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Bangalore disappoints!

Each year we seem to do this, frankly I’m beginning to wonder if it’s time and money well spent or not? Each year I throw out the question “is this worth it?” We even joked about it the other week because Abesh blogged to encourage people before I blogged this very blog.

I’m not going to give a sob story, show any pictures of current registration all I’m going to do is tell you that I have a blank agenda because we don’t have enough content/session suggestions to chose from. We only have 60 people who signed up and 3 stated they were not really going to come and frankly considering this is a free event I wonder if there is really any value to the Bangalore audience at all?

In my last blog I said the sign up was like a lottery, well how’s this for you and this will be the last time I “run after you to give you something for free” from here on out I will actually push to make this an event like the others where you have to pay to attend! From now until Friday at 17:00 CET (German time) anyone who signs up and is seriously going to attend (not just signing up because it’s there) will get an invite. EVERYONE will get an invite.

So click here and sign up. If I don’t have 150 signups by Friday morning I’ll start a discussion on whether to cancel the Community Day event all together for Bangalore! It’s now in your hands – remember when people say you have the power to change things – this is it! 


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  • I’d just like to go on record again, by saying that Community Day is probably the most interesting part of TechEd for me.  The simple reason is you are getting to really see what other people are doing and swap development practices which may not be well publicized.  Everything in the regular track everyone will know as soon as TechEd is over.  The only way to get above all that is to know what the best people around you are doing at the only way to see that is at Community Day.

    If you are doing something cool with SAP that you think could help others — POST A SESSION.  There is little else I can point to as a sure fire path to success then WOW-ing SAP and your peers at Community Day.


    • I second Dan’s message – at TechEd “proper”, SAP talks to you. At Community Day, you get to talk to SAP – you will meet people inside and outside of SAP that you just wouldn’t get the chance to meet anywhere else, and you have the opportunity to engage with them on a personal level. Can you imagine how that sounds back at your company? “Well, at Community Day I was talking to a senior guy at Company X about what they might be doing next year…” – Community Day is the inside track in the SAP world.

      – Darren

  • I think you are overloading the issue, I made a Community Day in Buenos Aires with the only purpose that I would do it also for 5 people, and we had 30 people there. You are being rude (“Bangalore disappoints!” is not acceptable) and assuming that a few people is a bad thing… honestly I think you are wrong…and in my opinion this attitude is just expelling more people.
    • Craig and the whole team go to a lot of effort and I think they are right to cancel the event if there is not a decent participation rate.

      What you put on in Buenos Aires and what Darren and I put on in London is quite a bit different to what Craig is aiming to do in Bangalore.

      Just my 2 cents.

    • Ignacio:

      I hate to disagree with you on this one…Community Day Buenos Aires and Lima, are different things than Community Day Bangalore…I mean…Our Community Days we’re local…No one need to take a flight to attend them…I this case, the SCN crew must flight to Bangalore, separate a hotel, take some goodies, food, equipment…And invest more money than we do…If you think about that…You can do some that kind of investment for only 5 or even 30 attendants…

      India is full of great developers…I know a lot of them by the SCN Blogs and forums…So why haven’t they sign up? Las Vegas wasn’t free…And we got so many people that actually most of them needed to be taken out because they surpass capacity…Bangalore is free and SCN can’t even fill a single room with them…

      Community Day is the best day of the year…And it’s weird and annoying that people don’t want to join…


