Benchmarking your NetWeaver knowledge in an iPhone App
Firstly let me be clear …. this blog refers to a free iPhone App available on the iTunes App Store. This blog is intended to spread the word, but not for commercial purposes, as the App is free and no there is no advertising or other income. Let’s just say that building this App was a personal exercise in learning new technologies but with a SAP flavour. Inspired by SAP Mentor Dagfinn Parnas’ blog about SAP Support Note Viewer for Android grows up (new version), I decided to share my own experience coding an SAP-relevant App on the iPhone.
I have worked with SAP technologies since the mid-1990s. I think it would be fair to say that the pace of technological change in SAP during the NetWeaver years has increased dramatically, as developers (such as myself) need to absorb an ever growing mass of concepts, knowledge, and skills. Thankfully things like SCN and TechEd have helped us to ride the change, but nonetheless it is still a challenge to keep up.
How do I keep up? In addition to those knowledge building initiatives that might happen during working hours and surfing SCN, each year I buy a SAP Press book or two, review TechEd materials, and I undertake a personal technical project after-hours. So this leads me to the App. This year (having finally ditched my personal Windows laptop for a Mac) I decided to explore iPhone development as my technical project to feed an interest in iPhone solutions. I wanted to conceive a project that would (1) provide me with an understanding of iPhone development, and simultaneously (2) help me to build my own SAP knowledge, and (3) be something that I would actually use to reinforce and expand my SAP knowledge.
At the same time, working with so many SAP professionals, it occurred to me that everyone wonders how their own knowledge levels might compare with their peers. So I figured it would be interesting to have an App that could provide people with a basic measure of this (albeit with little scientific integrity).
The result of this is Uber Geek, a quiz on the iPhone / iPod Touch for NetWeaver professionals.
Being a developer, most of the assessment categories are currently development focussed. At the time of this blog the categories are ABAP, ABAP Objects, Adobe, Portal, Transaction Codes, Web Dynpro ABAP. If there is continued interest, I am planning further categories in future.
When you first download the App, you are requested to complete a 30 question quiz for your chosen topic. The result is posted to a twitter account (without identifying you). I harvest the results and resupply them back to you via the app, so you can see (for instance) how you compared with the average result of all others who completed the quiz in the same topic.
Even if you don’t have an iPhone, you can see the statistical results here (optimised for Safari on the iPhone, but can be viewed using any modern browser).
I find it a useful tool to (say) try a quick quiz during the train ride into work. There is even a ‘learn’ mode on the app that targets questions you previously answered incorrectly, or those questions you have not seen. My hope is that everybody that tries it learns something new. Note however that this is really intended as a fun quiz and is NOT intended as a tool for serious uses – such as certification preparation, or consulting advice. You should reference other sources for those things.
The App can be found in the iTunes store here