A Student’s Experience at SAP’s Mobility InnoJam at Palo Alto
A month before SAP’s Mobility InnoJam on SUP, I showed my father a few things I had done with the programming knowledge I had. I had developed a simple website using new technology that I had worked on outside of work. For the summer, I was in North Carolina working with a nonprofit organization as their IT intern, doing everything from website development to database administration to server management; basically, if it had to do with computers, I learned and then did it.
When I was done with work, I started to learn things, such as languages and technologies, that I didn’t encounter during work because I was fascinated by what I was able to do in the internship. My father noticed this growing interest in technology I had and decided to invite me to accompany him on his trip to Palo Alto for the Mobility Innojam. I immediately agreed because I thought it’d be a great experience and if not, at least I’d be in California.
I was pretty excited to attend this Innojam because of a couple of reasons; as I said before, one of those reasons was that I’d be in California. In addition, I would have a firsthand experience of Silicon Valley, catching a glimpse of SAP’s Labs and culture. Along with seeing Silicon Valley, I’d also have the opportunity to meet with employees of SAP and other companies in the area. Finally, I’d also have the chance to go on a trip with my father, seeing what he gets to do on his travels.
The excitement lasted for most of the month, until the flight to San Francisco from Atlanta. At that point, I worried about the general reaction I would receive for being the only college student there. I ran through multiple bad-case scenarios from worse to worst, from being unwelcome to even being banned from participating. And even if I did make it through admission, what I could I contribute when facing much more experienced participants?
Needless to say, when we finally arrived at the event, all of my fears were unnecessary; everyone was extremely friendly at the event. The SAP and SUP teams, the other participants, and the judges were all helpful and knowledgeable. For me, this was the most important aspect of the event: the environment. I enjoyed meeting and speaking with the SAP and SUP team members who loved what they were doing and in general are great people to be around. The same goes for the other participants who were also amicable and obviously passionate for even attempting to program for thirty hours straight.
The technology was great too, but did not leave as much of a positive impact on me as the experience. The Eclipse tool was fairly easy to use, but I felt I spent quite a few of the thirty hours learning how to use SUP than actually using it. While I understand that the event team wanted us to get to programming as soon as possible, a more in-depth intro course on SUP would have been helpful. However, what SUP did show me was how the field of technology is; that it will always be exciting and eventful because there is always innovation going on.
All in all, the event showed me what life would be like if I pursued a career in tech, and from what I have seen so far, I like it. I hope in the future that I will get to spend more time in Silicon Valley because thirty hours was not enough.