For the first time this year I was offered the honor of chairing the selection committee of the SAP TechEd 2010 Demo Jam. When I accepted this role I was not exactly sure of what I was putting myself into, and honestly, afterwards I had second thoughts… but the excitement of witnessing what my colleagues, our customers, or our partners were inventing and creating got too strong to push me away from the role.
Building the selection committee was already quite exciting: I knew that I would make several colleagues very happy… and I like to do that! It’s so much fun to do something that takes you out from your daily job. Well, of course it should not become your main job, even for a few weeks.
We, the selection committee, started to do real work on the submissions after August 8th, which is when most of us came back from vacation. Before that, we had Craig Cmehil, our Innojagd master, facilitate more and more demos. While most of us were looking forward to seeing as many demos as possible, we were also worried about not having enough time to see all of them.
Luckily (and scarily) we had a record number of submissions: 104 on July 31st! The calculation is easy: 104 by about 8 minutes make 832 minutes, which roughly means 2 days of non-stop video watching. We ended up managing to find the time… and it was worth it!
I was really amazed by the quality of many videos, by the diversity of the submissions, and the passion of the speakers. I was also pleasantly surprised that to see a large number of mixed teams submissions: more than one third of the submissions were made by mixed teams of SAP employees and partners or customers. Also, defeating some predictions that several colleagues made, submissions included a minority of iPad demos or iPhone demos! The submissions were diverse in sources, in topics, in scenarios, and in technologies used. It does not mean that some hot topics and technologies did not pop up, but all in all it remained very entertaining. It was so entertaining, in fact, that the selection committee unanimously decided to promote as much diversity as possible and suggested different finalists for every location.
Now I can’t wait to see the real live demos on stage at the various SAP TechEd locations.
Thank you to all who made this possible and I hope to see you all at TechEd and after.