So you know those ice breakers where meeting participants are asked to around the room and tell everyone their name and share a fun fact or two about themselves? Well I’m generally the nervous guy in the back of the room hoping that maybe, just maybe, I’ll get skipped over. It is in that spirit that I found out that I was added to the Blog-it-forward chain by the great Mr. Robin van het Hof. I’ve gotten to know Robin a bit via the SAP Mentors program and also as we’ve been collaborating on a new SAP Press book on the SAP HCP that will be coming out later this year.

When Robin added me to the list, he challenged me with three questions which I’ll attempt to answer up front before I proceed:

  1. Which superhero / movie character / other fictitious character resembles you best, personality/appearance wise, and why?
    • This is a really tough one. I suppose I might go with Will Parry from His Dark Materials trilogy as I really identified with him a lot while I read those books. In terms of appearance, my wife has always thought I resemble Cuba Gooding, Jr. (she swears we have the same nose; I always assumed it was the washboard abs).
      AuthorPhotoTrimmed.pngCelebrityMeResize.png
  2. Can you share a little known fact about yourself?
    • I met the girl of my dreams when I was 19 and we decided to get married on our second date. We were married shortly thereafter and will be celebrating (or at least I will) our 15th anniversary later this year.
  3. What is the single worst purchase you have ever done, and why?
    • Probably buying our first house. We got married when we were 21 and then shortly thereafter graduated and bought our first house. The house was great, but in hindsight we both wish we had traveled the world a bit instead of getting locked into a mortgage.

Who am I?

The details of my life are quite inconsequential…” – Dr. Evil

So who am I? Well, I suppose it depends on who you ask. To the SAP community, I’m an independent development consultant who has been growing a small consulting firm over the past 8 years or so. I’ve written 6 SAP-related books and enjoy getting my hands dirty with lots of technologies. This year, I was honored to be counted among the SAP Mentors team, and have very much enjoyed getting to be a part of that community.

Over the years, I’ve dabbled in a lot of areas of SAP. So much so that it’s usually hard for me to hang my hat in one particular area. I’m well versed in ABAP and Java, and have heavy experience in integration (e.g. ALE, SAP PI, SOA, etc.). These days, I mostly find myself working in the EHSM/MoC space developing FPM applications and interfacing with the BOPF.

Outside of SAP, I generally go by the name Dad as I’m the proud father of 4 great kids (shown below along with my lovely wife Andrea). In order of age, we have Andersen (11), Paige (8), Parker (3) and Xander (2). Parker and Xander joined our family in the summer of 2012 after we adopted them from China. So, we’re a family of 6 with a large (and rather flatulent) Great Dane and several cats.

FamilyPic2013.jpg

WoodFamily.jpg

How I Got into SAP

Like a lot of rookie programmers in the early 2000s, I had my sights set on cutting edge technology in the .com startup world. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you want to look at it), timing and the imminent .com bubble burst ended up pushing me in a different direction. And so, when PwC Consulting came along and offered me a job in their SAP Solution Delivery Center, I jumped at the chance.

Early on, I wondered if SAP was the place for me. To be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed with ABAP at first. Mind you, this was all pre-NetWeaver so much of the technology at the time was pretty archaic and a far cry from the Java/.NET world I was more accustomed to. Around that time though, I caught a break as IBM acquired PwC Consulting and the SDC I was working in. This gave me the opportunity to branch out and work on SAP integration projects using Java-based middleware tools, etc. This made for a smooth transition into the world of NetWeaver and eventually a job at SAP America. From here, I endeavored to broaden my horizons and absorb as much of the SAP world as I could. I suppose you could say I was hooked.

Fast forward some 13 years later, and everything looks so different. The current SAP landscape is so exciting to work with. From what has evolved into the core business suite to technology components such as HANA, SAP HCP, and the new wave of mobile technologies, there’s so much for a techie like me to get my hands on and tinker with. If nothing else, it sure beats cranking out cookie cutter ALV reports or creating classic Dynpro apps.

Blogging it Forward

So the people I’ve decided to blog-it-forward to are:

  • Luis Felipe Lanz: I haven’t had an opportunity to meet Luis yet in person, but his reputation certainly precedes him. As a fellow member of my SAP Mentors class, I hope to get to know him more in the days ahead.
  • Martin Steinberg: Martin is another member of my incoming SAP Mentors class and one heck of a developer by all accounts.
  • Jeff Thornton: I had the good fortune of meeting up with Jeff on a couple of EHSM projects we were working on together. Good developer and even better guy.

Some questions for the bloggers:

  1. How did you get into SAP?
  2. What do you like to do for fun?
  3. Who/what inspires you the most?

Administrivia

Please follow the Blog It Forward chain in order to be updated when the people you blog it forward to post the links to their “Blog It Forward” blogs.

Read Moshe’s blog again to make sure you follow the rules in your own blog:

  • Provide an introduction to yourself
  • Provide a fun fact about your country or yourself
  • Add a cool picture of yourself or your homeland/town
  • Answer specific questions that were “Blog It Forward” to you
  • Answer 3-4 optional questions from the bank of questions provided below. Or choose to answer questions you make-up on your own.
  • Create 1-2 personalized  questions you would like to blog forward
  • List at least 2  people who you are blogging it forward to. Share why you choose them. Link to their SCN profile by typing @  and then their name (e.g @HisName).
  • Ask the community to follow the Blog It Forward Chain in order to be updated when the people you “Blog It Forward” to post the links to their “Blog It Forward” blogs.
To report this post you need to login first.

15 Comments

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. Susan Keohan

    Hey James,

    It’s good to meet you through the #BIF and glad that Robin van het Hof tagged you in it. 

    Beautiful family, and a career in SAP – things are going well.

    Perhaps we can learn more about this fancy – what is it? – HCP stuff from you!

    Cheers,
    Sue

    (0) 
  2. Robin van het Hof

    Hi James,

    Awesome BIF, and great to know about you and your wonderful family!

    Also great choice of people you’ve blogged forward to, looking forward to those too πŸ˜‰

    Looking forward to meet in Vegas!

    (0) 
    1. James Wood Post author

      Thanks. As far as the decision process went, it was pretty random. We were open to any nationalities and the agency we were working with happened to show us a picture of Parker and we simply felt that he was ours. Shortly thereafter, they asked if we would be interested in adopting a second child and so eventually we found Xander in a nearby town.

      (0) 
  3. Gali Kling Schneider

    What a wonderfully well written BIF! Thank you James for taking a step out of your comfort zone in the back of the room and speaking up. It was wonderful to learn a bit about your history and beautiful family. I would have wanted to see a picture of the great dane too. I’m sure your house is a very active one πŸ˜†

    Love the gum ball machine in the party picture too πŸ˜‰

    (0) 
  4. Pedro Freitas

    Hi James…I just joined the BIF challenge and decided to check out some that are already out there. It is awesome that you have 4 kids! And even more awesome that you adopted 2 of them from a different country! That is really great, I have to say it.

    Cuba Gooding Jr. made me think of Jerry Maguire…it’s one of my favorite movies…”show me the moneeeey”!!! If you’ve seen it you’ll remember!

    Since you said you’d rather have travelled the world a bit…check out my Blog It Forward – Pedro Freitas it has some cool stuff on Brazil πŸ™‚

    (0) 

Leave a Reply