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There has been a lot of talk at my company about new technology.   With Netweaver and ECC there is a large amount of “new toys” for the developer.   How do we get to the point where we have a strong skill set to support business innovation?

 

A problem with new technology is there are solutions can be put into place using the old technology.   A simple example follows.

 

There is a project to create a report.   This report could be written in classic ABAP. Another choice for this report is ABAP objects.   

 

The opportunity is knocking to use ABAP Objects.  After all that is the way SAP is moving.   A lot of the code could be reusable based on future projects.   However, the report was needed yesterday.  If you are new to objects, it is much quicker for you to use the “older” technology.  You feel you have to write it in classic ABAP to make the deadline. Sound familiar?

 

Another example of old vs. new is a project to create an interactive user maintenance screen.   There is an opportunity use Java or ABAP Web Dynpro.  Without the knowledge to quickly program in these languages, it becomes very hard to implement them.

 

 Here are some suggestions: 

  • Research – take the time out of your busy schedule and research different tools.  Make it part of your regular schedule.  It is easy to justify spending time on new tools.  It will enhance the quality of any future project .
  • Write some sample programs to test your own knowledge.  This will give you a tool of reference to use when discussing the project with the business.
  • Download information from SDN.
  • Take some SAP training classes.
  • Go to SAPTeched.  Some great examples can be taken home with you.   If you attend hands-on sessions then you have some actual experience in the new technology.
  • Use Networking.   There may be some business cards in your desk from conferences or classes.  Use them to find someone who might have faced a similar situation, and is working with newer technology.
  • When possible keep your time estimate for the project high.  Give yourself the time to use something new.
  • Use your co-workers.  If you don’t have the knowledge, they might.

It will be a challenge to stay educated on the latest and greatest.   One person will not have all the knowledge.   But team collaboration can bring you to the correct technical choice.

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8 Comments

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  1. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
    Innovations is a must…An new tools provided by SAP must be learn whenever possible…

    A few years back I was still using Old ALV…Because I “hadn’t the time” to learn OO ALV…Big mistake…There’s always time to learn…After that my ALV reports are developed three times faster…Then the new ALV OM came along and my ALV reports are developed five times faster…

    Sometimes you must invest some time and effort to achieve better goals…

    In my everyday work I only do ABAP…But still have learn WebDynpro and BSP…Along with PHP/Ruby/Flex integrations with SAP…Why? Not because I think that I ever going to need them for my work, just because I’m a Geek…And I love to learn new things…

    I agree on your suggestions on how to learn about new technologies…Very accurate…

    For me, the best way to learn either a new programming language or technology is read about it and write code, write code and write code…

    Greetings,

    Blag.

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      Blag,

      Thank you for reading the Blog.  It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.  The best way to get better at something new is to “just do it”.

      Michelle

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  2. anu p
    Very good blog and practical also.
    As a developer most of us are busy in meeting deadlines.
    But the joy of testing some thing new successfully gives immense satisfaction.
    So folks keep reading, keep innovating.

    anya

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      Anya,

      Thank you for reading my blog!  I completely agree with you.  It is a lot of fun to learn something new!

      Michelle

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  3. Douglas Grant
    Your scenario reminds me of Steven Covey’s quadrants – (1. urgent, 2. not urgent)x (a. not important, b. important). This simple model tells us that all learning is important, but not urgent, and the only way we will learn new things is by making a personal commitment to spend a percentage of our time on learning new things. Though we work in one of the most dynamic professions – technology – often we sacrifice our learning to the day’s deadline, and our company and our own professional expertise will be the worse for it.
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  4. John Kurgan
    I try to use my own 80 / 20 rule. I spend 80% of my time doing my job, and I spend 20% of my time figuring out ways to do my job better.

    This way, I dedicate enough time to learn new tricks , skillsets, and expand my horizons without being trapped in the same old routines.

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