case canvas apps may not be performing well.

There are however a number of options available to us to enable use to monitor what the app is doing.

Turning on the Power Apps Monitor

Firstly, as a developer we can turn on monitoring whilst editing the app as shown below.

Once the monitor is on, it will start listening to what’s going on, however you’ll need to go into play mode on your app to see what’s happening.

What makes the experience special is that if you have issues, particularly if there is a long string of code any warnings or errors are highlighted directly.

Additionally, you can add in your own code that will get picked up by the monitor. Below is an example of how to do this.

Code for expressing the severity and nature of an error

This deals with the developer side, but what if you have a user that can’t work with the app.

In this case they need to go to and then click on monitor.

You get a very similar experience, however the app must have been published since about Jun 2020 onwards, otherwise it doesn’t work.

The monitor screen opens and then you simply head to the screen below and select “play published app”.

Whilst this is by no means an exhaustive post, it should point you in the right direction for starting to debug you apps.

You can additionally share a link to the session using the invite option and when the user goes to they can run the debug process on their screen and both users get to see the debug information on their screens. This is particularly effective if you want to see what it is really like for the user.

For this to take effect you must turn on the setting in the image below