What SAP Community means to me
This is a quick blog about all the things the community means to me. I blog on and off about different things, but I don’t think I’ve covered this. (Or I haven’t written this in a long while)
When I first found SDN:
I went there to find answers. We were just implementing SAP. It was 1997, and there was very little information to find. So I lurked, read, and answered questions (after a while) when I could. My successful debate with my boss at the time was that I saved so much time with the community that I could afford the time to answer a couple of questions. Finally after quite a while that moved to blogs.
So fast forward… We started to use SAP in different ways. So now our functional consultants actually started (to think) that they knew the tables to let us know what to pull from when coding. At that point, I was told I was just a developer. And developer’s were a dime a dozen.
I went on a rant in a blog on SDN. The response was overwhelming. I ended up with some good friends from that very first blog. Now I find myself “taking” chatting with many different people. I stayed just to keep in touch with them and find out what they were up to.
Pure joy over my first blog:
There were people out there that disagreed and agreed with me. What fun the comments made me so overjoyed. I shared it with my Mom, my Dad, my Sister, my Husband, my in laws….. You get the picture, I shared it with NON SAP people. They even humored me and read it. They all said they liked it. I’m laughing to myself. They basically didn’t understand it.
People with great personalities:
I think it was Susan Keohan that first pointed out, she could talk with her dogs, but they really couldn’t answer her. I feel the same way. Who else can I talk “SAP” with? Yes, my co-workers but not like a blog, blog comments, Q&A, or even coffee corner. I NOW had a place where people “understood” my joy over “SAP” or my challenges with SAP. So I stayed. Friends were here!
Fast forward again – disillusionment:
I found that all the cool “new toys” – new technology was not embraced at my company. Why? We were all in technology. We should be ready and happy for change.
To my surprise: OOP was not something that was used, Webdynpro – NEVER. I was just lucky my boss let me code in them.
So who could I turn to? Who would I share my excitement with? You’ve got it SCN. (Yes it was now SCN) I also asked questions, read blogs, and commented.
Fast forward again:
Moved away from the Mentors program.
Different companies. Different roles. Consulting, in-house, independent consultant… You name it. I also had several hats. Functional consultant, technical work, and project management. I moved away from SCN.
I came back with a bit of a bang:
Whale sinking – does that remind anyone? Anyway skip over that. I needed to learn some new tools quick. I love this community and wanted success for it. It had my friends – some of them still here. I could meet new friends, and talk “SAP”ish language.
So I started back and began slowly. Gradually, I seemed to love the SAP Community. Yes, another name.
I helped implement on-premise HANA. Yes, I’m on a new system. I can use help. So back to the Q&A. I also love reading all the blogs.
As you can see that’s a large list. I know each area up to a point. But as a highly technical person once pointed out to me, I can’t know anything deep down. So I know all I need to work on my projects. If I don’t know it Google does. Google almost always brings me here.
If you’ve made it this far – big smiling face for me.
- I enjoy blogs. Even in areas that are not mine.
- I love the comments. So much information in them.
- I LOVE Q&A. I get great answers just by searching.
- I enjoy new people. I like to see our community growing. (All of the above reasons)
- Just started using tutorials – awesome.
- Most important to me is the people!!!!
Please do comment. I’m sure I’ll see you around the community. Also always know I’m open to PMs. I love to get those too.
Wow, Michelle, I'm honored to be mentioned!
It's really funny that there is a similar discussion from someone else over in the Coffee Corner. https://answers.sap.com/articles/12741585/is-anyone-here-got-a-friend-while-finding-answers.html
For me, there's a very long blog waiting on my experiences with the SAP Community - both online and IRL, but the gist of it is, I keep coming back!
In the end, the people are what makes it work - the people running the community (I'm talking about Jerry Janda , Audrey Stevenson , Svea Becker Caroleigh Deneen just to name a few) and the people jumping in where help is needed - to many to mention here.
Remember some of the 'older' initiatives we had? Blog It Forward? I loved those aspects of community - reminding us we are not just a bunch of techie geeks, but also people with lives, loves, ambitions and stories to tell. Ahhhh nostalgia.
Susan Keohan Thanks for the mention! It goes both ways. In the end it is the people--all of us, and all of you--who make this community work.
Yes - I agree it's everyone who makes it work.
But Audrey it is you and many more who really help. And as anyone who is really good - you rarely get thanked.
Consider this a big THANK YOU! To you and all those behind the scenes.
Thank you, Michelle, for the recognition. It means a lot! And yes, I'm blushing.
I was just thinking about the old "Blog It Forward" initiative (thanks to Moshe Naveh !), and how we would "BIF" each other, while reading Michelle Crapo 's blog here.
I'm curious, though. I thought SDN started in 2003, or thereabouts. Am I misremembering? Though I'm sure there was some predecessor even to that, if not on official SAP servers, then hosted elsewhere (sapfans, anyone?).
