Continuous learning is process of life, pinnacle of the attitude and vision of the universe. The day we stop learning new things professionally / personally, literally, it would be the end of life. The learning is the only thing which distinguish humans from animals. Being a human, we have a great privilege to think. Thinking is a great thing we all can do. I would remember a great quote from Respected APJ Abdul Kalam regarding learning “Learning gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking, thinking provides knowledge, knowledge makes you great”. This is all a process, if we stop learning and thinking, then there is no creativity and knowledge in our life. Therefore, every human being should struggle beyond anything in order to learn new things. It is not necessary that we should visit Universities and B Schools to learn and it is not that we should only master in few academics / technical courses. Your life is the best teacher. Nobody can replace such a great teacher. Every life is a great example, we can surely learn many things. However, it is our attitude which makes us different from rest of the people.

I could still proudly remember my childhood days, where there was no electricity at all at my home, I used to read at lamp or under the lamppost. Now a days if we see, people cannot live 5 minutes without electricity, TV or Wi-Fi etc (including me πŸ˜‰ ). I know these would compliment / helpful in your learning, sometimes, I do feel they are killing the thinking / learning ability of the individuals. Most of the time we are depending too much on “google” for small things. What I would like to convey is, the knowledge will not come up with money or the above mentioned items, it should only come up within yourself. All your inner abilities and intuitions would drive you towards learning spree. Continuous learning not just attaining a Certification or completing an academic course or achieving an admission in an University. It is a continuous process comes with us till the end of our life. Certifications / Degrees / Admissions are part of the process, they should only motivate us in our further learning.

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Continuous learning is a process which is surrounded by your attitude to learn and share the knowledge, academic curiosity, reading & practicing, creativity, thinking ability and extending your knowledge levels. All these are very important in making you perfect personality. Many people once they passed any certification or attained a degree, they would feel they have achieved the pinnacle of life. However, in reality, it is not. It is only a small part in the life long learning process. Learning need not necessarily be limited to technical knowledge, configuration, but, it could be anything like your driving, showing humility towards the environment / others, learning a new skill or even it could be correlated to the relations in life. From every failure, we should be able to learn a new thing. Even from tennis ball we can learn the best things of life, it clearly shows, how to bounce back in life, candle tells us how to give light to the people even its life is diminishing. Therefore, please let us not limit learning just to a subject, if we are able to see it with a wide range of thinking, then the whole world looks very small.

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SAP Consultant is also not an exception for continuous learning. SAP is a ocean, it would take few months to few years to get adequate knowledge on a particular module. There are multiple areas where one can choose to expand from their base module. If they are really interested they could expand cross-functional knowledge as well. The above diagram would give a very good idea. In addition, there are also number of Industry Solutions (IS) components available in SAP. You should also look into those additional components, if they would give you any additional and potential career opportunities. In SAP, it is always required to look for extended skills and knowledge levels. Just depending on a single module may not always be good idea, as the number of resources that are increasing in the market, the technology might be getting redundant or missing the chance to become a competent SAP Consultant. Therefore, it is always necessary to look into what additional skills would complement our core skills.
How would you achieve your continuous learning in your career? This is the biggest question. Usually many companies will have Personal Development Plan (Plan). Unless, it is very serious by few professionally managed companies, in most of the companies this is a joke. You would be asked to prepare your Personal Development Plan for the next year and it would be compared with actual achievement. In most of the cases, this would be just like a paper work. The companies should seriously look into the purpose of PDP and if they are really able to help the employees in developing their skills, otherwise, it would be wastage of paper. For the time being, let us forget the PDP, you need to write what skills / areas that needs to be improved. Then we need to put them on the paper, including, what are the possibilities available in order to develop those skills, what kind of skill level that is intended to achieve, what are the resources available to achieve this and what is the time frame that this skill can be achieved. You need to track your learning performance, probably every quarter, to check whether you are going in the right direction. Please do not look at your company to give you a training, if so, you would never get that skill in your life time. Try to gather the resources on the internet and try to learn on your own. If your company is supporting your learning, then it would be a bonus and needs to be appreciated.
There are many ways that you can learn on a continuous basis.
1. On-Job Experience
The best learning is your on-job experience. This is the most effective way of learning and the knowledge will be carried with you for a very long term. For example, if you are part of an end to end implementation project, you would get enormous amount of experience and the exposure you get on job would give you the most effectiveness and lasts for long. No other experience / training would be able to supersede this effectiveness. Therefore, it is your responsibility to give your best at job and explore much in order to attain the real learning. The more explore yourself in work would help you in turn with invaluable knowledge.

