Although I’ve been part of the SAP Community team for nearly 3 years, I’m still a relative newbie compared to those who’ve been active since the SDN days — heck, even since the SCN days. That means when we gave members the ability to personalize their badge showcases for their profiles, my options were somewhat limited. I didn’t earn any of the cool badges from yesteryear because I wasn’t around to earn ’em.
That’s why I love seeing those older badges displayed in someone’s reputation. They give me a deeper appreciation for those who were making quality contributions long before I came along, and I get to admire the badges I don’t know so well.
I had this type of experience with July’s Member of the Month. He was on my radar for receiving the Avid Solver badge recently, plus he’s been doing pretty well in the karma department. (I’m referring to his accumulated karma credits, although it didn’t hurt that his “member since” date matches my birthday…a fact that also struck me as karmic kismet.)
When I landed on his profile page, I saw his reputation snapshot included the “In a Helping Mood” and “In a Blogging Mood” badges. And that put me in an immediate good mood. The good mood only heightened when I found the “Accept the SAP NetWeaver Portal 2014 Movie Challenge” and the “Accept the SAP HANA Cloud Portal 2014 Movie Challenge” badges. I haven’t the foggiest what those badges are for, but if you know me, then you know I’m a film fan, and I’d love to pick up some badges for loving movies. (Oh, and if you don’t know me — I’m a film fan. There. Now you’re up to speed.)
One other thing caught my eye: The member’s activity level dropped in late 2016 — can’t imagine why…did something significant happen then? — then picked up again in the summer of 2017. And it makes me happy when valuable members come back after a hiatus.
I’m itching to ask him my questions — and not just about those movie badges — so here we go…
Hi, Vikas! Let me be the first to welcome you to the Member of the Month’s Hall of Fame!
Thank you, Jerry! Even I was smiling to remember those badges and those old days so thanks for the memory flash. I feel extremely overwhelmed to join the Hall of Fame in a community full of so many extremely talented and knowledgeable members. And I did check out some of your short films.
And you still agreed to talk to me? I appreciate it. Anyway…we’re here to focus on you — and rightfully so! Getting back into it… According to your profile, you’re in Bengaluru, India. Are you from there originally or did you (like so many tech experts) end up there after spending time elsewhere?
Oh, yes, I belong to Bihar (a state in India) and I found myself living in Bengaluru — also known as the Silicon Valley of India. I have worked for a brief amount of time in Canada, the UK, the USA, and Thailand, and it was a great feeling to know the beautiful culture of different places.
A picture of Vikas’s hometown. He describes it as the “‘countryside,’ calm and beautiful away from the hectic life of the city.” Sure seems that way to me.
You describe yourself as an Integration Specialist for SONY India Software Center. What do you do there precisely?
I focus on the opportunities to streamline, rationalize, and consolidate the Integration Landscape with the right mix to create an optimized hybrid integration layer. I help and lead execution and delivery of key SAP Integration projects for SONY Electronics & Entertainment right now.
Prior to joining SONY India Software Center, you were an SAP Integration Lead at Incture Technologies. What did you do there and how did you move from there to SONY India Software Center?
I joined as an SAP Integration Consultant at Incture and transformed into a Technical Lead. I was privileged to work with some of the best minds in the industry at Incture which helped me grow as a professional. I reported directly to SAP Mentor Shabarish V Nair at Incture and he was one of the reasons for me to join SCN, so it was a great feeling. I moved to SONY in December 2018 seeking to contribute in a different environment with different challenges.
And prior to that? I’d like to hear about your career evolution — what you studied, how you developed your expertise, and so on.
I studied Engineering in Computer Sciences and got my degree by 2012. I started working with WIPRO Limited in 2013, then moved to Incture Technologies and now SONY. It has been quite an evolution indeed working with excellent minds of industry. I have now seven Implementation projects under my belt, with quite good exposure of solution design and pre-sales.
Vikas loves taking pictures of “Earth and nature.” Here’s a photo shot from his balcony.
