Blog It Forward

I’m participating in the Blog It Forward Challenge because of Jamie Oswald.  If you haven’t been tagged yet but would like to participate, you can add yourself to the list here. And yes, Jamie tagged me in September 2012. For shame.

All About Me

I currently work as a Business Intelligence Solution Architect at a national Australian IT company called ASG Group, and I also have the privilege to be an SAP Mentor since March 2012.  My area of specialty is SAP BusinessObjects and non-BW data warehousing with Data Services. I’ve recently being playing a lot with HANA and Sybase IQ. Being based in Western Australia, I’ve had the opportunity to consult with many different industries and organisations, with a lot of the past several years spent within Oil & Gas or Mining organisations, of which there are many in Australia.  I also love being an ambassador of the Diversified Semantic Layer podcast network, which I get to do with several of my friends.  In April 2012 I recorded a brief interview about me with my friend Eric Vallo which you can listen to here.

Over the past two years I’ve had the opportunity to attend and present at a large amount of conferences or events to do with SAP Business Intelligence, and as part of this have seen four new parts of the world that I hadn’t seen before. Embarassingly, I had never been out of Australia until August 2011 when I got to present at the inaugural Mastering SAP Business Intelligence South Africa conference held in Johannesburg, and there got to meet for the first time Clint Vosloo, who shared with me his passion in Sybase IQ and got me playing with it.

Lastly but most importantly, I have been married six years to my wife Janneke who supports my large amount of travel and fanaticism to do with SAP, and we have an awesome little guy called Will who is currently four and about to start school (thank goodness :P). We live in a great part of Western Australia just next to the Swan Valley in Perth, which has some fantastic wineries, breweries and distilleries which I am known to frequent on the rare occasion.

Fun Facts About Me

There are two things about me that I wanted to share – the first is that I continue to try my hand at amateur photography, you can see some recent photos here from our safari trip in South Africa, and also SAP TechEd Las Vegas 2012. I owe all my great shots to the camera I use, a Canon EOS 60D with a nice telephoto 50mm-250mm lens – it just takes such amazing photos without trying. Here is one of my favourite photos.

Secondly, I’ve become a little addicted to CrossFit over the past 12 months and my wife has given into my constantly talking about it and is just starting to try it herself. If you haven’t heard of CrossFit, I can’t explain it as well as this video does below.

Seriously though, you just need to experience it’s awesomeness, so go down to your local CrossFit gym and try out a session, it works for anyone, no matter your age or weight – I was hooked from my first trial session and haven’t looked back! If you got a bit nervous seeing all the fit people do stuff in the video, check out this 73 year old guy who is more fit than me – just awesome.

If money and time off were no issue, which SAP event would you go to worldwide?

I got to experience SAP TechEd last year in Las Vegas, but to date I haven’t had the chance to attend a SAPPHIRE. I am geeky at heart, but would love the opportunity to see the business-side of SAP and to hear all the customer case studies in such a large conference like SAPPHIRE – and I’d probably have to choose the European SAPPHIRE, because I haven’t seen much of Europe yet.

If you could only follow 3 people on Twitter, which 3 would it be, and why?

This was pretty easy for me, as I specifically follow the Twitter RSS feeds of certain people (about 30), because I want to read their every tweet and not miss any great posts or discussions. It’s not a weird stalker thing, I promise.

If I had to choose three, it would be:

Tammy Powlas – Tammy posts so many fantastic technical blogs on SCN, you are amazing!

Vijay Vijayasankar – Vijay continually posts thought-provoking articles with a very wide scope, I love reading them.

SAPMentors – I know this isn’t really a person, but some great overall content comes through here.

As a special mention, I’ve just started following DEVOPS_BORAT which is very entertaining.

If you were 20 again, what would you study?

Truth be told I actually didn’t go to university or college – I started full-time work when I was 17, and learnt a whole heap of life skills and technical skills from then on – I was blessed with somegreat mentors. If I could study something now and actually have the time, it would either be medical (doctor or veterinarian) or fitness (like a personal trainer or coach) – I just took the first step with this by attending the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer course this past weekend.

If you were given by your work a full day every week to do whatever you feel like, what would it be?

Probably I would spend half the day playing with all the SAP BI tools – there is always something to learn and play with – and I would maybe volunteer at my local CrossFit gym learning to coach or trying to get my first muscle-up.

The “Forward” Part

I’m blogging this forward to Clint Vosloo and Vijay Vijayasankar.

My two questions for them are:

– What is your favourite video game of all time?

– What is the most amazing place you have visited in the world?

Let’s keep it rolling, and please don’t take 3 months like I did! ????


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