I started as a reluctant software developer. But after sometime I realized that its not the way to go forward. I had to look inward and outward to realize the vast chasm of ignorance ahead of me. SAP Inside Track 2010 was one such event where I realized there is so much beyond my work that I should know. SAP products, solutions and certifications and I didn’t knew many things about them. My knowledge was in isolation without having the knowledge of the landscape I was working. Once this reliazation did set in , I went out in all directions to get a foothold.
Doesn’t work that ways I guess. Going out in all directions means not knowing which goal post to target for scoring goal. After some failed attempts , I did realize few things
- When you want to get info on SAP products SAP developer network is one of the best resource. It has collection of blogs , wiki,articles & forums where the common beginner level issues have been already solved. You can just go the wiki page and look for all the information. Also the good old books would always help. I was new to ECC6.0 & wanted to touch upon on SD as my project was on CRM/SD. I purchased a book on SD online and within 15 days i got hold all of important concepts needed for my work.
- There is no substitute for hands on. What you would learn by doing would never be possible in any other way. When you read and perform hands on simultaneously you can also clarify your understanding. In the hands on session be brutal with your code , customization and configuration. There is no way you should have mercy here. The more you sweat in peace less you bleed in war.All this learning would come handy later.Most of my learning in CRM was achieved through videos given to us for hands on. While doing , I ran into many issues some very basic. But once they were solved , I would rarely make those mistakes.
- Contribute to developer communities. SAP SDN is one such platform where you can through your blogs , articles , wiki articles & forums. Contribute to enhance your knowledge & fine tune it.There are so many topics you would encounter in your day to day work that you can put them on the SDN so that others can benefit out of it. Remember when you started you also benefited because some one else contributed.During my initial days in SAP SDN , I was thrilled when I gave some inputs on forums and I was rewarded for my efforts. I would check my points everyday. They were a kind of motivation to go on. Whatever be your motivation , contribution always helps.
- Once you reach a particular level of expertise, never stop reading, thinking and putting your learning to practice. Reading blogs & articles always help. SDN is full of blogs on every topic so that once you have expertise on say UI part , you can pick up knowledge on backend or if you know a product think does it always exist in isolation ? If not then how is it connected to other systems through middleware. This is such an iterative cycle that we would go on and on. But moment you become comfortable , sometime later you can become junk.So keeping looking for new challenges.
- Try to attend events such as SIT , Teched and if possible SAPPHIRE, FKOM & DKOM. Not only you get a heads up on technology but also have access to sessions where people will discuss real time issues & solutions. This is in my opinion the kind of exposure which helps you develop better solutions. A real customer is thrilled only when the innovation solves the problem not by technology marvel which is of no use to it. These places have customers , analysts, tech enthusiasts , business managers & developers. The kind of insights you would get would be unmatched.Also these are ideal place for networking. You have access to persons & I need not write the benefits of networking.
I have been focusing on SAP CRM specifically CRM Web UI framework area. I have been eating this dog feed for over an year now and have been rewarded for my contributions with an Active contributor bronze badge.I am striving to become an active contributor silver and yes my journey has just begun.