SAP TechEd 2011 InnoJam – First Thoughts
InnoJam is a very interesting concept. SAP grants access to some of their newest technologies, teams are formed, and a theme is applied. The goal? Create a working application in 30 hours to solve a business case. This was my first time participating in this event even though I was a bit skeptical about how much I would have to offer.
InnoJam – It’s not just for Developers
My first impression was that I would not have very much to do at InnoJam because I’m not a developer. I typically work in infrastructure operations, and don’t have a lot to do with product development other than keeping environments running. I was surprised, however, to find that I could contribute more than I thought I would. There were some administrative tasks that needed doing, and I was excited to be able to actually do some work in BI4 for the very first time. I didn’t need too much coaching to find my way into the BI4 Central Management Console and get our users up and running. I was also pleased to be able to do some work in Explorer, and helping to figure out how Personalization of Information Spaces works.
What Exactly is Gamification?
This year’s InnoJam theme is about Gamification. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s about brining elements of video games into places (applications) where they are generally absent, such as enterprise apps. Think about badges you earn on Google News, or even the points you earn on SCN. I still remain skeptical about real applications of gamification in the business world. I feel that only the most progressive of companies would embrace or even allow such a thing to be going on during the work day. Time is money, and I just don’t see the more traditional firms out there wanting to add gaming elements to their enterprise apps.
In just a few hours, we’ll have to go present our finished application to the entire InnoJam group and a panel of judges. We’ll see if what we built will stand up against the other brilliant applications that were built over the last 30 hours. There have alredy been other blog posts put up about our app and what it does, so I won’t belabor that here. I wanted to focus more about the extremely cool experience I had participating.
InnoJams of the Future
If you’re curious about what InnoJam is but not sure how you could contribute, I would challenge you to try it just once. There is room for all kinds of people in this event. Business People help keep developers on-track meeting real needs. Developers are needed to do what they do best; code. Infrastructure and Applications specialists are needed to help answer questions and keep things functioning smoothly. I’m in Vegas, so I can bet. I’ll bet that you won’t be disappointed.