After a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving week off work, I went back to work to talk with the December Member of the Month, Lukas Weigelt. I had to, couldn’t miss this important date!
He’s our youngest Member of the Month to date (still in his twenties, he said!) and the first one from Germany. Why did it take me so long? Right?
Lukas is a very mature developer in the sense that he looks back at his early SAP days with a fond smile and no complex. He started a newbie but learned very quickly – thanks to SCN, I have to say – and is now a respected member who engages positively with others on SCN – even if he hates social media. Well, we are glad that you make an exception for SCN Lukas, and thank you for sharing your picture with us here. Lukas didn’t have a webcam when I spoke with him so there is no video interview unfortunately.
Hallo Lukas! Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, who you work for, and other things you would like to share with the community (hobbies, fun facts)?
I live in Berlin, Germany and work in the Public Sector, more precisely for the German Federal Pension Fund. After completing my in-firm apprenticeship there, I was offered a full-time position as an Application Developer in a department that deals with financial, business and personnel management. I am still working in the same team today and we take care of certain modules of an SAP ERP system used for Human Capital Management. For the last four years I’ve been analyzing and optimizing standard business processes provided by SAP and when my company’s business needs are not met I do custom application development. This means that I primarily enhance and modify SAP standard software with ABAP, ABAP Object, and Web Dynpro ABAP.
In my free time I like to play the drums, both solo and in bands and orchestras, read some good sci-fi novels or play some good RPG based computer games that relax me as much as a good book. I like the “traditional” video games from 2000 or so, before online gaming became really popular. I focus a lot on the music – sometimes it’s even my selection criterion to pick a new game: I look up composers I like and find what new games they made music for. Some of my favorite games are Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Icewind Dale 🙂
Note from Laure: Thanks to Lukas I learned yet another thing. After learning about object-oriented programming from Amy King almost a year ago, Lukas now taught me about the ability for customers to turn on/off customizations they made to SAP standard systems when they reach out to SAP Support: you can combine all enhancements in a package and attach it to the switch framework that you then turn on and off as needed, and within 5 minutes. That way Support can look at your environment without the customizations that they are not responsible for.
There is something with your name… I don’t remember… I think you and Samuli were talking about it. Is it the same name as someone famous, or something like that?
To quote Samuli “(…) Lukas because he has the coolest name there is, at least for wine lovers like myself(…)”. He was referring to my last name that is the same as the famous “Zweigelt” wine brand created by the biologist Dr. Friedrich Zweigelt. I didn’t know about that before he told me though, since I’m not really into wine.
Note from Laure: I am not a wine connoisseur, although I love drinking wine. From what I read, it seems that the Austrian Dr Zweigelt was a friend of the Nazis in the 30’s and 40’s, but let’s chose not to discuss this topic here – we are just talking about what the name means for wine aficionados.
I know from your Blog It Forward post that you don’t like social media, you’re not active on any site such as Twitter and Facebook. But you are actively participating on SCN. Why is it different?
Although SCN has some social media characteristics since early 2012 [the migration to the Jive platform], I see it as completely different from other social media sites (at least for now…). SCN serves as a collaborative knowledge carrier or builder where you meet people who have a common interest in particular occupational topics and collaborate around these. The knowledge shared and created is then used again as a basis for problem solving. Now, try comparing this core subject matter with Twitter or Facebook: Their focus is the creation of incoherent babbling and useless self-profiling. In short: SCN has an occupational purpose that other traditional social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter don’t.
When did you become a member of SCN and what brought you to this community?
I became an SCN Member when my ‘SAP career’ started in early 2010. My manager told me about SCN back then; I joined and started asking RTFM-type questions in the forums a few months later 😉 once I absorbed the initial SAP shock. I remember that at first it was difficult to search the forums because I didn’t even know what terminology to use. So, what brought me to SCN was pretty much my need for information and to find solutions to my specific work challenges.
How do you find the time to contribute on SCN?
By making time for it. If I have time to watch TV or read a book I can just as well use that time to browse SCN 😉
When I contribute on SCN I research information and improve my expertise by 1/ Asking questions and getting help from generous members of the community 2/ Helping other members and discovering different approaches for myself by getting a new perspective. From my employer’s point of view, this might be a bold thesis, but my work results and the amount of knowledge I was able to build up in the last four years prove this thesis to be correct. Sorry if that sounds arrogant!
Note from Laure: I don’t think this is arrogant! It is important to acknowledge that SCN and the connections you make here help you in your career.
Do you only spend time in the discussion forums on SCN, or do you also read blogs or documents?
Spending time in discussions definitely predominates, because they’re simply more ‘hands-on’ and most of the time address a concrete problem solution. Don’t get me wrong, I like reading blogs and documents as well, but these content types tend to be more general. I like the level of detail that one can find in a discussion thread. Also, you have to remember that certain companies block certain sites, and my company is one of them. When I read contributions from Thomas Jung I know that I won’t be able to view his videos – I have to keep a list of things to watch when I come home in the evening!
If a new member came to you and asked for your advice on how to be an active and respected member of SCN, what would you say?
Be yourself, don’t be too shy and just jump in at the deep end. Even the big shots started as amateurs. Before starting to post though, read the Terms of Services, the Rules of Engagement and a few Blogs of a wise man called Rob Burbank, that will help you contribute quality content. When contributing, try to understand in-depth what you are talking about, don’t just recite the dogmatic preachings from the SAP help. You can’t answer a specific question with a generic answer.
Note from Laure: Also, I would like to add here that we recently revisited our rules of engagement and will continue to take a strong stance on the violation of these rules. Familiarize yourself with the mission “Be a Better Member” to access the new rules of engagement, and then vote to show your knowledge of the rules.
Is there an SCN member you admire (OK… you can name a few)?
Trying to keep it neat:
Siddharth Rajora for his incredible contributions in the HCM Employee Self Service (ESS) forums. He’s an expert. His answers are very precise and he is so active that I’m wondering if he really is only one person 😉
Otto Gold for his teaching skills and patience. His blogs and documents are very newbie-friendly.
Thomas Jung for his expertise – he is the “ABAP Guru”. When he responds to a question, he questions what is behind the requirements. Few people do that.
Tobias Trapp for his expertise as well. I remember how he helped me in the past for things such as the migration of a third party printer application for our payslip system, XML transformations, and data exchange between ABAP and XML.
Julius von dem Bussche for his expertise in Security, you always need that. Also, I like his style. He’s very funny and very straightforward.
The list would be longer if I had more time and space.
What technology recently had you most enthusiastic about? It doesn’t have to be related to SAP.
SAPUI5 intrigues me. However, at the moment my company can’t use HTML5 so this is not an option for us. I think we should continue watching how SAPUI5 and Fiori evolve, it seems more open and flexible than ABAP and Web Dynpro. If it’s true I like that, it could be promising.
Easy question: Mac/iOS or Windows? Or Android?
Windows for my PC. I set up the rest of the gadgets I own (NAS, Media Server, etc.) with Debian (Linux). I never had the urge to buy any device that costs five times what it’s worth because it has an eroded apple on it. [Note from Laure: Ugh… No comment! ;-)]
Furthermore, at the moment I’m still successfully resisting against having a smart phone. I still use one of those old indestructible Nokia mobile phones.
Are you on Twitter?
No. SCN is the only social media platform I participate in.
Note from Laure: Well, we are glad to have you then, Lukas! It’s a privilege.
Every month, a member of the SAP Community Network is recognized for exemplary behavior: sharing knowledge with peers, being helpful and taking on additional tasks to support community engagement. See the list of previous SCN Members of the Month.