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It is quite an honor that I got the opportunity to pen (err…type) a welcome blog for my pal Vitaliy Rudnytskiy to the HDE program. Vitaliy is a one of a kind guy, as you would soon realize from our conversation below. And BW and BWA  fans will know him already quite well – he is one of the absolutes gurus on those technologies as well. So without boring with my commentary, lets hear what Vitaliy has to say to the 10 questions I asked him.

1. How did you end up in SAP field?

Everyone has stories. Here is mine. My first serious job was with Procter&Gamble in company’s Business Intelligence Center of Excellence in Warsaw, Poland, which later was outsourced to Hewlett-Packard. We used several different technologies there. I started with Oracle and Cognos BI products. Four years later our center started new SAP BW team in Warsaw location. SAP technology was something totally new for our location. I really wanted to get to know this product as well.

When I joined the BW team, I got hooked: by technology and by broader SAP community. I joined SCN in July 2004. It was cool – I hadn’t had such a community experience with neither Cognos nor Oracle. The variety of projects I’ve been involved and constant SAP technology evolution (BW, then BI 7 with Enterprise Portal integration, then BW Accelerator, then BusinessObjects integration, and then SAP HANA) never made me bored, and so I am still around. Or better to say I am now “in”, as I joined SAP last year after 10 years with HP Consulting.

2. How did you get introduced to HANA?

It’s difficult to define any specific point in time.

On one hand, HANA was a natural continuation of work I had been doing with BW Accelerator (since 2006) and with BW integration with HP NeoView MPP database (since 2008). One week after Vishal met with his HP counterpart to discuss partnership around new SAP in-memory database, I was called to join internal HP team to develop expertise and services for this new product.

On the other hand, HANA was not … “HANA” in 2010, as it was called SAP “BAE” (Business Analytics Engine). Then, it was called “ICE”, “IMCE”, “IMDB”… So, my introduction to “HANA” happened at the same time like everyone else – when marketing approved HANA as the final official name of the product 😉

3. What is the feature in Hana that you like the most? And what is the next feature that you would like to see?

Coming from BW background with tools like SAPGUI and BEx Web Application Designer the HANA Studio was something truly amazing for me!! 🙂

And – as everyone else – I am waiting for developers’ edition of SAP HANA database, which I could run locally on my laptop for off-line development purposes without the need to be connect to central SAP HANA server.

4. What do you do at SAP? How does it compare to previous job?

Since last year my new home has been Developer Experience organization in SAP. Our charter is to grow and sustain a complete developer ecosystem, in particular unleashing widespread innovation and expansion of scope and functionality of applications built on SAP platforms. Even if this statement smell corporately, the work is really exciting. Our team is behind such great things as SAP Developer Center (http://developers.sap.com), free developer licenses for SAP platforms like HANA, or great InnoJam events (http://www.sapinnojam.com). I am wearing few different hats in our team: SAP HANA developer evangelist and manager for developer outreach in Central and Eastern Europe are among them.

Before joining SAP I had been technology consultant for 13 years. After so many years in the profession it was really difficult for me to imagine doing anything else. But at the same time I wanted to spend more time at home with my kids, who are 3 and 5 now. Joining SAP and the team led by Anne Hardy gave me the blessing of both: greater travel flexibility while still being at the cutting edge of technology development.

5. What is your vision for HDE program and how do you fit into that story?

I like and fully support the current vision of HDE program as an effort to find and recognize those HANA wizards, who do an excellent job to go an extra mile in sharing their knowledge with broader community. The moment I stop fitting into this role model, please let me know. I’ll take this as a man 😉

6. Who do you attribute your success to?

“Success” as measured by what? If we are talking about the success measured by the feeling of professional fulfillment, then indeed I do what I like and I like what I do. But I worked hard to get to it. As my day still had 24 hours (like anyone else’s) it was not without some personal sacrifices from my side, and – unfortunately – from my family side as well.

I was lucky as well to meet on my way lots of people offering me their help and support, including most of my line managers through my whole professional career.

7. Do you have any heroes in life? What is it that you would like to do like them, if anything?

And actually the whole craziness about “heroes” and “leaders” in the modern society is the concept, which is far from me. Having said that it is not that I am not admiring some people with exceptional talents, and that there were no people influencing my life. And the person who influenced me the most was my older sister Nelya. I still admire her for being a small entrepreneur and for her work in NGOs in very uneasy economic and social environment in Ukraine nowadays.

8. You have decreased the frequency of your blogs. Any reason ? Will we see more excellent content from you going forward?

Blogs were my way to share the knowledge with broader – but mostly anonymous – community in my previous job of the consultant. In my current job I am not less active, but I am active in much more “high touch” way. I have many more face-to-face meetings and discussions with people interested in SAP HANA and other SAP development technologies: students, startups, individual developers (including those not aware of SAP), existing and prospect customers and partners of ours. And as I mentioned earlier the day still has 24 hours 😉

The second reason, which makes me extremely happy by the way, is the number of high quality blogs around: starting from those written by fellow HANA Distinguished Engineers  to those published by other professionals like Thomas Zurek (http://tfxz.wordpress.com/), or community blogrolls like http://www.saphana.com/community/blogs/content/ at Experience SAP HANA or http://scn.sap.com/community/developer-center/hana/blog as SAP HANA Developer Center.

And to answer the second question – at the time of answering your questions I am on the train right now going to the Mobile Mobile Conference. I was invited there as … a blogger. Why mobile? Because I think it is one of the major technology developments dictating the need for real time data management offered by SAP HANA database. Update: I just published “Great Great experience at Mobile Mobile conference in Cracow” (http://bit.ly/MMConf13).

9. What is your mentoring advice to aspiring HANA professionals?

Good question. It made me think what I would advise myself assuming the other me is just entering the big world of SAP HANA technology 🙂 I think two things: “stay focused” and “keep your mind open”. Pick the area of broad SAP HANA functionalities and keep mastering it, be this data modeling for analytics, apps development with XS Engine, security management or DBA operations. But while mastering your chosen area, keep your mind open for understanding how the part fits into the whole.

And second thing: don’t do this alone. There are so many opportunities to join constantly growing community of SAP HANA professionals. And ultimately join the group of HDEs 😉

10. Any parting comments, people to thank etc?

Vijay, thank you for this conversation.

And for everyone else: “Join HDEs and Carry on”! 😉

Thanks Vitaliy – Welcome to the HDE Gang, and Carry On !

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