My SAP BW-BI-BW career started 8 years ago in a small consulting company. At the time, my only "go-to" source for information was a senior consultant and SDN.
I spend endless hours in the office reading the SDN forums and building my knowledge base. In the now archived "Business Intelligence old forum", I decided to be read only member. I was relatively junior in my career and, aside from questions, I didn't have much to contribute. I was, however, never disappointed when looking for answers to my questions. It was a great information source. I actually did find an entry I made about 6 years ago, earning me 2 points, which still sitting on my old account.
With my current account I have been active for more than 5 years and and until about 2 month ago, it has never earned a single point.
On the other hand, as the guy behind the account, I have developed a lot of knowledge and insight into SAP BW from 3.0B to 7.31 - thanks to the SDN community. Truthfully, SDN evolving into SCN and introducing the "gamification" element really lit the spark for me to start contributing and give back some of the knowledge I learned in the last couple years to the community.
I had not discussed my recent contribution activity in the Netweaver BW spaces with my work colleagues until about a week ago when they discovered my name on SCNs front page, highlighting my blog on creating a successful BI solution.
The result? It seems it has lit a similar spark in some of them and they have set up their profiles and started making the first steps to becoming an active member on SCN.
I don't know anyone in my BW circle of consultants and work colleagues not relying on SCN's content. Naturally, some days more often and others less often, but in the end all of them spend endless hours in the SAP Community Network each month. I'm excited to see where my contributions and active engagement on SCN will lead me in the next years.
The platform has enriched my knowledge and experience - especially in the first years of my career. The personal benefit for me has been reduced in the last few years as I have better developed my analytical skills and abilities to problem solve on my own. I suspect less SCN reliance is natural as a person's working knowledge of the system advances, I have discovered that one misses all the clever solutions and ideas readily available when you are active on SCN. I'm a little disappointed in myself that it took me so long to discover that SCN can truly boost your knowledge, giving you access to unique solutions you didn't even know existed. Just last week (for example) I discovered a solution that we implemented with huge positive feedback from our BI consumers. This was a solution I almost stumbled across, purely from being active on SCN.
As an in-house consultant you need to work harder to stay on top of changes and new developments and SCN is a great source for that. My mindset has changed - it is not just a platform for troubleshooting, it has a lot more to offer once you get involved!
As a junior consultant, I found the answers when I struggled. Now I think it's time to give a little bit of my earned knowledge back to the community and see where it takes me and what I will learn myself in the process…and I'm on my way to be a gold contributor.
Happy 10th anniversary SCN and I hope our new dialogue relationship will continue to develop.