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It was late October 2009, when I bid goodbye to SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd. and joined IBM India Private Limited. Lot of my friends, co-workers and well wishers, at that time, had warned me about the huge change that I was going to face moving from a product driven organization to a services driven one and I was confident that I would do well with the transition.

Now, that I am well settled in my new organization, I can gladly say that the past couple of months have been hectic but an awesome learning experience for me. I have been lucky to have people around me who’ve enriched not only my technical skills but also the ones required to interact with a client. Changes are never easy and neither was this and through these series of posts I wish to write about my experiences and how I ended up dealing with them to my liking and advantage.

The very first change that I noticed was that now I talk more in terms of Powerpoint Presentations and Excel Sheets with a little less importance on the actual coding bit. Solutioning and Blueprinting, coming up with integration architecture after numerous calls and discussions with the client, preparing the staffing plan and then delivering the project on time with quality and working with my highly motivated team as a lead are now some of the things that I do, A far fetched difference from being busy with just the functionality of the product I was responsible to code, with minimum bugs and be done.

Shouldering responsibility came easy to me, what did not was the fact that I do not get to code that much any more. I am a self confessed code-monkey and the thought that my KPIs did not involve coding was a horrifying thought to begin with. I wondered whether I will enjoy my job as much as I used to when I was with SAP. 

But weeks passed and I noticed that I did not miss writing code that much now and there were things which I started to like as much or maybe even more than coding, like trying to figure out a architectural solution with the various client and landscape restrictions in place. And the times I do miss coding I work on multiple pet projects in my own spare time, after all innovation is one of the KPIs for my role here. End result, I now enjoy the best of both worlds.

The second change struck me while working at the client’s location. Being from a products  background and that too SAP, who do just about anything to provide the best possible product from the best possible architecture I was accustomed to a holistic approach to architecture with absolutely no technical or landscape contraints. It has to be the best else it’s just not good enough.

But things are different when you work for a client. You have to strive to provide the best technically possible architecture keeping in mind the existing system landscape as well as other technical or functional constraints that he might have and it is always not easy to do so. I am still learning and with some really nice people around me I hope to pick up these skills as well in a short period of time.

In summary, it’s been challenging but I am always up to a good challenge 🙂

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6 Comments

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  1. Vijay Vijayasankar
    Your post put a smile on my face. Nothing irritates my manager more than me telling him that I miss coding in ABAP 🙂
    The whole idea of enjoying work in a services company like ours is to stay flexible – be prepared to do a variety of things – coding, architecture, management, sales etc, and volunteer for stretch assignments. Have fun!
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  2. Muthuraman Govindasamy
    Hi

    I believe you might be worked on one SAP compaonents in SAP labs. but here in service industry, you will get an oppurtunity for all components and more responsible for whole application right?

    Muthu

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    1. Abesh Bhattacharjee Post author
      On the contrary I got to work with quite a few products and technologies during my stint at SAP, but I do agree with you that a service company does provide more opportunities to work with different products and technologies 🙂

      Best
      Abesh

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  3. Jim Spath
    Abesh:

      Great to see your thoughts in print (or on screen) about your jumping from the SAP mother ship. I took a similar leap 12 years ago moving from a local government job to one in private industry.  Risky, challenging, but I think you will find that people all over the world are more similar than different.

      See you soon!

    Jim
    p.s. update your twitter location

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  4. Gregory Misiorek
    i don’t think this is switching careers but rather a career growth move and i’m glad to see your joining my alma mater Big Blue. although not without its own faults, it’s a great organization and the breadth of both its products and markets is truly amazing. i hope you will stick around the sdn, though and will keep sharing ideas from the huge worldclass projects that i’m sure will come your way.
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  5. Marilyn Pratt
    First, thanks for rising to the challenge Abesh and providing such an interesting personal look at your career.  So glad you are in our community and ecosystem and it’s fascinating to have your “external” views.
    For myself, I made a dramatic leap in the early 80’s from professional theater directing in Israel to Assembler and then Cobol coding.  I told my first employer that the transition was actually a snap because bits and bytes weren’t primma donnas and I, with proper and diligent work, could generally expect that results of my productive thinking wouldn’t exhibit “spurious” results (although I was often told that if I didn’t RTFM those bits and bytes could be as pernicious and difficult as my most challenging stage actors).  I made the transition and never looked back nor regretted my leaving my directing career.  But interestingly, after leaving coding and ABAP and even teaching ABAP, I have returned to something more creatively satisfying than my previous code monkeying (which I loved!) and that is working with the “actors” on the giant community stage.  I guess I really do like to be behind the scenes and watch others star on stage.
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