Saturday, June 30, 2018

Daniel Schneiss, R.I.P.


June 29, 2018

My friend Daniel Schneiss passed away earlier today, peacefully in his sleep at his home in Germany.  The world lost an extraordinary young man, a loving husband, an amazing father, an incredibly accomplished professional and a wonderful human being.  His last couple of years were anything but peaceful, full of pain, suffering and adversity that a devastating multiprong cancer can bring.  And yet Daniel was peaceful, calm, serene, and full of determination, grit, an unyielding will to never give up, a passion for life and for doing the right thing.  In his actions during this fight to death, he showed what it means to live, to not give up, to be giving in our suffering, to be caring in our pain.  I found myself in Germany a few weeks ago, and went to see him, his soulmate Judith and their son, for a moving, and exhilarating couple of hours.  



This picture is in front of his beloved cherry tree, just past the peak blossom, entering a stage he told me, true to his part-Japanese heritage, is called Hazakura, when the Sakura transition to young leaves on the trees.  He was full of life that day, and Judith was happy too, there was much laughter, some tears, great joy.  On the drive back, however, I found myself devastated as I reflected on an amazing man’s incredible young life.

I first met Daniel about 16 years ago.  Building on Jim Gray’s research in mapping strings to integers to reduce storage for data cubes, and some subsequent research, Franz Farber, Daniel, Roland Kurz, and some of their colleagues had started to work on bringing text search techniques to analyzing structured data in-memory in their text search engine, Trex.  I was thinking about next-generation database technology in those days, and so we met and a long, deep friendship was formed.  A friendship that would lead to many wonderful endeavors, including Hana, but also many deep lessons in transformations, in what it takes to make transformations happen, and the culture and values that we inhabit, that we exhibit, and that we learn along the way.  In the Trex days, Franz was the architect, the quintessential “What” leader, the inspiring builder, Roland dealt with people and administration, and Daniel was the executioner, the doer, an extraordinary combination of a deeply accurate sense of where things are no matter how grim, and yet an unyielding, unflinching resolve to achieve impossible goals.  He would simultaneously hold in his head the worry, the detail, of the ground reality, as well as the undeterred confidence and clarity that we would achieve the objectives.  He and Judith, recently married, had just become parents then, and yet Daniel was able to carry out the extraordinary tasks of being a manager in new, alien, endeavors inside a large company.  The lights in the Trex and later Hana offices used to routinely be on, late into evenings, when everything around was long dark.  The hallways used to often have the crackle of children playing around while their parents worked, there was much laughter, yelling, a deeply entrepreneurial spirit.  In the years that followed, Daniel went on to lead the entire Hana development team, to many incredible successes. 



The picture above is from one of my last technical meetings while I was at SAP, in the lab in Korea in 2014, with Daniel speaking passionately about something and me and the other colleagues, listening intently.  Again a combination of passion and dreams integrated with objective ground reality.  It was this duality, what some call “The Stockdale Paradox”, that defined him.  And it was especially this duality that defined him in his fight against cancer.  He clearly knew very clearly, and grimly, the toll that his body was taking, and yet he fought and had a sublime smile on him, a grace that was exemplary, and gave energy to those around him, at a time when he needed it the most.


The great Indian text, the Bhagavad Gita, as a mentor of mine recently eloquently reminded me, says that we have the rights, the opportunities to do our work, our karma, but not to the fruits thereof.  While none of the remarkable achievements of that unforgettable team would have been remotely possible without Daniel’s dedication, hard work and leadership, he deeply understood, and exemplified this belief that we just do our thing, it is upto us to do it as well and as passionately as we can, and then circumstances come together to make great outcomes happen.

Transitions, in death and during life, are defining moments, for organisms like us, but also for organizations.  We experience this one big journey of our lives, and many journeys during it.  And indeed when we think about it, our journeys are all there is.  We all are, and are parts of, diverse and multifold journeys, as Feynman said, specks in the universe, universes within us.  And if we are fortunate, we get to be parts of great, purposeful journeys, ones that move us, and move us all forward.  Finding great problems, great missions to work on, inspiring teams to give their best to these, keeping grand dreams, big ambitions in our minds, and yet our feet firmly on the ground as we move forward, I’ve learnt is what all great journeys, and great humans, are made of.

