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SDN Spotlight: Roberto Negro

As Mark has done Top 5 SDN Contributor without writing one Weblog? I just had a chance to finally sit down and send our newest Spotlight victim, just kidding, a set of questions I wanted to hear the answers to. Now Roberto was kind enough to answer them and send them back to me.

Now I would have much better preferred to make use of Mark’s Hammock and visited Roberto personally but unfortunately with TechEd just around the corner I just didn’t have a chance, so the email had to do.


  • Where are you from? Tell me a little about yourself what would you like others to know about you? We know you are newly married, what else?

    It’s not so easy to write a few rows about myself thinking in the meanwhile “what would I like others to know about me?”…

    I already faced this request when I became a weblogger one year ago and, despite what evolutionism theory asserts, I’m still the same!

    Anyway, since we have always to reinvent ourselves, here is a short ‘alternative’ biography.

    I’m from Salento, a beautiful geographical region in the South of Italy washed by two crystal clear water seas, a kind of Jamaica but reinterpreted in Italian viewpoint (and this means that food is really a serious and fundamental subject !).

    I love speaking with my flowering plants, reading a lot of novels (J.Fante, J.K.Toole, C.Palahniuk, P.Dick, J.R.Lansdale, A.Camilleri and really many many others…), inventing treasure huntings (in the last one, a few days ago, more than 150 persons competed !) and collecting everything (shells, stamps, sugar packets, telephone cards…).

    I just married three months ago and my beautiful wife (Roberta!)….works with BW too !!

    As you can understand, in my home, cubes and queries are like a family matter!

  • How long have you been developing? What type of development environments have you worked in and with what languages?

    Strictly speaking I’m not a real developer…I pretended to be an ABAPer for a couple of months after my very beginning four years ago, then, since I work for a consulting firm I become a kind of modern nomad: a sort of BW prophet , implementing it in different areas (Logistic, Financial, …) and covering different tasks (from exit developer to strategy datamodeller!). Diversity is a treasure, in my situation !

  • How did you get started with SAP, was it something that you wanted to do or was it simply something that you fell into?

    When I started working in 2001 (with my fresh degree in economics and pretty ignorant about IT world), a senior manager said to me: “Ehy Roberto, I think that you can build your skills on SAP BW: this software will be a great success in business life…”

    He really had second sight in this: BW is still on the crest of the wave…

  • How did you get started on SDN?

    Since my company has a strong relationship with SAP, every employee developing SAP products had been invited by mail to join this “infinite source of information”…

  • Was SDN an immediate help for you or did it take awhile before you actually started to post and ask questions?

    It was love at first sight: finally “something to talk about” (from a BW point of view!)…

  • How does it feel to go from asking to answering? You’ve managed to achieve the bulk of your points in the forums, the hardest place to earn points, how?

    I started in BW forums arena when the top contributors were Heike Guder and Marc Bernard (both from SAP)…their score was about 300 points and I looked at three digits point level as a mirage…I thought “I’m not from SAP, but I know a lot of BW things me too ! Let’s try !”

    So, I was born as a contributor ! Indeed, I posted only a couple of questions in my SDN life, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t learn from the others posts or that I will not have any needs in the future…anyway, at the moment, I am a “one-way contributor only” !

  • How did it feel answering your first question and getting your first points?

    Strange feeling, but really nice !

    And the first points (10) officially came from Mark (Finnern) as moderator; he wrote “You are thanking a poster for his answer. Please next time also give him points. This time I did it for you !”. Mark is really the SDN man !

  • Do you feel the point system is a good motivation for others to contribute?

    In my opinion SDN wouldn’t be what it is now without the point system.

  • What are some other motivating ideas you think should be implemented?

    I don’t know…if you motivate me more, I think I would spend also my nights on SDN (and, sincerely, I have some other interesting things to do !). Rewards are always welcome, but there is something more convincing than the best motivating idea of a network ability to rise in knowledge by sharing knowledge ?

  • Being at the top in the forums and in the top 5 of the overall contributors, what is your motivation for continuing?

    Keep on learning from the issues of all the people is better than reading thousand of handbooks…and SDN is like an exercise to maintain my problem solving attitude ! And, after all, how could I forsake all these friends in need ?!

  • What suggestions do you have to newcomers when it comes to contributing?

    Knowledge is nothing if you are not able to explain the meaning of what you say and if you don’t feel a bit of empathy towards who needs something !

  • Recently there was a “Roberto Negro”? in the forums about “Who is Roberto Negro”, how did that feel?

    Honestly I thought “Wow, my car dealership has realized that I have to still pay the last monthly installment and now they are trying to find me!!!”

  • What is a typically day on SDN for you?

    Trying to help someone I wish to help for nothing and working hard on my job trying to help someone for a wage ! Indeed, when I was a kid, I dreamt of being a teacher !

Quite insightful and interesting to hear about! Thank you Roberto and congratulations on being the newest SDN Spotlight!

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  • …cool, like an horror movie !

    Anyway…Craig, in the Spotlight inside Contributor’s Corner I read “Roberto is close behind Detlev Beutner in points earned in the forums…”
    …mmhhh, if my English is not so terrible, it’s Detlev behind Roberto and not vice versa !
    Be careful with this misleading informations…
    DETLEV ! IS IT YOU with Craig’s user ?!
    No blow under the belt, ok!?