Blog It Forward – Markus Theilen
This photo shows my SAP Mentor’s Mentors, Thorsten Franz on the left and Tobias Trapp on the right with me in the middle after hardly earning this year’s SAP Mentor t-shirt by singing a famous German lullaby in front of all other Mentors. Quite an experience. 😆
As you might already guess by my name, I was born in Germany in the nice little town Oldenburg (http://www.oldenburg.de/sprachversionen/gb.html) up in the north, near Bremen. I am today 41 years old, married and proud father of one little daughter.
A view from my new home at one of the rare sunny days.
Two funny facts about Oldenburg:
- There is computer museum in town: Oldenburger Computer-Museum e.V. (sorry, web site is only available in German at the moment). What makes it different from other museums is that you can actually play with the old arcade machines and home computers. It is like a time travel for me sometimes.
- Oldenburg has only about 158,000 inhabitants, but it is said that there are over 250,000 bicycles.
I studied Computer Science at the local Carl-von-Ossietzky university (http://www.uni-oldenburg.de/en/) and started my working career at a local consulting company as a developer. This was also the time of my very first contact with SAP. Since then I went deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole….no, this is a different story. Not even mine…:-)
Since many years I am working in the german SAP user group DSAG (http://dsag.de) as co-speaker of the working group “Development”. There, we talk with SAP and customers and partners that do development based on any SAP technology where this is possible. Last year, we created a nice little best practice guide for ABAP development that is also available in English: https://www.dsag.de/fileadmin/media/Leitfaeden/Leitfaden_Best_Practice_Guide_eng/
I have two fields of special expertise that I really like to talk about: ABAP development, especially code analysis, and Scrum transitions. In the future, I would like to have a deeper look into HTML5 development and gamification.
Since October 2014 I was nominated to be a SAP Mentor. This is really a very great honor for me and at TechEd 2014 in Berlin I had the chance to meet and talk with so many great SAP Mentors in real life like never before. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, as it feels like being part of a very great and competent community of enthusiasts which is incredible!
When not in work mode, I like to collect (especially from Starfield, a long-gone company that managed to build great guitars and not earn enough money with them) and play guitar and record some stuff for my personal entertainment (if you like to hear some: https://soundcloud.com/therealtier). But I miss playing in a real band, so I am searching for one.
If I can beat my inner swine dog, I would really like to play football again, perhaps even act as a trainer for a youth team.
Some of my guitars hanging around.
And now to the questions part of this blog:
First of all, Jitendra asked these questions:
1) What makes you smile/laugh?
I really like to see people making jokes about themselves. Being able to joke about yourself is a good sign of greatness IMHO.
2) Had you not been into software at all, where would you have been?
Playing football professionally or rocking the world with my band.
3) What is the craziest thing you would have done in your life? 🙂
Skydiving. If I only dare to do this….
Here are some more questions with my answers:
· If you were 20 again, what would you study?
Music. Computer Science is great for me, but music is by far the greatest source of pleasure and joy for me.
· Which 5 things do you absolutely want to achieve in life?
- See my daughter grow and go her own way.
- Learn to fly a helicopter.
- Inspire someone to do outstanding things.
- Play a concert in front of 1,000+ people that really like what they hear.
- See the Big 5 in real life in Africa
· What do you enjoy most in your work and why?
Achieving a bigger goal, like a successful project or convincing the management to go a certain way I belief to be good.
· Share an interesting/funny story related to your product
We do not sell our “product”, so I can share a funny thing about it. A few years ago, I discovered a small piece of code that defined constants for valid years. According to this piece of code, our world will stop from working at 2020, as there are no more valid years…
· Recommend resources of information that helped you in your work
Books. I have read tons of it, so my advice is: Read as many of them as possible. There are great articles and post about every topic you search for in the World Wide Web, but this does not compare to reading a great book like “Design Patterns” (http://www.amazon.com/Design-Patterns-Elements-Reusable-Object-Oriented/dp/0201633612) or “Programming Pearls” (Programming Pearls (2nd Edition): Jon Bentley: 0785342657883: Amazon.com: Books)…I could go on for a few more hours. Take the time to read and talk about it with your friends and colleagues.
· What do you think are the key elements for a successful project?
The by far number one key element for successful projects are the right people. No matter if you work in agile or non-agile projects, being small or big, the most essential part are the people that work with you. If you can manage it that they understand your vision and goals and follow you from their own will, you can move mountains.
I would like to blog it forward to a very good friend of mine here in SCN, Christoph Menke along with these questions:
- What drives you in your profession?
- What would you like to achieve in your life?
- If you could be a computer game hero, who would you like to be?
- Is there something in your daily work that drives you crazy?
Thank you, dear reader, for your interest! Perhaps we meet sometime, somewhere.