My own SAP journey also started in 1997, but I did not find SDN until 2004. And Michelle, I too have struggled with my employer always being quite a bit behind in terms of implementing any of the cool, new gizmos. I'd read about running ESS on ABAP WebDynpro instead of in Java, and dream about making that conversion, and by the time we were ready to do it, WDA was dead and gone and replaced by SAPUI5, and then Fiori! It seems like we have to run in place just to not fall too far behind.
Totally agree on that. Sometimes it's a good thing that we don't jump too soon. But as I'm fond of telling myself - knowledge is never wasted. See I didn't jump on OOP. That one is something I'm still learning. I'll never stop I don't think.
SDN - MMmmmmm.... I wonder about the exact date. I did start with sapfans.com Then that one seemed to really slow down when SDN was up and running.
I thought it was up when we first went live... But it was crazy then so it may not have. My first implementation was a nightmare.
My recollection of 1997-1998 was that the only access to SAP Notes and online support was through the old GUI-based OSS, and it was another couple years before the website had any real functionality. SDN, I think, followed on from that. Even applying for a license in 1997, we had to fill in a paper form and send it as a fax (a fax!) to a phone number in Germany, which of course required all sorts of authorizations for access to an international-enabled phone line in the company. And then, to our chagrin, the fax number didn't work, it resulted in a recorded operator's message... in German, of course. We had a consultant from Sweden at the time (Leif Nilsson, who used to be on the Community, but doesn't seem to be anymore), and we asked him to listen and translate for us: "I'm sorry, the number you have dialed is no longer in service; the new number is..."
Way back when there were dinosaurs roaming the earth, there was the SAPR3 Mailing List (and it's semi-famous companion, the SAP-WUG mailing list). Go ahead, ask DJ Adams if you don't believe me.
Then, lo and behold, round about 2004, we were all ONLINE with the SAP Developer Network.
I can't recall when we first became the SAP Community Network, but I have to admit I kind miss some of the functionality we had - especially status updates!
But here we are again with the SAP Community!
I'll leave it to people like Craig Cmehil to correct me on the dates. Or maybe, since I stole this screen shot from him, Graham Robinson will chime in.
Anyway, here is SDN...
2003 was the first time that SAP officially got involved in a web based community, 2004 they opened it to the public as opposed to S users only.
Somewhere between 2006 and 2008 we added BPX, Business Process Experts to SAP Developer Network and then 2009-2010 it became a single SAP Community Network, then finally shortened to just SAP Community in/around 2016.
Shhh don't tell but I often still call it SDN 😉 and I still wear my SDN Übergeek hat in my workshop and doing garden work.
Craig, we won't tell, because... hmm, some of us still think of it as SDN in unguarded moments!
Thanks for the mention, Sue!
There was indeed a community well before SAP Developer Network, in fact we can trace it all the way back to at least 1995 when I started a mailing list 'merlin' for SAP techies (mailing lists were one of the main ways that folks communicated before web-based forums and the like). You can read a bit about this in this 2005 post entitled "The SAP developer community 10 years ago".
After a while, I and Bryan Thorp (who was running another SAP related mailing list) merged our lists to form the now-venerable SAP-R3-L. I remember that administering SAP-R3-L took up pretty much all my evenings during the week, which I spent mostly on the road working on different SAP projects.
Much later came the SAP Developer Network, a joint venture initially between SAP and O'Reilly; having been involved with both O'Reilly (as an author) and with SAP I was asked to get involved in the initial design and, once launched, I took part in the initial creation of content, writing articles and blog posts. My first blog post on there was in May of 2003. I remember my userid on there at the time was something like 'djadams' 🙂
Of course, then it transformed into SAP Community Network and now it's SAP Community, but like Craig Cmehil I still think of it as "SDN".
SDN BSP content from Brian McKellar & Thomas Jung was amazing - and invaluable to me. Thanks again guys.
I also remember going around the team, trying to find out who had the CD with Help on it. 🙂
OMG, so... many... CDs.
I can only agree with Audrey Stevenson : Thanks so much for mentioning, Susan Keohan
For me it is such an honor to be part of the SAP Community team and I love this work so much... almost best job ever since I joined SAP... and that was already 19 years ago...
Thanks for the mention! I always enjoy talking with you, Sue...although I'm sure I can't live up to your dogs as an intelligent conversationalist. 🙂
BIF - I remember that. I wonder if I was one of those who didn't do it. If so, I'm sorry. So who is volunteering to blog it forward. I hate to just ask someone. 😉
There are logistics that would need to be planned for, but I think many people would be interested in helping out. I guess. Maybe.
HA! I think you have volunteered to blog it forward. What is it you like about our community???
I guess/maybe means "yes Michelle, I would love to BIF".
BIF was something awesome... remember when Susan Keohan and Tammy Powlas introduced me to the family. So happy to be with you here and Great to see all the activity.
We‘re on a good way!
People like you, Michelle, and the content they add to this community, make it worth coming back all the time!
Thank you - what a nice thing to see this morning! I'm smiling. 🙂