Craig blogged Bangalore disappoints!! Let this not happen. How can we have a TechEd with record number of participants and not a Community Day. That does not sound logical. Community Day is for us users, consumers and producers, participants in the SAP Community Network. This Day gives you a chance to meet face-to-face others who remained just an user name (most of the times an alias / handle) and/or a picture (mostly mugshot) to go with.
Let me just share my experience last year at Bangalore Community Day. Went into the sprawling campus at SAP Labs and was greeted at the entrance – Oh SDN Day, name is there just walk in. No waiting at security main gate. Then just sign in, pick up the T-Shirt (mustard orange) and go for a sumptous breakfast. Oh man if nothing else I shall goto Community Day for the food :). At the breakfast area met an ex-colleague (Sriram) and then both of us timidly sat at the end of a table. Later we realised it was Gregor Wolf, Mark Finnern. Then chanced upon Marilyn Pratt, Gali and some others from Community Team. Interestingly I met Abesh and Dipanakar for the first time although we were in same city (Abesh) and same company (Dipankar). So by the time breakfast got finished I met quite a few of SDNers. Of course Craig was too busy setting up everything. Over the day I met some others (will not recall all the names now) people I knew from my Forum interactions. I had signed on for running a BoF session that supposedly was one of the reasons to get an entry to SDN Day. While the BoF session really did not meet my expectation (was a monologue pretty much) it makes me better prepared for this year. All in all it was a good experience if not meeting my expectations as a Functional Consultant wanting to learn from others.
The next three days at TechEd opened up a whole new dimension. While I could not get into the Clubhouse prior to its opening later on I visited it often. Being the first TechEd I was more interested in attending back-to-back sessions. This year its going to be different. I intend to spend some time in the Clubhouse which seemed to be buzzing with activity (like Craig and Abesh palying the Wii).
Coming back to Community Day – my take would be it will give a chance to actually meet some experienced folks (I dare say Experts though I do not consider myself one) from different areas. If you follow the SAP Mentor initiative then you can see quite a few from India who will be there at Community Day for sure. Abesh Bhattacharjee, Arun Varadarajan, Bhavesh Kantilal, Durairaj Raja(last year he came down from Saudi for TechEd and SDN Day), Dipankar Saha, Kartik Iyengar, Krishna Moorthy, Rajesh Banka, Santosh V, Tarun Telang and myself come from different SAP application and backgrounds so whatever you are into one of us can definitely help. Some of you who are interested to get into the SAP Mentor Initiative this will be a chance in your SAP lifetime to get a feel of what it takes to be a Mentor. Believe me I had no idea how I became one – post facto all I can say is if you take the initiative and start giving back to the Community through Blogs, Wiki you have a good chance of getting recognised. And coming to the Community Day is probably the first step.
So stop thinking of reasons why you need to attend Community Day at Bangalore. Just think of the opportunities and signup. Its a free event and surely an event you will cherish. If your manager is not approving the event might as well take a leave.
Disclaimer: This blog is not to solicit attending Community Day at the cost of bunking office or putting off client deadlines :). Views expressed are purely personal and not those of the company / client I work for or even the Community Managers.