2. Formal Training
Formal training is also one of the best way to learn the things at a much faster rate. If you are learning the skills from the experts, then you would tend to follow their instructions in a very easy way. Particularly, if they are technical courses, then there is a limitation how much you can learn on your own. For those type of courses, definitely formal training would be a handy. Wherever, there is a possibility of getting formal training, you should make use of it.

3. Reading Literature
Reading is the best the quality for human being, whatever be profession you are in. If you are not yet a reading freak, then you must immediately switch your modes to a great reader. There are different literature available SCN, SAP Help, Service Market Place, Building Blocks etc. Furthermore, you would having lot of SAP materials, project documents, business process documents, user guides, test scripts etc. The more you read, the more it would be good for you. If you are free for sometime, please do not waste your time at Canteen or Cafeteria, just spend yourself productive reading something. Learning at least one thing by reading, then surely you be a master over a period time.

4. Practice on the System
If you have access to the system, then you should consider it as a great privilege. Many people are not even fortunate enough to have the access to SAP system. Therefore, if you have access to SAP system, you should make full use of that. Try as much as practice that you can. Make use of building blocks and how to documents etc. that are available. Some of these documents are really good, even a fresher can start learning, just by following the instructions given in the documents. Write down a plan for next one month, track your practice performance on a daily basis. I am confident if you practice like this on a daily basis, you would surely get adequate confidence to handle the complex scenarios.


5. Mentoring People
You should always consider that the mentoring is a great opportunity. You should not hold back yourself to mentor people around you. The mentoring will not only develops the good human relations, but also give you a chance to refresh your knowledge and skills. Mentoring need not necessarily be technical mentoring, it would be guiding, directing, monitoring, advising or motivating the people around you. This would give you a confidence that you can be a good constructor. When people start believing your abilities, then it gives you an additional boost to your inner abilities, this is the great starting point for a new journey.

6. Sharing Knowledge
The more you share your knowledge, it would come back to you with double knowledge. Therefore, you should never hesitate yourself to share your knowledge. There are many people who are always reluctant to share their knowledge because of their insecurity feeling. If somebody is in need to know something, explain them with the best possible way, it would definitely give you a benefit. Whatever, you are explaining to the other people would be remembered by you for life long. If you read something you could tend to forget in 10 days, if you see something, you could tend to forget in 10 months, but, if you explain something, surely, you would remember it for 10 years. Therefore, learn something by sharing your knowledge.

7. Attending Seminars
There are number of seminars / conferences you would see, something like Tech-Eds, SAP Sapphires, ASUG Annual Conferences or other related conferences. I understand they are really expensive, but whenever there is a chance and you have ability to participate, you should always make use of it. Particularly, if you go to Tech-Eds, you would see lot of excitement and you will be refreshed with number of new technologies happening around SAP. It is the main reason some of the companies would send their employees or encourage to attend these type of events. Try to attend these event and update your knowledge levels.

8. Discussion with Peers
SAP is a ocean and if somebody says they are champions, then just forget those words. Knowing few transaction codes / programs, does not make anybody a champion. If you practice 10 times more than me, then you would get better skills than me, if somebody practice 10 times more than you, then that person would be a master. Therefore, we should not hesitate to discuss with peers and colleagues. There is no rule that we should know every things. Sometimes, even senior consultants would learn few things from the junior consultants. It is always a good practice to keep your discussions open with peers / colleagues, it would really help you in your learning.

