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New Year, New Challenges

A new year is a time of change and to take on new challenges.  I’m really throwing myself into that idea of change as 2020 begins.  As of January 1st I’ve taken on a new role at SAP as the Global Head of the Developer Advocates team within Thomas Grassl‘s Developer and Community Relations organization.

As this jacket from the SAP Developer Network days reminds me; I’ve been around the SAP community for a good long while now and always with a focus on developers.  I started my career as an ABAP developer working on multiple ERP implementations at an SAP customer.  14 years ago I made the biggest career change of my life when I came to work for SAP. Over the last 14 years I’ve been in various roles primarily within Product Management, but again almost always focused on development tools and languages. I’ve also tended to lean into the evangelization kinds of tasks within these roles.  I’ve met many people from the SAP Community through opportunities to travel the world and present at events or via interactions online.

So Developer Advocates felt like a very natural progression for me. Unlike in Product Management where one focuses on a single product or technology, Developer Advocates team spreads its small number of team members over much of the SAP portfolio. So its an excellent opportunity for anyone that likes to constantly be learning new things as well have a variety of topics to cover.

So you might wonder: what kind of tasks does the Developer Advocacy team at SAP perform.

  • They staff many of the SAP CodeJams and help create content for many of them as well
  • Of course many of you probably have interacted with one of the Developer Advocates at SAP TechEd. When not speaking/presenting in a session, they are often found in the App Space on the show floor.  They take the lead on the staffing and content creation/review of the App Space content.
  • They don’t just speak at SAP events but also some 3rd party events; bringing the SAP developer story to developers that might traditionally not be part of our ecosystem.
  • They write technical and how-to blogs focused on the developer. Here is a recent example from Marius Obert: https://blogs.sap.com/2019/12/02/cloudfoundryfun-10-partial-deployments-to-cloud-foundry/
  • Always exploring new channels for spreading education.  For example DJ Adams and his Live Coding sessions.
  • They are interactive on Social Media; especially when it comes to sharing relevant technology information from outside the usual SAP sphere
  • They work with the developer advocacy teams of many of SAP’s key partners such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Apple.

One last major task that sometimes gets forgotten in all the rollout and education activities is in the name: Advocate.  There is an important reason why the team was recently renamed from Developer Evangelist to Developer Advocate. This team attempts to be the voice of the customer/partner developer within SAP.  We are here to listen to your feedback, good and bad, and bring that voice back into our development organization.  So the next time you are at an event, spend a few minutes chatting with one of the Advocates.  Or don’t wait for event and feel free to reach out to one of us via the community or social networking.  Share with us what works and doesn’t work as an SAP developer.  This is a key way you can have your voice heard within SAP.

And so you know where to find all of us, here are links to all the current team members SAP Community pages:

 

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