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Mahesh Kumar Palavalli — Member of the Month, April 2019

April 1st may have been a few days ago, but I ain’t foolin’ when I say we have a great new member for our Hall of Fame.

I know…that’s pretty bad. (Almost as bad as this.)

I told you before that finding clever ideas for these intros wasn’t easy. Luckily for me, finding a fantastic Member of the Month was.

Yup, he’s got the numbers — hundreds of answers with a respectable chunk accepted. But what really caught my eye was the activity that earned him badges. We have badges for quality blog posts and popular answers, and you’ll often see the best members excelling at one of the two. But every now and then, you’ll find someone who makes an impact across the board.

Such is the case with Mahesh Kumar Palavalli, our Member of the Month for April. Mahesh boasts both the Avid Blogger badge (for writing at least four posts that generated good feedback and stimulated conversation) and the Master Solver badge (for having more than a hundred answers accepted). That means Mahesh has helped plenty of members, yet he has done so while remaining humble. When I informed him that he was Member of the Month, he wrote back, “I feel like I gained a lot (knowledge) from being active in the community rather than the other way around. So thanks to the community and for the people who are constantly improving its experience.”

On behalf of the community, I think I can safely say, “You’re welcome.” But I feel like I should be giving thanks too. A lot of thanks, in fact.

Right now.

Congratulations, Mahesh, and thank you so much for your participation!

Thanks, Jerry. I am very excited and honored to have this recognition.

According to your profile, you work at RAK EGA. Could you tell us how you got started there and what you do?  

Actually RAK is the short form of Ras Al Khaima, which is an emirate (state) in UAE. It’s an hour journey from Dubai. I think you will now get a fair idea where it is now as Dubai is one of the most famous tourist places in the world. I actually worked in Dubai as well before joining my current company as an SAP Technical Consultant.

And EGA is a government department which provides centralized services to all other government departments in Ras Al Khaima. Exciting, right? I am actually part of the in-house team there and work on SAP technologies like ABAP, UI5/Fiori, Workflows, Webdynpros, et cetera, and this is one of the best companies I’ve ever worked for as It’s very peaceful here, no pressure, less deadlines, and you get a lot of time for yourself. What else could you want from a company?

Sounds great! So how did your travels lead you to Dubai?

I am actually from India, where I started my career in 2013 at YASH Technologies, Hyderabad. After that, I travelled to New Delhi and worked at SAP for about two years as an external consultant. Then I got an opportunity to work with a real estate company in Dubai for about one-and-a-half years and finally ended up here at Ras Al Khaima. I didn’t travel much outside India except the current home UAE.

 


Mahesh Kumar Palavalli (left), April’s Member of the Month, with his mother and brother

 

That covers geography. Let’s switch back to career. What led you to RAK EGA specifically and your current focus of UI5, ABAP, and S4HANA?

When I joined YASH Technologies, I got trained on ABAP-related technologies. Then when I was working at SAP I got to experience the UI5/Fiori, which was a very hot topic at that time.

After some time by luck I got the chance to visit SAP TechEd in 2016 in Bangalore, which was a real good experience for me. I got to play with SAP Mobile platform, ABAP Programming model, My INBOX, S4HANA, and many other things, which actually piqued my interests in those areas.

And you’ve certainly translated those interests into fantastic contributions to the community. You dedicate a great deal of effort providing detailed answers. How do you find the time?

I simply reduced the amount of time I spend on browsing Facebook and 9GAG, watching anime, et cetera, and transferred it to the community. The thing is, community is also quite addictive, especially the QA. It’s fun solving those issues and learning at the same time and the best part is when someone tells you that your answer is helpful to them. I still remember that one instance where someone replied that I am a true savior. Funny, I know that’s a bit of an exaggerated statement, but things like these motivate you to give more.

You just said that you can solve issues and learn at the same time. And as I noted in the intro, you said that your activity comes with a benefit: you gain knowledge as a result. How is that?

I heard this somewhere: “The best way to learn is to teach someone else.” One way to do that is to answer questions. Blogging in the community is also a way of teaching and it makes you understand the subject very well. There is also this initiative #100DaysOfCommunityQA by Nabheet Madan which talks about the benefits of being active in the community. I would recommend this challenge for those who are new to the community. Reading blogs and answers is one of the best ways to learn the subject in depth. You will not find that in the books, guides, or in the documentations.

I also noted that you’re one of the rare instances of a member who contributes both answers and blog posts. While you don’t have a huge number of blog posts — relatively speaking — the ones you’ve written have been well received. What encouraged you to start blogging?

I get really excited If I find something new and tend to share those to my friends and colleagues, and so the blogging does that trick for me. Apart from that, the feedback is one of the main sources — it encourages you to be more active and to give more. Michelle Crapo had a blog where she talks about this exact thing.

Can we expect more blog posts? (No pressure!)

Yeah, I’ve some plans. Currently I am little busy with the project work. So maybe once I get free I might restart my blogging.

Let’s step back — in a literal sense — and go back to your early days in the community. When did you join and why?

I think it was around 2013/14. I was only having the training knowledge and obviously for a project it would not be enough so I was asking questions and checking out blogs and answers for my issues.

Were you shy about making contributions initially? If so, why?

I was surely shy and it’s because I was having that feeling about what others will think about this and that, but it eventually faded away. I believe it will be the same case for most of the people. But in case of blogging, I still think twice before posting one.

So what advice would you give to members looking to participate more but are afraid to take that first step?

Just blog it. Surely someone will find it useful. By being active in the community, you will get to experience other community members’ experiences through their questions and blogs. so you will only gain here. There’s nothing to lose and, hey, you might be the next Member of the Month.

 


In his free time, Mahesh enjoys gaming, anime, and the beach (when it isn’t too hot!).

 

I think those are enough work-related questions — and enough questions, period! But I like to end with a fun one…or two, if we want to get technical. When you aren’t working, what do you like to do? Any hobbies or other types of activities that you enjoy when you’re off the clock?

I play a lot of games, I started as a PC gamer then shifted to Xbox and again went back to PC, now I ended up with PS4. These days I play mostly the online games as I get to speak with my friends and play the game as well.

I watch anime a lot — it’s a Japanese animation. There are many popular anime series and movies out there which come in different genres but I mostly watch supernatural, scifi, and super power. I would love to discuss more with anyone here in the community who watches anime.

Apart from that I go to gym at least twice or thrice in a week and here in UAE there are a lot of beaches. I sometimes go twice a month — not necessarily to swim but just to sit and enjoy the weather. But it’s a whole different story in summer as it will be too hot here.

Probably a good time to let you clock out then — or clock in. Time differences confuse me sometimes. Lots of things do. Must be why I repeat myself so much. Where was I? Oh. Yeah. To repeat something I said earlier: While we deeply appreciate your thanks, we owe you even more thanks. Members like you are what make a community great, and we’re very grateful to have you as part of SAP Community. Congratulations again for earning Member of the Month. You more than deserved it!

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