On Tuesday, October 22, SAP TechED in Las Vegas kicked into high gear. There was, of course, a highly anticipated keynote by Vishal Sikka. While I did not get to see the whole session, it’s available for your viewing pleasure here. What impressed me most? Those high school kids who built a warehouse management tool using Lego, a Droid tablet, and of course, HANA.
It amazes me how young people are growing up with technologies like HANA right at their fingertips, when all I had to play with as a kid was sticks and dirt.
I had an ‘expert’ networking session at 10:00 AM – immediately following the keynote, so you could say Vishal was my opening act 😉 – so I headed for the show floor to get acquainted with the layout, locate my lounge, and get my props out. I was pleased to see quite a few people, about 20 or so, show up. The show floor then got very busy, so I had to use the microphone, but after my allotted 30 minutes was up, we simply migrated over to the community clubhouse area to continue our discussions. There was one guy texting a co-worker who was in a hands-on session; she was passing him questions for me. Another gentleman, Loren Bratzler turned out to be one of my most-engaged attendees. He was super enthusiastic about learning even more about SAP Workflow, and we tried to debug a few issues together. Gosh, I hope it’s OK to post his badge photo here.
I stayed in ‘expert networking’ mode for a while, and then the SAPMentors got a special treat – we were invited to a session with Vishal. He held up pretty well under our questioning.
Then back to the Community Lounge I went, fielding texts from my 13YO all the while. He was not being a happy camper back home. But while I was relaxed on a beanbag chair, who should come by, and allow me to take her photo to cheer him up, but Kelly Weaver of SAP-Press. She is going to be my inspiration (and that of many others, I am sure) in the coming months as we work to update the book ‘Practical Workflow for SAP’. This update will be quite challenging, and Kelly is in charge of cat-herding, so if you see her, wish her luck. She’s gonna need it.
Readers of Practical Workflow will be pleased to know there will be encore performances by Jocelyn Dart. Alan Rickayzen, and some other luminaries in the WWW (Wonderful World of Workflow). As with the current edition, all proceeds will go to benefit Doctors Without Borders. If you prefer not to wait for the book, you can always show your community pride by donating here.
Following some clubhouse time, the evening was looming large… There was the networking reception on the show floor, and then demojam.
Demojam, if you are new to this whole geeky thing, is where 6 (or so) teams submit applications to demo their home-made apps. They each have only 6 minutes to complete the demo. Sacrifices to the demo gods are routinely made. Powerpoint displays are roundly booed.
It was great time, with a little opportunity to thank some community members first.
Chip Rodgers and Maggie Fox kicked it off by inviting these members on stage. I am honored to be among those who were invited. We also found out that Mark Finnern was voted ‘The Real Founder of SDN’! Surprise! Anyone who watched that video was scared into voting for him 😉
Then the fun started. I am not going to prejudice anyone by revealing my favorite pick, but the HANAdeck group did a great job. I invite you to check it out here.
Afterwards it seemed hard to let all the fun and merriment disappear, so Jocelyn Dart and I posed for a ‘Women of Workflow’ photo.
I have my usual ‘serious as all get out’ professional face on, as you can see.
I think people can learn a lot from Demojam. You don’t necessarily have to be a supergeek like Greg Myers or John Astill (although I am sure it helps) – but having a fun idea and using technology to solve it – what’s not to like???
I hope you’ve been enjoying these little trips down memory lane – or walking TechEd with me. More to come!