ABAP is Ever Evolving, and You Need to Continually Update Your Skills and Learn New Ones to Stay on Top
The following blog is written by Cindi Kramer – Senior Education Consultant in the North America SAP Education Delivery Organization. Cindi specializes in ABAP and has more than 16 years of SAP ABAP technical experience. Cindi holds both an SAP ABAP 7.0 associate and Professional level certification and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Cabrini College in King of Prussia, PA. You can contact Cindi via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABAP is an ever-evolving language, and one where as a developer, you have to continue to learn the new functionality. This was something that didn’t concern me until I moved to the SAP training department and started teaching ABAP. When I first started programming in ABAP in 1995, we didn’t have ABAP objects. Now, most of the development here at SAP is done in this programming style. It is difficult for most procedural programmers to make the transition to object oriented programming. That being said, not just SAP, but the whole world is moving to object oriented programming. We here in the SAP training department have entire class devoted to the subject: BC401 ABAP Objects. It’s one of our fundamental core classes and the pre–requisite to almost every other ABAP class.
Now, most of the newest techniques are based on ABAP Objects. You have to know the fundamentals before you can move on to the more advanced concepts. Take for example, ABAP Web Dynpro. This is new to SAP technical version 7.0. It is based completely on ABAP Objects. We started teaching one class in ABAP Web Dynpro in 2006, which was NET310 – Fundamentals of ABAP Web Dynpro. This topic has become so robust, that we now have 3 additional classes. NET311 – Advanced ABAP Web Dynpro; NET312 – UI Development in ABAP Web Dynpro, and our latest offering, NET313 – Floor Plan Manager (FPM) for ABAP Web Dynpro.
Most developers are busy people, and when a task is assigned to them, it’s just natural to complete the task using a process already known. Don’t change it if it’s not broke, right? The problem with that is that the best practices of 10 years ago are not the best practices of today. As technology progresses, the recommended process also changes, and the way we programmed 10 years ago is not necessarily the best way it can be done today. What that means for us as developers is that we have to continually hone our skills, and learn to apply the newest techniques available. One of my favorite classes to teach is DNW7AW, a weeklong class that only teaches new techniques from versions 4.6 to 7.0. It’s a way for experienced ABAPer’s to build on what they already know.
At SAP Education, we are constantly updating the classes, and materials. A class taught 5 years ago, is not the same class we teach today. An example is our class BC425U – Enhancements and Modifications. If you want to change the way the SAP program runs, we teach many options in that class. When I first started teaching, BC425U was a 3 day class. Now with version 7.0, there are so many new enhancements; it now takes 5 days to teach them all.
In each new version, and now each new support pack and enhancement pack, new functionality is added. I see many ABAP developers that have been programming for over 10 years that have never used ABAP Objects. To be the best, you have to continually update your skill set. If you don’t, you will never have the most efficient, flexible programs. There are many ways to learn these new skills, but whatever way you do it, it has to be done if you want to write the best programs.
You now have the steps necessary to stay ahead of the SAP ABAP learning curve. If you have questions about the courses discussed herein, contact our Customer Interaction Center at 1-888-777-1727 or email email@example.com.
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