Django Lohn on The MVP Show

Django Lohn on The MVP Show

Django Lohn
Microsoft Business Applications MVP


  • Django Lohn talks about his family and what he does when not working. 
  • Discussions about Django's interest in technology 
  • Django’s Power BI, PowerApps and PowerApps Portals background. 
  • Talks about Django’s SharePoint and InfoPath journey 
  • A conversation about Django’s journey into becoming a Microsoft MVP and how did it come about. 
  • Django talks about being a SharePoint Consultant 
  • Talks about Django’s involvement in the MVP community

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Thanks for listening 🚀 - Mark Smith


[mark]: today's guest is from the netherlands he works a company called in spark as a consultant he received his first n v p award and twenty twenty one he's interested in all kind of teck not just the area he specializes and you can find in the show notes for this episode links to his linked in twitter his website so you can see a the material that he's doing if you want to connect with him and follow along welcome to the show djanko

[django_lohn]: thank you very happy to to join you

[mark]: well early morning for you late in the afternoon evening for me i'm really excited to have you on the show i watched a video video send you ve you have you have done some presentations at scottish and twenty twenty one and you're just telling me you've done a few more events more recently before i jump into your story tell me a bit about what what you do when you're not working what's like you know what do you do that passes the time that is entertaining that you enjoy

[django_lohn]: yes i have i have a seven year old daughter and a five year old son so those those are my hand tying occupations at the moment when i'm not working but but more stli'sit's it's decliciat things like i love going out for dinner with my wife and my friends i watch movies all kind of movies a lot so going to the movies uh watching them at home banging some netflix or amazon series of those are the kind of things and since covid i have made like a promise to myself that when i'm the hours that i'm not in trace right now because i'm working from home a lot is that i should be spending at the gym so i'm at the moment i'm trying to get in shape for more

[mark]: nice nice nice nice is it working yeah yeah nice nice

[django_lohn]: yeah yeah i'm losing some weight so that's always good and i'm getting in shape more so that's i cannot complain

[mark]: my you know i've done lots of memberships and stuff in my lifetime i've had some very expensive gym memberships you know how that you know you buy for a year and you go two or three times and that means those to it three times are very expensive but i'm also losing a bit of weight at the moment and my method is intermittent fasting so i only eat between four in the afternoon and eight o'clock at night and then i don't eat any other at all only water in the in between times really good like it's the best i've done it

[django_lohn]: that's that's working good okay

[mark]: a month four months now of doing it and it's working really well because i saw this thing on tik tok right the authority on everything tiktok is and guy you know was really buff on the and he was like listen if you if you work out and you exercise because you want to lose weight you said you're wasting your time because it only deals with you know your gym and workout only deals with the last five percent of getting you like toned and ripped in stuff like that everything elses diet up to that point so what you're eating

[django_lohn]: yeah i agree agree i just love

[mark]: it's definitely that one tik tok impacted my thinking and that's what started me

[django_lohn]: that's good to know i also had a lot of other colleagues who the intimated fasting worked for them also as well so it's something to definitely consider also um realized that changing my way of eating is the best impact just like you are

[mark]: oh hm yeah yeah same m yeah oh yeah what i like about this is

[django_lohn]: saying i just love eating too much good food and and uh yeah occasional dining those other things that they keep me going so i just need to find that balance

[mark]: oh hm yeah yeah same m yeah oh yeah what i like about this is that i can eat anything i want in that four hour window and it has i still lose weight like a drink i can you know have the bear my life i like lots of spirits and and i still have i still lose weight every week it keeps dropping dropping dropping so i like that it doesn't restrict me from eating anythin in particular so yeah and i just there was this app called zero zero on on on on i phone and yeah it's been fantastic it allows you to do this and there's a lot of research and stuff now around a bit of fasting and because for a long time people are like you know i shouldn't do it because it's you know starving so if you're starving that can't be good for you but i read this other book by this doctor and he was saying that the reason why most medical professionals don't talk about it is there's no money to be made and fast you are reducing the amount of food and take you don't need any supplements it's it's not good for anybody that wants to sell you something and i thought that was funny anyhow the show is not about

