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Many people wonder, if it is a good idea to mention their SDN contributions in the CV/ resume. The people wonder, if it could help them to find a better job (or a contract), to get some advantage at the interview or any “real” value for their professional SAP career.

Even the people, who are currently happily employed, wonder about it. They wonder, if their boss would like their contributions, the attitude and dedication, if would appreciate it and understand the value for the personal performance, personal development and time and cost savings. Or the opposite…

I wonder about it myself and asked some of you, the members of the Community, to help me find the answer, to share some pieces of experience or stories of yours and how you feel about it.

You can find the thread here: Role of a SCN/SDN contributions in your CV together with all the answers I cite here (or am going to cite in the second part) to support my own thoughts. It would be cool, if you would come and comment on the thread or this blog to fine-tune the “conclusion”.

The career is an important thing for all of us. But there is one more reason why I wonder about this value. We, the active contributors, spend dozens of hours here, put much effort, time and knowledge to create the valuable content but (except the contributions from other, that help us learn) don´t get anything back.

Ok, ok, I can imagine what you think about now. It is not true. We get the feeling of being important; we get the feeling of having some knowledge, which could be unique from some points of view. We find friends; we find help, when we get into troubles. But all the value we get back is very “indirect”

(by the way, there is a nice young women, who is interested in the “real” value of the SDN contributions as well. Meet Sarah Otner and Community and Reputation: Sarah Otner introduced by Craig).

Time ago, the contributors got the T-shirts. The T-shirts are very “material”, a “direct” value back one gets. People keep mentioning that souvenirs are far better than the virtual points. For example check the comment by Mr. Holger Stumm below the blog Announcing the new SCN Contributor Recognition Program (by Mr. Rodgers), where Holger comments:… I still want a chance for Gold Members to convert SDN points into golf balls with SAP logo. (Another source about various souvenirs wanted by the people/me is the thread about The SDN diploma).

Back to the topic. My idea is to find a way, how our contributions could help us get back something more “direct” or “material” than the SDN points. I know many people who say the points are not important for them all the time. Yes, why would one care for the points, if they are …useless?

But if the number of points would mean, that the man/woman has contributed some valuable content and was rewarded the points for this value, through this points he/she has built some SDN reputation (again: people say you cannot judge a man through his points. That is true. But one way or the other, people “with points” know people “with points” and one can estimate the experience and the skill set of a person you know from his/her contributions and judge if he is a nice man/woman or a points gamer), woulnd´t it be a great value for all of us?

If your contributions could help you in your career, then even the guys, who don´t care about the points (cheers Harald), would be interested. Or not? We all do care about our career, or you don´t?

So… have I attracted your attention? In the second part I am going to share the real thoughts of the people I know, my friend and people I thing very highly about and some people I don´t know yet and would like to know (maybe some potential new SDN stars…?). Maybe I am going to mention the thoughts of yours, if you shared them with the rest of the community here or in the mentioned discussion thread.

Regards Otto

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  1. Chris Paine
    As I mentioned in the forum post, I’m looking forward to your conclusions based on all the feedback you got in the thread.

    You might also want to look at the discussion on a recent blog about twitter, http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/20051
    there are also some interesting comments about how being active in sharing information (not necessarily on SCN) can be advantageous to your career.

    I look forward to your conclusions!

    Cheers,

    Chris

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    1. Otto Gold Post author
      Hello Chris, I am afraid you will not find any breathtaking theories of mine. In my opinion it is important to:
      – mention the comments by the people who commented on the topic to present the pros and cons
      – to attract more people to comment on the thread/ blog, to move the topic a step further
      – to inform the newbies or people who don´t read “our” Suggestions/ Discussions threads, because the quality of that part of the forums would definitely rise withmore people coming, not only those good old pals (like 50 names appearing again and again) and the random comments.
      – to build something on the opinions of the members of the community, to prove I valuetheir opinions and other people could benefit from their ideas as well
      – to promote the “contributor” status a little, for those who are not aware of it or don´t see the point in using it I would like to promote it through these stories
      – I would like to talk about more about what the membersof the community say than about mine, as the journalists do. What I think does not have to be right and in consensus with what other people say. I would like to tell a story but do not exchange my ideas and dreasm with reality.
      Maybe you could help me. To help me watch my mouth:)) Or point me to some additional resources… Like the blog by Jarret:))
      Thank you, for having insightful comments and for being such a nice guy:)) Cheers, Otto
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  2. Trevor Naidoo
    There are loads of discussions on SCN regarding the value of the points earned on SCN. Soon some SCN contributors (if there aren’t any already) will reach a 100k SCN points. That in itself tells you how dedicated contributors are. For me personally, the points don’t matter that much but what it does do is tell me a little more about people that contribute or seek assistance on SCN.