Death comes to all of us.  It is, as Steve Jobs once said, a destination that we all share.  And yet it is in how we act when facing certain death, that we reveal who we are, who we can be.  And Daniel did so, vividly, to the benefit of his son, his wife and us all.  I feel sad, but deeply proud of my friend Daniel, or Schneiss, or Schneissi.  Your body is gone, but you live on, inside us, in our memories and in our hearts, as do your creations, your life’s work and your life’s ways...

-- Vishal

57 comments:

Reghu Ram Thanumalayan said...

Wonderful tribute to Daniel, Vishal. Though I did not know him in person, I used to bump into him often as he sat one floor above me at SAP in Building 3 where I went to pick up coffee. Felt sad hearing the news yesterday with the same feeling as in 2013 when Deano left us. Even to this date, I feel the void Dean has left in me. Brilliant tech folks, gone too soon !

Regards,
Reghu

Unknown said...

Thank you, Vishal.
Beautiful!

Franz Faerber said...

Vishal you exactly desctibe my feelings. Daniel will live on Inside us.

Franz

Daniel Lahl said...

Thank you Vishal, we admire Daniel for his contribution to sap and for his example of peace, strength and virtue as he faced cancer head on. I personally learned so much from his countenance and quiet courage the past few years...

Dan

Unknown said...

MAY Schneiss-san's soul Rest In Peace ... knowing that he made awesome contributions to progress in this purposeful world!

Cafer Tosun said...

Wonderful tribute. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
R.I.P Daniel

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Casey Henderson said...

the world has lost one of the good ones...
I met Daniel in Tokyo in September 1995, and was a better person for it.

My deepest personal condolences to Judith and Daniel's family & friends.

Casey
Tokyo, Japan

Unknown said...

thank you Vishal.

Thomas said...

Vishal,

thanks for this blog. You have expressed what many feel. We have lost a great friend.

Thomas

Unknown said...

Wonderful tribute. Thank you Daniel for the wonder years.

Arne Schwarz said...

Thank you, Vishal,

we all will miss him as colleague and friend.

Arne

Maic WIntel said...

Thanks, Vishal.
Yes, we lost one of our best. We already miss him ...

Maic

Jake Klein said...

Thank you Vishal - a great tribute to a great person

VictorTango said...

Very touching Vishal. I didnt know him personally but we all @SAP were proud of what he was doing. The news yesterday was sad and personally felt.
Wish the best for Daniel's family. Having seen from close a couple of colleagues passing away too young I know its a loss which is hard to bear. Daniel will never be forgotten.

Richard Pledereder said...

What a wonderful and eloquent tribute Vishal! We will always cherish the cheerful moments in Daniel's company!

ilarum said...

Beautiful tribute Vishal. I think what makes people great is not only the work they do but also acknowledging the people who worked with them. RIP Daniel

Jayanth said...

An amazing person, and a befitting tribute.

Juergen Primsch said...

Vishal,

thanks for this great tribute to an admirable colleague.
We'll keep Daniel in our hearts.

Juergen

Unknown said...

Vishal,
Amazing words in the tribute to Daniel's life and influence. He cast a long shadow in life and will be very dearly missed.
Mike.

Anil's take on anything and everything... said...

Very touching tribute Vishal. Daniel will be missed.

Michael said...

What a tremendous loss. Daniel always had a smile, always encouraging and always positive. Beautiful tribute to a wonderful human being.

Mike K said...

Vishal,

Well said!

Daniel was very positive person and great colleague.

-Mike KML

johnappleby said...

Thank you Vishal. You managed to express what many of us fail to do in these days.

Daniel's legacy will live on.

ananthinfo said...

nice post..
SAP BUSINESS ONE for Dhall solution
ERP for food processing solutions
ERP for masala solution
SAP BUSINESS ONE for masala solution
ERP for Rice mill solution

Rahul John said...

Sikka Kimaantra: Sikka Kimaantra Greens, 2/3 BHK luxurious flats, is the well-known housing township in the heart of the city Noida at ,Sector 79 which is well connected to various amenities.

Rahul John said...

Ajnara Le Garden: Ajnara Le Garden is the promising green housing project with 2 & 3 BHK premium apartments in the prime location of Greater Noida West.

Rahul John said...

