Last week, I attended my first DKOM in person in San Jose. SAP held these developer kick off events around the globe on the same days, and they were broadcast online, too. It was the first time I attended an SAP internal focused event, and it was bigger than I had expected. In addition to educating internal folks about SAP’s product and platform strategy and roadmaps for developers, it was a great event for me to meet more SAP people and really feel like part of the company. I got to put faces to email names, talk with folks in engineering management, and hear Hasso speak in person and get pretty animated during his presentation.
I especially liked a session called dTalks; it featured 5 or 6 speakers giving TED talk-like presentations that were inspiring, personal, and thought provoking. I liked this session best because to me, it really captures how I view SAP. Most people think of it as a huge company that has ERP software and something called HANA. It’s just so much more. The people are amazing. From early in the Sybase integration process, I’ve been impressed with our new colleagues on so many levels. I’ve met so many people who are friendly, passionate, compassionate, articulate, driven, and customer focused. They’re willing to help, and they seem to enjoy doing so. They are focused on learning, they are vocal when they think we can do better, and they do it all with a level of professionalism that’s pretty impressive.
For a few months now, I’ve been working on/with Anne Hardy’s team. She is the VP of Developer Experience – the fact that SAP has a team focusing on the DevEx is awesome. And, so is her team. They are a diverse group located all around the globe, and they have varied and extensive skill sets, experience, and expertise…and they are all focused on developers. They run all the cool developer events (hackathons, code jams, innojams, etc.), they use all of our technology, manage the infrastructure to support our developer offerings, sponsor events, work with startups, and are working on a variety of cool new projects, including a new gaming platform and other ways to help engage developers, and promote learning and opportunities to use and promote SAP software.
For the PowerBuilder audience – I am still also on the PB engineering team in the role of product manager. I know you’re anxious and frustrated that we don’t yet have a roadmap to communicate to the base but we are working on that. I am hoping to get out to some key regions in North America in the next couple of months to work with customers and developer user communities to run some meet-up events. The goal is to bring SAP customers into these groups and share what we’re doing with PowerBuilder, Appeon and HANA with them, and have them share their projects with us….like in the good old days of PB user groups.
The takeaway from my first DKOM is that this was a big event focused on developers – which means SAP is really serious and committed to evolving into a company that provides the developer community with the best platform, with HANA at its core, and the easiest tools to build the types of business, mobile, and other apps our customers need to build. There is a lot of work to be done but there is a lot of excitement and momentum around this initiative, and I’m looking forward to being part of it.