    • Hi Ignacio,
      As someone working behind the scenes and knowing what passion and commitment and yes, caring, goes into generating these events, I can only say this: rather than debating the way we word the invitation, let’s get in gear around getting people signed on.  I know you are good at that and would expect support in thinking about how to better engage rather than negative energy here.
      So help us out.
      We all know the value we get in the privilege of face-to-face. Every year it is a tremendous tension to see if we can get enough people to attend to justify to our management the costs of running these.  We don’t ask people to pay in Bangalore, but we do expect the courtesy of response in a timely fashion.  I also am very frustrated because Craig and I would do and have done community events for a few people informally but like it or not this is an established event with rules and a bit different from community driven activity such as you have done.  Hacker nite started in a hotel room and was totally unsupported.  But this is a formal event, with rules and numbers established.  I’m thinking it would be a tremendous “miss” and shame if the event were canceled, by the powers that be, because we couldn’t prove attendance.
      Please think how to generate interest rather than scolding.
      • yes Marilyn, my recomendation: please STOP with this kind of ultimatum, we should say : WE ARE GOING TO DO COMMUNITY DAY IN BANGALORE NO MATTER THE PEOPLE QUANTITY, maybe making an adjustment in the budget. Just feel Craig writing “Walldorf disappoints!” …is not acceptable.
        • Ignacio,
          If I would to write the blog, I would have used the exact same title. What’s wrong in being frank and showing one’s disappointment ?
          I am frustrated as well !
          Coming to think of it, I think Craig has been fair and quite mild in his post. If I were to write it would have been a much more strongly worded post !
          I know the amount of work that goes into organizing an event of this order as I was a part of it last year. And I know the community team, Craig, Marilyn et al have been giving more than 110% on this ! And they are doing this for us ! Is it unfair to expect people to care when they are being cared for ?
          • it sounds offensive Abesh, we should INVITE people to Community Day, not say to them that they are disappointing because we are not happy about our event goals, we should write WE ARE VERY HAPPY ABOUT CONTRIBUTION FROM PEOPLE FROM BANGALORE, WE ARE VERY PROUD FROM YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO COMMUNITY AND WE WOULD LIKE TO MEET YOU IN PERSON IN COMMUNITY DAY. this is my FINAL opinion in this thread.
  • If there is something I don’t understand is why Craig has to go to all this trouble to drum up support, twist people’s arms and beg, bribe and cadjole people to come to the community day in India?

    For all the good things coming out of India like Zoho and the like why is this ao hard?

    For all the massive outsourcing firms that are in India don’t you get that by releasing your staff to come to this event (and I can’t believe that it is FREE ) you will enhance your teams learing far more than by sending them on any course.

    The top companies that are contributing points to SCN have Indian representation.;; and and when you drill into those companies the participants have very Indian sounding names and most have contributed more points in the last 30 day than I have in the last 2 years.

    The bottom line is that if you loose this opportunity because there is not 150 people who can be bothered to come to a FREE event to enhance your learning, networking and by consequence your PAY then Craig is right to not put the event on.

    I really hope you don’t miss this opportunity and that next year Craig doesn’t have to go through this pain and there are 100’s of people knocking down his door with ideas of how to make a community day better.

    As Dan says this is the best part of the whole TechEd.

    Go and sign up now. If you miss this you really will miss a great opportunity.


    • IF I may quip in. The top 3 companies in SCN have been changing over time. Last year it was intelligroup, wipro, infosys, tcs not in the same order though. In fact I myself was surprised to see the latest top companies more so seeing the name of the company i work for. I had worked with two of the companies mentioned above and have friends in some of the other major cos. This kind of boom and bust is because of internal initiatives promoted from time to time in the companies. I simply hate that when my manager says this is a target of SDN points, the top 3 from the company will get recognised (meaning better rating, higher increment?). I do not subscribe to that because it simply defeats the puspose of the Community. It becomes free-riding in a different way. Over the past couple of years in SDN I was always self-motivated. In fact the number of points gathered has reduced because I simply do not answer in forums but focus on Wiki contribution (which unfortunately does not guarantee points :). I personally know some of the best SAP minds from India some of whom are recognised by the Community as Mentors. That’s what keeps us ticking not just hunting for points because of some company initiative. Unfortunately that mentality is not shared by most others and more importantly our managers. I know my company is sending 200 odd people for TechEd but will probably not even consider sending anyone to Community Day. When I asked dayoff to attend Community Day / TechEd I was questioned about my utilisation – I was disgusted and just have taken leave to attend Community Day.
      Bottomline – the mentality needs to change from top-down. That is why I am not a manager neither do i intend to be one.
      My 2 cents although a long one
      • I have mentioned this earlier – Top Companies listing is flawed but the best avl option. Just play with the options and the differences show up.
        Since last contest (1 Aug 2008) will bring intelligroup, yash, satyam, tcs, infosys, wipro … Last 30 days satyam, yash,, capgemini … All time intelligroup, wipro, satyam, infosys, tcs … what does it show.
        And then there are the odd ones like bdk – courtesy Jim Spath, earlier yorktownecabinetry (before Rich Heilman joined SAP)
  • Here an advice from a first timer at TechEd and Community Day last week in Berlin.
    Community Day was great, greater, greatest.
    It is much better than 14 days of training. Meet all the guys from the SAP community and have fun and learn a lot.