9. Attain industry knowledge
Being a SAP consultant, you would be expected to work in different industries like Public Sector, Utilities, FMCG, Banking, Chemical, Metal, Oil etc. Therefore, it is not just configuring and testing some SAP transactions. We should always update our business process knowledge and industry knowledge relating to various industries. I understand it would take years and years to master the industry knowledge relating to a single industry, however, at least we should have basic understanding about different industries. Therefore, it would always be good idea to read various journals / annual accounts or watching videos would be helpful to a greater extent.

10. Leadership qualities
Please do not think that leadership is something related to the top management. Every individual is a leader in his / her own abilities. Therefore, learning the leadership qualities is always a continuous process. Leadership does not mean that you need to command somebody. You need to take the ownership of the situation an able to direct, protect and guide your sub-ordinates. The foremost quality of the leader is believing in your own abilities first, then you should direct others. When you are in knowledge driven industry, you should have enough confidence in your knowledge levels to drive them towards the common goal of succeeding the project.

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81 Comments

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  1. Chandra Shekhar Agarwal

    Nice Blog Ravi, As always πŸ™‚

    Highlighted all useful source to get knowledge , keep updating yourself and Learning solutions of new new things. 

    Most of the time we are depending too much on “Google” for small things.

    Some how, Google make us depended on it. We are not using our mind to find something.When we have some doubt we opened Google and searched everything. We are not at all trying even to look for a solution

    Continuous learning not just attaining a Certification or completing an academic course or achieving an admission in an University. It is a continuous process comes with us till the end of our life.

    Very True. πŸ™‚


    I liked some point which makes you different form others..

    Mentoring People
    Sharing Knowledge

    Leadership qualities


    Keep Sharing πŸ™‚ Love to read all these..

    Best Regards

    Chandra Agarwal

    p.s.:

    Some Times we use Google to check whether our net is working fine or not πŸ˜€


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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Ha ha ha ha, thanks Chandra for your comments. Even I also google to check whether net is working or not. πŸ™‚ It is always glad to receive first comment and I sincerely appreciate it. 😘

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

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          1. Chandra Shekhar Agarwal

            But do you agree, Google made us lazy and very dependent on it?. I am not saying its not useful, its very useful and best we can have on net..

            Even me also, if i got stuck somewhere while coding , firstly i will look at Google then i will look at somewhere else.

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            1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

              You are right Chandra. Google has changed everybody life in the world. I cannot imagine a day without seeing google. We have to accept it is part and parcel of our life. But, due to large dependency of the people on Google, they are loosing the creativity and thinking power. However, we have to mostly consider the good points of the coin. πŸ˜‰

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  2. Priyanka Jain

    Well said  Ravi πŸ™‚

    Learning is actually the only thing dt doesnt hault at any stage of your life.

    You keep on learning each and every moment whether you are a kid or an old man.

    All the above mentioned points are surely to be kept in mind and applied in your lifestyle to learn and increase knowledge.

    thanks for sharing and motivating again.

    Regards,

    Priyanka

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  3. Durgamadhab Mishra

    Nice Blog once again Ravi… Great to read your career blogs. Sometimes working in critical projects day in and day out it happens many times to miss the basics like learning and sharing… thanks for the remind… 

    This blog is like elaboration of the 7th habit (Sharpening the Saw) for SAP folks as mentioned in the  “7 Habits of highly effective people” by Steven Covey

    Keep up the good work

    Cheers!!

