Last week, on Friday June 22nd the SAP Codejam Huizen took place. I’ll share my own impressions and lessons learned below. Almost all pictures below are courtesy of Craig Cmehil and Matthias Steiner. More pictures can be found at SAP CodeJam - Fotos | Facebook . For Craig’s own impression, see A win for the Netherlands | Friday Morning Report .
The SAP CodeJam concept
For those who don’t know what Codejam is all about: please read CodeJam, let the coding begin! by Craig Cmehil (the mastermind behind the concept). Then, if you’re still unsure about what this means, listen to the excellent Enterprise Geeks podcast, where Craig explains the idea even better. For me personally it’s all about developers meeting developers.
Berlin, London, Tel Aviv! Huizen?
I know, after the first three cities, Huizen might not be the first one that comes to mind. But SAP Codejam seemed just the type of event that we at NL for Business can accommodate, as opposed to an SAP Inside Track or an Innojam (both of which will by the way take place elsewhere in the Netherlands this year, see below). So that’s why I sent a request to Craig to host one on our premises. And after SAPPHIRENOW in Orlando, which apparently kept everyone at SAP quite busy, we quickly came to an agreement with respect to date, time etc. The message here: this is a local, relatively low-key kind of event and so you, dear reader, can do this too. Just make sure you can assemble some interested people (as few as 10 will do) and send Craig an email. It’s about as easy as that. There really is no excuse .
Our, or rather, my platform of choice was SAP NetWeaver Cloud. Partly because it wasn’t featured yet on the earlier CodeJam’s, partly because I wanted to know more about it. Furthermore I knew there were several other people in the Netherlands interested in it. This turned out to be a good choice and most of the people I had in mind did indeed show up.
Here is platform evangelist Matthias Steiner at the start of the event:
I’m sad to say there are no more pictures available, due to the fact that this is a Cloud platform (but see the coding section below).
The Neo team of experts
SAP really impressed us here by sending their whole SAP NetWeaver Cloud team to Huizen. At least that’s what it looked like. As it turned out the Codejam was not the only item on their agenda, but still, their strong presence made SAP Codejam Huizen very worthwhile to everyone. Thanks a lot guys! We hope you enjoyed the trip and you will consider returning next time. Now for the team members:
Food and Drinks
After the wireless, which after an initial hiccup worked alright, this is easily the most important thing a host is responsible for. Although we missed out on beer (no complaints there, at least not from the participants) we did alright in every other respect. In fact, we had way too much food, which really was a shame. So here is one lesson learned: make sure to close registration a few days before the event takes place ánd assess the list of participants: we had for instance registrations from India and Pennsylvania. Needless to say these people never showed up. By the way: thank you Craig for generously paying for food and drinks! For a 'localhost' this makes it even easier to sell the event internally. Some pictures to get a taste for what was in store for the participants:
Some of the drinks
Craig bringing in the 4.00 PM snacks
(Part of) dinner. Indeed, no pizza this time.
We even had a lunch arranged for everyone, but let's just say the whole building could've had lunch...
After all this talk (and pics) you might forget that we were here also to do some coding. But rest assured: we didn't neglect that aspect. And while I’ve not yet seen an application from Codejam Huizen in the SAP Store, I’m pretty sure most of the participants made progress on the platform during this event, as can be seen from the pictures below:
As for myself, I got the tutorial on the Document Service working and the fact that it took me almost all the available time says more about me than about the tutorial, which was excellent.
Some more pictures
SAP-groupie and -critic Martijn Linssen (on the right) who normally 'only' attends the Dutch SAP Inside Track came along just to meet some old friends, which I think is just awesome. Rumor has it he even did a video with Craig for jd-od.com , but I'll believe that when I see it...
As is kind of usual after such a first-time event, the praise and compliments were abundant afterwards. Thank you all for that! That said, there’s still room for improvement:
- Food and drinks should be better aligned to the number of participants, if only to reduce waste.
- We should get more participants, and ideally more non-SAP Java-developers also, which IMO will make for a better mix. I’m not sure though how to reach out to the non-SAP Java community. Any help will be very much appreciated.
My own opinion: I think it was a typical first time event which I’m sure will get better/smoother with more ‘practice’, but overall I’m fairly satisfied and happy with how things worked out.
Next events in the Netherlands
Of course there are more events planned in the Netherlands: the Dutch SAP Mafia is rapidly establishing a reputation for themselves.
- On Sep 7-8 the second Innojam NL will take place at the Dutch SAP Headquarters in Den Bosch. See the wiki page for details. Registration will open next week.
- The fourth SAP Inside Track, brainchild of SAP Mentor Twan van den Broek, will take place on the 1st of December. Watch this space for announcements!
- Next SAP Codejam Huizen: yes, there will certainly be a next Codejam. I’m not sure when though. August is an option, but is rather soon. Otherwise we’ll probably do the next one in January 2013, after the SAP TechEd season.
SAP Codejam Huizen was a success, and I want to thank everybody who drove up to Huizen for their presence and participation, as the participants define this kind of event.
I’m sure there will be many more Codejam’s, some of which have already been announced. Be sure to visit or organize a CodeJam near you!