Thursday 2nd May

The user group was held in the impressive Bradfield Centre in Cambridge. Great space with comfortable lecture space for the presentation and space for refreshments and networking afterwards.

Sharon Sumner and PowerApps

Sharon Sumner opened up the user group with a challenge for a teams integrated solution to win a t-shirt in a future meeting.

Sharon then presented regarding solutions that Casper 365 have provided for students starting at university. The project included challenges such as a splash screen, giving students access to an app without giving access to the data and handling 2 tenancies and therefore using external approvals. Casper 365 had discussions with Microsoft and found solutions before Microsoft released updates that would solve the issue.

Sharon’s team then completed a 5 day challenge to deliver a solution to allow students to book their room. The solution was handed over to customer with the expectation that the customer would expand the solution, an idea few companies aspire to sadly.

Brian Dang from Microsoft

The meeting moved onto a remote session from Mr Dang dialling in from Redmond. Mr Dang’s story is a wonderful one except I feel Microsoft gained a superstar and a school lost the best teacher they had ever had.

He did a wonderful introduction in how to make an app responsive using properties such as App.DesignWidth and Parent.Orientation. He then moved onto PowerApps and Power BI working together by using Power BI embedding.

He closed with giving out links to help us explore the possibilities of the above topics.

Responsive Apps  

Embedding Power BI

I think we disappointed Mr Dang in being shy in questions, but to be honest I just wanted to go and try somethings out after his demos.

GSK’s Power Rangers

Simon Owen created a group within GSK that meets once a week for an hour to solve challenges set by various people within the business. As a joke it got called the Power Rangers, the name stuck. The group has created a variety of reports in the 60 minute slot and educated the members by sharing and brain storming together. It held it’s first all day hackathon and plans future ones.

It has not had a formal structure, permission to exist or weighed down by long design and project planning. Its like a mini hackathon once a week. Through internal communications the group now has international members across the globe, sadly GSK isn’t in Antarctica so only 6 continents. It also has been noticed by senior management and welcomed.

Simon’s passion for encouraging others was obvious. He is one of the reasons I’m very proud to be part of the team at GSK.


The evening concluded with networking and subway boxes, kindly sponsored by GSK. Everyone was very keen to share and make connections. On a personal note it was great to see my youngest enjoying sharing with similarly technical minded people and being welcomed even though they were the youngest there at 19.

Conference materials

Are available here.

Next Meeting

The next meeting, on 8th August, will have 2 speakers people pay money to see, Chris O’Brien and Samit Saini. Details can be found at