    Durga

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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Thanks Durga, if at all any of my points are covered in that book, it would just be a coincidental πŸ™‚

      Much appreciated your comments.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

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      1. Durgamadhab Mishra

        Well my intentions are not to mention any similarities between your blog and any book for that matter πŸ™‚ rather just to point the similarity in the thought process and emphasize the applicability for an average SAP consultant …  πŸ™‚

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        1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

          Thank you Durga, I can understand, some of these topics are very general, there are few thousands of blogs / posts on the internet. Sometimes, coincidentally, the thoughts of different people are same. πŸ™‚ Then it is a good sign for me, I can also now start writing books. πŸ˜‰

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          1. Durgamadhab Mishra

            Well why not… I thinks with the wealth of blogs and experience you bring along combine with a best in class writing style you would probably be one of the best suited persons in SCN to write a book πŸ™‚

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  4. Ram Kumar Swami

    Hi Ravi,

    I love to read your blog…, Thanks a lot for such a inspiring blog.

    I liked the below lines very much:

    Certifications / Degrees / Admissions are part of the process, they should only motivate us in our further learning.

    The diagrams are also very helpful to understand the learning process and steps.

    Regards,

    Ram

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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Thanks Eduardo.

      If we want to share some knowledge, first time we think in our mind what to tell, the second time we actually explain them, so it is a double bonus πŸ˜‰ for refreshing our knowledge.

      Best Regards,

      Ravi

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  5. Arti Gurbaxani

    Hi Ravi,

         As usual a wonderful blog. I agree that learning is a constant process and it should definitely be πŸ™‚ . The initial part of the blog connects closely to the tagline of present reality show “Kaun  Banega Crorepati” which says  “If you stop learning in life, you will stop winning“.

    I would also like to add few things

    • Learning is more about your attitude to take things as they come because not always we learn from books, or our experiences. Learning is also about adopting a good habit that you see in somebody else which involves observing, understanding and listening because there’s a lot that goes around us day in and day out. However, again your Attitude plays the key role in this. If you have a right attitude you can learn things even from a tennis ball (as you mentioned) and if you don’t have a right attitude, even a bestseller book can fail to make you learn things.
    • If we are learning “How Not To Do” something we are actually learning towards “How To Do”. It’s same as eliminating the wrong options and hence reaching the right one πŸ™‚
    • Mentoring: – I think teaching is a process of learning. The more you share the more clarity you will have. A query raised by your mentee can in fact make you think and this is how you can be clear of the topic.
    • And Lastly, Don’t learn because “You think you should learn” learn because “You want to learn“. That’s about having the right attitude. Gone are those days when our parents use to stand responsible for our education.Now we have to take up the responsibility which is possible only if we think “We want to learn” πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing this blog!! It’s indeed motivating πŸ™‚

    ~Arti.

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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Thanks Arti, much appreciated your summary and great complimentary points.

      I would take many good things from your points, they are really valid. I am astonished to see your thought process and the most meticulous way of explaining the points. You are doing unfair on your side if you are not writing blogs on SCN.

      If you write blogs on SCN, I am sure you will find many number of followers. πŸ™‚

      It is always a great pleasure to receive comments from good critics, thanks once again for your time.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

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  6. Balwant Singh

    Hi Ravi,

    Your blog was very inspirational.I was just browsing through pages leisurly and after reading couple of initial lines, I left everything and was with blog 100%.The story about your childhood was really motivating.

    Loved the below lines:

    1)If you have access to the system, then you should consider it as a great privilege

    2)While mentoring – “When people start believing your abilities, then it gives you an additional boost to your inner abilities, this is the great starting point for a new journey.”

    3)Whatever, you are explaining to the other people would be remembered by you for life long

    4)There is no rule that we should know every things. Sometimes, even senior consultants would learn few things from the junior consultants

    5)Leadership does not mean that you need to command somebody. You need to take the ownership of the situation an able to direct, protect and guide your sub-ordinate

    Thanks so much!!

    Balwant

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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Thanks Balwant, greatly appreciated your comments.

