Have you heard? We have a ton of great speakers! Both in St. Louis and Chicago. One of them happens to be Thomas Jung. He’s going to be both places. How you ask? We’ll be streaming him in Chicago. We would have liked to clone him and have him in both places. But then that’s been talked about before. (And honestly I THINK there are a lot of Thomas clones running around. How else could he do everything that he does?
Anyway I wrote a blog about our event. Huh! I’ve written several blogs. One of the questions was “How can Thomas and Peter do all the things that they do?”. I didn’t know. So I asked the question. I was going to edit the response I got. BUT why? The best words are Thomas’s own.
Here’s his responses to my questions:
Why take the time to speak at an event like this?
From many of us at SAP, this is a recognized part of our job. Of course that isn’t the only reason to do it, but it certainly helps when your employer/manager understands what you do and helps to provide time in your work schedule to accommodate. I imagine that many of us who speak would take the time to do so regardless of employer support. When you are passionate about something, it is hard not to want to talk about it – especially with peers who are also highly interested; but speaking at an event is also a great opportunity for us as well. In addition to growing our own knowledge by hearing other speakers and customer experiences, we also take these events as opportunities to meet and talk with customers. The success stories or problems we hear about can directly impact the materials we are creating or features in the product. Designing and building software from “on high” is a very dangerous approach. Regular contact with the people using that software is critical to its continued relevance.
Why are these types of events important?
One of the most important aspects is what happens between the presentations when people have conversations over coffee. There is an opportunity here for people to make professional connections and often get some of the best advice available – all from someone with a similar job just down the street. Another important aspect is reflected in what I mentioned in the previous answer. Attendees might not realize it, but having a simple conversation with a session presenter can be an excellent way of influencing SAP software and feature direction. Finally, in this ever changing world of information technology; everyone strives to keep their skills up to date. Free events such as these are critical opportunities to get exposure to such key information.
How do you find the time to do this?
For something important, such as supporting these community events, you make the necessary time. No big secret there. One little trick is that we use events like this to work out material for larger events. For example I will try out some of the new demos that I’m developing for SAP TechEd at this event. It provides an opportunity to try a demo or an explanation on a smaller group and get feedback on how well it explains a topic. On the other hand, it provides an opportunity for attendees at smaller community events to get a first look at new features.
Can you give a brief – small paragraph – about what you are going to speak about?
I’m going to preview the new ABAP development features which will come later this year in NetWeaver 7.0 Enhancement Package 3 (Basis 7.31). On the Web Services side, I will show the new backend service modeling within the ABAP Workbench. For Web Dynpro ABAP I will show new UI elements (like the Splitter and new Table) as well as the extensive redesign of the Floorplan Manager configuration tools. I will also show a demo of modeling in the BOL (Business Object Layer) and then tying that model to the Floorplan Manager as the feeder. We can then close out the session with a preview of work in progress of ABAP Development running within Eclipse.
What kind of advantages – if any – do you see about a program like this run by community members?
It is good to get a different perspective on the topics which the community wants to hear about. SAP ran events, of course, will always be influenced by the messages we want to convey and which products are being newly rolled out. While keeping abreast of the latest products and enhancements is important to the community, members are often also interested in exchanging ideas about topics which SAP might consider fully rolled out. This is an opportunity for the community to tell us what they think is important.
What’s next on you agenda?
TechEd of course. Work actually began on material creation back in April and will continue until near the end of August. People would probably be surprised to find out how many hours go into creating the materials for a four hour hands-on session at TechEd.
So there you have it! The exact responses as he wrote them to me. Now of course you have to go to one of these locations! Chicago – you want to go to Chicago. OK – either one. Just go. Let’s make these events great!
Here are the links: