From the very beginning it was my intention to write three parts/ three blogs about the topic (check Role of the SCN contributions in your CV/resume, part1Role of the SCN contributions in your CV, part 2) and after the first two, this time it took me a while to gather enough ideas to end the story. I wanted to provide evidence it makes sense to contribute on SCN, it brings (could bring) something extra for you SAP career, I wanted to provide some "success stories", prove that it has a meaning to talk about the topic and contribute on SCN.
I got some nice comments and personal emails about these articles and promise I will write a fourth part of the story when I find something new or changed from what you can read in these three parts.
P.S.: I would not write any of my blogs without the help of many of you, dear Community members.Many of the ideas come from your comments in the thread called the same name: Role of a SCN/SDN contributions in your CV under Community discussions.
Side note: It´s not about the points
If we talk about the contributions and the reputation concept of SCN, it does not necessary mean points (or not only points). Even if there are like two million users on SCN, people know people, who they see like everyday answering, helping, contributing or they´re following the people, they find valuable. Even if you would earn two thousand points in a day, you would not get any SCN reputation.
Success story: Blag lives his "American dream"
The most visible story of success on SCN was the one by Blag: In the blog called From Lima to Montreal - A success story passionate member of the Community - Alvaro Tejada Galindo (known as Blag - check Blag´s wiki or his business card) tells the story about how his "constants contributions to SCN" helped him to get hired and to move few thousand miles to Canada - Montreal, what was his dream, he says. If you need to get motivated, read the story and learn the message: "This is the proof that no matter how long the distances are, our passion for SAP keeps us together...because let's face it...if it wasn't for SAP, my chances to get a deal like this would have been closed to null -;)" says Blag.
The pre-employment screening, help in getting a job
Many comments were made about checking the man´s (woman) profile before hiring him (her).
Some people are skeptical about having better chances through SCN reputation, for example Siegfried Szameitat comments: "Contributions are pretty worthless in terms of getting more attention or better conditions by a customer or any recruiter. At least this is the experience I made here in Germany. May be this is different in other countries. Even being a Mentor didn't get me a job faster or better paid. The only thing I can imagine is that you might have a light advantage at a customer site if there is somebody who knows you from your contributions, but this is then nothing else then the social networking thing." I hope it is not that bad everywhere, and if it is, I hope we can spread the word and explain the concept of SCN reputation to more and more people.
The most interesting comment I want to share is by Mark Finnern posted Job opening in Falls Church, VA, where Mark say: "...we are of the opinion that every company should check first the SDN standing of a candidate for an SAP position...".That would be great, in my opinion (well in an opinion of the guy, who has already posted few thousands of SCN messages). Maybe this is the right time to ask you to comment. I like this idea very much, but there are plenty of reasons why this will not work (or hopefully will, but will take much time to get there). If one can understand the value of the posts of the candidate (and does not simplify the check too much, does not note down the number of points only), then this approach can bring benefits, I hope.
I keep in mind, how many incredible SAP brains don´t have time for SCN (I could name many). But if no SCN involvement means "zero" and some insightful and interesting pieces can provide a bonus, then there will be no problem about it...?
By the way, when you send your CV/resume, you can pretend you have like "experience with everything" or your last job was "the Director of the World". But as Chris Paine reminds: "...it is easy to fake SAP certification (or other job related information you write in you CV/resume) and almost impossible to validate it. Whereas, it is easy to validate SCN contribution."
There is one last thing I want to share about the pre-employment screening. In some countries (like Germany, next to my country for example) it will be more difficult (of even illegal???) to use the information about the candidate from the social networks. Read the blog What is the Future of Social Networking by Scott Lawley or reuters.com: Germany considers ban on using Facebook for hiring. Scott warns: "According to the mentioned legislation, employers would be prevented from using information obtained from SCN to further qualify a candidate. However, I know that most of the active contributors on SCN contribute content because there is mutual benefit, and should it come time for a member to join another company, they would want to have that information available. The mere act of contributing to a public forum demonstrates trustworthiness, awareness of resources, and expertise."
The social networking thing
The user voodi, reminds of the very important point: "The real wealth of SDN is knowing something you haven't encountered ever." So we´re back to the social networking: people you meet, people you help, people you have fun with are much more important than the number of points you earn. Points can help prove yourself useful, help you find other dedicated and skilled people (those who gained points - you can understand who they are from their contributions - and people who are dedicated and skilled as well, but are not active on SCN... I am sure everybody has once got an email from somebody, who is at least on the same or even higher level in the field of expertise, is not active on SDN and you found interesting topics to talk about).
People think about the SCN contributions as a kind of investment (so do I). Stephen Johannes , our local CRM legend (read about his work here), says: "My motto is to "pay it forward", which will to lead contributions that someday help you once again." I believe we can apply the idea on the career as well. I mean you can contribute for fun and other selfless reasons, but you can get an unexpected opportunity or an offer based on your previous contributors in the future. I am sure Blag didn´t start his SCN contributions to move to Montreal one day. Nor did I. You cannot plan such things.
Together with voodi´s comment the message is clear: Through SCN one can meet new people and find new opportunities. That does not have to do anything with points. So if we talk about the SCN reputation and contributions, it means you don´t have to earn thousands to get lucky one day (well, it is not pure luck then, is it? It is kind of a payoff of all the invested time and effort).
I hope you enjoyed the tour and I am awaiting your comments. I also hope your SCN contribution will pay off one day, one way or the other. All the best, Otto