Getting started as a Developer Advocate
I come from Ranchi, a city in the northern state of Jharkhand, India. About ~1900 Km from my current work location in SAP Labs India Bangalore. I confess I didn’t know much about SAP when I finished engineering in 2005, I just knew that it is an ERP software company. I joined a different multinational software and services company as a campus hire the same year and landed in Bangalore for the first time. It was a short span of 2 months, though enough to fall in love with this amazing city with an awesome climate throughout the year. As fresh hires we were asked to relocate to Chennai to staff a new development centre. I used to travel back and forth almost every fortnight to Bangalore as most of my friends were here.
It was a simple desire to come back to Bangalore that tossed me into the world of SAP. I joined SAP Labs Bangalore in 2007. If we look back, there was no SAP building BLR04 and building SAP BLR05 back then. It was a revelation after I started working at SAP that there is such a diverse portfolio of products, technologies and topics on which the company and employees were doing research and development. We have such an open, inclusive and encouraging culture in SAP making it one of the “Best Places to Work” in India.
Initially I was part oy ByD platform team for Master Data and Business Partners. It was exciting to learn ABAP after coming from a JAVA J2EE background. Since then, I got opportunity to work on several other products like SAP CRM Business Suit, SAP NetWeaver ABAP Platform, ADT or AiE, SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP C4C Platform team. One of the best times in my past was conducting CodeJams and trainings on ADT/AiE and HANA topics.
Fast forward to 2023 when I was looking for a new internal opportunity and I came across the Developer Advocate Team that was recruiting a new team specifically for the APJ region.
Josh introducing the new Developer Advocate team
It is a privilege that on July 1st, 2023, I got to join this global team. I am grateful that now I get to do what I loved to do in past.
Last one month we had tons of learning, looking at Customers and Partners, Products and Developers both SAP internal and SAP community developers, from a completely different perspective.
It is a sea change, as I no longer do usual development activities that I used to perform. Instead, we are directly interacting with the SAP developer community via various channels. I will elaborate on all the activities that we do as Developer Advocates in a bit.
So, what does an SAP Developer Advocate do at present?
In brief you can have a look at SAP Developer Advocates . This will give you a summary of our motto. Developer Advocates engage with the developer community and help developers discover, understand and adopt SAP technologies. In a way we are representing SAP on the various SAP Technologies and Products that we directly present to our SAP Developer community. We have a rare opportunity to share new innovations from SAP directly to the developer community while we do CodeJams with the SAP Developer Community.
We get firsthand feedback from the developers when they are using our SAP products and solutions in the code jam exercises. We get to hear about the obstacles, difficulties and real-world use cases the customers/developers have while they use our products. These insights and the real pain points we can never imagine anticipating while we are developing the product. While developing new products we usually work hard with our best assumption about how our customers might use our products. Well Developer Advocates bridge this very gap by bringing this very valuable feedback from the SAP Community back to the product development team thereby providing an opportunity to make fact based tangible improvements. I hope I was able to show you the value advocates bring here.
At the same time, we bring all the relevant news about new product feature announcements and new developments in the technologies directly to customers, partners, and the developer community via multiple channels. One such channel is the Developer News Channel on SAP’s official youTube channel. We also multiply the relevant information for the developer community via the Sap Community, blog posts and social media channels. To summarize, we provide the bidirectional relay of both positive and negative feedback helping the Product Development teams and Developer Community alike.
Check out the links below if you would wish to attend or host a Code Jam.
When you hear the term ‘Developer Advocate’, you may associate this term with some tasks we do, but this is just a tip for an iceberg.
Here are the range of activities we do throughout the year:
- Blog Posts
- Tutorial Authoring and Maintenance
- In person events – CodeJams
- Speaking engagements
- Hands-on Live Stream Sessions
- Video Shows: SAP Tech Bytes, SAP Developer News, 2 Minutes Of, Developer Digest
- Community Q&A
- Code Samples via GitHub
- SAP TechEd
- Social Media: LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram
Out of the several activities we do, we produce news segments for the SAP Developer News for our SAP Developer Community bringing the latest updates on technical topics and products. It involves many tasks right from the shooting of raw videos, to getting the final news segment ready. These news segments are then produced in collaboration across the globe by fellow Developer Advocates in different regions, which are then combined to produce the final Developer News episode which reaches the Developers every week.
SAP Devtoberfest is a festival for Developers where you get Educational Content, Fun Activities and “The Contest” where you can win an exciting Grand Prize. This is primarily driven and moderated by Developer Advocate Team. Registration is open for this year’s festival that starts from September 18th, 2023, till October 13th, 2023. Head over to Devtoberfest Welcome page for 2023 to find out more.
SAP TechEd is the biggest SAP Technology Conference where Developer Advocates contribute via their role in Executive Key Notes, Developer Keynotes and Developer Garage.
You will find most of SAP Developer Advocates in the Developer Garage where you can try out hands-on exercises on the hot technology topics. Registration for SAP TechED is also open that is scheduled for 2nd and 3rd of November 2023.
This is my first SAP blogpost, one step in the direction of many more to come. There couldn’t have been a more suitable time than when I am onboarded to this team.
As I have embarked on this new journey as a Developer Advocate, I will prepare for the topic SAP Cloud Application Programming Model and hopefully I may meet you soon at SAP TechED or one of CodeJam events happening in a location near you.