The SAP Champion Spotlight Interview Series highlights key strategic topics, such as emerging technologies, learning, and other topics, and provides insights from SAP Champions and SAP leaders on turning ideas into innovative approaches that impact people, process, and technology.
Self-growth is an essential ingredient to a fulfilling life journey and successful career.
From an IT, business, and community perspective, successful individuals and organizations are in a continuous cycle of learning.
Those who can better upskill in a world of talent – which is in constant flux – will have a greater opportunity to achieve positive outcomes, job security, and growth.
For some, an excellent way to learn a subject matter is to help organize (e.g., events, blogs, forums) and teach the topics (e.g., products, solutions, technologies) to and for others. This forces the contributor to review the materials and reinforce it in their own work activities.
For johann.fleitner2, SAP Champion, community leader and contributor, Executive Partner and CEO at Cadaxo GmbH, technology learning 📗started early at age 10. Very early on, he realized that computer games such as Pac-Man, Tetris, or Ghost'N Goblins, along with selling the games he developed to a magazine publisher, was his ticket out of a small village in Austria.
Enjoyed catching up with Johann from his home office in Vienna, Austria.
Stephanie De Camara Marley (SM): Hi Johann! You once shared that as a 10-year-old you decided to become a software developer. Fast forward to your time at SDV Schule für Datenverarbeitungskaufleute Ausbildung (SDV School for Data Processing Clerks Training) to now… What sparked your interest in programming which led to your current role as Executive Partner and CEO at Cadaxo GmbH?
Johann Fößleitner (JF): Hi Steph! Fortunately, I grew up in a time where home computers (e.g., Commodore, Atari) became popular. My first computer was a Commodore 16, and since we had little money to buy software, I quickly learned to write my own games.
We had no books, no Internet, just a few magazines with program codes to type and learn. This helped me understand the basics of software development at just 12 years old.
I realized that this was my ticket out of the small village. That's why I did everything I could to get into a school for software development in Vienna.
SM:You enjoy playing video games upon occasion on your old game console (e.g., Philips Videopac; Commodore 16/64/128). What are your favorite games? Did your passion for video games play a role in your interests in software development and design?
JF: To this day, I enjoy playing the "old" games like Tetris, Pac-Man, or Ghost'N Goblins. But not on any emulators, I play them on the original devices. These old-school games have great gameplay.
The developers were extremely creative, almost like artists. Whenever I go on vacation, my retro Game Boy is always with me!
SM:How did you become an SAP Champion? In this role, how do you engage with Community members?
JF: I assume it's because of my engagement in the SAP ABAP community. I am quite active on Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. I have been doing ABAP webinars, talks and workshops on a regular basis for the last 10+ years.
I regularly organize SAP CodeRetreats, SAP CodeJams, and I am also one of the co-organizers of the SAP Inside Track Vienna and ABAPConf (Conference).
BTW - This year the ABAPConf takes place for the second time on December 7. Registration and details: www.abapconf.org
SM:As an SAP community leader and contributor, including co-founder of the SAP Inside Track Vienna as well as organizer of CodeRetreats, SAP Stammtisch, and webinars in Vienna, Austria, what SAP activities interest you? Given your busy schedule, what community activities are you investing time in these days?
JF: No matter how busy I am, I still try to find time to organize the ABAP webinars. These webinars give me the opportunity to tackle completely new topics and prepare them in a way that makes them understandable for other people. Not only do I help others by teaching them, but this is also the best way for me to learn something new. I believe that part of my success is that I never stopped learning and growing.
SM: Enjoyed reading your blog, “Use Classic SE38 ABAP in Fiori Launchpad – via SAPGui for HTML(Full disclosure – Used Google Translate!:-). In the past, integrating reporting content 100% into the SAP Fiori design was reserved for advanced programmers. How can users with little to no programming language take advantage of the “Rapid Report Generator (RRG) for Fiori” via “SAP Fiori Smart Controls” that you and your team have developed? What inspired you to take a low-code approach?
JF: Customers have created many ABAP reports over the years. With the RRG, we enable a quick and easy integration of these reports into SAP S/4HANA and the SAP Launchpad.
I believe that in the coming months and years we will enter a phase where SAP developers and SAP experts are rare. There will simply be too many projects at the same time. And then we will be glad that we have these low-code/no-code tools that help with such simple activities.
This realization will allow us to use our capacities for more important topics.
SM: During the job interview with your first employer, you were asked: “Do you know SAP R/2?”. And you responded “No.” He said: “You are hired.” Clearly you showed a number of skills, education, and experiences for them to reach the conclusion to make a job offer!:-) What advice do you share with students and recent graduates who want to get a high-quality job and career in programming and design?
During my interview, I convinced my future employer that I was an excellent software developer, even if I lacked knowledge of SAP R/2. I told him about the games I had developed in assembler and that I had already been able to sell some of my games to a magazine publisher. I helped him understand just how passionate I was about this professional field, and I believe that encouraged him to make an offer.
Surely you need to have a certain interest and talent for software development. But the most important thing, in my opinion, is your passion. This of course applies to all professional activities. If you love what you do, you will do an excellent job, and this will make you successful.
Lifelong learning applies to most professions today, but in IT it is even more relevant. If you are passionate about learning about software development both now and going forward, than you have the potential for a fulfilling career!