Highlights from Teched and Innojam 2011 Las Vegas
I want to summarize my experience of Innojam and Teched events at Las Vegas. There are already many blogs out here that summarizes the Teched and Innojam events. (Mathiass Steiner’s Impressions from SAP TechEd Las Vegas 2011 is one of the bests) Therefore, I’ll not focus on the details of the events; instead I’ll post my experinece and some tips and tricks for people who will join to upcoming Teched and Innojam events.
It was at 2007 when I first attended Teched at Las Vegas. Although I had found it very useful, I didn’t have an opportunity to attend the next Teched events. This year, it was easier to convince my boss (that’s me) to send me to SAP Teched since I’m working as an Independent Consultant.
During the event, I’ve been asked many times why I chose Vegas instead of Madrid although Madrid needs 15 hours less flight time. I can list many reasons but the main reason was Teched at Las Vegas is co-located with Sybase Techwave and Teched at Madrid is co-located with SAPPHIRE. Techwave took more my interest since I’m a technical consultant and wanted to get more technical details. The best option is to attend both but we have to make a choice!
I arrived in Vegas late on Saturday. I knew it will be a tough week and tried to take some rest before Innojam. The Innojam started on Sunday afternoon. This year’s theme was the Gamification and it was funny to see the whole room winking to catch the Angry Birds thrown by Mario Herger. After Overview, Tech Fire and Biz Fire; the game started. The people splitted up into the teams and started to create their project. In my first team, we had some difficulties to decide the project and the details, finally the team broke up. And I used my ribbon to find a new job: Will Code For Food!
Finally I found a team who was looking for UI developer. That was the exact match. We started to discuss on the idea, after discussing on the details for about 2 hours we started to build our “BusinessAnswersNow” system. Although there will be a contest next day, we focused on getting hands-on experience on the SAP’s newest technologies and using these technologies together with Gamification platform. At the end we builded up a project that built on River and integrated with Bunchball system. We also did some practice on HANA.
It was a unique opportunity to have an access to SAP’s top 5 most popular technology: HANA, Business ByDesign, River, Sybase Unwired Platform and Gateway. And there were many experts walking around and ready to help the teams. On the other side, experts from the 2 most popular gamification platforms Bunchball and Badgeville were helping to the teams to integrate their applications with gamification platforms.
I personally do not like long trainings with plenty of PowerPoint slides. Instead, I prefer more hands-on experience and fall blindly into the sea. That’s why I liked the Innojam. I wish we had more time to work on our project 🙂
After spending two days with these technologies I had to change my agenda since I’ve already had enough idea about some sessions. I’d reserved 2 hands-on sessions in advance but there were many more hands-on sessions that I want to attend. I realized the waitlist concept for hands-on sessions. It was suprising that I succeeded to attend all hands-on sessions that I want.
The main difference at Teched I realized after 4 years is it is now more “Social”. You feel this at every different place. When you walk around the Clubhose you see Speaker Pods, Expert Networking Lounge and Interactive stations that you can join immediately and ask question. On the other side there are funny things happening around like SCNotties Awards, Knowledge Quest game etc. One of the funniest parts for me, there was a question on Knowledge Quest asking people to find a person attending from 5000+ miles away. At least 5 people took a photo with me. If one of those people is reading this blog, please send me the picture.
I was one of the winner of the “Meet and Greet with One Republic” contest on twitter. One Republic was not one of my favorite bands and I was so tired after long days. Consequently, I can’t say that I enjoyed much but still it was nice to have this opportunity.
NEW SCN – LESS CORPORATE, MORE SOCIAL
SAP Community is growing rapidly and obviously current community page cannot answer the huge demand from the community. We obviously need a new community page which should make contribution and collaboration easy. It is nice to see that SCNergy team is working hard to meet the demand from community, and the good news : new SCN page is coming soon. My first impression from the new SCN is we are moving from the corporate technical pages to a community page like popular social media pages Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. The collaboration will be easier and I’m sure this will also increase the contributions from the community.
At the end of the event, on Friday, I prepared my custom ribbon and added to my badge to display my status : Tired!
I was planning to meet some people that I already know and follow on SCN and Twitter. I’m happy that I met most of these great people. I wish I had more time to talk more with these people and even meet more people. Thanks to all these great people..
There are many more things to write. SCNotties, Midnight Mobile Madness, Embracing Inclusion and Design Thinking to Drive Innovation (Unfortunately overlapped with Mobile Madness) etc. But I think this is enough to summarise my experience.
Finally, congarts and special thanks to whole Teched & SCN team & SAP Mentors that made this event so successful.