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I recently took the oppurtunity to travel to SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany to take part in an InnoJam. Myself and six of my colleagues from the CoOperative Learning Interns programme travelled out together with high hopes on winning and sure enough, one of did. The event had been organised by the SAP University Alliance team who did a fantastic of filling a 32 hour window full of coding activities.

The day began at an early 8am where we were given a short introduction and details of the 32 hours that lay ahead of us. We were split into teams of three and four. The teams were chosen in a way so that each team had people with different backgrounds of experience such as computer science, business information systems and business. We started with an introduction to the whole design thinking process. What it is, how it works and why it is used. This was my first time being exposed to this type of thinking. I found it very interesting as I knew that it existed and wanted to see what it was like.

The challenge that we were all given was to build an app that helped people at SAP be more productive. So first of all my team and I wrote down a list of questions that we were going to ask employees around SAP. We wanted to find out from the employees what they thought would help them the most. This was the crucial task of finding out the needs of the end user. After conducting our interviews we set about choosing an idea for our app and making a prototype on paper. Our app was called SAP On Time. The idea of the app was to allow users to notify their colleagues that they were going to be late for a meeting. They could also schedule, reschedule and cancel a meeting. After making our first paper prototype we sent out again around SAP asking the employees what they thought abut the app, were there any improvements to be made and would they use it. We then repeated this process to get the final version of the app that we would code.

The coding of the app was the hardest part. The app was built using SAP UI5 libraries which I had never used before. Nor did anyone else. So the coding of the app got off to a slow start however with the help that we got from the mentors we managed to get started. After a long night of coding and no sleep, we eventually managed to get our app up and running. Some features did not meet our expectations however we were still delighted that we actually built an app.

I found the InnoJam to be a great overall experience. It gave me a great insight into the size of the company and the great things that I can achieve while working here. I wish to return to Walldorf again in the future to achieve bigger things.

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