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Hello and welcome to my first blog entry for the Business Objects Community on Crystal Reports.  I am sure in the not to distant future I will look back at this and shake my head, asking myself, what were you thinking?  But for now, fortune favors the bold, or at least the reckless.  Here it goes.

I have been developing Crystal Reports since the late ’90s, and it has been the primary focus of my career since 2003.  I also strongly believe in the power of professional networking, having served as President of the Atlanta Chapter of the Network Professional Association back when I was still a network engineer, and am currently co-host to the Crystal Reports Users Group and Crystal Users groups on Yahoo Groups, currently with over 2900 combined subcribers worldwide.

It is this belief in our supporting each other that has led me to this blog.  Each of us has unique experiences with Crystal Reports that can help someone else solve a technical or career management problem.  That’s why I created the Crystal Reports group on LinkedIn back on Leap Day 2008 as a forum where Crystal Reports professionals can come together and network their careers. 

Whenever I am looking for a new contract, the telephone and inbox seem to always go strangely quiet.  When I start a new position, however, everyone seems to suddenly be interested.  How did they know my employment situation had changed?  With LinkedIn, it is my status update that does the trick.  Or maybe a recruiter is following @David_Deitch on Twitter.  There must be an easier way for contractors who change projects frequently to build some sort of central gathering place that makes it easier for all of us to get work. 

That’s what I’m trying to do with the Crystal Reports group on LinkedIn and with this blog.  If you get a call from a recruiter while you are busy with a contract, post about it in the Crystal Reports group on LinkedIn.  Need help with a delicate situation or are handling a client who just doesn’t get it?  Post in the Crystal Reports group on LinkedIn.  Have a really cool tech tip you want to share or just need to vent?  Post in the Crystal Reports group on LinkedIn.

The Crystal Reports group on LinkedIn is not designed to be a replacement for the the SAP Crystal Reports support forums (SAP Crystal Reports).  Nor is it a resume repository like the SAP Career Center (http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/careers).  The group’s focus is on career networking, where any Crystal Reports professional, whether you are a report developer, an applications developer, a business analyst, Report/BOE Server administator or DBA, can pool resources to help others looking for permanent, contract or freelance work.  The bigger we get and the more we post, the better a resource we become for recruiters and employers looking for the help of an experienced Crystal Reports professional.

When I started the group nearly 2 years ago, I had a few members.  Then membership started doubling weekly, and I knew something was up.  It turned out that the Business Objects community had listed to the Crystal Reports group on LinkedIn as part of their Business Objects Community Ecosystem.  I was both proud and humbled for the Crystal Reports group on LinkedIn (have I repeated that enough yet?) to have been selected and have worked to expand the group to support the now over 2400 members worldwide.

And that is really what I really wanted to blog about in this first venture into the blogosphere.  If you are a Crystal Reports professional, a member of LinkedIn and yet not a member of the Crystal Reports group on LinkedIn – what are you waiting for?  Even if you are currently employed, you might be able to help someone else.  If you are not currently on LinkedIn, it is easy and free to join.  You can even control how whether and how often you are sent updates from the group.  Come check it out!

Fortune favors the prepared, and the Crystal Reports group on LinkedIn helps us all become better prepared for the Crystal Reports opportunities that will come our way.

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=62226&trk=anet_ug_hm

David Deitch
Hopes to see you in the Crystal Reports group on LinkedIn soon and asks that when you post in the Welcome discussion thread, tell me you saw came from on the SAP Crystal reports Web Blog…

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3 Comments

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  1. Jason Cao
    Hi David,
    Thank you for sharing your community success story about the Crystal Reports Linkin group you’ve created. Congratulations on your achievement! From one community manager to another, I can appreciate the amount of effort you’ve put into creating such a safe and inviting environment for Crystal Reports professionals to stay connected. Your mindset of helpfulness certainly comes through in your posting.

    Thank you for being bold and fearless, and stepping into the blogging space. We’re looking forward to your future posts! (P.S. Please remember to upload your image to your blogger profile.)

    Regards,
    Jason

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  2. Rob Richardson
    A topic for a future post:  “How To Select a Printer from the Viewer or From a C++ Applicaton Becuase the Idiotic Lazy Designers of Crysal Reports XI Never Considered That the User Might Want to Print Somewhere Other Than the System Printer, Not to Mention the Thousands of Other Things the Designers Didn’t Bother Thinking About”

    RobR, feeling somewhat crabby (did you notice?)

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    1. Jason Cao
      Hi Rob,
      You’re entitled to feeling crabby.

      FYI, check out the Feature Request thread in the Crystal Reports Design forum (no guarantees your request will be implemented, but its a way to influence product direction):
      Feature requests – Please read before requesting something

      Also, if you want to get advice from some of our Crystal Reports experts in our BI Experts Panel, maybe you might want to consider submitting a question to “Dear aBI.” Check it out here: “Dear aBI”  gives advice on Business Intelligence

      Have a nice day!
      Jason

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