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Miles Chen 

Engineering Manager 

Miles' story

At SAP, we build breakthroughs, together.

What I like best about the SAP culture is the innovation and diversity. Through innovation, I can contribute my ideas to make impact to the future of SAP products. The diversity of our employees has meant I have made a lot of friends who accompany me in travelling, learning, and hanging out.

Miles Chen 

I started my SAP career nearly 10 years ago as a software engineer working on a particular aspect of SAP ByDesign. Later on, I was transferred to SAP Business One during an organizational change where I was assigned to evaluate what SAP HANA and XS Engine can bring to the business and how to achieve that. Together with this team, I managed to build and release a new analytical cockpit in three years, getting recognition from peers and managers.

From here I was I was promoted to development architect and asked to conduct the microservice transformation and improve the productivity of the SAP Anywhere product. It took me and the team another two years to complete this journey.

In 2019, I was internally recruited by the head of the S/4HANA Consumer Industry Cloud (CIC, part of SAP’s Industry Cloud) team and asked to build a generic cloud native infrastructure to serve CIC app development from scratch.

In my role as Engineering Manager I take responsibility for all our infrastructure so that our developers can focus on creating innovative cloud solutions for our customers in consumer industries as well as 24 other industries SAP’s Industry Cloud supports. In the past SAP may create a solution for a single customer running from an on-premise server. If the server goes down, the one customer is affected. With cloud we are building applications that scale across multiple customers and run in multiple cloud environments –Amazon, Azure, Google, Alibaba Cloud. Our infrastructure needs to be resilient and online 24/7. Also, in the old ERP days release cycles for new features may take two years. With the right infrastructure and in a cloud environment, this is reduced to months.

To put it simply, I am responsible for developer experience. Our developers are my customers, and it is important to me that they have all they need to be able to release applications and updates in a timely and cost-effective way.

I really like to face different challenges, and this role offers me that. What if the server goes down whilst I am asleep? What if our developers have a bad experience and cannot work with the infrastructure I have built?

Another challenge has been to work effectively with the other locations our team operate from – namely Newport Beach in California. In my previous roles I worked with colleagues in China, but SAP’s Industry Cloud has teams in Switzerland and California as well as Shanghai. This has meant planning my day around morning and evening calls, so I ensure I take time in the middle of the day to ensure I have a good work-life balance. Vu Ngo is my counterpart in California and I usually start my day on calls with him. Due to the lack of travel in 2020/2021 I have never met Vu, but we successfully work together to ensure our infrastructure creates an amazing experience for our development colleagues, who in turn create innovation for our customers.

What I like best about the SAP culture is the innovation and diversity. Through innovation, I can contribute my ideas to make impact to the future of SAP products. The diversity of our employees has meant I have made a lot of friends who accompany me in travelling, learning, and hanging out. I love to travel to foreign countries to see different cultures and people. Hopefully soon we will be able to travel again and I will meet my colleagues in California!

Miles Chen and Vu Ngo are working together to build a platform for SAP’s Industry Cloud team that supports cloud native development on top of Kubernetes, with a roadmap to roll this out across SAP in the future. The way they are building SAP products to day is shaping the way SAP will build products tomorrow.

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