Supertech Romano: Supertech Romano 2/3 BHk is the beginning of your dream home at 5% booking, being constructed in the renowned part of at Sector 118 Noida.

Tech Cloud ERP said...

Nice blog, very intersting to read
cloud erp software india
erp hyderabad

Joyce Campbell said...

Thanks for this great post! - This provides good insight. You might also be interested to know more about generating more leads and getting the right intelligence to engage prospects. Techno Data Group implements new lead gen ideas and strategies for generating more leads and targeting the right leads and accounts. CEO Email Lists and Mailing Lists

anitha durga said...


BIG DATA Technologies provides you with a state of the art software which combines modern GPU technology (Graphic Processing Units) with the best practices in today’s Big Data platforms, providing up to 100x faster insights from data.
Bigdata Training in Chennai OMR

sellappan ammasai said...

Testers can build, enhance, and maintain scripts to regression test their mobile applications. Hands-on instruction is provided for those who want to explore the power of using Appium. The course covers content from installation to execution and reporting . The focus is on the practical application of Appium to resolve common mobile automated testing challenges. This course focuses on getting started with Appium.
course/appiumtraininginsholinganallur/

Unknown said...


I just see the post i am so happy the post of information's.So I have really enjoyed and reading your blogs for these posts.Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.
best selenium training institute in hyderabad
best selenium online training institute in hyderabad
best institute for selenium training in hyderabad
best selenium training institute in hyderabad

Unknown said...

I just see the post i am so happy the post of information's.So I have really enjoyed and reading your blogs for these posts.Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.
best selenium training institute in hyderabad
best selenium online training institute in hyderabad
best institute for selenium training in hyderabad
best selenium training institute in hyderabad

Bommepalli Susmitha said...

Awesome blog. It was very informative. I would like to appreciate you. Keep updated like this!
Selenium Training in Hyderabad
Best Selenium Training in Hyderabad
Best Selenium Training In Hyderabad | Online Selenium Training
Selenium Training Institute in Hyderabad
Selenium Online Training Institute in Hyderabad
Selenium Online Training in Hyderabad
Best Selenium with Java Training Institute in Hyderabad
Best Selenium with C# Online Training Institute in Hyderabad


zoommyprice said...

Great information.Keep posting such an amazing stuff.Worth cherishing for long!

Thank You

http://blog.zoommyprice.com/index.php/2018/10/25/xiaomi-releases-android-9-update-on-mi-mix-2s/

http://www.zoommyprice.com/product/apple-i-phone-x-256gb-rom-3gb-ram-space-grey

http://www.zoommyprice.com/product/samsung-galaxy-tab-a-7-0-tablet--7-inch--8gb--wi-fi---4g-volte---voice-calling--white

prashanth said...

Thanks for posting such a great article.you done a great job selenium Online Course

kateit said...

Thank you for your post. This is excellent information. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site.
wordpress development hyderabad
wordpress development company in hyderabad
best wordpress website developer in hyderabad
wordpress development hyderabad
wordpress services provider in hyderabad

Catabatic Technology said...

Thanks really awesome article I really. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here and also I will share with my friends.
Brand Development Company | Travel Portal Solution | Software Development Solution | Web Design Company in India | Mobile App Development Noida

amsa leka said...

Thanks for such a great article here. I was searching for something like this for quite a long time and at last, I’ve found it on your blog. It was definitely interesting for me to read about their market situation nowadays.AngularJS Training in Chennai | Best AngularJS Training Institute in Chennai |

Rithi Rawat said...

Great efforts put it to find the list of articles which is very useful to know, Definitely will share the same to other forums.
machine learning classroom training in chennai
machine learning certification in chennai
top institutes for machine learning in chennai
Android training in velachery
PMP training in chennai

DJ PRASATH said...

Thanks for your post. This is excellent information. The list of your blogs is very helpful for those who want to learn, It is amazing!!! You have been helping many application.
best selenium training in chennai | best selenium training institute in chennai selenium training in chennai | best selenium training in chennai | selenium training in Velachery | selenium training in chennai omr | quora selenium training in chennai | selenium testing course fees | java and selenium training in chennai | best selenium training institute in chennai | best selenium training center in chennai

Robotic Process Automation Tutorial said...

Thank you so much for your information,its very useful and helpful to me.Keep updating and sharing. Thank you.
RPA training in chennai | UiPath training in chennai | rpa course in chennai | Best UiPath Training in chennai

kavinilavu G said...

