People Story - Michele Mancioppi
“If you want a life where you won’t be stuck doing boring things over and over, the SAP Cloud Platform is where you want to work.”
“If you want to play an elite game, you have to get very elite people, and they have to keep up,” says Michele Mancioppi, a senior developer with the SAP Cloud Platform team in Walldorf, Germany.“ Something the Cloud gives, and requires, is lifelong learning, and learning every day.”
Michele refers to his team as the “SEAL Team 6” of the SAP Cloud Platform.
“Today, ‘slow’ is the new ‘down,’” he says. “We find out what’s wrong in computer systems, find out how it works, and make it work better and faster.”
“My day’s very diverse,” Michele says, “depending on what has the highest priority, I might be coding – making tools that make the lives of other developers better, or I can be reviewing other’s code – because they want to know what pitfalls are there, or if things are going poorly, I may come in to find why.”
Michele also drives initiatives, such as finding useful outside monitoring technology. “We’re looking for external software for improving how we monitor the Cloud. The Cloud is complex and very interesting issues come up from subtle interactions among various technologies. We need very good monitoring tools, so that we can focus on what matters,” he says. “I’m working on this with the team. It would cost a lot to develop that ourselves.”
He also works “with colleagues in other teams or divisions, to make their applications, libraries or frameworks work better on the Cloud,” he says.
“I enjoy the freedom of a very different set of goals, and ways of achieving them,” Michele says. He is enjoying his second tenure at SAP. “I started my first position in the industry at SAP after my Ph.D. studies. I went to work for a different company, and then I came back – in comparison to a lot of people who start at SAP and
retire at SAP.”
“If you stay in one job too long, you stop learning,” he says, and that movement can include moving between teams within SAP. For example, before joining the Performance Team, Michele worked on the Development Team that does the Cloud Cockpit, the Web Interface of SAP Cloud Platform. The way his current day-to-day tasks change keeps him learning, he says. Continuing his special forces analogy, he says the Performance Team drops into a situation where “you have to figure out what’s happening and fix it, while everybody [else]’s panicking. You have to figure out what’s possible, what’s improbable, and fix it. That requires a level of mastery. ... You have to know a lot of technologies really in-depth to understand how to make it all work together. That’s what I do.”
To succeed on the Performance Team, “you never know when you’ll have to fix or consult on something you’ve never seen before, so you have to take every chance you get to learn new stuff. One way or another it will come in handy,” he says.
In a more traditional software job, people are often specialists in one area, developers develop, testers test, and so forth, Michele says.
On the Cloud, he says, things are different. The Cloud is new. Technology is not yet a commodity. There are tons of technologies one can pick from. And pick one must, because on the Cloud, the team has end-to-end responsibility for their software: write it, test it, deploy it, operate it, and support it. Team members require huge amounts of expertise across different disciplines.
“You cannot afford to have a database-only person, or to have only one who can do databases among other things,” he says. “Most everyone has to do very good code, and something else like documentation or user interface design pretty well on the side.”
“If you want a life where you won’t be stuck doing boring things over and over, the SAP Cloud Platform is where you want to work,” Michele says. “Excellent developers, with vision and knowledge, are empowered to make the whole difference for everyone using the platform.”
Michele is married with a 2½-year-old son, and says SAP is an excellent company for work-life balance. “If you want to throw yourself at work the whole time, you can do that. If you want to work 9 to 5, you can do that – even in the Cloud Division. I went on paternity leave, and nobody thought about it. ... It was expected, and that is very valuable.”