Attending Foo Camp for the second time last weekend reminded me why I am so excited about the Wiki BoF combination for the two SAP TechEds in San Diego and in Munich. You may think that SDN is far out by allowing the participants to create part of the SAP TechEd program, but compare that to the Foo Camp which is doing nothing else but self organized sessions.
How does it work? Tim O’Reilly invited about 250 of his closest Geek friends. As the main liaison between O’Reilly and SAP they were kind enough invite me too. It was a most humbling experience to be between all these people that do these amazing things.
The O’Reilly team used a Wiki to organize the whole event. It was common knowledge not to point to it before the event. I guess not everyone got the memo, the Wiki is now the second link on Google if you search for Foo Camp. The genie is out, that is great for me, so I can point out the similarities to what we want to do at SAP TechEd. Just call us copycats 🙂
On the Wiki there was a session suggestion page and lots of people would suggest sessions and others show their interest by signing their names next to them.
On Friday night after the short round of introductions, which I unfortunately missed, because I didn’t get out of the office in time, everyone who wanted to hold a session just went to the front of the room and filled in the title of the session in one of the available time slots.
For the SAP TechEd BoFs that mad dash will not happen. We will align the BoF Sessions with the available slots at least a week before they begin, so we can announce them better.
What kind of sessions were offered?
War Stories from Web Services This one was really interesting, because representatives from Amazon, IBM, eBay, Google, PayPal, freelance developers as well as some of the people that wrote the original Web Services specifications were there. I leaned back and thought, if you don’t count RSS/Atom, 95% of all Web services gardeners are right here in this room.
Amazon developer goes to the front: “We knew that there were two standards and so we implemented both REST and SOAP, but 80% of our calls are done via REST. PayPal developer: “Sorry can’t do that in the banking arena, REST is not secure enough.” Next one gets up: “SOAP’s too complicated, even if you find the problem after complicated debugging, the problem is embedded and you are not able to change that …” Input from the audience: “But it is just a framework around …” Needless to say it went over my head, but I wished that A little taste of SAP at EuroFoo and http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/weblogs?blog=/pub/u/23 [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] would have been there, they would have gotten a kick out of it.
Creating passionate users. By the people behind the surprisingly successful “Head first” book series from O’Reilly. [I hope to write a separate Blog post about it soon]
3D Printing and Open Source Hardware Soon you will be able to print your gadgets in your garage with a spoofed up ink-jet printer. Just instead of ink it is printing plastic particles. Very cool. Therefore you only need the blueprint and you are ready to go. That is where the Open Source Design initiative has its roots as it wants to become the SourceForge for hardware.
With that possibility just over the horizon, tinkering and do-it-yourself is about get a brand new status and I can’t wait for that to happen. A new Mook (hybrid between a Book and a Magazine) will tap into that Zeitgeist or will help create it: Make: The concept and some of the ideas for it were introduced. One of the first articles will be about kite aerial photography. The cover boy Charles Benton was there and showed us how it works: Digital camera, remote control, special harness, kite and off you go. Here are some of the pictures he took. If you look closely you may even see me in some of the pictures.
There was lots more. Just remember DJ Adams story about his HelloSAPWorld A little taste of SAP at EuroFoo. My head is still processing all the things that happened.
I think we can do some similar sessions at the SDN Camp aka Club House at the SAP TechEds.
Calling all FoS (Friends of SDN) to come forward with your session idea and enthusiasm. Have you tinkered with RFID and SAP? What about Open Source? DJ and Piers can hopefully convince their boss to send them to the Munich TechEd therefore the Open Source and SAP session will be covered, but what about San Diego? Are there no open source developers who also have one foot in the SAP world in the Americas? Integration of other third party software? SAP Web services war stories?
If you don’t come forward, I will have to rename the sessions to FoF [Friends of Finnern sessions :-)] because almost all of them are from people I know. Why is no one interested in the SDN Reputation session? It’s your reputation that is on the line. I have no problem getting my requirements met. What about you?