The recent series of SAP InnoJam – Coding the Future events in Berlin and Palo Alto may wrapped, but it’s all so fresh and vivid in my mind that I want to share some of my personal key takeaways and highlights.

By participating in these youth-oriented events, I experienced first-hand the tremendous opportunity that lies in the use of technology. Used in conjunction with smart and forward thinking young people, technology clearly is a catalyst for innovation and change.

One hundred and thirty students from 76 universities attended the latest SAP InnoJam events in Berlin and Palo Alto, which provide a platform to create, innovate and be passionate about IT. In this case, SAP scouted them to further their coding and data analytics skills in assignments that address real-life challenges in education, healthcare, and entertainment.

Big in Berlin, Powerful in Palo Alto

In a 32-hour coding marathon at the SAP InnoJam in Berlin, 10 teams hacked and coded using Design Thinking principles and SAP HANA applications to come up with new and innovative apps. Not only did I wonder how lack of sleep, diverse teams, plus the need for consensus could still lead to overnight results, but I was pleasantly surprised how motivated and eager those young developers were to deliver unique apps of great quality.

Not to be outdone, the young people in attendance at the event in Silicon Valley achieved amazing results as well. The winning team “Rollick” showcased a creative solution that helps people find the full array of youth-oriented recreation spaces and sports programs in their communities.

I don’t want to overpraise those students, but I had two major takeaways: first, there is enormous potential that our next generation workforce can bring to the table; and second, technology helps ideas flourish, paving the way for improvements and change!


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Making an Impact

To offer an exchange with early talent at events like this not only pays back in the sense that we improve our image as employer of choice attracting the best talents to join SAP, but it shows what we can create for the greater good. Two recent examples that come to mind are uniting cancer research with the help of SAP HANA, and the development of an app for easy and centralized refugee registration in Germany.

In light of our Berlin event, I told the media that at SAP developers work in a very agile environment in sprint teams of ten, and that they shape new ideas together – create, discuss, discard some, drive others in a common effort – all within one week. I went even further, declaring developers at SAP to be winners because of their great desire for creativity, flexibility and team spirit.

The sprint approach in development clearly testifies how we at SAP pave the way to the digital age. Yes, we develop in all of our locations worldwide, walking the talk – as opposed to most of our competitors, too often rated as the most admired brands by students. And we do this on topics with high social impact, simply turning the world into a better place.

That is a strong case for SAP, and I cannot repeat this often enough: SAP offers loads of opportunities – not just for young developers – and we should think higher of ourselves than we oftentimes do. We have clearly understood how to maintain and expand our leading position in the market and should be proud of it. I am indeed!

There’s an anonymous quote which sticks with me: “There is no more room in the world than there is for improvement.” With the help of our own SAP HANA technology, the right talent, and a work environment fostering creativity and innovation, we at SAP have tremendous opportunities to drive change for the better.

This story originally appeared on Life at SAP on SAP Community Network.

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