Blog It Forward – Caroleigh Deneen
Wow, it’s been almost six years since my original BIF and too long since my last blog post! For those of who don’t know me, I’m a gamification and user experience consultant at SAP for the community and developer web sites. In addition to helping run the gamification and reputation program, I also have the pleasure of designing the mission badges that embellish the profiles of our active contributors. Thank you, Audrey Stevenson, for inviting me to join the BIF challenge, and Susan Keohan for reviving the challenge.
I was born and raised in Philadelphia and now I live just outside the city in Villanova, PA. Villanova is a small college town made famous after the Villanova Wildcats won the men’s NCAA basketball championship in 2016 and then again in 2018. I live directly across the street from the university campus and enjoyed celebrating the wins!
I am definitely a home-body but I do enjoy travelling. My favorite trip so far was to Ireland where I have never felt more at home! I was single when I was there and hope to return someday with my children. I’ve also had the good fortune to visit London, Madrid, Scotland, Mexico, and multiple cities in France. I made it to SAP TechEd in Las Vegas in 2013, but that was before I was on the community team and Vegas overwhelmed me. With the family, we enjoy annual summer vacations in Sea Isle & LBI, New Jersey, and skiing over Christmas break in Mount Snow Vermont.
View from Long Beach Island, New Jersey
View from Mount Snow, Vermont
On the home front, I am a proud mama of four children, two Great Pyrenees dogs and am happily married to ADHD daddy. With a full-time job, it is a lot to manage gracefully, but SAP does a good job supporting work-life balance, so I have the flexibility to manage my commitments well.
Here is the family on Christmas morning, apparently posing for an Apple commercial.
I took this picture of my husband taking a picture of the kiddos
|My daughter took this picture of my husband and me taking their picture on the stairs|
The pups both share an affinity for this same spot under the kitchen table, caught on different days.
|Macho, our senior who’s been with us since the year I started at SAP||Rocky, who just turned two and is the reason Macho looks so tired|
On the hobby front, I enjoy playing and watching tennis. I love watching the grand slam tournaments and hope to attend one in person someday. It would be tough choice between such fantastic venues… I suppose the US Open is the most realistic, but oh, the food in France. I am a big Roger Federer fan! I never root against him but I have been enjoying the recent rise of the younger players from all over the world. The recent Australian open wore me out because of the time difference, but such great matches.
For those of you who read my last BIF, you may remember I am an identical twin. My twin, Amy, did finally move back to the area – and now has two fraternal twin boys of her own! We have a lot of fun getting the cousins together.
How did you wind up working at SAP or working in the SAP ecosystem?
My path to SAP was rather indirect. Professionally, I started out in web site development at an interactive agency after failing as a teacher. I was way too shy and introverted for teaching. I was much better suited for tech and enjoyed the heads down time building cool stuff. The Internet was just unfolding, so I taught myself how to build web sites and got pretty far, even setting up a Solr search engine for a buyer’s guide site. I was a generalist until the web matured. Eventually, with my undergrad degree in Psychology, behavioral design and information architecture emerged as a natural focus for me.
When the kiddos came, I stayed at home while they were Littles, but I always did freelance gigs to keep my skills current. I also got my masters from the University of Pennsylvania in the Management of Technology. Kids and school loans are expensive, so I started looking for something with a steady pay check when I thought they were old enough to handle it. SAP’s North American headquarters is very close to home and I was excited to join such an established international company. I was hired as an IA on the sap.com team. I moved around quite a bit over the years, but after a re-org landed my position on the community team as a gamification consultant. I never dreamed of such a position when I was growing up, but I feel like I’m at the perfect intersection of tech and psychology, where I belong.
What do you enjoy most in your work and why?
I enjoy SAP’s international presence and working with smart colleagues from all over the US and around the world! I think it’s a great way to learn about different cultures, perspectives and keep an open mind. With my fondness for illustrating, I also feel very lucky to get to design the community badges. It’s a great creative outlet from some of the heads-down analytical work. Here are three of my favorite contender badges, it’s always a tough decision which one goes live – I have quite a parking lot. T-shirt anyone?
What do you like to do in your spare time?
LOL> What spare time?! … I am an aspiring artist and spend most of my limited spare time illustrating. I publish two annual calendars – one focused on kid’s use of technology, the other focused on the antics of my Great Pyrenees pups. I aspire to publish a third calendar with all the material ADHD Daddy gives me every day, but that will have to wait because I’m also working on a book. The book is titled, Why Were You Late, and it is a collection of humorous excuses to give the cranky middle school tardy tracker lady. It’s written, but the illustrations are slow-going. I hope to finish before my youngest is out of middle school, but it will be close:)
All of my children are taller than me now☹ I guess it’s not that hard since I’m only 5 foot 3 inches, but it’s a milestone that marks their not being so little any more.
That is enough about me! I am happy to change the focus and invite others to join the fun… I’d like to blog it forward to Sajid Amir , a colleague I truly miss working with because he is awesome, super smart, reliable, nice and thorough. And another former community colleague who published her first BIF in 2012, who I also miss working with. I’m sure the community would love to hear from you again, Krysten Gentile.
If you were given by your work a full day every week to do whatever you feel like, what would it be?
Share a fun fact/story about yourself that people don’t know
What was the most fun project you ever participated in and why?
What’s a neat trick that you know and can share that you think others could benefit from and?
Thank you and cheers,