      I am glad that you liked the contents and thanks once again for your comments.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Hi Jitendra,

      Glad to know you liked the contents and thanks a lot for your encouraging words. πŸ™‚

      Not just today, every day is yours. πŸ˜‰

      Best Regards,

      Ravi

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  7. Vivek Singh Bhoj

    Good Blog Ravi,

    Mentoring and Sharing knowledge are essential part of one’s learning process.

    While mentoring, many times weare asked questions whose answers we don’t know and then we try to find out its answer and it helps us in learning new things.

    Regards,

    Vivek

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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Thanks Vivek for your comments.

      You are right, the more we are mentoring,it would give a great privilege to refresh our knowledge.

      Thanks once again for your encouragement and enriched comments.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

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  8. S G

    Hi Ravi,

    After a long time i had logged in SCN,first thing i did was to search on any content written by you.I am glad to find your new posts and want heartily congratulations for being member of the month………Truly said,Learning is a life long process.

    That reminds me the tagline of KBC 7,i.e-IF YOU STOP LEARNING,YOU WILL NEVER WIN IN YOUR LIFE.

    tHANKS & rEGARDS

    sau

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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Thanks for your comments. I am glad that you liked the contents of this blog.

      Thanks for sharing new tagline, it is really true that learning is process of life.

      Best Regards,

      Ravi

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  9. Praveen Kumar

    really nice one,

    it really deserves a true appreciation  .

       As its not only giving   the right guidance about the career growth, but it is something which is very much required but has become scarce  as we grow from college environment to industry level.

    Kind Regards

    Praveen Kumar

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  10. Venkata Krishna

    As usual again another Impressive article from you , i think people Must read 

    document in SDN if it has posted by Ravi sankar venna , simply you created

    your own space in SDN.

    thanks for your time and valuable points.

    Good work..

    Regards,

    Venkat

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  11. Srinu S

    Hi Ravi,

    Very exceptional blog as usual. thanks for sharing.Please keep on sharing this kind of valuable documents.

    Really you are good motivator πŸ™‚

    Regards,

    Srinu.

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  12. Ganesh Sadula

    Ravi,

    This  words is very true:-

    If you read something you could tend to forget in 10 days, if you see something, you could tend to forget in 10 months, but, if you explain something, surely, you would remember it for 10 years. Therefore, learn something by sharing your knowledge.

    Because, I am very Good in Book Keeping & Accountancy in college, I had habit of Solve last year papers and around 10 of my friends  not good in BK & Accounts , then i teaches each & every topics of BK. still they are  remember those of i shared my knowledge to them…..

    i though thats why i got in BK 98 marks… in HSC

    With Regards,

    Ganesh

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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Thanks Ganesh, glad to know your wonderful sharing.

      Your words took me to my college days, where I used to study and teach my childhood friends.

      Much appreciated your words.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

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      1. Ganesh Sadula

        Thank very much… such nice blog… while reading blog i gone to college days that i shared Knowledge to frnds  remember till now… i thing dts reason.scored 2nd Highest in Our College in BK.

        With Regards,

        Ganesh..

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      1. santosh kumar

        Thanks ravi garu, i use to see your posts and very much inspired towards your wordings and thouhgt process how you deliver towards the SCN community.

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  13. Varun Vasudevan

    Hi Ravi πŸ™‚

    Awesome blog again! As always.. πŸ™‚ You always touch the v.basics of life in your blogs; its a treat reading them.. No words to thank you for constantly motivating us!

    Best Regards,

    Varun V

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  14. sap-fi .

    Hi Ravi,

    Again a wonderful blog to cheer up guys to fuller extent. You talked about mentoring people. Quite interesting to imagine about a guy who will be getting your mentorship. Sometimes feels jealous for you to get such attention from people πŸ˜‰ . May be some other people think like me……But really amazing stuff again. You are proving to be the electric current in sap world these days!!!!!!!!!!!

    Enjoyed a lot this blog as previous ones.

    Regards,

    SAP FI

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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Thanks a lot for your nice words.

