So I’ve been tagged in the Blog it Forward chain. I will admit to having mixed emotions. My first feeling was being honored to have been named by the immutable Moya Watson who accuses me of the following:
- Being knowledgeable and smart – I’ll consider this to be a result of my goal to associate with people who I believe are smarter and more knowledgeable than myself. In other words, I strive to be the “dumbest” one in the room since it means all I can do is learn more.
- Has a mouthpiece and is unafraid to use it – I will admit to that. It often gets me in trouble, but at least it gets me noticed.
- A moral compass, and straight shooter – see above – but if you do what you love, and love what you do, your life and your work will generally be much more enjoyable. My career path at SAP has been very much a reflection of that – wanting to help customers and the people who use our products get as much value as they can out of the solutions SAP provides.
- An affinity colleague – one of those things that you can never do enough of outside of your core work. But, I believe SAP’s embracing of diversity is a competitive advantage for a global company. It’s for that reason why I believe that merely feeling accepted in the company is not enough, but that we need to drive progress for social justice. Just look at Google, and the stature they’ve attained in California.
- Slave to an adorable pack of doggies – meet Eva and Oban, my bearded collies. They’re like 3 dogs each – 1) just having a dog you have to feed & walk on a schedule; 2) too smart for their own good - requiring a lot of stimulation; 3) requiring a lot of grooming – in fact I’m probably skilled enough to be my own professional groomer now.
Introducing myself further
In the spirit of the Blog It Forward Initiative, I should also introduce myself a little bit further.
Things I enjoy doing
Wine maker – I used to make wines in my garage until moving to a new place. I’m hopeful to get that started again as each bottle I produced was a labor of love and pride. These are the labels from my favorite year:
Outdoorsman – whether white water rafting, hiking, camping, or fishing, I love to be outdoors in nature whenever I can.
Gardner – I enjoy growing my own vegetables. They seem to taste better to me…maybe because they are picked extremely fresh, left to mature fully, or just because it’s the direct (uh, fruit?) of my labor.
Stuff I do for the community
First Lego League – one of the most fun activities I’ve done was help organize a robotics club with one of the local middle schools. With an SAP colleague of mine ,we took advantage of an SAP program where SAP buys the lego robots for employee-coached First Lego League teams, and also pays for registration. We did this for two seasons, both years with our team heading to the regional championships.
Rainbow Recreation Board of Directors – in Silicon Valley, there really isn’t much to do if you are gay or lesbian, and it’s hard to meet people outside of work. So we founded an activity club over 20 years ago that organizes outdoor recreational activities for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to be able to meet people in healthy ways. This has been especially valuable for the area since Silicon Valley has tended to have a very transient population as people frequently move here for new jobs.
PAWS – Pets Are Wonderful Support. I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that I feel for a charity that is dedicated to helping the ill and elderly keep their pets for as long as possible by supporting their pets’ veterinary and food costs. It’s a wonderful mission since it helps the animals keep their home, and helps their owners stay healthy by having their faithful companions around. They have a wonderful fundraiser every year called Petchitecture. They have local artists create amazing one-of-a-kind pet furniture such as dog beds and cat posts. Then they throw a black tie dinner with dogs invited, where attendees bid on the unique furniture in a silent auction. Here is a picture of my partner Antonio, and Eva kissing HGTV star John Gidding, whom we met at a Petchitecture.
Answering Moya’s questions:
In the spirit of "everything old is new again," we have some serious issues facing the globe, and crumbling financial institutions may or may not be a passing fad. Imagine your work life. What will SAP be like in 10 years? What would you be doing here for your daily work then?
In this day in age, 10 years is a long time, especially for a company such as SAP that I believe is at a transition point. Given the future potential that HANA seems to have for not just reinvigorating SAP’s current products, but actually driving a whole new universe of applications, I think SAP and its customers will be well in the middle of harvesting the many new capabilities we will be realizing. SAP itself will be transformed around new capabilities it can build itself with HANA powered applications and we will be setting a new standard for a company that runs better. Finally, we will all be focusing on new growth opportunities in the remaining sectors of the world that will be industrializing: Indonesia and Africa.
As for my job in 10 years? I always like to do something new. So I can only tell you it will be different, or at least a different class of product I will be supporting. Maybe I’ll be answering your customer support calls. “Hello Mrs. Jones from Porsche, my name is Greg. How may I help you run vroomier today?”
What is the best thing you've ever given to someone?
This is a hard one, but I’m pretty sure the best gift I’ve ever given something was not a thing. More likely an impression, an inspiration, an experience, or lesson. I suppose I could think, what is the best gift I’ve given someone that I liked, but that wouldn’t be what I would consider impactful. As far as what someone else tells me, I can’t say one specific thing, but from time to time, I run into someone who remembers me from years past, when I was doing things like camp counselor or volunteer in college. Moya, you should have made this one extra credit.
Extra credit: Imagine today is your birthday. What are you going to do and who will you celebrate with?
Well I suppose it would be boring to say I’m celebrating with m family, close friends, and my dogs. So let me say that in a soon to be held birthday that is divisible by 5, I plan to rent out the local wine bar and invite many of the friends and acquaintances I work with in my community activities.
Blogging It Forward
Back to my mixed emotions, my second feeling after being tagged by Moya was one of panic – so many good people have already been named in the Blog It Forward chain. I was worried that there wasn’t anyone left. However, about 5 minutes of thinking about all the cool people I’ve worked with in the SAP Community over the last few years yielded a huge list of people who should be tagged. It wouldn’t be fair to those that I tag to also tag all the other great people I thought of. So instead, I’m going to focus on people who are newer to the community, or perhaps not as well known.
So, here are some cool people that I’ve worked with and appreciate their contributions to the community. And I would like to learn more about them:
- Andreas Eissmann – I believe the youngest SAP Mentor, and one of the most prolific developers of apps for SAP Business ByDesign published on the SAP Store. What distinguishes Andreas is his generosity and willingness to share what he learns about working with ByDesign with his fellow community and consultants, even those that otherwise are competitors.
- Judson Wickham – If Andreas had a twin in the US, Judson would be closest, but that wouldn’t be fair. Judson is one of the earliest implementors of ByDesign to start blogging on SCN. Where Andreas is one of the more advanced independent ByDesign developers, Judson is probably one of the most senior consultants. He has experience both on the customer side, and now as part of SAP Partner Bramasol. Judson’s willingness to share with the community, as well as tell SAP what he likes and doesn’t like makes him an excellent contributor to the SAP Community.
- Sina Moatamed – one of the first ByDesign folks I had the pleasure of working with, and a newer SAP Mentor. Sina has been on the cutting edge of cloud computing for several years, being one of the first CIO’s to be cloud-oriented in a small company, and now currently in charge of architecting the cloud service architecture at Amgen.
- Twan van den Broke – Twan is an SAP Mentor, and part of consulting company CIBRE in the Netherlands. Twan has distinguished himself to be one of the earliest and foremost experts of agile development in the SAP Ecosystem, starting first with NetWeaver Java development, and then applying these principles to SAP ERP implementation.
- Owen Pettiford - I’m surprised I even have the opportunity to still tag Owen given that he’s been a long standing SAP Mentor and contributor to the SAP Community. I know Owen best through the hard work that he has his company, Comprise IT have put into delivering solutions based on SAP NetWeaver BPM to his clients.
And to those I tagged, I would like to pose 3 questions:
- What do you do to build bridges
- What is your philosophy of innovation and how do you help others to innovate
- How will you leave the world a better place?