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When Geeks become Golfers – about an upcoming aging problem on SDN

Oh yes, I feel an aging problem coming. I have crossed the line and now I am the 2% minority age group at sdn with this unspeakable age number in front.
Is it a shift of my anticipation, lifetime experience or just getting old?

When I see all the ballyhoo at the blogs and Twitters, all these “young kids” writing dashboards, geeking with Java and making “Look Ma no hands” ABAP Teched Jam Sessions, I feel like a parent on the bench at the playground, taking care that no one gets hurt.

On the other side, I still program the hell out of the PI systems and recently run a “who writes more ABAP Object classes” competition with my fellow co-programmers in my current project. Not to mention my geek video edition with video2brain and Addison Wesley “Web Dynpro ABAP”.

As a company owner, I have the luxury to cross lines and move sides. I still love to code and will only let go when nobody hires me anymore to write cool ABAP stuff. (Luckily, this is not the case) . And I can talk to my C-class friends, drink coffee at their oak furnished desks and see things from a leading perspective. Not because I indulge the “execsphere”, but I think that both sides have their merits and their inspirations.
My “Geek Side” is often mistaken as failure not to stay on the top level of the project food chain. Actually, it is the opposite. Why should I not enjoy the doing side as well as the “Darth Vader part” of projects. I like to wander around and gain multiple experience.


When I look to my Twitter followers and to the job descriptions of my LinkedIn contacts, the “C” prefix and the “impressive titles” section grows. Good Sign, bad sign?

In a recent discussion, I doubt the presence of decision makers at Twitter and sdn. I went on a mission to seek execs and CIO’s and start talking to them. I must say, yes there is a growing community of real “movers and shakers” and most of them is taking the Web 2.0 very seriously (and personally) .

One of the results was this sdn-blog with inspiration by @tom_peters The specified item was not found. 

The good thing when you are getting old is the luxury of not having to do a lot of things anymore. No more standing in line of the hottest club in town (You are either too tired at 10 pm or you are on the guest list of the club owner anyway). No more IKEA on Saturday (because your house is completed) and no more evenings on hip expensive restaurants (except for business lunch) since you are married long time and therefore no need for exhausting dating routines or the urge to go out every free day.

A lot of time for serious work and luxury fun. Actually, when you take it serious, a great time, with much more freedom then with all these twenty-something college  and thirty-something “house, tree, child” pressures and duties..

When it comes to business, I see the SAP world coming into the same age. Innovation still takes place, and innovation is what people and companies do with it. Maturing technology does not mean “stand still”. It depends on how young and agile the environment, the company “mind” is. You don’t need the latest and greatest, not yet another language, fancy UI, big CPU, but rather a great idea (and great execution) of “What do to” with IT.

When I look on the themes I am about to blog, now, since this record summer heat 2010 is over in Germany, they all fall into these ways. I think it is great to watch everybody to drool over IPADs, dashboards, BI and ABAP 7.02. Like watching a rock concert from the VIP lounge. But then, it is time to turn around and talk about putting all these things in the perspective of a long run.

Great, to be a minority of feeling elder and wiser. It is this attitude of a warm sunny Sunday afternoon, sitting on the Golf Course Club House, drinking one early afternoon beer and watching people go by. No need to hurry, no need for SAP projects plans, no laptop.

(But then again, give me something to code – even Golfers needs to revert to Geeks every now and then)

A propos Golf: Is there a decision made at sdn, if Gold Badge Owners can convert their points into Golf Balls with SAP Logo? Maybe for Platinum Members, just need to write a few blogs more?

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  • Enjoyed your blog and have to agree that I feel older and wiser :-). Not sure about the “points to golf balls” but I am sure Mark Yolton will consider it…
  • Your title led me to believe you might discuss a growing hot topic in many spheres, including the Technology sector: namely, the disparate numbers of men vs. women in the profession and the extremely disparate numbers of female execs, and perhaps even the disparate numbers of women here on SCN.  As some have already noted SAP has joined the ranks of the progressives by welcoming a woman to the executive table (and she’s not serving hors d’oeuvres and taking menu orders, she’s heading HR).  But I think you might be speaking here about Ageism which is another form of discrimination.
    Since I fall into the category of both woman and 50+ I can speak from some personal experience on both fronts.
    I loved the quote from Tom Peters in your last blog: “permanence is the last refuge of those with shriveled imaginations”.  Having a vibrant imagination, let us pray, is not the domain of either a particular *** or age group.  But one thing I do find, I can have my imagination jolted, stimulated, propelled forward by folks much younger than I and that is a frequent occurrence.  To me that is one of the gifts of interacting here: exposure to so much multi-generational smartness.  I’ve never been made to feel unwelcome because of my age (yet) even my youngest give me access to their worlds which is quite a privilege.  Can’t say the same about gender though…but that is another story entirely…or blog post.
    Happy 1/2 century of wisdom and living.