    So people from India : GO GO GO GO to the SDN Community Day

    • Hans – amplifying your sentiment, I sat down at the Community Day evening meal last week, met you, Alexandre Tran, Lee Provoost, and James Barron.  I had known you online, as well as Lee peripherally, but no one in person.  You cannot buy that kind of networking.  And I now have all of your business cards… 

      If I could have gotten to Bangalore this year, I would have.  Maybe next time!

  • Craig, marilyn et al

    The rules that apply in US and Europe do not work in India in this regard. Case in point – Unlike here in US, it is not easy for an employee in an Indian company to walk up to his manager and convince him to give a day off to attend community day at teched. Most managers in consulting companies have utilization targets for their team, and we are in last quarter – it is not easy for them to do this.

    Here is what I suggest – find the SAP representatives who manage the relationship with these companies in India. Ask them to make a case to the VP level folks at these companies. Once the top management sees the light, the middle managers will get instructions to allow employees to participate.

    People who read “Bangalore disappoints” are not the ones who have influence on making a decision. And the influencers probably do not follow SDN blogs ( sadly ).


    • Even if Community Managers pull strings and get SAP to connect with the ISVs, it will be too late to have a trickle down effect. Moreover I am confident even with Top Management sees a bright sun, the tunnel (hierarchy) can be long enough to shut out the light in the deepest corner 🙂
      While a top-down motivation is essential its equally important for the grassroots (read Community users working as consultants) to confront and ask their manager for a day off to attend Community Day. Anyway the company does not have to foot a bill (assuming interested folks are in Bangalore). I think that’s what Craig saw lacking and blogged about.
      PS: Keeping in mind client’s internet usage cannot watch what Craig had to say in the video.
  • Hi,

    Its probably just bad timing. Companies all over the world are going through troubled times. After a troubled Q3 they are trying to improve their Q4 outlooks squeezing holidays , increase working hours etc., This definitely is a point to consider.

    And there are a lot of people like me who would want to attend , but have to travel a long distance to make it.

    I wud have to agree with Igancio .”Bangalore disappoints” would just give a negative impression about the whole event.


  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen Craig looking so annoyed or upset and for good reason.

    I cannot understand for the life of me why, when a company is offering a free event in which the participants can only benefit, that people don’t jump at the chance to get on the gravy train. 

    I appreciate the way work is organized in India is different to other parts of the world but if *your career* isn’t worth a day of your time then I’m afraid you don’t deserve the time and effort that Craig, Marilyn and the team put in.

    It’s easy to forget but they could be doing other things that benefit the community as a whole rather than running themselves ragged for one part of the TechEd series.

    OK – tough words over. This is what you will lose so you can maybe see the upside:

    The opportunity to have SAP listen to things that matter to YOU. That may sound like a ‘nothing’ but believe me when I say that active SDN’ers and BPX’ers ARE listened to. They DO have influence. I’m speaking from direct experience.

    It’s your chance to impress SAP with issues that can make your life better, easier and more fulfilling. If you’re not there then you don’t get heard. It’s that simple.

    It’s a great opportunity to develop relationships with people who you may not have met before but who have helped you. It could be on code, it could be on process, it could be on understanding something about the business. You can’t buy the value that holds.

    It’s FUN. Check the videos, check the photos from Berlin and Las Vegas, read the blog posts. It sure as heck makes the hard work people put in day in and out worthwhile to be able to hang out with your peers.

    I was asked if I could be there. Unfortunately I have a conflict because two teams with whom I have been working are up for awards and they need my support in another country. If that had not been the case I would have made the effort to come over and on my own money. Why? Because some of the guys I have been working with on ESME asked me. They’ve earned the respect that gets me to say ‘yes.’ Some of you must be in a similar situation?

    If you do make the numbers I can assure you, it will be a great time, one that you will remember for many days to come and which will enrich your life way beyond the sessions.

    Finally – we have a saying in the UK: ‘never look a gift horse in the mouth.’ In other words never turn away from a golden opportunity. This is THE one day in the year that is YOURS. Take it with both hands. If you don’t then you’ll never know what you have missed.

  • I am not sure why it is B’lore… can’t we have Tech ed alternate year in B’lore & Mumbai… after all the big IT companies have presence in Mumbai & pune…


  • Good job Craig.
    It is very sad indeed that people don’t support the community as it should.
    Frankly I am shocked since lot’s of posts come from India. So, when it is time to ask questions and read BLOGs, they are there, when it is time to meet the community and enjoy the community at its best, well, then no one shows up…
    sad sad…


    Leonardo De Araujo.
    p.s. In vacation in Brazil but had to stop to post this comment….