Disclaimer: These are my own opinions not those of SAP or the company I work for.
For anyone who doesn’t know (and I am no expert here – and am probably about to offend people) an SAP InnoJam is a bit like an all night coding/hackfest session with an enterprise twist based on real business cases and the bleeding edge of SAP technologies. Over a short period of just 30 hours ideas go from high level business cases to running prototypes, developers get tired and a lot of caffeine gets consumed.
I had heard about the concept of InnoJam from SDN and from the Enterprise Geeks Podcast, so was excited to hear that one was being organized for Australia this year, when registration opened I jumped on to register my interest and sign up only to find out that it was going to cost me $300! For some reason my expectation was that it would be free, I am not sure why I felt that way but here are some of the initial thoughts I had:
- I am giving up my precious weekend time 🙂
- SAP should be paying me to attend as ultimately I will go back to my company and clients and tell them about the great new software SAP is developing
- I am giving away my Intellectual Property (my great ideas) – and I am paying for it.. c’mon!
- We are ultimately developing and creating something… what will happen to that something… who “owns” it?
- I will be helping beta test this software and giving good feedback to the development teams
Anyway a little bit of time went past and the red haze subsided a bit, I talked to some colleagues and got some valued opinions. I was also contacted by the InnoJam organizers to see if I was interested in attending still. I did some research into InnoJam and thought a bit more about what I would gain from the experience and ultimately came up with these reasons for why I should attend:
- This is a rare chance to try out new software from SAP and get hands on experience and help from the experts in these technologies.
- Meet and work with like minded people with similar interests and make friends along the way
- Learn new ways of doing things from the experts and my peers
- Get help to develop against a real business case – one I could take back to my company or my clients
- Get my hands dirty again in code (without any documentation requirements!)
- Try something new and get out of my comfort zone (move my cheese :-))
- If selected as one of the winners get a chance to present at the SAUG summit in Sydney and even at SAP TechEd 2011.
All in all I ended up feeling like the $300 is a small price (I wish it was smaller… we will have to work on that) to pay for these things. For all Australian tax payers it is also an Educational/Training related tax deduction (I hope – note I am not providing tax advice here)!!!
There are probably other good reasons for and against attending, I sincerely hope that there are more people who see the value and are willing to spend the money to make it a great and rewarding event (fingers crossed). Still not sure? Check out these links to the recent InnoJam in the Netherlands: