The highlight of 2008 for me was that I finally got around to contributing to SDN/BPX rather regularly (tall claim – in reality I just averaged a blog or so every month). The most fun part has been that a lot of people who work for my employer that I met in the latter part of 2008, knew me more as a blogger on SDN than as a senior manager in the practice. I have also encouraged my team members to become active on the community, and have their word that I will see their contributions in 2009.
Strictly on work front, I was proud to see a sub-module of CRM 2007 go GA – where I contributed as part of a co-development team. This has been an enriching experience for me, as I got to know the SAP organization a whole lot better than before. I would whole heartedly encourage the community members to get involved in co-development initiatives if you get a chance. I got to work with an extremely smart group of Architects, product managers and developers – and I will do it again if I get a chance. A side benefit was that I became a big fan of both beer and coffee in Waldorf/Heidelburg ! I love meat, trust me – but I cannot think of having one more blood sausage in next couple of years.
Coming back to my blogs here on SCN, I just noticed that my mostly read blog was my last one – Road ahead for SAP consultants. This was written while I was following an India-Australia cricket match on BBC website at night from my house in Arizona, slouched on a couch with my golden retriever sleeping at my feet, and snoring too ! Maybe it is not hard to understand, since the majority of readers for SCN are probably consultants. Also, this was probably more interesting to the majority of readers than my ramblings on CRM or BI or anything else of that nature.
Thanks to SDN/BPX I got an opportunity to present at teched, at Las Vegas. It was a lot of fun presenting there, and even better to meet old friends and make new ones. Coffee at the clubhouse was awesome, and was a good conversation starter. I also ran into several people from my previous clients, and got to catch up on how their systems have evolved. It was a particularly proud moment when one of these guys told me that one of the very first Interfaces I developed was still in production after four upgrades. There were embarassing moments too – I met a guy whom I had not passed in an interview, and he came to renew our “friendship”. He seems to have done well for himself at another employer, so probably I can sleep peacefully at night.
I was also succesful in getting a heavyweight composite designed and developed for my client, and get my team trained in CAF/CE. We did the whole blueprinting for the project based on SOA principles, based on IBM’s SOMA methodology. I am now more convinced than ever on the true business value of SOA. In reality, I should probably say that it is more a BPM effort than an SOA one, but the name does not really matter I guess. I have not tried the netweaver BPM tools yet, outside teched – but that is my plan for 2009 to do so.
I was truly blessed to have a wonderful team for the last couple of years for the engagement I just finished – both in USA and in India. All my success can be directly or indiectly attributed to my “gang”, and I am looking forward to building another such team for the next program that I will run. In one of my 2009 blogs, I will explain some of the learnings that we had while executing a cutting edge project.
My biggest learning in 2008 is that one needs periodic vacations. Unlike most other years, I did manage to take some time off this holiday season, and enjoy some time with family and friends, and do a bit of travelling. I bought a copy of White Tiger by Arvind Adiga today, and I got to get to it in a bit.
Here is to a great 2009 – Cheers ! ! !