Just a developer?!
I have heard that we “the technical group” do not need to understand the project from the beginning. To streamline the process, the “functional team” will be able to write the specifications and hand them to the developer. Or even better – the functional analyst tells the programmer exactly what needs to be done, and the programmer writes the specifications. The functional person then reads them and revises them. Any programmer will work. Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! I’m stomping my feet and jumping up and down. Maybe even doing a little dance.
<u>In MY perfect world</u>, well there are no customers, no specifications… OK, that’s not going to happen… Really what I would like to see is mutual understanding and respect. The functional person gives me a high level view or detailed view of what the customer wants, and we work together to make it happen. He/She respects my technical knowledge, and I trust their SAP knowledge. We worked to decide what technology is appropriate. If it is a user exit, badi or other… And they let me do the technical side. They don’t spoon feed me all the details. I even get to help work on the technical specifications. Not wait for someone to give it to me. Just because I’m <u>ONLY A DEVELOPER</u>, doesn’t mean that I don’t have ideas on how to provide a solution. Last I knew, I did understand some of the various technology. Do I know it all? Absolutely not. And I never will. But I like to weigh in on the technical design. Oops, my perfect world. In my perfrect world, I would give my input and work together with the team for a good solid technical design.
<u> OK – Back to the normal world and my rant:</u>
When I develop, I like to know the entire process. I have to understand how it all works, so I can make sure my code works correctly. For new development I usually have questions. Questions like what are you trying to do? Why new development? What screens are you basing this on? These are all normal questions for me to ask. Then I go on to think about the technology that is being requested. What language should be used? Is it a web app.? Should it really be in BI? ALV? Object candidate? Web Dynpro? MII?…
A side benefit of the questions is that I can help problem solve when issues arise. I understand where the problems are coming from. That’s just how I develop something new. It is second nature to me. And it makes sense to me… If the developer doesn’t understand the process (project purpose, purpose of the code they are creating), and blindly codes, there are problems later. I can almost guarantee it.
If you have read my various titles from above, you may have noticed (or not) that I worked on the functional side of SAP for a couple of years. The lines between a developer and a functional team member are very grey for me. Even the lines between technical SDN and business BPX. I do know different processes / configuration very well. Depending who I am working with, I use the skills that I learned as a business analyst.
I made the decision that I would rather work on the technical side of SAP. I like to be hands on, developing code, and learning about new technology. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like working with the business or that I can’t grasp the process. It just means I love the technical pieces / parts of SAP. They are changing all the time.
So maybe I’m out of my mind, and I shouldn’t be concerned about the process before I code. Some of my own technical colleagues feel that way.
**Side note: It does depend on what I’m doing. I may not have to have a lot of knowledge about a process. If it is a quick fix, I don’t worry about the entire process. I just worry about how my program has to function. I’m talking new development, here.
I prefer to be in on the project from the point the project team decides that there is custom development required. “WHY?” you ask. Many reasons: It is so much easier to let the project team know how much effort something will take. I have also heard how easy it is just to “throw that together” in a program. It will only take a couple of hours. Development comes with a cost, and there needs to be an understanding of the cost up front. There should be a high level estimate on how long the development will take.
Does it happen? YOU REALLY HAVE TO ASK? I AM RANTING HERE!