If you were a faithful reader of my SAP TechEd recaps from Las Vegas, then you already caught my not-so-subtle hint about who was receiving October’s Member of the Month honor. And if you weren’t…well…I suppose it doesn’t matter, because you’re reading this, and if you’re reading this, then you already know that Dennis Padia is the latest addition to our Hall of Fame.
Dennis was on of the winners of our recent SAP TechEd scholarship contest (as were a few other Member of the Month recipients, including Lingaiah Vanam and September’s honoree, Sarabh Kabra), and Dennis’s entry alone — in which he explained why attending SAP TechEd for the first time was so important to him — built a compelling case for Member of the Month consideration. But he’s done so much more than that…
Take a look at his profile and see that growing list of badges — including the coveted Diligent Solver! Dennis has published more than a dozen blog posts and answered more than 150 questions (with an acceptance rate topping 35 percent)! No wonder he’s racking up the badges…
And then there’s his enthusiasm. Just listen to Dennis talk about writing blog posts, answering questions, and connecting with other members…
We shot that video in Las Vegas, where I had a chance to talk to Dennis in person. That’s when I knew without a doubt that he was the right pick for October. While visiting us, Dennis took a picture with Craig Cmehil and me. After, I asked whether he’d be sharing the photo on social media. He smiled and answered, “I’m going to write a blog about it.”
I look forward to reading that.
For now, please enjoy reading this!
Hello, Dennis! Seems congratulations are in order. In this case, I’m congratulating you for being October’s Member of the Month, but I could just as easily congratulate you for winning a pass to SAP TechEd and earning a Diligent Solver badge.
Thank you, Jerry. Quite frankly, right now I’m a bit overwhelmed to be honored with Member of the Month. It’s like a cherry on top after receiving the TechEd scholarship and a special shout-out by Audrey Stevenson in her weekly mission and badge roundup after being awarded with three badges on that very week.
According to your profile, you’re a Senior Consultant at LTI. What do you do there?
In LTI, I work as a Senior Basis Consultant where my role is to work closely with customers to help them build and manage their SAP Systems. It requires a bit of travelling, but that’s an interesting part of it as working with different businesses in different regions fascinates me. As I’m in the IT service industry, I must keep myself updated on different offerings, so currently I’m exploring different cloud technologies and have recently completed AWS Solution Architect Associate–level certification. And just so you know — LTI is the brand identify of Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd.
Where is Larsen…er…LTI…based? Do you live there? If not, where do you live? Are you from there originally? Sorry…that’s a lot of questions. To summarize: I’m interested in knowing about how your career has impacted your travels in life…
LTI headquarters is in Mumbai but they have offices globally. I joined LTI in Bangalore but prior to joining LTI, I was working in Mumbai. I’m basically from Gujarat but currently live in Irvine, California. But prior coming to the U.S., I worked on a project in Norway. Sorry, too many locations. It’s been more than fourteen years that I’m living a life of a nomad — first it was my education, and now for work.
Prior to joining LTI, where did you work, study, et cetera?
Prior to joining LTI, I worked at Patni Computers, Mumbai, where I joined as a fresher. It’s now part of Capgemini. I completed my B.E. in Information Technology at Sardar Patel University, Gujarat, in 2010.
Dennis Padia, October’s Member of the Month, and his wife, Shruti
What do you consider to be your area of expertise and how did you get proficient in that?
I cannot say it’s my area of expertise as there is always a lot to learn, but I like to architect and build solutions on HANA. I still remember back in 2014 when I got assigned on HANA Project, first thing I googled was “What is HANA, SLT, BOBJ?,” as these were the products on which I was going to work. The first version of HANA I had worked on was HANA 1.0 SPS 06/07 with SAP BW running on top of it. We used to face a lot of memory-related issues and those issues helped me to enhance my knowledge on HANA. With time, HANA became more mature as a database and so did my interest. Since then I’m working on HANA-related projects.
When did you join the SAP Community and what prompted you to become a member?
To be honest, I joined SAP Community back in 2011 — that’s what it says in my profile — but I came to know about that last year when I tried to create an account using my personal ID and it said, “email ID already registered,” or something like that.
In LTI, we use Facebook@Work as a collaboration platform and from the last more than two years I used this platform to share my learnings with the SAP Basis group. I’m just continuing the same practice now in a much bigger platform — SAP Community — and with a larger audience.
You give so much to the SAP Community. How do you work participation into your daily schedule and what motivates you to keep contributing?
There are some tabs in my browser which are always open while I’m working and SAP Community is one of those tabs. Occasionally, I keep checking activity stream and if I find some questions which are direct, I reply to them immediately. It’s been almost a year now that I have got involved in SAP Community. There were times when certain questions left me puzzled and trying to find answers has helped me to get more insight on the topic. This motivates me to keep going, as somewhere I feel that I’m learning too.
You’re one of the rare members who is both a prolific blogger and question answerer. Let’s talk about those things separately. First, what gave you the confidence to start writing blog posts and what inspires you to keep writing?
In the early span of my career, I used to write blogs on random subjects of life. I never thought of writing any technical blogs because I was too naive in SAP or any other technologies at that time. But with each passing year, I got opportunity to work in some interesting projects which helped me to enhance my technical skills, plus I became good in technical writing and documentation. The blogs which I write in SAP Community are basically snippets from the documentation which I prepare at work.
View from Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) in Stavanger, Norway, after Dennis hiked two hours
What about the first time you answered a question? Did you need to do anything to gain the confidence to start answering?
I really don’t know what prompted me to jump into Q&A as I became active in SAP Community to write blogs and during those initial days, I had posted quite a few blogs. This developed an interest in me to contribute more and I started spending more time in SAP Community. I started following different topics of my interest and after that, I was able to see questions raised by people on my dashboard. There were some questions whose answer I knew, which I thought can be useful to the person who has raised the question. So, I started answering those types of questions and 150-plus answers later I’m asking myself what’s next now? Coffee Corner discussions, because that’s something I haven’t participated in yet.
Any suggestions to members who want to start answering questions, blogging, or both, but they aren’t sure where or how to begin?
Every journey begins with a single step. First things first: create your account in SAP Community with your personal ID and complete the tutorial Tour the SAP Community.
If you are uncomfortable in answering Q&A, that’s completely fine — write a technical blog about the task you have performed in your project.
If you find that everyone is unknown and want to introduce yourself, say hi in Coffee Corner. That’s where the idea of Hitchhiker badge got started. I had just been active in SAP Community from last year, but for me it was that one single step of writing a blog which made all the difference.
OK, enough work talk. When you aren’t doing your job, answering questions, and blogging, what do you like to do in your spare time? Any hobbies or favorite activities?
I’m not sure but if binge watching is considered a hobby, then definitely I spend many of my weekends doing that. Also being away from my country for so long now, I have developed an interest towards cooking, as Indian food is all about flavors, which I miss sometimes in the U.S.
I love travelling, especially to places that bring me closer to nature and that’s why I loved my stay in Norway. I like clicking pictures as well.
Dennis loves nature and taking pictures. Here’s a photo of Pangong Lake in Ladakh, shot during a 2014 visit. He describes the lake as “one of the most beautiful places in India.”
That just about does it. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat, Dennis. It was a privilege talking to you — and it’s a privilege having you in the SAP Community!
Thank you, Jerry, and other members for honoring me as Member of the Month. Looking forward to meeting you and other SAP Community members at TechEd.