Before we get to know the Member of the Month for November, I want to apologize for the delay in publication. As a general rule, the Member of the Month should be recognized on the very first day of the month, and yet here we are — with half of November already over. I’m afraid that I faced some unexpected challenges this month, hence the tardiness.
I also want to apologize for the lack of a video interview. Again, I faced unexpected challenges — in the form of scheduling and recording.
If possible, I’ll try to include the video interview later, but, for now, I didn’t want to wait any longer before recognizing November’s Member of the Month: Evgeniy Kolmakov.
Evgeniy gets the biggest apology of all. In the short span of time between launch and now, he quickly proved himself a valuable contributor in the new community — although, as noted in the following interview, his involvement in the community came long before launch.
In short, Evgeniy deserved a full month of recognition.
And here’s why…
In October, we had a Member of the Month who appeared in both SCN and the new SAP Community. For November, we have another milestone of sorts — the first Member of the Month solely for the new community. Congratulations, Evgeniy! Can you tell us a bit about where you work and what you do?
Hi, Jerry! Thank you for your congratulations! I’m very pleased and really surprised!
So, the last five years I’ve been working in V-Lazer LLC company, Vladivostok, Russia, where I’m responsible for Systems Integration within our system landscape. In other words, all data transfers between systems in our landscape come through SAP PI and my main duties are life-cycle management of working processes and development of new processes if required.
You really hit the ground running in the new community — which is why you’re receiving Member of the Month. Since we launched the new community platform, you seem to be responding to at least a question a day. Is there anything in particular that has made you want to get more active in sharing your knowledge and help other members?
I’m not sure if my activity has grown a lot since the new SAP Community platform entered the game. Looks like many of the other respective members are still adopting to this new platform. And I hope that we’ll hear them soon.
You mentioned SAP Process Integration earlier, and your answers within the community’s Q&A area seem to focus on this topic. How did develop your expertise in PI?
I started to work with SAP Process Integration in 2011 when I was asked to join the PI/XI group in my company. I was interested in this SAP product because it combined different programming and data processing technologies and techniques. Besides, implementation of some integration scenarios can become a real challenge! So I can say that I improve my professional skills with each implemented scenario.
Although you keep very busy answering questions in SAP Community, you also ask questions and write blog posts. Is there anything you like doing most in the community?
Actually most of all I like reading the blogs of other members and replies to questions I’m interested in. The point is that I often find some helpful information even if it doesn’t fully correlate with the main blog or discussion title. As for my own blogs, I write only about some special and not well-known approaches that I want to share with other community members.
You said that your company is in Vladivostok. Do you work and live there? Are you from there originally? I’d love to learn a bit more about the city.
Yes, Jerry, I’ve lived in Vladivostok all of my life. It’s a beautiful city located on the coast of the Japanese Sea and it was founded in 1860 as an outpost of Russia in the Far East. We often call it “The city of sailors, wind, and hills.” I really love living in Vladivostok!
Since I just asked you a personal question, I might as well ask another one. Can you tell me a bit about your hobbies and outside interests — the type of stuff you do when you aren’t working?
When I’m not working I like spending time with my family. We like to travel. In summer we spend a lot of time at the sea shore.
My eldest son is interested in software programming, so when I’m home, I try to spend some time every day teaching him.
As a student, I was part of the volleyball team, so I try to continue my sports activities and at least twice a week I go to gym to play volleyball with my friends.
OK, back to the professional stuff. When and why did you join the community?
I joined SCN right after I started working with SAP PI because it was (and I hope it will continue to be) the best place for finding answers to my questions. Is there any other place where I could meet so many people ready to teach me and to help me?
And finally I’ve found out that I could help others in solving their problems and I’ve liked it.
I assume you find SAP Community membership valuable. If I’m right — and I hope I am! — what do you value most about the community?
You know, Jerry, it’s a really difficult question for me. I guess the answer is that I value the community as a whole, without emphasis on any part of it.
I’m going to wrap up with the questions I ask every Member of the Month, so pardon me for ending with a lack originality. Any words of advice for other community members? How can they also get value from the community? How can they contribute?
I’d want to rephrase Eng Swee Yeoh’s, the famous and respected SAP Community member, words: Don’t ask for the fish – ask to be taught how to fish. You’ll never become a skilled professional without learning the basics. Don’t be afraid to ask, but try to ask the right questions because the right question is half of an answer. And the best contribution is your own activity: Answer questions, write your own blogs, and comment on the blogs written by others.
Wait…I lied. I have one more question. If people want to connect with you further, do you have a Twitter account that you’re willing to share?
Though I have the account in Twitter — @ev_kolmakov (Evgeniy Kolmakov) — I don’t like its behavior and use it irregularly, so the best places to contact with me are the SAP Community and LinkedIn networks.
It was a pleasure talking to you, Evgeniy. Thanks for taking the time. Congratulations again. I look forward to seeing you in the SAP Community.