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I was recently mentioned in Blog It Forward – Leigh Mason. Here is some background about me, and the answers to Leigh’s questions.

Personally:

I have been lucky enough to be pretty well travelled, and to have seen a lot of the world when I was young. My family ended up on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific when I was 8 years old. I went to school there for a nunber of years, and my Mum still lives there. I still call Norfolk Island “home”, and love to go back and see the beautiful Island, my Mum and her friends, and my outrageously good fun class mates. Norfolk island is a place where a kid can forget about shoes, telling your parents wehere you are, television (back then), and pretty much worries of any kind. I am very lucky to have lived on Norfolk Island, and I think it has influenced me a great deal.

School took me to Australia (Armidale, NSW), and then on to Canberra for University. I studied Advertising/Marketing and sub-majored in Japanese (most of which I sadly now forget).

I have a wife and daughter, and enjoy hanging out with them, and finding new places to eat and drink. I also enjoy building model aircraft, and poorly piloting radio controlled ones. I have been known to make home brew on the odd occasion, but it’s not as good as Mal Scholes’!

I support the Brumbies in the Super 15 Rugby Union Competition, the Wallabies in international rugby, and the mighty Collingwood in the AFL.

Career-wise:

I started in the IT industry (in earnest) with Lotus Development Corporation (yes, the Notes/Domino people) in 1999, making Domino applications and web sites. I got into Lotus through working with a good friend and colleague, Dion Pitsilos. We both worked for an IBM Business Partner, and used to be able to get our hands on the software relatively easily. With Domino, we found a way to almost automatically publish applications that we had written to the web.

I really got started when I was sent off to the www.olympics.com team in 2000, working out of Ultimo in Sydney with some people that were a great deal smarter than myself. There I learned Java under the stewardship of Glenn Druce.

Eventually, I made it into pre-sales, which is easily the best decision I have made in my career. Being technical, I really enjoy being able to demonstrate software, and to be involved in sales cycles with excellent people, such as Christopher Dahlenburg, Damien Bueno, Brenda Banning, Stephen McDougall, and Tim Bryant.

I’m off to Singapore in a few days to do an IP role in Public Sector, and I am really looking forward to it.

The thing I am most passionate about at work is architecture. Doing things quickly is the new normal, but there is no reason why we cannot do things in IT quickly with a focus on quality and clear thinking (they are not mutually exclusive). Archiecture can bring a discipline to IT that is a necessary input to a quality IT system. My challenge is to develop the credibility needed to help people understand that.

And now to Leigh’s questions (drum roll)

1) What are some ideas for the SAP
Community playing a larger role in conservation activities globally?

I’ve been really impressed with SAP’s Corporate Social Responsibilities program in Australia. Redkite is a great example of where SAP has contributed back to the community. What would be great to see is fund-raising activities for highly visible charities such as Redkite co-insiding with conservation activities. For example, SAP employees and, say, SAUG members could donate their time to conservation activities and solicit donations/sponsorship from family, friends and community. In this way, a very worthy charity would get a material benefit, and participants would be contributing to conservation endeavours. If this model was used around the world, SAP software could be used to track the carbon benefit and the financial and social ROI to charities.

Secondly, and perhaps easier to organise, would be a discussion forum devoted to how SAP software and SAP Community Members have contributed to conservation endeavours around the world. This could help to raise awareness of conservation issues, and to enthuse others.

2) What was your first computer?

My first computer was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. It had 48K of memory, and needed a tape recorder to load software. I used to take hours to type in BASIC out of UK magazines to get rudimetary games going. The thing had no fan, so it used to get very, very hot by the end of these typing marathons. If you’ve never played Jet Set Willy, you haven’t lived 🙂

3) What did you do on your first IT
project?

I built an Intranet for the Department of Family and Community Services, with an awesome BA called Sharon Johnson. We used software called Aprtix that ran on Lotus Domino. It was loads of fun, and worked out pretty well. It was the first time I had considered the word “taxonomy” seriously.

In the spirit of Anthony’s, and then Leigh’s posts, it’s time for the call to action! Stephen McDougall and Scott Hirst, it’s over to you. The questions are:

1) SAP’s software portfolio has grown a lot over the last 5 years. What effect on the SAP Community have you seen as a result?

2) It’s 06:30 on a Saturday in summer, and you’ve been woken up by the cockatoos. The wife and kids are away. What do you do next?

3) What will you be doing when you’re 50?

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5 Comments

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  1. Sascha Wenninger

    Hi Des,

    thank you for sharing, and so quickly too after being BIF’ed by Leigh only a couple of days ago! Always great to learn more about people in the SAP community! 🙂

    Now all that’s needed is a profile picture on top 🙂

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  2. Tammy Powlas

    Great blog and good ideas on conservation.

    I think this is the funniest question by far I’ve seen on Blog-It-Forward:

    2) It’s 06:30 on a Saturday in summer, and you’ve been woken up by the cockatoos. The wife and kids are away. What do you do next?

    Too funny but I look forward to the answers.

    Thank you for participating

    Tammy

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  3. Susan Keohan

    Hi Des,

    It’s great to welcome you into the #BIF family.  Norfolk Island sounds like heaven.  Maybe someday I will get there.

    Cheers,
    Sue

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