[django_lohn]: yeah i can understand yeah yeah yeah

[mark]: me it's about you so tell us tell us how did how what was your journey into technology and ultimately into microsoft business apps

[django_lohn]: yes so basically just like a lot of my fellow business applications v p is yes so basically just like a lot of my fellow business applications m v p is that they're none of the traditional heart core ideas just like myself i can barely spell htmailcss and ve script j s so so my journey was mainly that of first getting to know one of the microscope products when i was like a project manager on lean six sigma and operational excellence so i was improving business processes from a business perspective and then the first applicat and that i came into contact with was i think share point two thousand seven and that was of course maybe only the document collaboration aspects of project work so i had a project team i wanted to share some documents and then the next question came from hey jungle you are pretty familiar with share point two thousand seven how can we use more functionalities of share point and then of course task management became one of those things and then from sharon two thousand seven i became familiar with sharp from two thousand then one of the migration projects that i was able to do based on my project management the work that i did with a company a big insurance company at the time and then they said you're pretty familiar with it and the aspects of it maybe you can do like a part time functional management of this application so i did that a few years and then i also had to manage of course those external suppliers these share point consultants and i had some bates ringed with them in a sense that i was also thinking from hey maybe i can do this better than the shareportconsultant and then someone challenged me from hey come work with us so i took a challenge and that was in two thousand twelve i think that i became a share point consultant and yeah whenever you start being a share point consultant you get familiar with more of the microsoft stack and then of course the cloud became a big thing and obviously sixty five and share point of line and then then i used applications like in for bath and share point designer and end and of course the share point online migrations of in foot path to yeah power as was one of the first things that i started our platform with and it has hooked me ever since

[mark]: so are you just in power or you empower automata you empower using the whole you know virtual agents

[django_lohn]: it's mainly the whole power platform but especially with the in spark we have a specialized the data in a team so the power bi part is when it's especially the low code no code functionalities of ter the reporting we incorporated in a power p or in a power automate flow but focus s especially on power raps and power automate and of course power virgil agents has become our third focus as well

[mark]: are you doing anything in power at portals

[django_lohn]: yes definitely yes so at the moment it's like this little brother of the power family and yeah i'm very excited to see the build what will be released then because i think a lot of focus on power spots has been there in the past especially since it of course maybe dynamic pro looking at the history of power a sports so yeah we have a very big customer at the moment where we ere launching like a global portal for for an inspection come any so very excited about the death even if i'm not a dynamic consultant traditionally there's a lot of about the death even if i'm not a dynamic consultant traditionally there's a lot of overlap of course when looking at a power plate from a dynamics

[mark]: how have you found that journey with you know with share point coming into you know ultimately dart out been stored in share point he point lists and things and now you have got data verse which provides a different like set of landscapes and of course microsophs choices to get as many of our customers on to data verse because not just because but the revenue models for microstoff are obviously more advantageous right you can do so much more it's a powerful two horses for courses so to speak what what's been that journey for you though coming from where you know the center of your universe was share point and an info path was the way that center of your universe was share point and an info path was the way that you got forms data into it and of course mark off deprecated info path because of too much too much as to read the mobility piece and now we have power apps and everything that comes with a what's been that what's that journey been for you

[django_lohn]: oh yeah so that's that's a very very good question because coming from the share point side of the microsoftstack and starting with offices the five and micus of teams and then we rolled into the power platform especially within you local user groups where we have this mix of power platform consultants coming from what they call the dark side the office sixty five and the dynamics consultants is that the general consensus from the dynamics consultants are share point is not the data base so don't use it like that from my point of view with our customers it's not that black or white sherpot can still be a good place to store data you just need to know the limitations and when you reach those limitations then a customer when you explain it well enough is often willing to pay those additional lies ing and i think one of my fellow pips louise freeze from germany said it very very accurately last month during the power platform conference is that that when a busie application is not saving you like average price of star box cover a month which is like the average power per a license at the moment then why are you bothering with it at all so that's a very very yeah very striking onsideration