      Getting such attention would always cost privacy and your personal time. If people are getting benefited with your help / work, then those compromises would become negligible.

      Thanks again for your words.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

      (1) 
  15. Venkateswarlu Ravula

    A wonderful blog. Each and every blog you posted is distinct and an ample of knowledge & motivation, making us ASAP 3rd phase, so that we will be getting ready for final preparation and further 😎 . Grateful to you for the efforts in sharing your experience/knowledge to educate/mentor us. Thanks for sharing again!

    Best Regards

    Venki..

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  16. Thiyagarajan V

    Dear ravi…

    Excellent blog……..Nice correlation personal things to the professionalism ……by means on continuous learning we will move forward all along…

    thanks yaar

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  17. Thiyagarajan V

    Dear ravi…

    Excellent blog……..Nice correlation personal things to the professionalism ……by means on continuous learning we will move forward all along…

    thanks yaar

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  18. mohan c

    Hi Ravi,

    Nice inspire to sap people, how we go ahead like life time learning achievements in sap careers.

    “Learning gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking, thinking provides knowledge, knowledge makes you great”.

    thanks

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  19. Pavan Kumar Neerukonda

    Hi Brother,

    Do u remember me…

    Actually today i started searching SCN to resolve the bug in my Workflow. In that search luckily i found your Document.

    As usual the content that you provided here is superb and excellent.

    I started my carrier as an ABAP Developer & Cross Applications , slowly i started learning  SAP Workflow of my own.

    Currently i am planning to learn Business Intelligence.

    I will try my level best.

    Need your help and encouragement.

    Yours words are powerful like our Telugu Director Trivikram Srinivas.

    Thanks once again brother.

    Thanks

    Pavan.N

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  20. Prabhu Reddy

    Hi Ravi,

    Thank you very much for sharing the blog. Your blog is an innovative thinking & I hope everyone will try to think before ink on Google! πŸ™‚

    I really believe in sharing the knowledge will always double & it’s a never ending communication.

    Thanks again for the pictorial views on Sys-Admin πŸ™‚ , it really happened for me & it’s continuing πŸ™‚ & continued to BI/BO + Mobility.

    Thanks,

    Best Regards,

    Prabhu Reddy.

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Thank you Prabhu.

      If you have BI / BO skills, then HANA would be a good further option, as the future market is going to be ruled by HANA.

      I like your sense of humour, you made me film writer πŸ™‚

      All the best.

      Best Regards,

      Ravi

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      1. Prabhu Reddy

        Hi Ravi,

        Thank you for the guidance towards SAP HANA.

        I am really interested to learn SAP HANA. Does all SAP components depend on HANA DB in future?

        Waiting for your next blog πŸ™‚

        Best Regards,

        Prabhu Reddy.

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  21. Meghna Jain

    As usual a wonderful blog from you πŸ™‚


    “Your life is the best teacher. Nobody can replace such a great teacher. Every life is a great example, we can surely learn many things. However, it is our attitude which makes us different from rest of the people”


    Yes i totally agree with you its our attitude which makes us different from others.


    “SAP is a ocean and if somebody says they are champions, then just forget those words. Knowing few transaction codes / programs, does not make anybody a champion.”


    Yes Sap is a ocean and we have to keep motivate our self to learn new things on daily basis.


    Thanks a lot sir you are really a good motivator πŸ™‚

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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna Post author

      Thanks Meghna, much appreciated your comments.

      You are right, life is the greatest teacher, wise people would even learn from the mistakes of the others, however, fools would not even learn from their own mistakes.

      Thanks once again for your motivating words πŸ™‚

      Best Regards,

      Ravi

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  22. Sagar Mahesuni

    Thanks for sharing motivational, informative and many more. πŸ™‚

    I like your points to continue learning…, especially

    On job Experience, Sharing Knowledge, Leadership Qualities.

    Education is an endless journey through knowledge and enlightenment.— APJ Abdul Kalam


    Regards,

    Sagar

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