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Developing on BTP: The SAP BTP Community – A Guide for Busy Experts

Hey there,

Thank you for clicking on that somewhat clickbaity title. It’ll be worth your time.

Reading documentation is usually the fastest way to learn something. But often, documentation is written incomprehensibly. Instructions from experts are easier to consume.

There are plenty of SAP BTP application development sources that are worth following. Sometimes you want to dive deeply into the technical side, while in other moments, you want to know what is new, so here I would like to share with you what sources I follow to keep myself up-to-date with the latest BTP developments.

Following content is an excellent way to learn something. The reason we rarely follow more things is that it requires a lot of work. I’ve set up my feed reader so that they are all at my fingertips in one place. It even tells me which entries have been read and which I marked to read later. This means more time for doing exciting work and less time for managing sources.

This blog is not a compilation of mere links to helpful content. I want to help you find your sources and learn from them faster. Today we will look for SAP BTP application development sources to follow and learn from, including my experiences with them.

There are many sources to learn new things about SAP BTP application development. If you know further excellent sources, why not share them in the comments below?

Sources I follow to keep myself up-to-date with the latest BTP developments

I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting sources to keep myself updated with the latest developments in BTP. From “the experts” to other BTP enthusiasts, there’s a lot of good stuff out there about BTP. You could spend your entire life reading blog posts, books, and articles and still not know everything there is to know about it. I’ve found the below resources to be very useful for me and you may find them helpful as well.

So here are a few sources that I regularly follow to ensure that I am up to date with all the latest BTP developments:

  • SAP Community
  • Twitter
  • Blogs
  • YouTube

I will regularly update this post with a list of my preferred sources to keep on top of BTP.

SAP Community

SAP Community is the central hub for all SAP-related content, with a majority of SAPler posting here. From my experience, there’s a lot of discussion about different topics such as future developments, best practices, and security. Some authors even venture out into niche areas.

It’s hard to overstate how important a central hub for SAP-related content is. I don’t know any single other sources with that much SAP-related activity. For authors, it’s convenient as there’s already a large interested audience. But for beginners just starting with SAP, the community can overwhelm and confuse. So let me try to simplify this a bit.

Topic Pages

Topic pages are available to get you started. These provide a curated overview of a topic and link to various other relevant sources, such as the SAP Developer Center and the SAP Help Portal. However, not all topics that might interest you are available. For example, try searching for Cloud Foundry.
To keep up to date, these topic pages are not a primary source for me. Since the topic pages link to blog posts anyway, I prefer to monitor them.

Blogs

Next up, you’ve got blogs. These currently are my primary source of exciting news and helpful tips. The community shares many stories on how they tackled and solved challenges they encountered. Also, SAPlers communicate the most important announcements here.

Yet, the sheer amount of blog posts can overwhelm you without limiting it down to topics of your interest. So I recommend using tags. Search for relevant tags and only monitor them. To me, these are:

General Application Development
Process Efficiency
User Interfaces

These are my topics of interest so that I can efficiently provide practical solutions. By clicking on a Tag, you can follow it. You can then configure how you want to be notified in your profile, for example, via email.

Being bombarded with emails all day long is not my preferred choice either. That’s why I’m using the available RSS feeds. See below in the “Saving time with tools” section for more information about that.

As authors usually tag their posts in multiple areas, you should catch the most relevant content with that. There might be more topics interesting to me and you, but you can’t keep up to date with everything and you don’t need to. If I’m fiddling around with the CI/CD Service, for example, I can always check these manually. And so can you. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Otherwise, you won’t read anything anymore.

Questions and Answers

Next, I skim the SAP Community for community members’ questions on these topics. They are available for you to follow using the same tag system. Since I only read them when I have a lot of time available, I set up a separate feed.

In my experience, they can be a valuable source of information if you have a problem. But they can also help others if you know the answers.

General Application Development
Process Efficiency
User Interfaces

Be mindful about email notifications here, though. It would be best if you had a sorting/filtering rule implemented in your mail client. Otherwise, the number of emails might get out of hand.

Twitter

Next, I recommend Twitter. If you’re new to social media, Twitter can be pretty intimidating with the seemingly never-ending stream of information. However, it’s a great place to network and socialize – just don’t expect it to happen overnight.

Twitter is an easy and quick way to connect with other SAP enthusiasts. I find it more efficient than LinkedIn simply because it’s less cluttered. And there are quite a few people to follow there – if you don’t mind the occasional picture from dinner or the train station.

The following list is not just my creation. I asked around to see who people would recommend following since simply listing the 90+ people I follow wouldn’t be very efficient for you. So thanks to Christian Braukmüller, Fabiano Rosa, Wouter Lemaire, Phil Cooley, Iwona Hahn, Volker Buzek, Gregor Wolf, Tim Champagne and many more for their opinions.

This list is not exhaustive and reflects opinions only, although I have tried to tag them according to topics posted recently. I’m sorry to categorize you, but it might make it easier for others.

Looking at recent tweets, I see a strong focus on UI5. Where are our backend advocates?

Other blogs and sources

There are other blogs and sites besides the SAP Community, but they are harder to find because of the scattered nature. Also, they often are in the company’s or person’s language, which is beneficial if you speak that language, but otherwise challenging. Due to Google Translator and the likes, you can still benefit from the content.

I monitor the following blogs and pages:

English

German

Spanish

If you are into Slack I’d also recommend joining the SAP Mentors & Friends channel.

YouTube

While I don’t recommend YouTube as the only source for keeping up, it can be an entertaining addition. Be careful with the time you will sink here.

With that said, these are the channels I would currently recommend for beginners to get started with SAP BTP application development:

Do you recommend any other active channel on SAP BTP?

Saving time with tools

Now that’s a lot of sources. Monitoring them can be pretty tedious if you try to do it manually. Fortunately, most of the sources cited here offer RSS feeds you can subscribe to.

I use a combination of two solutions – Feedly and Unread. Feedly to subscribe to the sources and Unread to read them on my tablet or phone.

For my type of use, Feedly is free. After creating an account, you can create different feeds and add sources. Since YouTube also offers RSS feeds, you can add any source mentioned here to Feedly. However, there is one limitation: adding Twitter requires a Pro account.

One pleasant thing about Feedly is that you can import and export feeds. So if you also use Feedly, I can share my OPML file with you. You can then import the file and have the same feeds without having to do it manually.

To read my Feedly feeds, I use another app called Unread. It’s an RSS reader available for iPhone and iPad that connects to Feedly. I found it more intuitive and user-friendly for my use cases, as it has a nice widget and allows me to save or discard articles.

Another tool I use to keep up with changelogs that don’t offer RSS feeds are visual change notification addons for Chrome. But that’s a story for another day.

I hope you could get some benefit from this post. It’s not exhaustive, so I’m sure there are many more people who can help you on your SAP BTP journey. Please share them with us in the comments.

If you are curious about more content from me, follow me at @TSteckenborn, YouTube, or any other social media platform.

On that note, I wish you a successful week and stay curious!

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