Few days ago I got back home from TechED Berlin 2010 and today is the first day when I was able to spare few minutes to blog about the nice experience I had in Germany.
First of all, it was so nice meeting all the people I know from their emails, SCN posts and tiny SCN photos in person. By the way the photos are very inaccurate, one cannot recognize a person based on this picture, believe me. I was told I don´t match with my picture either).
Unfortunately this planet is not a small one, we have four TechEDs all around the planet and so I was not able to meet all the friends I met on SCN during the months. Hope to meet the others soon.
The event was very well organized, with good food and everything (and everything was so precise, like one would expect in a Germany, thank you, all the people responsible for the event going on, but not thanked namely). All the offered events were nice and useful, from the very beginning.
First nice thing was the Innovation weekend. It started Sunday afternoon (for like hundred people) and the attendees were supposed to spend 30 hours coding on their use cases (sorry, Craig, I cannot believe anybody would eat up the story about not sleeping for 30 hours, so I say “attendees were supposed to”).
The weekend and its collaborative nature gave me the opportunity to start meeting people one by one, shaking hands with the pleasure of exchanging few words. From the Tuesday morning when the main event was started, this opportunity was gone and everything was done in a hurry.
I was on the team six working on a social media integrator and the experience was so nice. I will have to write a separate blog just to tell you more about the Innovation weekend Berlin. I would also like to invite you to the Weekends at other TechEDs or hope to see you at EMEA TechED Innovation Weekend the next year (it was a great success so I believe we will have Weekends again in the coming years).
Keynote by Dr. Sikka
Tuesday morning we all gathered to listen to the Keynote by Dr. Sikka. I liked the keynote very much. It is obvious Dr. Sikka is years ahead of us and I am sure I will remind the words I heard from him at Berlin 2010 when the “real future” comes. Weeks ago, I was convinced that many things he was talking about in his Keynote were only the buzz words without real value for the masses.
He convinced me there is a value in those SAP TechEd Berlin: Starting the Era of AND (sorry about this confusing link, but you should definitely read a SAP TechEd Berlin: Starting the Era of AND) I might be losing the innovation train and should start exploring these new amazing things not to be left out with outdate skills. Mobile tools (at least) are something we will use (and so have to be able to develop) in a matter of months (well, not in my country, but in some other like US for sure). I am sure the situation changes with SAP acquiring the Sybase and I can recommend everybody who was not attending personally to listen to the Dr. Sikka´s keynote and start exploring (check TechED live).
There was also an important message about the great effort SAP is putting into the NetWeaver 7.3 which is in my opinion important for one and every member of the SAP Community/family. Do not miss all these pieces of information to keep your knowledge up to date and be able to deliver top products based on the newest SAP products.
During the TechED itself it was very difficult to attend the classes and lessons I had scheduled before on my colorful timetable. Ok, ok, it is always difficult and for everybody. This is what everybody was saying before and during the TechED. But as a Lemon I had the opportunity to meet some more people during some more events than were on the official list. So it was even harder (by the way, did I mention this was my first TechED? It was a nightmare to plan something useful for a newcomer AND a lemon).
Meeting one and every mentor in person (what I didn´t manage, of course) was/ would be very valuable. I was up at seven every morning and was arriving at the hotel at ten. That was really exhausting. But by all means it was worth it.
Many mentors taught me some lessons which will come handy in the coming years. Maybe the most important message was about looking for work-life balance. I have heard a lot on this topic, but a personal experience is always better than a magazine article having nothing in common with reality.
I learnt a lot about what mentors do and how do they do that and will do my best to introduce the most important activities to the Community. There is so much to learn and share with the Community so you can expect some more articles coming from my side about what´s hot and important for you to know (in my opinion).
I will finish this text with a Demo Jam report, because Demo Jam is not something we could not talk about. I heard some people complaining about some of the “features” of the Demo Jam and that they´re hoping SAP will “improve” the format of the event a little. Of course, there were some nice demos. But there were some obvious weaknesses. For example there were like 200 demo submissions, but quite many were from the SAP employees and not that many from the partners and customers. I wonder if we will see this trend changing in the coming years or not.
Another slight “weakness” was the astonishment of the SAP people why the customers and partners do not submit that much for the Demo Jam. In my opinion the reason is obvious. The demos we saw at Berlin were based on the brand new “toys” like BusinessObjects, Mobile etc. And the adoption of these technologies is not that fast (in fact for some partners and customers the adoption of these technologies has not even started yet).
The last point is about the quality of the “regular” submissions compared to the quality of the Innovation Weekend winning team. The guys who won the weekend “contest” had 30 hours to build something. The regular submitters had months? The whole year? But the quality didn´t differ enough, at least in my eyes.
I hope to see some fine-tuning of the Demo Jam for the next year (for example less “Make some NOOOISE” things) and will look forward to see some more partner and customer demos and maybe even a demo by you and your team, dear reader.
We all had fun and let´s turn up our sleeves and build something on the nice things we saw at TechED Berlin 2010. Best regards, Otto
p.s.: further reading by my friend, SAP TechEd Berlin, 2010 : The future is exciting…