Florian Pfeffer is our SCN Member of the Month for March, 2016! Florian is a HANA Distinguished Engineer and principal IT consultant at an international technology consulting group based in Germany, where he evaluates new technology and architects solutions built on HANA. He is super smart, hard-working, and building the bridge outside our virtual community by attending events like SAP Inside Track, and his very first SAP TechEd in Las Vegas last year.
I enjoyed our talk and the perspective Florian shared regarding contributing on SCN and what he gets out of going to SAP events. Some highlights:
- Florian enjoys asnwering questions (especially the hard ones) and blogging on SCN as way to enrich his own knowledge and improve himself
- Helping members on SCN solve real problems is fulfilling and motivating
- SAP Inside Tracks are a very good platform to transfer information about SAP technology in a relaxed atmosphere – and other fun things like how to make the best cup of coffee in the world
- Regarding the future, he recommends SAP continue to communicate clearly the strategy, promote the use cases, and support the developer community with the newest information
Tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, what kind of work you do, and other things you would like to share with the community (hobbies, fun facts)?
I live in a little village in Bavaria which is ~35 miles away from Passau where I mainly work. Fifteen years ago I started my career as a classic ABAP Developer. Over the time I worked in several projects as the technical lead. Some years ago, I switched into the role of an architect. Currently I am assigned to the architecture department of my companies’ business unit for custom development. Parts of my daily work are to evaluate new technologies and to push the usage of it in our projects. I also support different projects in technical questions, mainly regarding HANA and UI5/Fiori at the moment.
In my spare time I also like to spend time to try out new technical stuff and read books. I would say that I have no clear separation of work and life. If I find the time (and my friends too) I love to go rafting in Austria.
When did you become a member of SCN and which areas are you most active in?
I think I joined the SCN community in 2008, but more in a consuming way. In the last years I get more and more active especially in the HANA Developer Center space. But I am also active – maybe not so frequent – in the UI5 and HANA Cloud Platform Developer space. In general I am interested in the most of the “new” technology options SAP provides with the different platforms.
What motivates you to keep coming back to SCN and help members get answers to their questions?
Well, there are several reasons. The most important reason I think is that I also learn from the questions. Of course there are questions which can be answered without investigating too much time in it, because the solution is obviously clear. But I like especially the questions to topics which are unknown to me or in which I have not so much experience. That encourages me to have a look into that specific topics to enrich my knowledge about them.
You’ve been an SCN Member for a while, but I noticed a big uptick in your contributions early last year. What motivated you to take it to the next level?
My motivation is to improve myself by exploring the areas to which a question belongs or when I prepare for a blog post. For instance, if I blog I want to create something which adds some value in addition to the sources already available. I do not want to create content in a form like I have seen it several times in the past. Examples for that are blogs which rephrase more or less the available online help; or blog posts which are just a collection of slide screenshots with no additional information. In both cases I would say, either just link the available sources at a place where they are recognized or let it be.
Regarding the questions, I think it is always good if you can help someone who has a “real” problem or just did not see the reason for an obvious error.
In addition to being active in the community, I see you’ve participated in your fair share of SAP Inside Track events? For those who maybe haven’t attended one in their area, can you explain what the value is?
SAP Inside Tracks are a very good platform to transfer information in a relaxed atmosphere. There are good talks from community members and SAP employees. I always found it interesting when some new features were presented on the Lab systems, to get an outlook on that what next comes.
There are not only “SAP only” related lectures, but also for other interesting topics. Sometimes also funny presentations are done which covers no technical topic. I remember a very diverting talk about how you make the best coffee in the world (with live demo :)).
You’ve been recognized as a HANA distinguished engineer. What doors has that opened up for you?
Indeed the HDE program has opened up some doors for me. The most important one is to have the chance to talk with the responsible SAP employees from the HANA Product Management and Development departments. On that way many useful information canbe exchanged. It is also a great benefit to get insight into the problems other HDEs had in their projects and how they are solved them. Last but not least it has to be mentioned that the HDE program made it possible for me to attend TechEd Las Vegas last year.
It is a good place here to say “thank you” to Saiprashanth Venumbaka “Reddy” who is the organization head of the HDE program.
What are you hearing from customers about HANA? In your opinion, what’s the most important thing SAP needs to do to keep customers enthusiastic about its products in the future?
I would say, there are two types of customers. One type of customer is that one which bought a HANA license because SAP Sales did a good job, but the customer does not really have a plan how he can benefit from the new options. The other type of customer really buys HANA because they exactly know how they can improve their business with the new features. From my point of view the first type of customer needs more support of SAP and partners to show the uses cases they can benefit from with HANA. This would really avoid disappointments on customer side, which just happens because HANA is not used for what it should be used.
SAP should go on in future like in the past: Communicate clearly the strategy, promote the use cases and support the developer community with the newest information (like it is done for instance via the HANA spaces on SCN or openSAP).
Is there an SCN member you admire (OK… you can name a few)? And for what reason?
There are so many SCN members that could be mentioned here, but I do not want to single out a person here. That would not be fair from my point of view. Let me say it in the following way: Everybody may feel concerned who makes good contributions to the community.
Are you on Twitter?
Yes, I am on Twitter (@pfefferf). Most of the time I would say I am in a read only mode. I tweet only when I attend special events like TechEd, SAP Inside Track, …, but no private stuff (that would be boring for everyone who would follow me).
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Every month, a member of the SAP Community Network is recognized for exemplary behavior: sharing knowledge with peers, being helpful and taking on additional tasks to support community engagement. See the list of previous members recognized on the SCN Member of The Month Hall of Fame.