You joined the community in 2014. Anything in particular encourage you to sign up — beyond the inspiration from Shabarish?
I would like to answer this question with a silly smile, as initially community used to offer points (now karma credits), and those points were like an adrenaline rush in my mind, and I thought it could be one of the best ways for me to be a known name in the bigger community among my favorite mentors. But gradually I realized the bigger picture and impact of knowledge sharing which kept me going further.
So that became more of a primary motivation for getting more involved through blogging and answering questions?
Once someone told me if you can explain your work to your grandmother, then you can be confident that you know what you are really doing. This encouraged me to train the rookies and share knowledge with fellow members in my organization and in the community to get deeper clarity on what we do. I always feel encouraged to make myself and my colleagues understand the bigger impact to the organization by the small things we do in technology.
Any suggestions for the lurkers out there? Words of advice for getting more involved?
I don’t know whether I am eligible to advise such a talented group of people. But, definitely I have two thoughts which I would like share with all my friends out there.
First, always try to understand a simple code of yours is making a great impact to the billion-dollar businesses. This will always keep you motivated to do your tasks with complete sincerity.
Secondly, always give credit to people for their work. If you read mine or any of the community members who are doing good work, always provide a link to the references and materials, which makes readers do some digging and gives credit to the people who deserve it.
Vikas met his soulmate in 2016 (one of the reasons for his hiatus from SAP Community back then), and the two tied the knot 3 months ago. Best wishes to the happy newlyweds!
Looking at your contributions, it appears you stepped away from SAP Community briefly in 2016. Your activity picked up again roughly 6 months after that — thank goodness! — but if you don’t mind me asking: why the hiatus?
That was the time when SAP Community changed the entire framework and I became too busy in some of the demanding projects in terms of time. So, I could not come up with the time on my hands to be active on community and get used to the new community interface. I also met my soulmate almost around the same time, so my time was really divided. We got married 3 months back.
I was still on reading mode and used to read the blogs avidly but couldn’t stay away for long and got back as soon as I could.
Please allow me to take a sec to congratulate you on the recent nuptials…before I move on to my next topic: your specific involvement. The typical Member of the Month is heavily involved in questions and answers — and you’re doing your part in that department for sure — but they don’t always blog. You, on the other hand, have a dozen blog posts to your name. The writing seems sporadic though. When do you decide to work on blog posts and can we expect any new ones in the coming months (or weeks)?
I am keen to write more and more blogs on the community, but I also want to ensure the contents are well formed, informative, and not repetitive, especially when it has to be technical blogs. I wish I could write like my favorite authors, Michal Krawczyk and Eng Swee Yeoh.
Technical blogging is a challenging space and requires lot of ground work before you publish something and SAP Community readers always expect and deserve the best contents. But I assure there will be more blogs coming — although they might be still sporadic. [laughs]
When you’re not working or contributing to SAP Community, what do you do? Please tell me a little about hobbies or other activities that you enjoy.
I love to read and be updated about good businesses and what made their founders such good entrepreneurs. I am a huge lover of Warren Buffet’s life story. I love clicking pictures of Earth and nature. I am a very big supporter of clean and green environment. Gift a plant on birthdays and anniversaries along with the other materialistic gifts.
Another photo from Vikas, who is a “very big supporter of a clean and green environment.”
Hmm. If only I had left some blatant clue about my birthday. At least I was pretty blatant about badges in the beginning. And so I’ll end with this question, mostly to satisfy my curiosity about something I enjoy: film. How did you get the badges for those movie challenges?
[Laughs] Honestly, even I don’t remember. I do love watching good contents on YouTube and Netflix, et cetera. But I am not into film creation like you, Jerry! It must have been at that time when I was too active on community and I used to participate in every “badge” challenge.
Well, it was worth a shot. I’ll keep researching. In the meantime, let me thank you again for taking the time to talk. I’m glad to know that you came back to SAP Community — and gladder still to add your name to our Hall of Fame. Congratulations!
Thank you for this recognition among such talented folks. It is an honor indeed. It will be one of the best moments for me from the community.