Learning and using new technology
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.