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SAP TechEd 2021 Behind the Scenes with the SAP Developer Advocates

Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate

We wanted to share some of the TechEd 2021 Behind the Scenes details. Although the event is virtual again this year, there are a small number of SAP employees traveling to the Studio in Frankfurt, Germany to help produce and support the event.  The follow are some of the pictures and experiences from the SAP Developer Advocates team. 

@RichHeilman and I were able to meet up the Airport and were on the same international flight together

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Feels weird to be in the giant metal tube that takes you into the sky once again.

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Brought lots of stuff for the team to help make the two week trip more fun

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It almost feels like a regular conference with all the signage, but just minus the attendees unfortunately. 

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There are even catered meals like at an in-person event. 

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We have a nice setup for the team with our own working room. 

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Also a good spread of snacks in the room help power through some long days.

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The Calma Lama stress toy is always here for the team when things get a little too tense.

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And so Day 1 arrival and setup is done. Onto Day 2.


Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate

On Day 2 more of the team arrived and we received a Studio Tour.

Preproduction Meeting with the Director

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The greenscreen room where we will record all the demo/diary scenes for the keynote

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The main control room for TechEd itself and where we will record the opening to the Developer Keynote

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And for some pictures of the virtual environment stage.  It has the same kind of LCD screen technology and Unreal Engine rendering that Disney used when filming the Mandalorian (and which was used in TechEd last year as well).  But there are some new "rooms" in the virtual TechEd house this year. 

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We had diner afterwards at the Studio facility. The first team dinner we've been able to have together in two years! Socially distanced but still great to be able to be together. 

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And that was a wrap for day 2

Day 3 and we are scheduled to start recording segments for the Developer Keynote.  The goal is record today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday).

The team is getting relaxed and doing "regular" work while we wait on our turn to get into the Studio stage to record. 

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Working hard to make last minute adjustments to the script and demos

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Katharina Schell is first up to record a demo in the green screen room today. 

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The team is learning today that Keynote production is a whole lot of "Hurry Up and Wait". 

We continued Day 2 in the afternoon with the first bit of filming of the Developer Keynote on the main stage. 

Mamikee has the job of recording the opening segment of the Keynote but our start time got delayed for two hours.  So she is waiting patiently. 

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A little hint of the content of the Developer Keynote, DJ with the props for his segment. 

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The director doing a walkthrough before recording the first segment.

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Another hint to the content of the Keynote.  This prop plays an important role too. 

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Finally setup and ready for the first scene which is being recorded in the TechEd control room.

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We are all enjoying watching the setup and recording of the first scene.

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Action! on Take 1 of Scene 1.

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Scene 2 is with DJ in the TechEd House Kitchen.

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Scene 4 with Michelle and Witalij also in the TechEd House Kitchen.

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And that's a wrap for Day 1!  We will continue with a full day of shooting again tomorrow. 

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so good to see you all!!! 😃

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Day 4 Wednesday and the Developer Keynote recording continues.

It's Michelle's turn to record her demo in the green screen room 
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Later in the morning, Rich had a recording on the main stage with a mystery guest.  We can't tell you who. You'll just have to tune in next week to find out.

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We start recording with the whole group on the main stage in the afternoon. But first we all have to go through hair and makeup.

They even managed to get me in there 

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But some members of the team enjoy hair and makeup more than others.  Take Josh for instance.  Here he is doing his pre-makeup grooming.

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Just have to take that shine off the top.

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"Looking good, Josh - looking good."  -- That will make even more sense after you see the Developer Keynote
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And no that blue beard doesn't come naturally and the hotel sink has paid the price.  Josh even had to go buy some cleaning products before hotel housekeeping sees it.

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 the before of the “potential” “alleged” stains

Sorry that I got a little behind here with updates; there has been so much going on. The team has been working late into the night to get everything filmed.  But let's continue with Day 4 Wednesday.  By 5pm we back in the Studio and ready to record more segments for the Developer Keynote.

The Calma Llama is ready for her close up now...


They are bringing in the set pieces for one of tonight's scenes. I wonder what they do with these couches once we are done filming?


When they were filming Star Wars Return of the Jedi - the working title was actually Blue Harvest. Return of the Jedi - Wikipedia We've starting using the working title of Blue Towel for the Developer Keynote given how much screen time that thing has.


There's that crazy towel again...


Kevin had weeks of practice getting ready for this scene


Michelle and Katharina in their scene together


Wait! Is this a cooking show?


Or is it sports and fitness?


Or maybe a murder mystery?


I guess you'll just have to tune in next week to find out.

We filmed late into the night, but the props came in extra handy.


Late into the night but that's a wrap on the 2nd day of filming for the Developer Keynote. Only a few scenes left, but we will have to wait until Friday to get those. 


It's now Day 5 of our trip (Thursday, November 11th).  Half of the team has to stay in Frankfurt to prepare the Channel 1 moderator content. The other half of the team traveled to Walldorf and the SAP headquarters to record the SAP Developer News for the week.

With all the equipment to bring with us, we really filled what little space was left in this vehicle.


Its been a while but it sure is nice to be back in WDF01 - building one of the SAP headquarters campus.


And who can forget the iconic hockey puck outside of building 3. 


But we are going to be working most of the day in building 18.


Lunch time is upon us before we know it. Several of us tried the interesting pulled goose burger.  It reminded us Americans of a Thanksgiving turkey leftover sandwich (but more flavorful actually). 


