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So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

It is said that enduring happiness is not in serving ones own needs but in serving others with compassion. It is in helping bring a positive change that is most rewarding. Take the example of those in the profession of healthcare. I believe that doctors have the best opportunity to experience what it is to be professionally content and rewarded. The tears of joy, of patients in distress who have received a remedy from their treacherous medical conditions – The Doctor becomes the Godhead. I cant fathom that in the profession that I am in. But well, not everyone is a doctor. The world does needs others such as me, say an engineer.

A fresh graduate who had somehow managed to make it through 4 years of Software Engineering, I had not heard SAP mentioned even once. On Day One of my first real job, being trained on ABAP and tasked to write a report was like asking a baby to spell ‘Czechoslovakia’. But during the early days of my career, I was lucky to have had some very supportive seniors who helped me traverse this new ocean that was SAP.

Soon enough I found myself surrounded by discussions on Netweaver (new kid on the block then) and how things were changing. Within a year, I got the opportunity to work on XI 3.0. It was a time where there were a handful of customers implementing SAP XI and consultants with this skill was rare. It was imperative that one needed a good amount of help in delivering on time. That is when I had stumbled upon SDN (SAP Developer Network – Yeah that was it was called before it became SCN). I found myself posting questions and waiting for answers. Since it was a new technology, the replies came in late. But most times, it was worth the wait. Soon I found myself answering questions. And then one day I started blogging!

Its 10 years (Member from Sep 30, 2004) since I first logged onto this wonderful platform that has taken me through one of the best professional journeys I have had. In 2009, I was awarded the Mentor status by the community and in that process for the last 5 years SAP has rewarded and taken care of the SAP Mentors. Kudos to some of the champions of this cause (Mark Finnern, Marilyn Pratt, Craig Cmehil – To name a few) and may I say that this amazing platform and its ever growing membership is a testimonial to what collaboration can achieve.

In life, we go through various roles, both personally and professionally. A lot has changed and will keep changing. Over the last couple of years, in the added responsibilities demanded out of me, I realized that I was finding it difficult to spend time on SCN. Even though 5 days at work was keeping me busy, I used to browse through the various content areas (Process Integration (PI) & SOA Middleware, SAP Gateway , SAP Process Orchestration, SAP for Mobile, B2B Integration with SAP Process Orchestration and SAP APIs and API Management being personal favorites) to keep me updated about what was happening in this brave new world. Old habits die hard! From being one of the most active members of this platform, I slowly became a casual browser.

One of the Mentor group emails from Mark Finnern got me thinking. It was about the Mentor Magic. I realized that I wasn’t doing enough to keep that magic alive. So I had to do what I had to do. I put in a request to go Mentor Alumni.

So what does this mean? It means that while busy with the demands of ones career, I will continue to be logged in to this community. Over the years I have seen so many new members, extremely resourceful and very innovative who have been putting up great content. It is my time to learn again. SAP themselves have brought in so much of technological innovation and there is a lot of reading I need to catch up on. The day your stop learning, you become obsolete.


( I will miss the lemon though 🙁 )

This is not a goodbye but a note of thanks for all these wonderful years on SDN/SCN. To every one who takes time out of their busy schedules to put out content, answer questions in forums, create collaborative documents – to those who are here, not for the reward but for the bliss of being helpful, you are a star!

PS: ‘So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish’ is the fourth book of the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ trilogy written by Douglas Adams. Its title is the message left by the dolphins when they departed Planet Earth just before it was demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, as described in the book.

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