Such a Great Article!! I learned something new from your blog. Amazing stuff. I would like to follow your blog frequently. Keep Rocking!!
Blue Prism training in chennai | Best Blue Prism Training Institute in Chennai

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing such a valuable information sap institute in Hyderabad

muthu said...

All the latest updates from the PythonAutomationminds team. Python Automationminds lets you program in Python, in your browser. No need to install any software, just start coding straight away. There's a fully-functional web-based console and a programmer's text-editor
Phyton training in Chennai

amsa leka said...

Wow!! Really a nice Article. Thank you so much for your efforts. Definitely, it will be helpful for others. I would like to follow your blog. Share more like this. Thanks Again.
iot training in Chennai | Best iot Training Institute in Chennai

Priya Rajesh said...

Thanks a lot for sharing this page, really helpful.
Spring Training in Chennai
Spring Hibernate Training in Chennai
Struts Training in Chennai
RPA course in Chennai
Angular 6 Training in Chennai
AWS Certification in Chennai

Roja Priya said...

Hi, Thanks a lot for your explanation which is really nice. I have read all your posts here. It is amazing!!!
Keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more, To know more about our service:
Please free to call us @ +91 9884412301 / 9600112302

Openstack course training in Chennai | best Openstack course in Chennai | best Openstack certification training in Chennai | Openstack certification course in Chennai | openstack training in chennai omr | openstack training in chennai velachery | openstack training in Chennai | openstack course fees in Chennai | openstack certification training in Chennai | best openstack training in Chennai | openstack certification in Chennai

Evelin Harriet said...

The blog you have shared really worth for me.Thanks for Sharing..
SAP Hana in Chennai | SAP B1 Support in Chennai | SAP R3 Support in Chennai | ERP in Chennai | HRMS Software Chennai

sathya said...

Nice post. It is really interesting. Thanks for sharing the post!
fridge online
buy fridge online
buy refrigerator online
Washing Machine Online
Washing Machine Offers
Buy Washing Machine Online
Online Shopping

Mihad Wasl said...

SB movers and packers provide Best Movers in Dubai and on time Relocation in Dubai services with professional 6 years moving Experience. We are best Removals in UAE with Local moving services Throughout UAE. SB Movers are among the Best Moving Companies in Dubai with quick and fast service. We also offer the reliable House Movers in Dubai. For More details you can check our website http://www.sbmoversuae.com

Manik Saluja said...

nice to read Vishal, i wish to see more of your new articles and that too more frequently :)

amsa leka said...

Thanks for such a great article here. I was searching for something like this for quite a long time and at last, I’ve found it on your blog. It was definitely interesting for me to read about their market situation nowadays.iot certification chennai | iot training courses in chennai | iot course fees in chennai | iot certification courses in chennai

Care Movers and Packers said...

Care Movers and Packers are the best Movers and Packers and which gives on time Storage in Dubai services with professional 6 years moving Experience. We are the best Dubai Movers and Packers with Local moving services Throughout UAE. Care Movers are among the Best Moving Companies which provides International Movers in Dubai services with quick and fast response. We also offer the reliable Dubai Movers. For More details you can check our website https://www.caremoversdubai.com

amsa leka said...

Thanks for such a great article here. I was searching for something like this for quite a long time and at last, I’ve found it on your blog. It was definitely interesting for me to read about their market situation nowadays.angularjs best training center in chennai | angularjs training in velachery | angularjs training in chennai | best angularjs training institute in chennai

Sathya said...

Interesting information and attractive.This blog is really rocking... Yes, the post is very interesting and I really like it.I never seen articles like this. I meant it's so knowledgeable, informative, and good looking site. I appreciate your hard work. Good job.
Kindly visit us @
Sathya Online Shopping
Buy AC Online | AC Online Shopping | AC Price | Buy Air Conditioner Online
Inverter Split AC | Best Inverter AC | Split AC Price | Buy Split AC Online
Smart LED TV | Smart TV Price | LED TV Online | Buy LED TV Online
Laptop Online | Laptop Price | Buy Laptop Online | Best Laptop
Buy HD LED TV
Buy Ultra HD TV Online
Buy Mobile Online | Buy Smartphone Online in India