sigh. First off, I have to point out unless things change drastically in the next few weeks, I’m not going to be going. Internal company stuff, blah blah blah. Suffice it to say, in the words of an immortal Australian TV ad – “Not happy, Jan”.
So, why so upset?
Well, when I was told that I wouldn’t be able to go, apart from the immediate throw the toys out of the pram reaction, it really made me think (as I was trying to justify to my boss why I really wanted to go) what was it that I really wanted to get out of TechEd? I thought long and hard about it and I came up with these ideas. (and these rather poor drawings – and no I will not give up my day job, do not worry.)
For me personally the biggest thing I’m going to miss out on is the chance to say “Hello!” in person to many of the people I communicate with here on SCN. I think just knowing who these people are in real life and hopefully for them to know who I am would be a very useful. These people are the part of the way that SAP works, if I intend to stay working in SAP (which I think I do) then being part of that network is important to me. And the real life contact is important to me too – hey, I’m soft and fluffy underneath! – I work in HR after all!
There are many sessions that I would love to attend at TechEd. I’m unlikely going to be able to get my hands on a NW7.02 system until mid next year so to learn about what’s coming could be really useful. What’s more it’s not just the sessions (I can get the virtual TechEd later (and I will)) but the ability to ask questions (anyone ever having been in a session with me will know I just can’t resist the temptation ;-). But also you can get a really good vibe from attending about what is going to be a good session to go to, I’ve never had quite the same experience sat watching a virtual session.
Time and Place
Besides it being a great place to hang out with fellow SAP geeks, there is the benefit of actually being there for a week to do nothing but learn and network. I can’t imagine having a week’s worth of time allocated to just that if I wasn’t physically attending. Also there is a sense of excitement – perhaps that’s overstating it, but it would be really nice to be at a place where there are a bunch of people all excited about SAP. It would be nice to be re-inspired about what I do 🙂
I’d really like like to be there this year, I think above all, getting together with a good bunch of folks, and being part of the scene would/will be great. If you’re thinking that TechEd is just a way to get a lot of technical know-how I think and hope you’ll be happily surprised otherwise.