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Blog It Forward – Raffael Herrmann

Now it got me too… Many thanks to Vadim for the nomination for the Blog It Forward (BIF) challenge. If this is the first Blog It Forward article you are reading, you can read more about the rules and background of the challenge here.

About me

I was born 1990 and grew up in “Goslar am Harz“, a small historic town in Lower Saxony, Germany. After I did my school internship in a software company (with focus on individual software in C#) and worked there until I finished my A-levels, it was clear that I wanted to have a job in the IT industry.


(Some views of Goslar’s historic city centre / Photos taken by my uncle and me / CC0 licensed)

Since I wanted to study as well as earn money immediately, I decided to do a dual degree. So in 2011 I moved from Goslar to Essen in the Ruhr area and started a company training as an IT specialist for application development (IHK) while studying business informatics in the evenings and on weekends at the same time.

(“Winter wonderland” near Goslar / Photo taken by my uncle / CC0 licensed)

Long story short: After completing my apprenticeship, I switched from an in-house position to SAP consulting (in the area of SAP Process Integration) at the RealCore Group and since you can’t stand on one leg, I decided to also complete my master’s degree (M.Sc. IT Management) on a part-time basis.

(Long exposure at night in Essen, Ruhr area, Germany / Photo taken by me / CC0 licensed)

Even though I have been working in the SAP ecosystem since 2012, I have never lost the origin of my programming knowledge (C# .NET). As someone who works in the integration domain, I’m kind of addicted to APIs and whenever I find an administrative interface, I write smaller (or larger) tools in C# to make my work easier and to improve the quality of my work results. (I often wish that SAP had set up the Netweaver on C# instead of Java. Dreaming should be allowed… 😉 )
Speaking of addiction – I think I’m addicted to coffee. A day with less than 6-8 large pots a day cannot be a good one.

In general, I am very interested in technology. Even if I know that (due to lack of time) I can never become an expert in all the individual technologies, I keep trying out new languages, frameworks and hardware by writing small demo projects. For example in/for/with: C # .Net, PHP, Python, Perl, Bash-Script, HTML / CSS / Javascript, ASP.NET, Android Apps (native Java and Phonegap), C ++, Pascal, Arduino, ESP8266, Raspberry PI, Node.js, Electron, … (The list is growing steadily and even though, as I said, I will not become an expert, I believe that looking outside the box is valuable in order to solve problems on a more abstract level.)

Fun fact

When I was in the 5th or 6th grade (can’t remember exactly) my parents sent me on a summer school course on the topic of creating a homepage. There we learned how to build a website with Microsoft Frontpage. After the end of the course I wanted to know how HTML works. So I spent every break at school in the school library for months, because there was a computer corner with internet connection, just to read the whole HTML Compendium (selfhtml.org) and build my first “real” website (hosted on “AOL hometown” – some might remember). From that time on, most of my school mates named me the “nerd” (which still happens until today).

If you were free to choose any IT area other than SAP, or any other area within SAP other than integration, what you would have selected or wanted to try out?

Within SAP: I would like to take a look at product development and program / participate in the “core” of applications. For example, co-develop the SAP CPI.

Outside of SAP: I would like to work / research in the field of machine learning, although I have to admit that I am afraid that I have not yet built up enough knowledge here to fill out such position in a good manner.

What were funniest or the most unusual project go lives that you participated in?

I’ve quite a few GoLives behind me, but to be honest, nothing exceptionally funny ever happened there. The vast majority of GoLives have been prepared for days and some have been planned with meticulous cutover plans.

Perhaps the most extraordinary (and not in a positive sense) GoLives were those, where we connected a large industrial machine that was only available once in the company due to cost reasons. Since the manufacturer also did not supply any simulation software, we took the machine “untested” into production / developed the interfaces against the production system itself.

What is your life dream? It can be something from professional life or something you would like to try and experience in your life.

Phew! That is a difficult question. I think my primary goal is to be able to look back with satisfaction and without regrets once I die. I do not mean that I intend to do “everything right” in my life, but I wish that I will be able to clear up all things that have not gone well over time, to have a pure soul.

In addition, there are of course a lot of things that I would like to do one day (but will certainly not achieve all of them, as they partially contradict each other):
– Start a family
– Buy an old stone house and (as far as I’m able to) restore / renovate it myself
– Invent a product and start a company
– Have a small auto repair shop in my Garage where I can (learn to) work on old cars
– Build a campervan from ground up by myself and take a longer holiday with it

If you were not in your current position, what/where would you be and why?

Before I came across IT in my youth, I wanted to be a car mechanic from an early age. I collected stacks of car newspapers, copied the facts and data of individual cars from books and quartets, sorted them, and put them in folders.
So if I hadn’t become an IT specialist, I would probably be a car mechanic / car mechatronics technician today.

Nomination

Everything must come to an end, as well as this article. Thank you for reading and your time.

I like to nominate Finny Babu, Daniel Graversen and Sven Huberti for the challenge. My questions to you are:

  • How do you select which topic you invest time in / what you want to learn (at a time when there are new frameworks, programming languages and techniques every day)?
  • If you were given by your work a full day every week to do whatever you feel like, what would it be?
  • Name the person who affected you most in your career/ way of thinking and why?
  • (optional) Recommend resources of information that helped you in your work
3 Comments
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  • Hi Raffael, and welcome to the #Blogitforward family!

     

    Having had a *few* go-lives under my belt, I’ve found that the actual go-live tends to go smoothly.  It’s always after you let the darned users on the system that things tend to go awry 😉

    Once upon a time, there was a go-live (I won’t say with which kind of software at all) and the consulting partners to help with the Accounts Payable portion realized that checks were not being sent out.   This received quite a bit of attention (from the consulting partners) and was remedied quite quickly.   What a way to get buy-in from the consulting partners, huh?   LOL

    For those reading this, please note that Raffael was also our most recent MoM (Member of the Month).

    Cheers,
    Sue

    PS:  please add #blogitforward to your tags?   That will help us find you more easily later on #evilplans

    • Hi Susan,

      thanks for your comment. Your GoLive experience sounds fun. When it comes to money, it’s always a little faster. 😉 Regarding the tag – I added it.

      Regards,
      Raffael

  • Thanks, Raffael for the nomination. It seems I get the opportunity to write a little about me.

    We have spent some sommer vacations in Goslar, close to Denmark and then a nice old city.