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Author's profile photo Former Member

Blog It Forward – Glen Simpson

Thanks Custodio de Oliveira for BIFing* me. As he pointed out in his BIF blog, we worked on the same project but in different locations so I didn’t get to know Custodio as well as I would have liked but that’s why I think all these BIF blogs are so interesting… we find out more about people we have worked with and even people we’d like to work with.

About me
I’m a husband, father and freelance SAP developer living in Wollongong, Australia. Wollongong is a seaside city just an hour south of Sydney and is a fantastic place to live. My beautiful wife and I are a few months shy of our 10th anniversary and we have two daughters, 7 and 5 years old.

I fell into the SAP world about 13 years ago when, after completing a couple of years of part-time university, I gained an IT cadetship with a large Australian mining and (at that time) steel manufacturing company. My cadetship involved part-time work and part-time university study. It was a good deal for me as I gained industry experience before leaving uni, I received a paycheck and they paid for my uni fees from that point onwards. When I turned up on my first day of the cadetship they told me I was in the SAP team… whatever that meant! Fortunately for me, I really enjoyed the database programming subjects at uni and took to ABAP quickly. Like any junior developer I complained about having to “do my time” supporting some of the older SAP systems but now I’m proud to say that I cut my teeth on R/2 programming and even hacked a JCL script or twenty – just don’t ask me to remember how to do it now. Since then, I have been outsourced to a consulting company, done a brief stint of freelance consulting, jumped back to a steel making company that was divested from the company I originally started with and then, very recently, taken a serious step out into the world of freelance consulting. I have to say that, for the moment, I’m really enjoying this change in vocational scenery.

An interesting fact about me
I’m an identical twin. This is a picture of my brother and I, taken a couple of years ago. You can take a guess at which one I am… but my SCN profile picture may give it away.
IMG_0879 small.jpg

You would think that being identical twins we might have chosen similar career paths but interestingly I’m in the Information Technology industry (obviously!) and he’s in the Health industry – Occupational Therapy to be precise… Or as I like to put it: I’m in I.T. and he’s in O.T.


Name the person who affected you most in your career/ way of thinking and why?
I’ve had a number of people who have significantly helped me during my career but I’m going to take this opportunity to give a public shout-out to John Patterson. I only met him a couple of years ago but John, just by sharing his passions, has really opened my eyes to see the fun that can be had outside the “traditional” SAP technologies. I think that spending a lot of my career as the lead of an in-house development team for a risk-averse company in a location with a small resource pool to draw from (it sounds challenging when I write it all out!) had caused me to steer clear of things that would require new skillsets which could be hard to source. As a result, my own focus was narrowed. But just talking to John about his experiments with Gateway and SAPUI5, not to mention Android and Windows 8, has reignited my excitement for playing with tech just for fun… and now I just have to make time to talk and play more often – though that’s easier said than done! John is a quiet achiever and probably doesn’t get the full recognition he deserves but I know that he is respected by some “heavy hitters” in the SAP development world. I’m humbled to call him a friend and happy to call him a personal mentor, even if he doesn’t know it. Thanks John!

It’s 1972 in Mannheim, Germany. In the room Claus, Dietmar, Hans-Werner, Hasso, Klaus and YOU!  What’s your contribution/role in the company soon to be created?
I’m a developer and I know very little about starting a software company but I would love to have been involved as a software architect back then, knowing what I know now. My number one priority would have been to “separate the concerns” in the code. Forget the fact that the software is running on a mainframe, ignore that client/server fad that’s coming and just concentrate on creating *well defined* interfaces between the persistence, application and presentation code as this will provide the best opportunity to grow and change the software in the future. Oh, and I’d put a stop to BDC programming before it was even invented and instead push for a comprehensive (but still extensible), object-oriented business object framework with flexible, public APIs. I wondering now if that answer is a bit “nerdier” than you were wanting but that’s all I got!

And now I’m going to BIF…

Marco Furlanetto

Mark Pyc

And to get their right-brain working their question is:
Describe something you do differently than most people?


* I’m claiming that “BIF” is now an official SCN verb. 🙂

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      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas

      Very good & you're an identical twin too

      Great SAP history as well

      I've been risk averse myself but am trying to always learn new things.

      I hope you blog more...and others will "BIF" away too.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Tammy

      I find that I am always learning new things but it's the actual putting into practice that I struggle to find time for. It's probably time to start consuming less and producing more. I will definitely try to blog more... but no promises. 🙂


      Author's profile photo John Moy
      John Moy

      Hi Glen,

      Thanks for an excellent blog.  Great to see so much Aussie developer talent blogging on SCN.

      And by the way, I echo your comments about  I had the opportunity to be at Innojam in Melbourne recently with him and I saw his passion for technologies and helping mentor others really shone through.  Definitely he's a quiet achiever.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks John

      I know you mostly by your reputation and SCN contributions but I consider you and John P. similar in many ways - great intelligence wrapped in even more humility. Thanks for your example to the community.


      Author's profile photo Marco Furlanetto
      Marco Furlanetto

      Hi Glen,

      Great post! Your twin brother was really a surprise!  😆

      Thanks for passing BIF token to me! I will try to put a blog out soon!



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Marco

      Looking forward to your BIF.


      Author's profile photo Custodio de Oliveira
      Custodio de Oliveira

      hi Glen,

      Great Blog. The answer on the specific question is pretty much what I was expecting. Somehow I knew the "separation of concernings" would appear here as you stressed its importance in our project.

      As for your twin, I reckon the beard/no beard approach is quite useful to help your parents identifying each of you. I wonder how you did this as kids though... Also, have you two ever considered switching to no beard/beard just for fun?



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Custodio

      Neither my brother nor I had a beard at my wedding and he was my best man... fortunately, we didn't switch then and my wife married the right brother! 😉


      Author's profile photo John Patterson
      John Patterson

      Hi Glen

      Was that 2 or 3 cases of beer i owe you? John yours is in the mail 🙂

      Seriously thanks.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi John

      4 cases... but who's counting? 😉


      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan

      Hi Glen,

      I love 'Oh, and I’d put a stop to BDC programming before it was even invented' - Well done, mate!

      And thank you for shouting out to Mark Pyc - he and I go way back.  He needs to be less 'risk-adverse' 🙂

      Sadly, your SCN Profile pic does nothing to eliminate the question of who is who in your picture. 


      PS: Let's make up buttons.  'I <3 BIF' ?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Sue

      I'll give you a clue on the photo... one of us is a little more hirsute in his SCN profile and blog photo than the other. 🙂

      Being an Aussie, a developer and not a big user of social media, it took me a few minutes to work out what a "button" with "I <3 BIF" meant... At first I thought you were giving me a functional spec for a UI with strange logic. (Joking, of course!)


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Excellent blog!  I love to hear more than just a name.   This blog gives you an identy to me.

      Very nice - keep them coming!


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Glen,

      Good Day!

      Very interesting blog! I can see SAP & Non SAP Twins! He He He 🙂

      I think you need to consult him after 60's because he is health dept. Not only you every one, any one can be in any line. But Health is always health. I think you agree that! He He He. Wonderful experience for me and nicely written. Keep up the good work!

      Keep sharing quite interesting blog like this and motivate others to post more & more.


      Hari Suseelan