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Some brief observations from the Last Minute Notice: SDN Meet at SF Airport Marriott this Wednesday April 5th as well as some notes from the SAP Developer Kick off Meeting itself.

I called the SDN Meet on very short notice, and for this I was happy that at some point in the evening about 15 SDNers joined us. I posted some pictures on Flickr in a special DKOM Silicon Valley group. (Clearly I have to work on my picture taking skills, was not priority that night.) I also moved them to the SAP Developer Network  Group on Flickr. If you have SDN related pictures, move them there too.

Mario Herger Mister Humor@SAP joined us too. He told us that a big ramp up customer of SAP was at Labs the other week with all 8 project ramp-up project leads. (It is a great story, but let me leave the name of the customer out, don’t have time to clear that with them.) All of these project leads were asked to present for 15 minutes what is good, what needs improvements and where they want to go with their ramp up projects.

Every single one of them mentioned SDN explicitly as *the* source for information and questions. That of course made my day 🙂 Proof again what marvelous place SDN is and what a great community we are.

imageThe Developer Kick off Meeting tour stopped in Silicon Valley for a day. For the SDNers that don’t know it is a meeting where the top SAP employees from the different development groups come together to talk about strategy and show latest developments. The first one was a bit over a month ago in Frankfurt.

I remember a time years ago when SAP Labs and SAP America joined their Christmas parties then still in Foster City. About 8 sales people and one SAP consultant got a year lease of a BMW for their effort. All the best developer got was a plaque and a handshake. Thank god these days are gone.

It felt really great to have the whole SAP board at the event and presenting their vision to us and taking the time to answer our questions, like why we are not going stronger against the Oracle ad campaigns? These kind of ads would  not be in line with SAP’s core values, we rather let our numbers speak quarter after quarter after quarter.

I really like that SAP is not only working on a 5 – 10 year vision for the company, but also thinking and just recently realigned the core values that define us. I checked these core values are  not posted there, and I don’t think they need to be there.  I like to share them here because it gives an inside in how we work and what we are striving for. Here is the list of  SAP’s 5 behavioral values, from my


  • Agility This is essential in this world of accelerating change.

  • Simplicity Which is really hard to accomplish and we may have the biggest gap from goal to current reality even on SDN. This is why I really like that it is a goal we  strive for.

  • High Performance There hasn’t been an SDN outage lately, has there? 😉

  • Global Collaboration Hello SDN. I love to check all the flags of the people currently online in the forums and how these flags are changing as the day goes on. Truly global.

  • Talent Development Love that one and if only I had more time to focus on it.

I am walking on thin ice here, not totally sure what I am allowed to share and what not.

One thing stuck with me from [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] speech: He asked us to be  Imagineers. The words imagination and engineer but together.  Engineering we have in our blood, but to be successful within this world of accelerating change it really makes a difference to imagine/envision the future. Close your eyes and think about and see the future in your area.

How would the perfect, in our case, the perfect SDN look like? Paint it in your head with big strokes and colorful brushes. That image is then  your target and the way to it will fall into place. (Little trivia: From Wikipedia I learn that Walt Disney founded Walt Disney Imagineering in the 50s to design rides for his theme parks.)

If I do that for SDN, and I have to add that this is only my vision, I have many SDN colleagues and their picture is different for sure, and in the collage of all of these pictures lays the future of SDN. Here is my part of the collage:


I see a community of communities and let’s call it SAPNet because it will reach way beyond SAP development.  A community where:



  • you go for all SAP related questions and get these questions answered in a timely manner. (Regarding SAP NetWeaver and technology we are almost there.)

  • you can easily find and collaborate with fellow SAPNeters around a problem or solution .

  • you create that solution and get rewarded via recognition as well as monetary according to your effort. The top contributors will have the opportunity to quit their day jobs if they want to.

  •     the quality of your work is so transparent that it doesn’t matter whether you went to college or not whether you have a certificate or not. What counts is your problem solving capabilities proven by your contributions to the community .

  • the lines between customer, partner and SAP are blurring, we all work together to solve business problems.

  • the members are majorly driving SAP development in the right direction (the beginnings we  have seen this year with the Mister SDN Goes to Walldorf)

  • Wherever you go you will be able to connect with your fellow SAPNeters if you like to.


Actually I see a conglomerate of many many communities. Within these communities the members know each other good enough to tease each other and make jokes and no flame wars erupt. Communities that bond at regional monthly face to face as well as large yearly get together. Above all SAPNet is where we go because we love the challenges because it is fun, it’s a place where we easily get into a flow state of mind, but still find the log off switch after a days work.

O.K. now everyone let’s built it. Can’t wait to live it.

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  1. Gregor Wolf
    Hi Mark,

    I like these visions of the future SDN. For myself I can tell you that it already has become true in many parts. Through my Weblogs and Forum contributions I’ve already been hired for two projects beside mp day wopk. And phat worph more than the SDN points ;-).

    Hope that all other members share also these visions and continue to help building this community. What I hope is that more people find time to take care about the community and not just using it for problem solving.

    Whish you happy Easter!

    1. Mark Finnern Post author
      Hi Gregor,
      Happy Easter to you too, in Germany you still have a day off. You made may day with your comment. That SDN is already good for an individual to get noticed and score jobs makes me very happy.
      Great start into the week 🙂 Mark.

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