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For weeks I am trying to put things on ‘paper’ but the words are just not coming. I have a lot of thoughts in my head that want OUT but I have not even touched a pen, notepad, Evernote, etc. Now is the time to end this procrastination!

2013-05-13 16.05.17

Why do I even want to write?

I feel like I owe it to the SAP community which has kindly given me so much over the past years without asking anything in return. In all honesty I can say that I think I have knowledge in particular areas that are worth sharing with an audience other than my company and the occasional SAP Inside Track. So therefore I am pushing myself into writing this all down. Problem is that I get distracted a lot (insert funny joke that distracts me at this instance) and this lack of ability to focus is driving me crazy at times and makes me want to pull out my hairs (as you can see I have this issue for quite some time now). If people have tips to overcome that: please share!!

Another reason why I want to write is that I want to be able to write. It’s a bit out of my comfort zone but it’s definitely a skill I’d like to learn. I’m also hoping for good feedback which could increase the quality of my blogs and/or be inspirational for future blog posts.

In any case if my blogs are helpful to 1 or more persons than this mission is already succeeded 🙂

So what are the topics that I would like to be writing about?

Last year I have been busy with product development. We created a solution to mobilize the SAP CRM Webclient. The process of how it got to the point where it is actually live at a customer is very interesting and I think it could help a lot of people in doing that same thing (I fear for some puppy’s life if I call it innovation so let’s call it product development).

Another thing I have been working on was a mobility project in Oslo, Norway where we implemented the Sybase Unwired Platform 2.2, Retail Execution 3.0  app for Android and a custom app that we built 2 years ago for time writing. This project comes with some good lessons learned which could also aid others. I will speak about this on the SAP Inside Track in Hamburg on June 1st and a blog post will probably follow after that.

Another topic that is close to me is ABAP development and the present and future of it. This week SAP NetWeaver 7.4 was made Generally Available (GA) and it comes with tons of cool stuff for ABAP developers like better integration with SAP HANA and some other language improvements that I need to check out myself as well. Also the ABAP Development Tools (aka ABAP in Eclipse) are more matured which is also very exciting (including WDA abilities).

When I play around with new ABAP features I noticed that some ABAP developers had a hard time grasping these changes. Even worse: a lot of them are still weary of ABAP Objects. I used to have a strong opinion about these people (something like: if you are too ignorant to adopt object orientation in ABAP then you’re useless to your employer/client) but it is more complicated than that and I don’t want to look down upon these people who are my peers (or any people really). Instead I’d rather find ways to help them. Deep down they do know that they’re lagging behind and no one wants to be a laggard. Whether they actually want my help or not is up to them. All I can do is offer it and they can use it to their advantage or discard it. My first step in that was a presentation at the SAP Inside Track in The Netherlands (slides here), The Netherlands last year. Not quite the target audience as these people gave up a free Saturday to spend a (great) day of sharing SAP knowledge but it was a first step and the nice discussion we had afterwards proved that the subject was a good one. There are some plans brewing on how to move forward with this so hopefully you will see some results of it anytime soon.

Apart from all that I would love to dive deeper into HANA and share my knowledge around that. And since I am one of the new SAP Mentors I am also excited what doors the SAP Mentor program might open. In any case I am looking forward to collaborating on fun stuff and hopefully you will see a lot more of me this year.

If you have read this post then please let me know by means of a (brief) comment. If you see me at an event, please don’t be a stranger and do say hello. As much as I like social media there is nothing like meeting people you interact with in real life.

See you soon!

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17 Comments

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  1. Susan Keohan

    Hi Roel,

    Well, you got your ‘writing thing on’ very well! 

    It is hard at first, but your statement as the purpose?  Pure Gold.

    In any case if my blogs are helpful to 1 or more persons than this mission is already succeeded 🙂

    Sue

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  2. Nigel James

    Well don’t loose any hair over it!

    Great first start and I look forward to reading what you write on these topics and more in the weeks and months ahead.

    Cheers,

    Nigel

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  3. H. Senden

    HI Roel,

    i’ve enjoyed reading your first blog. If this is only your first blog, what is the quality of the following posts then ? 😉

    Congrats with your mentorship.

    regards,
    Hans

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  4. Jan Laros

    Roel,

    Writing is definitely fun, but I know it can be very frustrating if that keyboard is angrily staring at you while you can’t get a letter out of it. Even if your head is filled with cool topics.

    This blog is a great start as it has a very motivating character. I like it!

