Sascha Wenninger is the SCN Member of the Month for April 2012.
It’s been six years since Sascha joined SCN. At first he was active in the forums, but not so long ago he decided to share his knowledge and personal experience in blogs. He received many kudos from respected peers and his blogs usually start interesting and constructive discussions. Recently, after the launch of the new SCN, Sascha provided guidance to fellow members and helped them to engage successfully.
I had a phone interview with Sascha that turned out to be longer than expected – which is always a good sign! Sascha cares about SCN and is interested in many topics: not only integration, but also mobility and user experience among others. He reads a lot on SCN but thinks it is also important to contribute and share what he’s learned with the rest of the community.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, who you work for, and other things you would like to share with the community (hobbies, fun facts)?
Sure! I live in Melbourne, Australia and work alongside some very inspiring people in the internal SAP team at Australia Post. My job involves designing and building the interfaces which integrate our SAP systems with the rest of Post’s IT landscape. We have quite a few systems for a company without global operations, so that keeps me busy.
Outside of work, I enjoy food, wine, coffee and whisky. I’m very lucky that my partner also enjoys a wee dram, and we have built up a little collection of single malt scotch at home over the years. I have also recently been getting a lot more interested in cooking/experimenting with the sous-vide technique, so it’s not unusual to find some piece of meat cooking for a couple of days in a water bath at home. Case in point: it’s Friday morning and I just started cooking beef shortribs for Sunday night’s dinner. Usually this turns out well, but we have had a couple of misses and calls to the local pizza shop :-).
Note from Laure the Reporter: I know how to cook fish “en papillotte” but it took a German-Australian to teach me about the sous-vide technique to cook meat. Ooh well, c’est la vie…
When did you become a member of SCN and what brought you to this community?
I first joined in 2006 when I started to work with SAP MII (it was called xMII then), and was looking for information in the forums on this new addition to SAP’s product portfolio. I learnt a huge amount simply by reading answers to past questions, and then over time started to contribute answers myself where I felt I was able to add value.
Note from Laure the Reporter: Sascha took on blogging after someone encouraged him to share his advice in a blog post, in addition to just in an e-mail. This is a good example of how community members can encourage each other and help a community grow organically.
How does SCN help you in your daily activities?
I spend the majority of my time on SCN reading blogs these days. There are so many intelligent and inspiring people in the SAP community, and I always enjoy reading what they share with the community.
What do you like most about the community in general, and what do you like about the new SCN?
I love that SCN as a whole is so active, very professional and has managed to capture the attention, time and passion of so many inspiring and intelligent people. Of course things could always be better, but SCN feels so much more like a real community than other such sites that I come across in my work integrating SAP software with the rest of the world.
What areas of SCN (spaces) do you contribute in and what areas do you like to follow because you’re interested in the topics?
My day job is in SAP integration so I would naturally tend towards the spaces concerned with such topics, such as NetWeaver PI/SOA and Gateway. However I’m also interested in UX and of course mobile (who isn’t these days!).
Your personal space name is “sufw”, do you want to share with us what it means and why you picked it?
I wanted something short and thus easy to type on a mobile phone’s keypad. All of my early twitter friends had 3 and 4-character handles corresponding to their initials. @sw was of course taken, so I ended up having to add my middle names which I never use and which don’t even appear in my passport. So thus “uw” for “Uwe Florian”…
Your LinkedIn profile says you speak English and German fluently. Any ties to Germany or a German-speaking country?
Some would say I don’t speak any German at all but only Bavarian ;-). There is a long-standing rivalry between Bavaria and the rest of the country, and I hail from the deepest depths of Bavaria: the Niederbayern region north of Munich. My family moved to Brisbane in Australia when I was 15, and I’ve since relocated to Melbourne for the better (i.e. cooler) weather and probably the best coffee shops in the world :-).
You are a member of the Global Special Interest Group for SAP PI, as well as the Australian User Group. Can you share about these experiences and how they have helped you influence SAP’s decisions (PI and other areas)?
I have only been a member of the GSIG (Global Special Interest Group for SAP PI) for about a year now, and actually came to know about this group through a blog on SCN. Since joining, I have helped the group to promote in the APJ region some of their main influencing activities such as the Global PI Usage Survey and requirements gathering survey for the next version of the product.
The SAP Australia User Group (SAUG) coordinates several local Special Interest Groups who meet on a regular basis to learn from each others’ experiences. This is really more of a community forum rather than an influencing channel, so I have on a number of occasions shared our experiences with certain SAP technologies with the group through presentations.
If a new member came to you and asked for your advice on how to be an active and respected member of SCN, what would you say?
I think the Discussion forums are a great way to become active in the community. There is a low barrier to entry because contributions don’t have to be complex or lengthy. Spend a few months following the discussions on a particular forum of interest, and maybe post a couple of questions if you need help. Learn from answers to your and other questions, and use this building knowledge to give back to the community by providing answers to questions by others.
But most importantly, be aware that the Discussion forums, and SCN as a whole, survive and thrive because people contribute as well as consume. So don’t just look at SCN as a means to an end, a mechanism to get tricky questions answered without an OSS message, and then never look at the forums again. While that is of course one important purpose, don’t forget that SCN lives from members’ contributions, so keep coming back, keep reading far more than writing, and to share your growing pool of knowledge with others.
Easy question: Mac or Microsoft?
A: Mac all the way. Well, except at the office where I’m currently stuck with Windows XP 🙁
Is there an SCN member you admire (OK… you can name a few)?
That’s a tricky question. There are just so many great people on SCN, and naming some would mean missing many. However as a group, the Moderators stand out by tirelessly working in the background to keep SCN organised. I believe they should get much more recognition for their hard work!
Every month, a member of the SAP Community Network is recognized for exemplary behavior: sharing knowledge with peers, being helpful and taking on additional tasks to support community engagement. See the list of previous SCN Members of the Month and read more details about the program in the announcement blog.