    For instance, if you’re in the forums trying to assist someone that has posted a question: You can immediately tell how serious the person that posted the question is. I do this by ascertaining the relevance of the question & whether proper research was done before posting the question, by seeing how many postings the person has against them versus how many points a person has. So if a person has done 1500 posts & has accumulated zero points then it’s an indication (to me anyway) that the person isn’t really interested in engaging on SCN. It’s more rewarding for me to help someone that really needs it rather than to generate a quick 10 points answering a question thats been answered a 100 times over.

    Also, for me it’s more about the learning I get because different people see things differently. Being involved in SCN makes me a more well rounded person technically & on a personal level. With the LinkedIn integration & the way job hunting & recruiting is moving, it’s only a matter of time before the points start weighing in more heavily with getting that all elusive job you’ve always wanted.

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  3. Suchita Phulkar
    I can never thank in words or express how much SDN means to me. Before starting into SAP, i was very much engaged in C++ ,VC++, SQL , Java and dotNET programming…there are 1000s of forums available on internet for these subjects..There may be 100s of forum for Microsoft and Oracle…But when it comes to SDN..there is nothing that can reach even closer to the standards maintained here.

    What I appreciate the most are the efforts of moderators !! They always keep the forum up and disciplined. Its rare that you are in need and you were not offered any hand of help on SDN and that touches me the most !!That is the reason ,in this large , competitive and complex world of SAP, i never felt alone !! So many True friends in the form of Guide and philosopher that I have found here…I may not meet them ever in my life but their names will always remain with me and i will always be thankful to these unseen friends and SDN to help me the when i was in need.

    After a time, it becomes habit to visit your favorite forum on SDN and answer the people’s question…the point may be useless from value perspective but they mean a lot from worth perspective..The worth that only an SDN fellow can understand !! I feel proud to put SCN statistics on my resume and LinkedIn as well because it gives me a great pleasure of no matter how small but i am the part of this network– Network of truly genius people !!

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    1. Otto Gold Post author
      Hello,
      I just love these “little personal stories” and feelings about the SCN. And your comment caught my heart. I have to tell you, because it is very very nice and feel very much the same.
      Take care and keep coming here,
      cheers Otto
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      1. Suchita Phulkar
        Hi Otto,

        Thanks for appreciation and once again you proved me right…see you take the pain to read each and every comment and reply on them !! Doesnt it take time ? It does and Are you getting rewarded for it, no not at all but still you do it because you feel happy just doing it !! And tht is all SDN about 😀
        Thanks to you too for such a nice blog 😀
        -Suchita

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  4. Anthony Sutcliffe
    Otto,

    Almost every single HR professional / Recruiter that I have ever talked to has said that the CV / Resume should be no more than 2 pages. (This can be a double sided sheet). Almost all larger that are larger than that, will simply get tossed in the bin, often without even being quickly scan read.

    One guy went even further – fold the first page in half and look at the top section of the page. In there you must have your name, contact details, a brief summary and information directly relating to the specifics of the job requirements as published. He said that if he doesn’t see that information, then he won’t bother reading further.

    This sounds very harsh – but in most cases, a recruiter must wade through probably hundreds of applications for a single position. They simply will not look at every one of those. You therefore have to make sure that your CV / Resume is one of the ones that is not rejected out of hand.

    If you can get all of the relevant information on the one page and have room to add information about voluntary contributions, then that is great – but in most cases, it is unlikely.

    I’ve seen some great CVs of very talented people that ran to 12-15 pages. Most of these people are astonished that they can’t seem to get a job. They just don’t understand that you can’t wedge the door open if you cannot get your foot in the door!

    Having said that, I think that in an interview, bringing up the topic of contributing to SCN would be a great way to show that you have committment and skills that are relevant to the potential position.

    As the saying goes, “less is more”!

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  5. Sarah Otner
    Dear Otto,
    Thanks for the kind shout-out to my research!  My conversations with you were a great catalyst to asking the right questions or the right people.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone interested in this topic to contact me as I begin the empirical investigation (which is the body of my Ph.D. thesis).  I will be attending TechEd-Berlin, and you kind find me there: http://saptechedemea.pathable.com/user_profiles/sarah-otner

    Let’s put some hard numbers to all of these wonderful anecdotes!  Cheers,

    Sarah

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