Helping a friend to wake up from a 9 years coma
Just over 3 years ago, Graham Robinson wrote one of the best (my opinion) and most read (my guess) blog posts in SCN : A Call to Arms for ABAP Developers . If you haven’t read it yet (shame on you) go on, I’ll wait.
WAIT UP TO 600 SECONDS. "Assuming you read slowly
Done? Have you read the comments? No? Go back there, please.
WAIT UP TO 6000 SECONDS. "lot's of comments. skip the 'great blog' ones and go to the meaningful only
In case you still haven’t read even after I allowed you so much time, in this blog post Robbo talks about the inertia of many developers concerning their skill sets and urge us (I you are reading something on Career Centre I assume you do care about your career) to help these people and give them a wake up call, something like “You never heard of openSAP yet? Dude, wtf?!?!?”.
I like to think that I’ve done my part the last 3 years: be it the few times I called friends in Brasil to discuss the latest Horst Keller blog, talk about openSAP, or SCN in general. Or when I talk to people I work with and encourage them to keep learning new tools and tricks everyday, even if not the newest ones.
One of my latest achievements (if I may call it achievement) on this regard related to the past SAP Architect and Developer Summit 2015 . I attended the first one as well and I like to think that some people at my previous customer attended this year mostly thank to my persistence in advertising the event. But these are people who I know are aware of how important it is to keep up to date, know (or at leat heard of) the latest toys, are often on SCN, even writing some interesting blogs and documents so they are not really the target of the Call to Arms. I want to talk about this friend of mine, though. Here is the story:
A long time ago, in a galay far, far away When I came to Australia from Brasil in 2006 I was working in a really interesting project that required some of the latest skills: ABAP Objects, WDJ, Adobe Forms, Workflow. Cutting edge, right 😉 . Believe me, it was nearly impossible to find someone with ALL these skills back then (the only thing I can say I REALLY knew at the time was WF. I was just starting with ABAP OO. I learnt the others either on the project or later on).
I then interviewed this guy, also from Brasil, with similar skill set and (apparently) same will to learn as I did. For some reasons he didn’t join the project, but still came to Australia (another company, another customer etc.). We never worked together, but became friends, but as he lives in Sydney and I in the best City of the World, we don’t talk much.
Fast forward to 2015: I’ve worked with a handful of SAP Mentors and other brilliant people which are definitely Mentor material. Learnt a bit from each of them. Tried to teach a thing or two as well. I’ve done most of openSAP courses (development focused mainly), attended a few SITs, one TechEd, one Dev Summit. Always see the familiar faces on such events, but always try to meet new ones as well. Then, on the last day of the early bird registration, I chat with this guy:
– Hey, are you going to the Devs Summit?
– The what?!?!
– Developers and Architects Summit, an SAP event held in Sydney focused on Developers and Architects (really??!?! 😀 ). Lot’s of great people come to show the latest in SAP tech, ie HCP, Fiori, etc.
– Never heard of any of it.
– Dude, wtf?!?!?!
We discussed a bit more and in few minutes he was convinced. Only thing he was kind of afraid was, he only had heard of things like HANA, UI5 and Fiori, never touched or even seen any of these. Not even FPM or POWL he knew or heard about. He was still in 2006. And he was afraid that for this reason he would not keep up with the lecturers or workshops.
Long story short, I explained that most of the workshop were basic (some would say too basic, but this is another story), fed him with lots of material to read/watch. He read/watched some of it, attended he Summit, learnt a few new things, met new people (I told him I knew about 50 of the ~370 attendees, either from work, events or virtually – SCN, Twitter. He knew only me), learnt some more. In the end he was thankful that I grabbed him to the event, and I was happy for helping a friend. The End.
No, not really. For him, it’s just the beginning. He needs to keep up and not only appear in another event 5-10 years from today. He needs to continue learning. He needs to stay (or become again) relevant. Hopefully, next year, he will bring someone new to the Summit. Or SIT. Or TechEd.
For me… is also just the beginning. I need to do all these things I just told he needs to do. And I need (I WANT) to help others the same way I’ve been doing and I did with this friend.
The Call to Arms lives. Do your part. Do the needful.