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Former Member

The InnoJam at SAP TechEd Madrid 2012 is now over. This 30-hour design and coding competition took place on Nov 11-12 in Madrid and attracted a total of 62 participants from 14 countries who formed 8 teams (initially 9 teams, then two teams merged). It was by all accounts a very successful event, see for example what participants Ivan Femia, Tim Guest or Wim Snoep had to say about it.

The InnoJam started at 10AM on Sunday and by 3PM on Sunday all teams were ready to present a running software prototype that addressed one of the 5 challenges set to the participants on the theme "Better Cities - Better Lives". To put things in perspective: not only the software itself did not exist 30 hours before, but the teams members didn't know each-other either!

Right after each prototype presentation a panel of judges grilled the teams on all aspects of their solution: technical feasibility, business viability and user desirability. From left to right, our judges were Bjoern Goerke (SAP), Chris Turner (SAP), Ann Rosenberg (SAP), Graham Robinson (Yelcho Systems Consulting) and Ulrike Kleifeld (SAP).

And the winner is... Actually we had two winners! The gods of SAP TechEd allowed us to send two teams from the InnoJam to perform on stage at TechEd DemoJam on the next day, so the jury chose two winners: team WeCare and team Park-IT.

Team WeCare presented a mobile and cloud application for managing a private social neighborhood ecosystem. Thanks to the neighbors interaction center, neighbors can help each-other with everyday tasks such as car pooling, babysitting, planning playmates and other social activities such as a local community barbecue.

Team Park-IT showcased Parking Shark, a C#-based mobile app developed for the Windows 8 tablet to optimize the task of finding parks and managing user's parking experience that hits an SAP Business ByDesign back-end that manages parking optimization for cities.

The full replay of the final prototype presentations at the end of Day 2 is here, and the presentations of Design Thinking prototypes at the end of Day 1 are all here, while all details of the event can be found on the event's Wiki page. Don't miss the collection of official InnoJam photos.

This year's event different from  TechEd InnoJam 2011 in Madrid in three major ways:

  • Instead of starting head-first with coding, the first 6 hours of the event were dedicated to a mini-Design Thinking (DT) workshop. Our Design Thinking coach Hester Hilbrecht together with her team of DT coaches took each team through a number of time-boxed exercises with the objective of designing a solution centered on the user and validated through user interviews, rather than the usual "let's build it because we can" approach familiar to developers. This part was highly successful and was clearly the highlight of the event for most participants. Many thanks to Hester and her team!
  • We had two partner companies support the event with expertise and hardware: Microsoft with Windows 8 tablets and other devices and RIM with BlackBerry Playbooks. Both partners came with not only devices but also a large number of engineers (9 for Microsoft!) to help the participants get started developing on their platforms. As you can tell from the final presentations, the teams jumped on the opportunity, some of them even developing mobile apps for both platforms! A big thank-you to Microsoft and RIM!
  • 24 students and 2 professors selected by SAP University Alliances attended the event and joined teams to work alongside more experienced participants. These students represented 4 German universities: FH Brandenburg, FH Würzburg, TU München and University of Mannheim. The students integrated very well into the teams and represented a large proportion of those participants who kept coding through the night.

All throughout the night the teams received help from a wide range of SAP technical experts and SAP mentors who helped them get started with various SAP technologies, among which SAP HANA, SAP NW Cloud, SAP Mobile technologies, SAP NW Gateway, SAP Business ByDesign, SAPUI5 and more.

On Tuesday night the two winning teams presented in front of thousands of TechEd attendees at DemoJam: see team WeCare and team Park-IT perform on stage or watch the full DemoJam event. While we still have to see an InnoJam winner win TechEd DemoJam, we are very proud that a demo cobbled together in 30 hours by a team that discovered itself on the day of the event could take third place, competing with demos that have been months in the making!

In conclusion two things:

If you are reading this and attended this InnoJam, thank you and we hope to see you next year!

If you are reading this and did not attend, make sure you do not miss out on upcoming InnoJams! You will learn a lot, make new friends and experience for yourself the power of a committed team of developers locked in a room with drinks, food, laptops, technical expertise and the desire to learn and win!