Where to begin?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this project of creating a guide for developing a partner project end to end and if I was the right-enough person to pursue it. You never get anywhere without taking the first step so here goes.
Who am I?
My name is Andrew Lunde and I’m a solution architect at SAP. I work in a team that supports strategic partners who are building solutions within SAP’s PartnerEdge Build program. I’ve been working in this capacity for a couple years and before that specifically with startups who were developing solutions with SAP HANA and Cloud Platform. When first coming to SAP, I was doing pre-sales mobile proof-of-concept development. So now it’s getting on 8 years going. Before coming to SAP I ran my own consultancy for 14 years and even before that I worked at a small startup that become a medium sized company during the run up to the Internet bubble. If I keep going back we’d be getting into my university days so I’ll stop here. I’ll try to sprinkle more about myself into future blog postings as I go.
Who is the Naïve Sherpa?
I’ve done a decent bit of blogging here at SAP and could string these posts together under my moniker, but wanted to create something that would create some cohesion without it being so closely tied to me. I’d like to think of this effort as a journey so Sherpa kinda fit from the beginning but I also wanted to express the nature of the journey. One of the things I try to be aware of in my role is to have a healthy sense of my own naïvety. I think that to often we rush headlong into trying to understand something and quickly forget that there was a time when we didn’t know it. That then makes it difficult to help others learn the same thing since you already assume so much about it. So I tell myself “Don’t waste your naïvety”. Stop and document what you’re doing so that it can be repeated by someone else. Also, document your thought process right or wrong about something so that your reader/student/partner can have an understanding of why you made the decisions you did. After all, we are always learning about new things in life so we’re always naïve to some extent or another. So Naïve Sherpa seemed to fit.
What am I trying to accomplish?
I hope to at the very least have a series of blog posts that walk a partner through the whole process of starting with an idea and taking it to a fully functional software as a solution(SaaS) offering using SAP technologies. As I write this it’s kinda sinking in that that this is a pretty big task. I’m not sure how many installments this series will have but I promise I will do my best to see the effort to it’s end(summit?). Along the way I’ll try to promote best practices and officially supported methodologies. If I have to veer off the path, I’ll make sure to make sure to explain that I am and why it’s needed. Hopefully the material I gather from this effort can be massaged into other forms like lectures and/or workshops, etc. but I don’t want to dictate any of that yet.
Not Yet Another…
SAP is a big company with a long legacy and with that comes a lot of complexity. Of course we’re always striving to make things easier and simpler for our customers/partners, but I know from working with startups it can seem overwhelming knowing where to start or what to look at. Often you get hold of an article only to find that it’s out of date or is just wrong(it happens). I’m not trying to be yet another source of authoritative information here. There are plenty of videos, tutorials, examples, courses, etc you can find at SAP and I’ll do my best to link to them when I think they support the discussion and are worth the time. However, in my opinion, they leave it up to you to string all these things together into something functional. I’m a big believer in having a functioning example that illustrates what is being explained. That way you can poke at it and break it and learn from it as you go. This helps solidify your understanding instead of having to hold a bunch of stuff in your head until you can get a system up and running.
We need a vehicle…
I the true spirit of having a working example, I’m actually going to build one as we go. My intention is to give you, my humble traveller, enough info to follow along and build your own. Of course I have resources that you might not have at your disposal, but SAP is pretty good about providing trial accounts and development systems that can fit the need. What’s important is knowing what to do and what your options are. I intend on getting into some machine learning topics so it’s important to have a domain that is common to all of us. Many of us have been a job that required us to keep track of the time we’ve spent on a project. It’s a pain and tedious and if you get behind, it’s a real chore to go back and figure out. Even if you haven’t, you’ve likely had a job where you’ve had to clock-in and clock-out so this should be familiar to pretty much everyone. With computers as powerful as they are today, can’t they just figure it out for me so that I can focus on doing the work of my job?
Before getting too far down the trail, I did a little diligence and domain name searching and found that conciletime.com was available to I snatched it up for our example. I believe that you should pick a company name or project name that’s not to confusing to say or spell or type (or use bizarre top level domains that confuse people). Imagine trying to spell it to someone over the phone while they typing it into their browser and you get the idea. After all, why reconcile your timesheet when you could have conciled it properly in the first place?! A marketing person I am not. Maybe we’ll meet some along the way.
Let’s load up.
So my intention is to make this part travel-log, part how-to guide. If you like where I’m going, please let me know. If you have suggestion of where to go, let me now as well. Remember, I’m naïve like everyone else is, but that’s OK. You make mistakes, you learn, you move on.
-Andrew (Your Naïve Sherpa)