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From Italy to Hirschaid

The story of Andrea Borgia, Michael Keller and Softway AG

In the interview, Michael Keller (educatedBytes GmbH) and Andrea Borgia (Softway AG) talk about the connection between the two and how it came about that Andrea Borgia has now moved from Bologna (Italy) to Hirschaid. A story that shows how small the world is after all.

Michael Keller (educatedBytes GmbH)

Andrea Borgia (Softway AG)

Frank Engert (CEO Softway AG)

A late afternoon at the end of September in Hirschaid. A short ring at the door signals the arrival of Michael Keller - SAP Champion, Managing Director of educatedBytes GmbH and cooperation partner of Softway AG, for example in the development of SAPscript Analysing Tools. In his luggage Michael has good mood and a small gift:

» German Version

Welcome to Hirschaid Michael! What leads you to us?

Michael Keller (MK): It's about time for a personal meeting again. The last one was in May and a lot has happened since then. I would be happy to show you, for example, the current status of the SAPscript Analysing Tools.

But what is even more important to me today: You have a new colleague whom I would like to finally meet in person: Andrea Borgia, well known from the SAP Community.

We are very happy to be part of this first meeting. On your way to our employee lounge, why don't you tell us what connects you to our new colleague Andrea Borgia?

MK: *smiles* The common passion for SAP and software development. I really appreciate his work and opinions on the ABAP programming language! Virtually, we have been connected through the SAP community for years. Now it's time for a face-to-face meeting.

And in the meantime you can say that Softway AG is a part of this connection. How did this happen? 

MK: That really falls into the category of "small is the world". Andrea and I are also networked on LinkedIn. Softway, in turn, publishes posts on LinkedIn about its own software products such as SSP Forms, what's happening in the company right now, and also about job postings.

I'm happy to forward such posts in my LinkedIn network. I mean, it's no secret now that I really like your company culture and products *laughs*. So it happened that I forwarded a job ad that caught Andrea's eye.

That ad ultimately led to you landing with us, Andrea. Can you describe from your perspective what attracted you to the job description?

Andrea Borgia (AB): I especially liked the soft facts about Softway as a company! The question and answer game that I completed during the application process was just great. This gave me a good feeling about the company culture right away, which was then confirmed in the interview with Frank Engert. In addition, I have a personal interest in the topic of "Clean Code". This approach to software development is also actively pursued at Softway AG. In addition, I like to educate myself. So it is really nice to see that this area is strongly promoted.

We are happy to have you on board Andrea! One of your future tasks will be the development in ABAP - how does it help to have an extensive expert network of people like Michael Keller at your side? 

AB: Staying up to date in my field is very important, but at the same time it is a difficult task: At the end of the day, everyone only has 24 hours to spend on work, leisure and health. That's why every bit of help you can get to keep moving forward counts.

A recent SAP® survey I participated in asked how to identify suitable experts to follow. I firmly believe that the ability to explain complex topics - sometimes through code, sometimes through books - is possibly the best characteristic to guide those seeking help. In this sense, the exchange with Michael and the entire SAP network is very helpful.

Which topics within the ABAP universe do you find particularly interesting?

AB: In short: All topics in which I can still learn something. *laughs* Personally, I am particularly interested in working with tools such as abapGit and abap2xlsx. Here I also appreciate the contact with flawless experts as well as with newcomers. In the beginning, you often find yourself in the learning position with these topics. Gradually, however, you are able to offer assistance and give something back to the community, e.g. in the form of code. This makes the work particularly interesting.

As an SAP® Champion, you should be familiar with these topics, Michael. How does one actually become an SAP Champion and what exactly can people understand by this who have little contact with SAP®?

MK: The title "SAP Champion" is awarded by SAP® to people who are particularly committed to the SAP Community. The SAP Community is first and foremost an online platform, i.e. purely virtual. But beyond that, the SAP Community is a multitude of people who are involved with SAP software. Users, consultants, developers and many more. They meet and work together on something. In this way, the purely virtual becomes something very real.

And because I believe in the power of communities (just think of open source), I've always been happy to get involved in the SAP community. I have written almost 100 blogs in English. Most of them are about development topics related to the ABAP programming language. In addition, I am also very involved in helping people who want to get started in programming with ABAP: Pupils, students, trainees, career changers. All are welcome *laughs*. That's how I ended up writing articles for typical online news portals and have also given lectures on ABAP.

Ultimately, I like to keep the SAP ecosystem easily accessible and open to all. After all, every community thrives on future generations bringing in new ideas, new courage, and new drive. Things simply work better together.

As an SAP Champion, you will be responsible for a truly exciting field of activity. Your first joint meeting with Andrea Borgia is at least as exciting. We are very happy that the connection between you has led to Andrea now being a part of the Softway family! Now that you've exchanged small gifts - what's next for you today, Andrea?

AB: At dinner together with Frank, we just want to get to know each other a little better. As an Italian, I'm particularly looking forward to comparing the two different accents of Frank and Michael *laughs* But we will certainly also discuss one or two factual topics. For example, I'm interested in their opinions on the planned transition of SAP® away from OnPrem to the cloud. Certainly also an exciting topic.

We hope you have a lot of fun with it! With that, we'll end the interview at this point and are delighted that you've found your way to us, Andrea! Welcome to the team!


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