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Personal Insights
Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo

New to the community and need some help?

This community is all about sharing.  Sharing knowledge, sharing time.  Getting to know people and network.

New to the community or just confused

There is help out there already.   But it may be hard for you to find.  Or it might be nice to have someone to talk about a blog you are writing.  Some comment that was made.

So I’ve been thinking about Adopt a Newbie.  I thought what do I do?  Contact them directly?  No probably not.  A lot of people would not like that. So how can I do it?  Yes, I leave comments on blog posts.  Yes, I’m trying to answer some questions.  But what about those out there that have just started on the community or have been lurking for some time.

Invite to new people or people who have questions:

So this is an invitation.  If you would like some support on the community – asking questions, writing blogs, finding things, or whatever. P.ease feel free to direct message me.  I of course, can’t help everyone.  So if you are feeling brave, comment.  There are many people who would help if they have the time.

So if you want me to help, please comment.  If you don’t want to comment, feel free to direct message me I believe I have to have you as a connection.  So follow me – I’ll follow you, and you can direct message.  Once I get to my limit. (I’m trying to decide what my limit is, I’ll comment.)

Invite to those who can support new people:

Next invitation, would you support a newbie?  Leave a comment.  I’m  not asking you to support everyone.  Maybe it’s only one for you.  That’s fine.  But we have people out there that would eventually participate.   Or they are participating but still would like someone to chat with. Why not help them out?  Just leave another comment when you can’t help anyone else directly.  If you are reading this, I bet you help indirectly.

Are you a lurker?  Would you help someone else learn what to look for and how to find things?  Leave a comment.

Of course, I’ve made up some rules.  And there may be some added in the comments.

What this isn’t:

  • Your own person to ask technical or functional questions.  You may want to ask them how to do it on the community.  This is not replacing activity in the community.  We will tell you how to interact with the community.  Or maybe why your question/blog was rejected.  But don’t just think your favorite technical person will be willing to answer questions all day long.  They won’t.
  • Don’t ask anyone who doesn’t comment in this blog to help with your development for the community…   They may not have the time.  However, I don’t mean you can’t ask for help via Q&A.  Or comment on blogs – please do.
  • Asking for jobs.  I am not a part of the hiring process.  Nor does my company have any openings.  If someone comments as available – they don’t want job questions either.

What this is:

  • Helping someone with the community.
  • Receiving help from someone in the community.
  • Helping someone phrase questions better.
  • Learning to phrase questions better.
  • Directing people to them to the right place.
  • Learning the right place to go.
  • Answer what you can – tell them what you don’t know.
  • Be aware that one person most likely can not answer all your questions.
  • Creating a network of people that will expand over time.
  • Creating new friendships.

What you should do if you are asking for help:

  • Be respectful of others time.
  • Know that we may not answer for awhile.  We all have real projects at work.

What you should do if you volunteer to help:

  • No question is a bad question.  EXCEPT direct questions about technical/functional information.  At that point it is time to teach them how to ask on the community (Or how to search)
  • Expect your person to immediately start to participate.  It usually takes some time.
  • Know when you are too busy to answer and simply send an I’m too busy response.
  • Be aware you can send them to blogs, informational wikis… etc.  If it’s already answered, then feel free to direct.  However, if they still don’t know.  Answer them if you can.
  • If you can’t then perhaps you know someone who could.  Or simply tell them you can’t help with that question.
  • Feel free to make your own rules.  Just add them to your comment.

Too much?

Is this too much to ask of people?  I have no idea.  I just know I would be willing to help.  Is this an “official challenge”.  Heck no, this is just me, Michelle, thinking about what I could do.  Then thinking about what others may be willing to do.

Yes, I know most of the information is out there.  But perhaps getting to it takes a bit of time.  Perhaps someone just needs some direct support.

Please comment if I’ve missed anything.  I’m 100% sure I have.  Don’t forget to comment if you are willing to help.  Or if you need help.


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      Author's profile photo Bärbel Winkler
      Bärbel Winkler

      Great initiative, Michelle!

      I'm available - as time allows - to help newbies get started in SAP Community!

      As an aside: the threshold for people to contact others could possibly be lowered if we had a means in our profiles to allow messages even from members who we are not yet connected with. Something like a radiobutton group with "no messages", "messages from connections only", "messages from all members". Something for Craig Cmehil to look into, perhaps?



      Author's profile photo Craig Cmehil
      Craig Cmehil

      Happy to look into that as well. Consider it on the list, but this one I can tell you will most likely be a 2019 item.