We produced what is probably our finest episode of the SAP Developer News ever.  It was great to be on Campus and have guests from the development teams there as well. Be sure to check that out on the SAP Developers YouTube channel once its available later in the day on Friday.


Before returning to Frankfurt, we did have a nice, authentic German dinner in Heidelberg. 


Now for Day 6 (Friday, November 12th). This is finally a catch up day to finish shoots and preparation for moderation that we couldn't squeeze in earlier in the week. 

Josh and Rich finish up the last two scenes for the Developer Keynote on the set of the Developer Lab. Notice the fun Devtoberfest painting on the wall of the lab!


A few more hints about the Developer Keynote. The director even has a visual storyboard. 


And here is the shirt that I wore today.  As we go into the end of week one; super proud of the team and all they have accomplished. The Developer Advocate team somehow managed to work on Devtoberfest, SAP TechEd Developer Keynote and Channel 1 Content/Moderation all at the same time.  Any one of these would have been a major accomplishment on their own, but the fact that this team (and extended friends and family) managed to do this all overlapping is crazy!


0 Kudos

The Heidelberg dinner pictures look fantastic.  I'm hungry now.

Day 7 (Saturday, November 13th).

Although its the weekend, the TechEd team is in here working around the clock on final preparations, rehearsals, and video editing. 

But first there are Devtoberfest details to work on as well.  The Devtoberfest event official ended on Friday; but that now means final badge assignments and points calculations.  We will working over the weekend to set all the levels in the contest so that we can draw the overall winner live on air during TechEd in the last hour of the event. 

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Rehearsals on stage started sharp at 8:00am.  You can see from this picture a little behind the scenes of what the stage area looks like:

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The differ rooms in the TechEd house are all created virtual and can be swapped out digitally. But they all also have some physical props.  Each room has a section just off stage where the props for that room are lined up and ready to go for quick change over.

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Josh and Mynyna are practicing their moderation times in Channel 1.  We basically do a full rundown and practice of the complete TechEd Channel 1 agenda this weekend and into Monday to make sure everything is ready.

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With the monitors just off stage we can see in real-time the preview of final product with graphic overlays and other digital elements added in.

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With Josh on stage all morning in practice, we missed him in the team working room; but we found a good solution:

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Rich and DJ are practicing their mindful meditation in the back of the team working room as well.

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And as we near lunchtime, we receive our detailed rundown sheets for Channel 1.  Its an extremely detailed (as in down to the minute) schedule of EVERYTHING that will happen in Channel 1 and where everyone needs to be.  We will all be living off of this document during the TechEd event itself.  I blurred bits of the details so as to not give away any spoilers ahead of time.

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We are only 1/2 way through Saturday and already so much as happened.  In a few minutes we get to watch the first edit of the Developer Keynote.  Then its off to more practice on the stage and perhaps a few other surprises we can share later.

Continuing Day 7 (Saturday, November 13th).

Here we are watching the first rough cut of the SAP TechEd Developer Keynote

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Then while the stage was free during lunch break, we snuck in and recorded a little Developer Keynote promo video: 

And to keep everyone's energy up on the weekend we have special treats in the late afternoon.  Today's treat is hot waffles!

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0 Kudos

Can you be more explicit about the trouble-makers?

P.S. Love your promos and looks behind-the-scenes 😉 I was expecting something to fall from the sky while Rich was talking. 

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It's Day 8 (Sunday, November 14th) of our TechEd Adventure.

Another day of rehearsals and recording promos mostly. 

I got my turn to rehearse on stage with Channel 1.

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It was also Thomas Grassl's moderation rehearsal day


And Rich Heilman's


We got sneak behind the virtual wall of the TechEd set and it looks like something right out of the Matrix


The sound person has everyone mic's all laid out and labeled for all the fast changes between segments.


And finally for lunch someone must have asked for extra Carbs today.  It was good, but this is going to take some running to work off.



Active Contributor

Thank you for doing this - it almost feels like I am there.  Now I am also curious about the "corny" candy bars too.

Community Administrator
Community Administrator

Almost like a chewy Granola bar - but maybe @thomas_jung can give a better comparison 🙂

I tried one and would agree - think chocolate dipped granola bar. 

Same here - it's really good to see how it is going. And I really can remember how it felt last year!

Thanks @thomas_jung for sharing and greetings to all my lovely colleagues! Good to see you guys ❤️

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Community Administrator
Community Administrator

Absolutely brilliant @thomas_jung ! Thanks for sharing, wishing everyone there all the best! 


@thomas_jung  Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures of the upcoming event...!! We are eagerly waiting to attend this event..

Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Nice, thanks for sharing backstage impressions. Good luck and have fun!


**bleep** I wish I was there, so many cool things going on, lovely toys and of course amazing company

Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Lots of activities behind the scenes and free beard grooming! 🧔 Really looking forward to this exciting event!

Active Participant

Advocates Heroes.


 good to see you all 😀

Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Thanks a lot for sharing!

Active Participant

This is one of the best post ever.. I enjoyed the experience and looking forward to the 48 hr marathon.  cleared my calender as much as possbile!

BTW the groups team need to fix the resolution on the profile images.

Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

I miss not hanging with you guys.  Thanks for the pics/commentary.


Great impressions from our dev advocates 😊 Also leaving a picture here (group photo with the team, physically distanced)! Great job everyone! 



Community Administrator
Community Administrator

Despite the difficulties these days it’s always fantastic how everyone bonds together to make something happen and it’s awesome to have you here with us in the community @JuergenMueller ! 

It was really a highlight that @JuergenMueller came over and spent quite some extended time chatting with our team during the filming.