SAP Community Member Interview: Priyanka Chakraborti


The SAP Community Member Interview Series highlights key strategic topics, such as emerging technologies, learning, and other topics, and provides insights from SAP Community participants who are making a difference with their contributions (e.g., blogs, Q&A, sessions, etc.). This series provides insights into their interests and motivations which can inspire all of us.

Have you ever had an IT or business colleague explain something with language that was too difficult to understand?

You are not the only one. The foundation for sharing information is to provide it in a concise way using simple language which can be built upon.

Ever noticed that the most successful professionals, experts, leaders in the world can take complicated topics and explain them in basic terms to an audience of one or many?

For example, one of the acclaimed methods for teaching and learning comes from Richard Feynman, a Nobel prize-winning physicist, who developed a technique for reviewing a concept quickly and explaining it at a simplified level.

He developed a way to dive into a topic more efficiently and put ideas into action. He realized that relying on jargon, ambiguous words, and extensive complexity revealed a lack of true understanding.

For Priyanka Chakraborti, a leading SAP Community contributor and Advisory System Analyst at IBM, she embraces this approach when tackling the complexities of SAP Process Orchestration and SAP Integration Suite (e.g., API Management). She puts the Feynman method of learning into practice to explore the “infinite possibilities” related to technology and business outcomes.

Enjoyed exchanging insights with Priyanka from her home base in Bengaluru (aka Bangalore), a leading center of India’s high-tech industry.

Mynyna Chau (MC): Hi Priyanka. Nice to catch-up with you! You went to the acclaimed Academy of Technology (AOT) in West Bengal for Electronics and Communication Engineering. They are recognized for social commitment, dedication to continuous learning, and exploring the “infinite possibilities.” How did AOT’s mission inspire you in your career journey?

Priyanka Chakraborti (PC): Thanks Mynyna! Appreciate finally syncing with you as well!:-)

The earliest vivid memory of my college career that left an impression on me was something along the lines of one of our faculty members saying, “Don’t be average. Either dedicate your time completely to do your best, or just enjoy your life totally during your time here.”

Somehow this quote rang true for me, and during my first semester I decided to maximize the fun. By the end of the first semester, I realized I was on the wrong boat. 🙂 And having already explored one end of the spectrum, I decided to tighten my belt and see how the grass was on the other side, so to speak.

Surprisingly, I quickly found out that I enjoyed myself more in studies as I started to open my mind to the “infinite possibilities” of science. Our college was a nurturing environment that made it all easier. We were asked to volunteer and participate in technical competitions, there were interesting study sessions organized by the college, and we were encouraged to explore new topics by undertaking semester-end projects.

The best performing students were also given IEEE membership. There were lots of incentives to do the best. Looking back, my time at AOT made me inquisitive and truly shaped my personality to explore new things.

MC: You shared this quote, “My passion is exploring new things. I like writing blog posts and solving questions in SAP community portal.” What motivates you to make these high-quality contributions that positively impact so many users?

PC: I guess I am programmed to explore new things. The process of learning a new topic is gratifying on its own; however, I also believe in the “Feynman method of learning” that unleashes one’s potential and forces one to develop a deep understanding of a topic. If I am not able to explain what I have learned, then I have not absorbed the topic completely. Hence, one of my motivations to write a blog post and share new discoveries arose from the need to better understand the subject.

I am also a firm believer that sharing knowledge advances the understanding of the community as a whole, as one can quickly build upon what is currently known, rather than starting from scratch. I was pleasantly surprised that my blog posts were well received, appreciated, and referred by others.

Well… to gain mastery we have to solve questions, right? That’s how it started. It kind of becomes an addiction, the more you do it, the better you get at it, which allows you to tackle even more questions than before. And fortuitously, the SAP community is a treasure trove in that regard.

MC: You are appreciated for your awesome contributions related to SAP Process Integration/Orchestration (PI/PO), and SAP Integration Suite including API Management and Open Connectors. How did you first get involved with the SAP Community?

PC: Well, the SAP community is very active and vibrant. It has been an invaluable companion from the very beginning of my SAP technology journey. In some sense, I was always involved with the community, albeit as a consumer. I was amazed by the level of expertise shown by some of the SAP practitioners. I am glad that having reached a certain level of expertise, I am able to give something back!

MC: Given your deep technical expertise, what are your tips on bridging the desired business outcome(s) (e.g., goals, metrics, user experience) with the technical requirements?

PC: I believe that meeting business requirements mandates us to understand the intended business goals. Most often there is dissonance between business goals and the requirements. When that happens, we end up re-doing a lot of work and the user experience suffers.

I believe this is because goals are easier to describe. It is like going to the tailors. You may have a clear mental picture of the perfect dress, but it is a difficult task indeed to translate that mental image to actual stitch-able instructions. Only after we have assimilated the business goal, then we should create business requirements. Prototypes are excellent in bridging this gap. We can also take cues from existing solutions. This helps us in narrowing down to the suitable functional and technical requirements.

MC: In your blog SAP Cloud Integration with Workflow and Business Rule, you reference SAP Workflow and SAP Business Application Studio which represents a low-code no-code development (LCNC) environment. Do you see this credit card use case as a hybrid of more advanced programing (e.g., SAP Integration Suite) and LCNC? What inspired you to map out this end-to-end process?

PC: Yes, I believe that the credit card use case is an elegant example of a hybrid approach. The low code / no code paradigm is extremely useful for doing most of the trite mundane part, and the powerful SAP Integration Suite is used for precise control.

LCNC is gaining a lot of popularity these days. The primary purpose of this blog post was to create a simple prototype to explore the capabilities of LCNC and how it connects with the SAP Integration Suite. I was keen on exploring how easily and quickly I could build a workflow and business rules using a series of simple steps.

MC: Given the constant change and rapid pace of technology, how did you make the shift to a mindset of continuous learning? Clearly your many certificates (e.g., SAP PO, SAP Workflow Management, SAP Integration Suite, etc.) are impressive. How do you encourage Next-Gen students to find the right knowledge for future technologies that are relevant in today’s job market?

PC: The short answer is, I have no life. 🙂 I am joking…

The truth is, I am always on the lookout for new features and scour the space for new developments. And if something catches my fancy, I try to drill down deeper. Having said that, there are so many different avenues in SAP that I haven’t explored, but I make sure I keep myself updated with new feature releases for the SAP Integration Suite.

Indeed, the space in which science and technologies are evolving is dizzying. Deciding on one career path can be disorienting. It is important to cultivate curiosity and be receptive to knowledge. One of the great pieces of advice I received was to “work on relevant problems“.

Finding an avenue which has clear value and impact, and also aligns with your interest is the majority of the work. I believe jobs will follow suit.

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