[mark]: it's good i like it i like it what do you what do you see is the future of where low code no codes going what do you see as a kind the gaps that we need to jump across to ultimately get to a future state like and i have in mind like such a you quoted some data some years ago now from i d c which is that five hundred million epps need to be built and there is not enough developers out there to actually achieve that based on the i c research and so where do you see we are now on the you know theoretically the curve ahead to get those apps kind of built where do you think we are

[django_lohn]: yeah definitely i think it was that that quote that said in the coming five years there will be more business as built than in forty past years combined based on that research there is of course a big shortage of developers when you look at it from that point of view so that's where i think that the future of business application is with the citizen developer and the citizen developer could then be anyone within your organization as long as they know how to use things like power point word and excel which most of the current laptop owners after two so i think that's where the future is and then when looking at the current focus for some of the product developments within the power platform that a i supported citizen development so there is this power as ideas functionality where you say hey i have this data source and in this data source i'm going to talk to power apps i'm going to say in in regular business terminology what i want to see and then power as come up comes up with the real development code of that request and i expect there will be a lot of more functionalities like that even may be in power automate where you say i want to automate this part of my process and then it gives you an tempplatefl or an already configured flow based on your data source i think those are the first steps needed because the feedback that i get from my customers is that it's a very steep learning curve um even though it's low code no code when you really want to do the things needed at the moment maybe to meet some certain business complexity the learned curfice then too steep and then it's easy to hire a party like in spark with some people with experience

[mark]: yeah yeah as microsopt have said with low code there'll always be a demand for developers and i feel with even companies more and more building their own team there'll always be a demand for part and there's that have done many many projects that can come in and kind of you know scaffold the company to a whole new level because of the experts you know that we have so yeah that's some that's interesting what are you using things like power effects and a lot of the stuff you're doing these days

[django_lohn]: yes especially of course within the power studio then power effects is like the main development language mean the power platform and i hope to see power effects more in maybe portal hopefully also empower animate and yeah i think once it's in those two main products hopefully also in data verse maybe when configuring for instance columns in you the data base and there's of course the open source initiation initiative where you can use power effects in your own build applications so if you're like a hard core developer which i am not but if i were then i would definitely check that out to see if i could operate power effects and maybe my customer built application

[mark]: yeah nice tell me gang about your your journey to m v p how did that come about

[django_lohn]: yes so in part is in the netherlands one of the main partners of microsoft and i think at the moment when i joined in sparks they had already like eight mvps on work force of about hundred people so considering the fact that power platform is relatively new the business application part if you're not an s partner was maybe not on a specialization of mvphood that was top of mind with in spark but basically in spark encouraged me to follow that path because they saw the big advantages from my fellow enpipies within the company and it was also triggering me there because the first session that i once attended as a share point consultant was of a fellow enpip and he inspired me a lot at that time and that combined with the encouragement of in spark triggered me to go for it so just like any person with vpmbitien you start investigating what is needed what is required and then you see all these big names being an m v p so first it seems like out of reach never achieve that status but then you just go for it it's like every big journey starts with one step so then i started blogging about topics that i discovered um yeah i encountered as you say that i would i don't want to say bugs and issues let's call them challenges within the microsopestack so i started blogging about those and then m from that moment on i did my first application that was already within one year of my community activities so just like any good m v p assessment i got hardly rejected what do you say i felt on my face so that's that was good because that confirmed my view on being an mvp is really about having that intrinsic motivation about sharing with the community so then i stepped up from only blogging to also attending community events and presenting about topics and organize organizing some events within the netherlands so then in my second application about two and a half years later then i was welcome to the mpipfm so that was very cool

[mark]: wow so good well it's a good story thank you so much for coming and sharing with the show

[django_lohn]: sure definitely thank you for having me

Django LohnProfile Photo

Django Lohn

Django Lohn is a Microsoft 365 Enthusiast and Power Platform Citizen developer working with the #1 Partner of Microsoft in the Netherlands: InSpark.

He has been using SharePoint since the 2007 edition and was hooked ever since. This increased when Microsoft went “Cloud first, Mobile first” and exploded with the introduction of the Power Platform.

Awarded Microsoft MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) for Business Applications in 2021. This award is given in recognition of exceptional Technical Community leadership #SharingIsCaring #CommunityRocks.