    If I can help you with anything, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Maybe we can cover a topic from two angles? We’ll both write a blog about a topic we love (most likely Mobile stuff), but you’ll cover the technical expert stuff and I will write something about strategic, project management or functional experiences. We could even start a letter conversation about a topic 😉 .

    Keep it up! This stuff definitely helps people and that’s what it’s all about.

    Regards,

    Jan

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  5. Tom Van Doorslaer

    As stated already by others: “the writing thing” doesn’t seem to be an issue.

    I too often struggle to focus on something, or even find inspiration to write something.

    I use a simple technique to overcome these issues:

    – Mental maps

    Yes yes, I know, the official name is a mind-map, but when I do it, it becomes mental.

    I just start with the central topic I want to talk about, and add keywords as they pop up.

    The great thing about this is: you don’t have to concentrate at all!

    Rather the opposite. Every distraction now becomes a source of inspiration. It makes you think of something else, and somehow (if you make a proper mental map) it connects in a quirky way to what you are trying to write.

    given the layout of your mental map, it also becomes easier to visually create chapters, or paragraphs in your story. The entire process of creating it, with all distractions along, make up for a nice story, well structured and full of anecdotes.

    Most of my blogs are written that way.

    Remember the cookie article?

    That’s about as mental as it gets. I started out with a mind map, but got so bored that I started doodling around the mindmap, which eventually lead to this result.

    (maybe I should blog about the process of blogging?)

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    1. Roel van den Berge Post author

      I envy you for the (perceived) ease with which you write your stuff!

      Mind maps are very interesting indeed! I am familiar with the technique yet I’ve never really used it. Worth giving a shot so thanks for this!

      I had not read the cookie article before, but now I did and I love it! Great content and drawings! Very creative!

      Looking forward to your blog on the blogging process!

      Cheers, Roel

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  6. Robert Montage

    Hi Roel,

    Very entertaining and pertinent blog!

    I’m one of those dinosaurs that you talk of – who have not really embraced any of the new things that SAP have come up with, over the last few years…

    Mainly because our company has no intention of using them – but maybe it’s a case of the chicken and the egg. How can they want something when they don’t know that it exists?

    Blogs like yours will, hopefully, help plug in the gaps of my understanding and make me a better guide for others.

    Real shame I can’t attend any of your SAP Inside Track presentations – sounds like I’m missing out on some real nuggets of wisdom there.

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  7. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Roel, thank you, welcome and congratulations on the “mentorship” (I like this word!).

    An edgy headline is 90% of the blog and you nailed it. The other 10% would be the actual funny joke. Oh well… There is always next time. 🙂

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  8. Stephen Johannes

    I hate the dreaded writer’s block and I found the only way to overcome it is to start with an outline and continue hacking things out until you get to the desired length.  However as a result of book writing I have the opposite issue for blogging, which is making all my blogs “super-polished”.   This has caused me to end up with a graveyard of drafts that never make it anywhere. If that doesn’t work then triple expresso lattes should do the trick or at least that’s what I did during crunch time.

    I would agree the only way to overcome these problems is to just write.  I need to blog more myself, but I have a presentation that I need to finish first.  I’m going to admit all that time I thought I would gain after writing went away again in other directions. 

    Take care,

    Stephen

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  9. Tom Cenens

    Hi Roel

    Congratz on becoming a SAP Mentor!

    For me, a blog post should read fluently. You’ve done well in my opinion. I personally love to write. Sometimes I can whip something up really quickly and the words seem to flow out of my keyboard with ease. Other times I have more difficulty to mold my thoughts in writings.

    You can find some good tips online and putting time & effort into a blog post pays off as well. There is a lot you can around formatting as well to give it an edge. A recent blog posts on empathy is a nice example:

    http://scn.sap.com/community/design-thinking/blog/2013/05/13/demystifying-empathy

    I’m not saying every blog post should look like that but things like formatting / pictures can add an edge (just a tip).

    Best regards

    Tom

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    1. Roel van den Berge Post author

      Thanks Tom!

      That blog is high on my reading list. Blogs that long should indeed include pictures as it supports the content and makes sure that readers don’t leave the post at the sight of the amount of words alone.

      Thanks for the tip!

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  10. Marilyn Pratt

    Super post.  I’m on my way to my library after work to take out my requested and reserved copy of “The War of Art”.  It is exactly about that victory over procrastination.  I know the struggle so well! You are inspiring me to “just write”.  Kudos!

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