Regular readers will know that I have long championed the cause of SAP developers. They are the lifeblood of innovation. They are, as James Governor says the ‘new kingmakers.’
A few months ago, Jon Reed and I approached Vishal Sikka with an idea. The conversation went something like this:
Us: “You know Vishal that SAP loses 95% of its innovation. Events like InnoJam, TrainRace and DemoJam show us the art of the possible but after the event it all dissipates. We almost never hear what happened afterwards. That’s a crying shame because among other things, it means that developers only get fleeting credit for some of the amazing things they do.”
Vishal: “You’re right. We should fix that.”
Us: “We think that if there was a permanent home for some of the best development things we can find then that might be an encouragement to others. How about if we found some of that stuff, videoed it and then hosted it for SAP on JD-OD?”
Vishal: “Let’s do that.”
As you can probably gather, Vishal doesn’t waste words!
We had a few conditions.
- We choose the subjects – SAP made no specific requests
- No filtering – we get to ask the questions we believe are important.
- No editing – we get to do the cuts, not SAP
- We decide – SAP has no editorial control on the content
The only concession we made was that SAP gets to see what we produce before it goes live. SAP didn’t give us any push back on anything we produced.
A few weeks later with PO clutched to chest, Jon/I were on the road, visiting different places around the world. I went to the UK, DKOM Germany and Australia while Jon bounced back and forth to events in the US. Between us we traveled some 30,000 miles in seven weeks.
Today, we have the results of this initial trawl. You can find it here on JD-OD.com, SAP Developer Stories. It isn’t just developers. We’ve found the odd customer, we’ve talked to internal people at SAP working on HANA and other technologies. In other words, we cast the net wide with a view to getting as much useful material as possible.
We were tasked to find 10 examples, in the end we produced 14 videos and there is more to come. All have a story to tell that we think developers will find interesting.
- There is no shortage of invention – check the HANA and augmented reality story from Keytree.
- While there is plenty of opportunity with new technologies, older technology still has its place – check 2-Cliks from Graham Robinson.
- There is much to learn – check Thomas Jung talking about acquiring new HANA skills.
- Demos are what people want to see – check Vijay Vijaysankar on financial working capital dashboards using HANA.
- UI is being redefined – check how a failed project was turned around using the new rules of UI design with ‘Gareth the Farmer,’ and how John Moy of Australia Post revitalised and modernised an old UI to build a great user experience.
- Developers sometimes don’t realise just how good they can be. Time and again I found developers not promoting their own goodness. That has to change.
These are just a few examples. We’ve only scratched the surface. At the upcoming SAPPHIRE, I hope to film some of the SAP developer engagement team. We will talk through progress on the issues we all know about that have sometimes made development on new technology a trial of strength, endurance and plain doggedness to work through issues. I’ve already booked a slot with Harald Reiter, talking about some of the things Deloitte is doing on HANA. I”d be delighted to get cloud/SaaS stories and of course more on mobile.
If you are a developer, know of developers and/or customer stories where innovation is making a real difference then please let Jon or I know. We’d love to hear your stories and, if possible, get you on video. If you spot us at SAPPHIRE then say hello. We’ll likely be on the run but do stop us.
Bonus points: check out the Mastering SAP Technologies mashup video and look for Graham Robinson controlling a helicopter with ABAP and Siri. It didn’t make this cut but is a great example of ‘Because We Can.’