      Author's profile photo Craig Cmehil
      Craig Cmehil

      Absolutely fantastic! I'm in and am here as well if you need help!

      Author's profile photo Svea Becker
      Svea Becker

      Great initiative! ??

      I think it‘s one part to write a blog but how can you include working with SAP Community in your daily work? This might be an interesting question for newbies, too.

      Thanks, Michelle!

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo
      Blog Post Author

      Daily? No.  But, when my schedule permits I'm out here.  I'm also out here if I'm researching or just learning.

      So my daily job is that of a developer.  I am new to a lot of the things that moving to on-premise allows me to do.  So when I want to know about something, I google.  Then it brings me to a link that usually lands me on a community page.

      Now when I get an answer I try to give something back.  I can also justify that with my boss.  I just save X hours of work and I only take X hours on the SAP Community.  I like to give back.

      So now your thinking, OK but I don't use the answers.  So then - there are the blogs about all the new things, there are tutorials, WIKIs, and more.  At lunch it's nice to pop over to coffee corner as it has some fun discussions.  I get a certain amount of training time.  I also get some time to research.  When I have that time I stop in here.

      Next, think about some of the other career type blogs out there.  You want to build your own "brand".    To do that you have to have an on-line presence.  For that (if I don't have time during the day) I tend to look at what I can before work.   You will of course, see me disappear if I am working on a large project.

      So daily?  Probably not.  Although it would be cool to say I did sign on daily.  Lately I have, because I have some time.  As a side note a quick way to get my attention is to @ mention me.  If that happens, even when I'm working on a new project tend to sign on.  I'm just too curious not to.  I'm guessing that's the same for a lot of people.

      If you are short on time, find a tag that suits you.  Then you can quickly sort out what you want to see and what you don't.  I would say when you have time look around.  There is so much more than just blogs and answers.  My favorite places recently are  the tutorials and as always courses.

      Long answer for a simple question - I'm good at long answers. 😉


      Author's profile photo Svea Becker
      Svea Becker

      Thanks again, Michelle. Very helpful to get "insights" from a community member as you are! 🙂

      Author's profile photo Sergio Guerrero
      Sergio Guerrero

      this is an awesome initiative Michelle - I have had the great pleasure of meeting ppl at several conferences and stay in touch with them.. it all started here in the community as you described it with a question, answer or blog... count me in as a help a newbie or even just help in general technical questions, (XSA, HANA, .net, nodejs, WebIDE, ... grilling, soccer 😉


      Author's profile photo Matt Fraser
      Matt Fraser

      I'm in!

      All the guidelines you listed, Michelle, are just right. We are all volunteers, we all have "day jobs" that sometimes consume 150% of our time, and there are even a few of us who have a "life" outside of work, SAP, and the Community (haha!). But, as long as folks are patient, and willing to meet us halfway, we're willing to extend that helping hand, to give a leg up, to "pay it forward" just as someone, sometime, did for us.


      Author's profile photo Yogesh Patel
      Yogesh Patel

      Well described

      Author's profile photo Jeremy Good
      Jeremy Good

      Hi Michelle -  you sure have a knack for sharing some deep thoughts, and making people reflect on some interesting topics, so perhaps if you're looking for a blog series title you could take some inspiration from DJ Adams and his Monday Morning Thoughts - why not 'Michelle's Deep Thoughts' 🙂

      Author's profile photo DJ Adams
      DJ Adams

      Thanks Jeremy! BTW, my current profile is (rather than dj.adams, as you used in the reference above). Cheers, and I agree - a series from Michelle would be great!

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo
      Blog Post Author

      I read your post all the time!  Love them.  Since you seconded - I'm sold.  I'll start a series too.   We'll see how it goes.

      Author's profile photo Jeremy Good
      Jeremy Good

      Thanks - I guess that would explain why I had to search so vigorously for the title of your blogs - I see them in the feed but not in your older identity...

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo
      Blog Post Author

      Well two requests - what can I do?  I also have a name for the series already so I don't have to think of one.

      HA!  Well I'll try it and see how it goes.   Wednesday maybe... Probably every 2 weeks.  But we'll see I tend to write when inspiration hits me.

      Thanks for the idea and the vote of confidence!


      Author's profile photo Joachim Rees
      Joachim Rees

      Well, it's here:
      (I'm just connection the pieces)
      Thanks Michelle!

      Author's profile photo Nabheet Madan
      Nabheet Madan

      One word I am in! nothing more nothing less.