If you’re a programmer in an SAP environment and you like your job, attending SAP TechEd && d-code should be a no-brainer. Sure, to keep up-to-date with your current field of expertise you can follow a course or 2. But the more senior you get, the more you should know about the areas surrounding your current field of expertise. In your day-to-day job you will often gain functional- and process knowledge which is invaluable and will give you added value at many customers. But knowledge of paradigms, tricks and features of other programming languages will make you a better skilled programmer which in my opinion is equally valuable if not more valuable to your customers. If you’re moving towards a more broader role (like e.g. an application architect, presales consultant, etc.) attending SAP TechEd && d-code will give you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the various roadmaps thus providing you with the necessary baggage to rightfully advice your prospects and clients.
There simply is no better place to go to get up-to-speed and familiarize yourself with the latest technologies in SAP-land than at SAP TechEd && d-code. And gaining knowledge is only one of the aspects that will benefit you (and subsequently your company). The opportunity to connect with your peers and expand your network is incredibly valuable. Gain insights from product experts, learn from customer stories and discuss matters with fellow developers.
The thing I’m really looking forward to the most at SAP TechEd && d-code in Berlin is the SAP InnoJam
This year for the 4th consecutive time I will be participating in the SAP InnoJam, preceding SAP TechEd. In every year I have chosen to be in a team with as less familiar people as possible. This way I forced myself into getting to know more and more people. From my experience I can say that the most diverse teams often are the most successful ones. Diverse in their skill set and diverse in their personalities. I’ve said it before – like many other people – but I’ll say it again: no, you don’t need to be a developer to enjoy participating in SAP InnoJam. Students, functional consultants, project managers, business consultants, every participant that I spoke to agreed that there’s something valuable in it for everyone. It’s great fun to see how a solution is developed through analyzing a problem using Design Thinking, making use of the latest technologies available. Yes, it means you’re 2 extra days away from home, but the experience of participating is IMO definitely worth it. In the picture on the left Carolin Kuhmann and myself were pitching our solution that helps very busy people monitoring their health status with minimal input. Based on heart-rate and blood pressure you can determine whether a person is stressed and this person could subsequently be advised to take it down a notch. In the end we were able to show a working solution based on a heart-rate sensor connected to a BlackBerry device that sends data to a HANA database where the results were analysed. The user got a Fiori dashboard where the current heart-rate was reflected on a Fiori tile. We didn’t win (apart from the stamina award for making the most nightly hours as a team) but we had great fun working together.
I am also looking forward to the Executive Keynote by Bernd Leukert
Bernd gave an inspiring speech last year about “Code Enables Freedom” and talked about how technology was instrumental in e.g. the Spring Revolution. With the exit of some big names I am interested to hear what the future direction at SAP will be. I do hope that there will be stricter time-management for the keynote as last years keynote dragged on for too long resulting in a half empty room in the end.
My plan for SAP TechEd && d-code Berlin
As an SAP Mentor we’re blessed with opportunities to speak and discuss with SAP’s executives on the various focus areas. Since that agenda is not known at the time of writing I do not know exactly what my agenda will look like. I do know that I do not want to miss the following sessions. For me the most interesting sessions are hands down the hands-on workshops. Fiori has my fullest attention because I think it will help make the users of SAP software really happy. Contributing to that is what consulting for me is all about.
DEV265 – Building an End-to-End App from SAP HANA via ABAP to SAP Fiori (4-hour hands-on workshop)
The title has all the hot buzzwords so duh! 🙂 Seriously though: HANA brought quite some changes to the ABAP language and seeing what steps need to be taken from the backend to the frontend helps me to better understand the efforts and skills needed to build a good solution for users. I don’t expect it to go into detail very much but that is alright. There are other sessions for that.
DEV360 – Advanced OData Service Development with SAP Gateway (2-hour hands-on workshop)
I have played around with Gateway and built some services with it. In this session I hope to get more detailed knowledge about developing optimal OData services. And who best to learn it from than mr. Gateway himself: Andre Fischer.
DEV261 – Developing SAP HANA Native Applications with SAP HANA Cloud Platform (4-hour hands-on workshop)
To be honest the SAP HANA Cloud Platform is quite an unknown area for me. I do think we will see a lot more from it and that’s why I want to get up to speed on its capabilities. And at the same time refresh my HANA skills. It’s quite something that two community heroes (Thomas Jung and Rui Nogueira) from separate backgrounds come together and deliver a session. That and the fact that sessions from Thomas are always of the highest possible quality makes it a not-to-be-missed session.
Advice for first timers
1. First make an agenda of the sessions you’d like to attend. Some time before the start of the event the PDF’s will become available, giving you the opportunity to take in the material and come to the sessions fully prepared. If you have overlapping sessions this can also help you in attending.
2. Don’t shy away from the Expert Networking sessions. They provide excellent opportunities to hear the thoughts of experts and voice your own thoughts. You’ll go home with new insights and a bigger network.
3. Write a blog like this and enter it in Win Big with the SAP TechEd && d-code 2014 Hands-On Workshop Challenge 🙂
4. Have fun!