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Before retiring to bed, Theodore Roosevelt – American statesman, 26th president of the United States – would go outside to look at the skies with his close friend, naturalist William Beebe. Each night they would search for a tiny patch of light near the constellation Pegasus. “That is the Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda,” they would chant. “It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It consists of one hundred billion suns, each larger than our sun.” Then Roosevelt would turn to his companion and say, “Now I think we are small enough. Let’s go to bed.”

I’m reminded of this anecdote because, working on a website such as SDN from day to day, it’s easy to get caught up in the hectic, fervid business of publishing and forget the big picture: We are but one web destination in a vast megacosm and without our users we are nothing. It is essential, then, that from time to time we stop to consider just how small we really are. Surveys help us do that; so, on behalf of everyone with a stake in SDN, I offer my heartfelt thanks to all who participated.

As a small thank you, I thought I’d take the time to share with you some of what you told us in the survey, and impart what we on the SDN team learned:

Most of you are SAP partners or independent SAP consultants. The minority slice of our users is comprised of SAP employees, prospective customers, and the mysterious “Other.”

Overwhelmingly you are developers or technical consultants. Your specialties are diverse, but the majority of you are ABAP programmers, which tells us that to better serve the SDN community we could stand to focus more content on the SAP existing installed-base. We are nothing if not responsive here at SDN, so it pleases me to tell you that we’re already “on it” – look for a new ABAP developer area to debut on SDN in the coming months.

Java Programmers are the specialty-area runners up. (We recently opened a Java Technologies developer area for you!) Honorable mentions include systems integration folk, implementation tools and process engineers, and database administrators and programmers.

Interestingly, most community members visit SDN daily or weekly, with only 17 percent visiting less frequently. This tells us you have an insatiable itch for new and updated SAP technical information. A recent restructure within the SDN team addresses this: the content team and a newly-formed editorial group (of which I am part) is ramping up a plan that guarantees all areas within SDN will be updated with quality information at least once a week.

We know you generally find information in SDN by browsing our developer area pages, rather than using the search function or DevToday. This tells us that the SDN developer areas need to be better crafted to help you find what you’re looking for more intuitively. The content team at SDN is working on just that and will debut a new design in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to the Enterprise Portal developer area for a pilot of this program, and let us know your thoughts.

Your favorite elements of the site are Downloads, Forums, eLearning, and weblogs. Overwhelmingly, the type of content you want to see more of is technical articles and whitepapers.

You also have a lot of great ideas for SDN. You suggested an area focused on workaday tips for ABAP developers. Taking your cue, I personally am working to develop such a feature within SDN and hope to have it live within two weeks. You proposed new forums: Workflow, ArchiveLink, BI forum subdivisions. Our forums manager has taken these ideas under advisement, and perhaps will see fit to implement them. If not, you have my permission to bug him. 🙂

(A note on forums: In the section of the recent survey where we asked you to tell us what kind of forums you’d like to see, many of you listed forums that we already have on SDN. Please, take a moment to browse the active SDN forums; you just might find what you’re looking for.)

As to what you think generally of the job we at SDN have done to date, you graciously give us pretty high marks. On a scale of one to five, 80 percent of you rate SDN a four or better. To the 20 percent who scored us below four, you have my assurance that we’re working night and day (check the time stamp on this blog), the globe over (the SDN team spans many time zones) to work out the bugs.

We are “small enough” so that we ever reach for the stars.

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4 Comments

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  1. John Welch
    Doesn’t appear to be a link to this anywhere but in your article. I assumed it would be under Developer Areas/Technologies but nothing exists.

    Otherwise it seems to be a good step forward.

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    1. Anonymous
      John: The Java Technologies area has not yet been added to the left-hand navigation. Go to the Technologies main page and under the first item in the left hand column (What’s New in Technologies at SAP?) is a link to the Java technologies area.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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    1. Michal Krawczyk
      Hi,

      IMO such a section is not nessecary because developers can pass SAP exams on thier own
      (they’re not very difficult) and since there’re poblems with the bandwidth I believe that there are many more valuable sections that could be added in the first place (like modul areas – SCM, HCM, PLM)

      Regards,
      Michal

      (0) 

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