Today I got my last shots — hepatitis and typhoid immunizations, and not coincidentally got an email telling me the TechEd session sign-up was open for Bangalore. These are just a part of the preparations I have been undergoing for my first visit to India, though not my first time out of the country. Among other considerations, I have to weigh how much tech gear to bring and how much to leave home. With a world phone, a Droid, a camera, a laptop and an iPad, I’m already weighed down, and thinking the webcam, the MP3 recorder, and the Flip are all excess baggage. The MP3 player may or may not accompany me depending on how many songs I can pack into the iPad, but there’s also the rats nest of cables to connect one or more of the above together, and oh yeah, power converters, and the battery recharger and spare batteries. Let’s not forget the 2 AA cell flashlight for seeing what I dropped on the floor of the darkened plane or hotel room.
A couple months back, I revealed my plans in a blog “Help an SAP Mentor with his travels?” Since then, my itinerary has gelled, though I’m still shaking down the details. The basic plan is from home, through several airport hops, to Delhi, one short night in a hotel, hopefully, and then landing in Kolkata on 15-Oct-2011.
I will spend the first weekend with SAP Mentors Abesh and “BuddyDip” Dipankar. The timing does not work to attend Baby Abesh’s Rice Eating Ceremony, (Anyaprashan) a week earlier, though I am honored that Abesh invited me. I’ve been given a list of potential stops in Kolkata; an important one will be an internet hub to be able to upload pictures and first impressions. SAP’s Innovation Jam occurs the same weekend; given my pre-planning and desire to be a tourist as much as a worker, I can’t see spending a long period of time inside a conference room.
On Tuesday, October 18, I fly from Kolkata to Bangalore for the beginning of SAP Tech Ed. Per the agenda builder, sessions are held Wednesday through Friday, meaning I will have Tuesday evening to hang out somewhere in the vicinity of the SAP Labs area. Or sit in traffic. Or get lost. I’m not sure yet.
It is always a challenge to build an agenda for events like this. If it were simply an educational channel such as choosing a particular course from a university catalog, I’d weigh the merits of each, the time span (no 8AM lectures, please), and choose accordingly. But TechEd is more than just “Ed”, and more than just “Tech” since there are aspects of community, there are networking opportunities, and there are “teachable moments” when the hat is facing the other direction. By experience attending these for over 10 years, there is a wealth of material presented that is so cutting-edge, so “tomorrow” focused, it’s downright painful to return to the real world and face the facts that we may not have the licenses, the upgrade plan, nor perhaps even the interest in going in a specific direction.
First, though, whether I can predict if we will use a tool or not, is to sign up for a hands-on session as soon as the reservations open. The “best” ones fill up quickly, and having a ticket is golden. This year, I picked HANA and Solution Manager:
|EIM162||Wed. 03:45 p.m. – 05:45 p.m.||Building Simple Data Models with SAP HANA|
|ALM274||Fri. 10:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.||Handling Landscape Data with SAP Solution Manager 7.1|
Late afternoon, as well as late on the last day sessions can be mind numbing. I decided a while back that I would not attend four-hour hands-on sessions; it just is not in my best interest to stay on one topic in one room for that long when so much else could be done. Even blogging…
The other sessions I am choosing more slowly, as reservations are not required. I usally flip flop between the topics and the lecturers, but this year, I have much less background to draw on for choosing experts to meet. I see but 3 SAP Mentors (Athavan Raja Durairaj, Ann Rosenberg, and Pratik Talwar) on the Speakers/Expert tabs, and I expect to meet them during sidebar conversations. Of the dozens of others, I know a few from experience:
- Dieter Krieger
- Sami Lechner
- Marc Oliver Schaefer
- Gunther Schmalzhaf
- Chris Whealy [not attending due to travel snafu]
Hm, a few Northern European names there; not enough from the host country. My work is cut out for me.
At this point in time, the SCNotties Bollywood edition is suffering from a serious lack of participation. With all the buzz around Elvis sightings in Las Vegas, I’d think more people would be posting introductions. The boldest, and a guaranteed winner this year, is Hussain Sehorewala. He’s shown initiative in stepping up and producing, and I look forward to meeting him in Bangalore. I will let you look through the SCN wiki to find his footage (30 seconds of recognition – 2011 Bollywood Edition). Time is growing short – I’d like to have as many entries from India as we had in the U.S. (over 30!), so get out your video device and share your uploads!
- SCNotties Bollywood Edition : The search for the Shahrukh Khan of SCN…
- The Making Of The SCNotties – extra bonus material on the BlurRay edition
- The specified item was not found.
- SCNotties – Every SCN Member should have a SCNotties Video
After Bangalore, I head to Delhi for a couple days, and then into the countryside, so to speak. The places I am staying include Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, and Jodhpur. If you are in any of those places, I would sincerely like to meet you if my schedule permits.
After that, heading home to the same post-tech-ed-relapse-syndrome others have discussed.