Speak the language of the Hebrewman
Although I do not belong to SAP Israel (I work for the SAP Labs organization) the guys from the local branch ask me often to talk to Israeli customers. I guess the T&E for me going to a customer which is one hour drive from the SAP office is something which they consider affordable 🙂
I keep talking to these Israeli customers and showing them the latest stuff which we are developing around UI in SAP (Mobile Portal, SAPUI5, Fiori, Cloud Portal, NWBC are currently the most popular topics) and find a group of very intelligent and knowledgable developers at the other side of the table. I try to never ever use slides and just ‘whiteboard’ my way based on the questions asked from the audience and usually find that these guys (and gals) are on top of the latest and greatest coming from SCN. Yet – If you look at the Israeli “presence” in SCN it is very small. Israel is a company ripe with start-ups, innovation and tons of IT development and yet if you look at the Israeli SCN presence it falls short of the potential. This something which people like xMoshe Naveh (Old Acct) and Gali Kling Schneider are working hard to turn around and i’ve had many a discussion with them trying to understand the reason.
Then just last week I went to visit a customer with a really cool IT team of a customer up in Haifa. This team was really top notch – asked the hard questions, etc. Going out, I was talking to the head of the SAP Team there, reporting to the CIO. I asked him – why aren’t your guys active on SCN? You obviously know what’s going on and i’m sure you can contribute from your expertise. He explained that they actually share a lot of knowledge – but with other Israeli companies. The Haifa area is ripe with cool high-tech companies a lot of which have big SAP teams. Apparently they have frequent meetings (physical / virtual) to share their SAP issues and solutions. Sort of like an ASUG chapter. “So why aren’t you sharing this on SCN?” “because most of the people here don’t feel that their english is good enough”. Apparently – most of the developers are perfectly ok with “read-only” English – they read tons of material on SCN. But they are not confident enough to start posting and discussing in English.
I started thinking about the concept of having a “Hebrew” area of SCN for these guys and of course – not just in Hebrew. Imagine the possible growth of SCN you open a Chinese version, A spanish version, etc. I get he argument why NOT to do it (if you look at equivalent sites such as stackoverflow.com, they only have en English version) but I can’t ignore the feeling that if SCN is about inclusion as it is about knowledge (as I have been taught by the amazing Marilyn Pratt ) I think this is something which we need to think about. Maybe a small experiment?