Developers Challenge is a Highlight at SAPinsider 2024

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Key Takeaways

⇨ SAPinsider hosted a developers challenge for the first time at the 2024 event in Las Vegas.

⇨ Participants created solutions to business challenges leveraging generative AI.

⇨ Winners were selected by a panel of experts and by votes from event attendees.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was a central point of discussion across keynotes, pre-conference activities, and many other sessions over the three days of SAPinsider 2024 in Las Vegas. While speakers discussed AI, attendees sought to know more about specific use cases for AI, particularly business-focused use cases, that would allow them to leverage AI within their organizations. To further showcase AI’s potential, the newly launched SAPinsider Developers Challenge that took place during the event pre-day on March 18th focused on using the technology.

Although SAPinsider events have always provided attendees with both technical and non-technical content, something that had not been done previously was to host a developers challenge. Set up as team-based social coding events where participants work together to design, build, and present innovative solutions to problems, SAPinsider wanted to provide the opportunity for community members to work together to solve today’s problems. With the support of the SAP Developer and Community Relations group, and specifically Head of Developer Advocacy Thomas Jung, the SAPinsider 2024 Developers Challenge was born.

Thomas Jung from SAP provides advice to a challenge participant

The objective of the 2024 Developers Challenge was to create an application that leveraged generative AI to solve a specific business need. Upon arrival at the challenge, participants were divided into groups and given direction and assistance from representatives of the Developer and Community Relations Group. Participants then had up to seven hours to design and build their solution before presenting it to the broader group at the end of the evening.

Nora von Thenen of SAP provides advice on leveraging generative AI

The most exciting aspect of the developer challenge was the different approaches that participants took and the business problems that they attempted to address. Leveraging the access provided to SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) AI services, some groups focused on how prompt engineering could help create a data output that could be readily leveraged as sample data. Others provided a data set to a large language model (LLM) of their choice and then used a more straightforward prompt to return data based on user input. The challenge also led to notable programming discoveries when one group with more experience in ABAP development discovered that passing a 4096-character identification key to SAP BTP AI Foundation was much more complex than they’d imagined when there was no way to copy and paste that key.

Challenge participants work on their submission

Teams also tackled a diverse array of business challenges. One team wanted to determine information about product recalls from the US Department of Trade using generative AI to locate the recall information. Another worked on assigning maintenance crews to a prioritized list of critical issues managed by a power company. A third worked to take any error codes returned by overnight batch jobs and search to find information on potential solutions. The solutions created used different development techniques, and varying levels of reliance on AI capabilities.

Participants work on using generative AI

Following the design and build phase, teams presented their solutions to the overall group, and the representatives from the Developer and Community Relations group passed the top teams onto a judging round that would take place on the first full day of the conference. Judges from SAP, SAPinsider, and a third-party AI expert then ranked the teams based on criteria which included feasibility, functionality, usability, scalability, and overall solution impact. Attendees at the session were also able to vote on which solution stood out deserved to win.

In the end, the winner was Team Highway Wallaby from Gravity IT based in Queensland, Australia. The team’s solution involved using generative AI to supplement a local support system with information on specific batch errors. Each of the team members received tickets to the Cirque du Soleil “O” show at the Bellagio, along with a framed certificate celebrating their victory. Although only one team could win the developer challenge, it was exciting to see the different approaches the participants took, what they did with generative AI, and the collaboration that they engaged in during the event.

developer challenge winners

SAPinsider plans to host developers challenges at future events including those which will be held in Copenhagen in November 2024 and Las Vegas in March 2025. Please keep an eye open for event information and, if you are interested in participating in these future challenges, reach out to the SAPinsider event content team at for additional information.

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