Lessons Learned From A Fly Fisherman | SAP Champion Spotlight Florian Henninger


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.

Fly fishers 🐟 are constantly learning and very curious.

The water changes with the flow rate, time of day, season, and what is happening with the river, lake, sea, or stream. Each day of fishing represents a new path with new things to see, new lessons to learn, and new curiosities to satisfy.

Each cast of the fishing rod 🎣 can lead to new possibilities.

Whether with fishing, technology or business, one can get locked into predictable patterns in the short-run, which can limit long-term success. Fly fishing helps the angler embrace curiosity, break up patterns, find new experiences, and offers an escape to relax and reduce stress.

The best fly fishers take time to study and understand every possible tactic of a fly rod and then push it a bit further. Chasing trout and other species is a game that never ends, just as learning is continuous.

For Florian Henninger, SAP Champion, Mentor Alumnus, fly fisher, and Senior Consultant of SAP Development at FIS GmbH, he takes every opportunity to take an hour or two to dive into nature.
At the same time, his journey has evolved into expertise around SAP ABAP, development, quality and output management in relation to SAP S/4HANA and beyond.

It was a pleasure to catch-up with Florian from his home office in Poppenhausen, Bavaria, Germany.

Stephanie De Camara Marley (SM): HI Florian! From your time at DV Schule Wurzburg (Vocational School Center for Business and Data Processing) to today, what inspired you to dive into the world of data programming and processing which led to your current role as Senior Consultant of SAP Development at FIS GmbH?

Florian Henninger (FH): Funny question…At first, I didn’t want to dive into that field. I wanted to become a consultant, but during my interview, FIS asked me if I could imagine also being hired as a developer…So, I gave it a shot and I have never regretted that decision! 😀

SM: As an avid fisherman, what type of fishing do you enjoy? How often do you get to fish? How does it help you relax and get away from things?

FH: I’m mainly a fly fisher, and for me, it truly is the best way to relax, and to also dive into the nature around me.

You have to be close to the fish. Every single movement is important, and you really need to have your mind and body in the moment.

It really is quality time for yourself. It doesn’t matter if you have others around, it’s just you and the best of the outdoors. And it’s not just a moment…It’s an hour or two, just relaxing and enjoying nature.

SM: How did you become an SAP Champion after your much appreciated time previously as an SAP Mentor? In this role, how do you engage with Community members?

FH: As a SAP Mentor, I really liked the insights into the product teams, meetings with executives, and all that kind of stuff. What I missed was the broader discussion about it.

I have seen roadmap capabilities which would help my team and I with customer projects, but as it was not released, I had no guarantee to get it. And of course, with the nondisclosure agreement, I wasn’t able to talk about everything I saw. That’s why I decided to join the Champions Program when there was a chance. Right now, I can talk/write about everything.

As the Community platform changed, I also enjoy using Twitter. I have a lot of ideas for what I can blog about, but at the moment, one huge project that I’m involved with, and my family (more specifically my 3-year-old and 6-year-old toddlers) take up most of my spare time. I try to attend SAP Stammtisch as much as I can and hope that the virtual ones will not end 😉 Next to that, I invest some time to help the Community with guidelines, for example the ATC-Guideline (ABAP Test Cockpit) for DSAG.

SM: In your professional travels, you have expressed interest in Low-Code / No-Code (LCNC) and even got a Florian Henninger for it. What is the best way for advanced programing, such as SAP ABAP, and LCNC apps to work together? How can expert developers collaborate with LCNC users to bring about successful outcomes?

FH: Tough question…I expect that LCNC will be explored in our business. For example, going beyond Excel-Exports and also other simple processes. A use case could include adding an extra-field to represent a product and its location. LCNC can handle these type of updates quiet well.

I think we all have to learn what is the scope of what LCNC can do best. In my previous experience, I would say LCNC is more a prototyping solution. Most times there is a little requirement in the beginning, but afterwards, the application grows… Whether LCNC can handle it or it grows into another app or tool is a big consideration.

SM: As a big advocate of Open Source, such as Eclipse, you participated in a Coffee Corner and shared “How Eclipse Saved the Day.” When you are assessing the code needed for proof of concepts, new projects, and innovation, are you still passionate about using Eclipse as a key development tool
(e.g., saving time, bookmarks, deletions on code you did not use, syntax checking, etc.)?

FH: Of course! Eclipse is the tool for ABAP. I’m still pretty happy that SAP has done it. Right now, I’m doing a lot of SAP Fiori-Elements Apps, and therefore I also had to take my time to visit VSCode (Visual Studio Code). This is also a really powerful SAP Web IDE; I had moments where I thought, “why do I have two different tools to do my job? Could it not be one?” And my answer was yes and no at the same time.

I can imagine that one tool would be really nice (sidenote: I know that there is a plugin for ABAP in VSCode), but it also has advantages for me to have two separate tools. One for the frontend and one for the backend. That gives me the possibility to switch with my brain. Backend Developer + Frontend Developer = Full Stack Developer.

SM: Many students and recent graduates want to get into SAP ABAP, User Experience, Business Informatica, and programming with and for high quality organizations. Getting a great position is top of mind. What suggestions do you share with the next-generation of talent who want a great job and a jumpstart on their career journey?

FH: First of all, you have to make yourself familiar with the fact that you will never stop learning.

Yes, you will find topics that you have absolutely no idea about, but no matter what, if you are okay with a challenge, then you just need to find a company that gives you a chance. It’s easier said, than done, but at this moment, at least here in Germany, if you don’t want to be rich for nothing, there are enough employers out there looking for people with the above-mentioned willingness to stay curious.

Always remember…It doesn’t matter what the job title is about…it’s all about curiosity.

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