All of us start our career as a newbie, struggle to understand the technology, get help from seniors, public forums, curse our mentors for not spending enough time with us for spoon feeding (Especially the ones who just passed out from college and started their career 😛 ).

     But, as the time passes, we do become expert in the area on which we work and move to next level to help out others. This professional life cycle never ends and every one would be part of this cycle. I hope most of you would agree with my thought 😉

I feel, at any point in time, every individual is a fresher and expert at the same time. If you know something, that means that there are 100 new things on your way to challenge you 😛 . This world is so big that, one life time is not enough to learn micro part of this world (Be it work related/outside work) ❗

So, learning is a never ending process. Some people might be fast at learning something and some may not.

Everyone has their own way of working. I would like to blog about how I mentor my juniors in SAP. Rather, this is how I was mentored by my seniors which helped me to grow quickly in my career both technically and professionally. I would like to pass on the same ways of working to my team.

So, here we go…

If someone approach me for a help, I have set of questions for them before I jump into solution. So am I 😈 .

1. Do you understand the scenario both from technology and business perspective?

    It is very important to understand an issue/requirement from business perspective. Once we know the concept, mapping to a software solution is not a big deal.

2. Can you relate the issue/requirement to a real time example?

Best way to get deep dive in to basics and remember the concept forever is to relate the scenario to a real time example. It might not be possible in all the cases. But, definitely it is possible in most of the cases for sure.

3. Did you browse through SPRO path (If it is related to customizing) and read the IMG documentation?

Once we understand the concept and relate to a real time scenario, searching proper config node in SPRO is a simple task for any one.

I always suggest to read the IMG documentation and understand it before entering into the config.

4. Never try to remember t-codes!

I suggest never try to remember any config t-code. Try to understand the business process, map it in SPRO to see at what level the config might come. Start search in that area. After few months, you can tell the SPRO path hierarchy for a change even without SAP screen open in front. Isn’t this 😎

5. Did you try to replicate the issue in test system?

When an issue is assigned to us, most of the time, we try to straight away jump into issue n look for solution. But, if we try to replicate the issue in test systems, we can learn business process too.

6. Did you try to Google out yourself in help.sap.com/SCN/Any other SAP forum?

After all above steps, still if solution is not found, next step is to Google (The weapon of any software engineer 😆 ).

Still stuck??? Seniors are there to help any time 😉 . If seniors also don’t find the solution through same ground work, next step is to approach experts in the area/post in public forums like SCN.

Last but not least, spend daily some time in SCN. Start answering questions, read articles and inspiring blogs, interact with experts.

To start with, people feel bad about this approach feeling that they are not getting the real help they are expecting. But, after working out on above points for a while, one would understand the importance of doing this activity and how this builds up the conceptual understanding and how a business scenario can be mapped in to SAP configuration.

Sometimes, I do get scolding at back end 🙁 . But, after doing this exercise, people do understand the importance and how it help to grow one’s knowledge level.

Of course, at the end everyone agree that this is the most effective way of learning and they are happy with the way mentoring was done 😎

I am more than happy to learn from many experts here about different approaches being followed ℹ . Your comments on this blog are most welcome 🙂

Best Regards,

Vinod Vemuru

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  1. Benedict Venmani Felix

    Hi Vinod,

    So true. I ask the Q1 and Q6 before I extend any help. Initially the mentees would find this very annoying and think that i am showing a bit of an attitude 😥 . But as time goes by they realize they learn a lot this way, than me solving the problem for them in the first place 🙂 .

    Not only freshers, “Did I try to find the answer myself in help.sap.com? 😕 ” should be the first question anyone asks themself before asking for help inside the team or in the SCN forum.

    Regards,

    Benedict

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  2. Vinod Vemuru Post author

    Thanks Susmitha, Rama, Vasanth 🙂

    Vasanth@

    Initially the mentees would find this very annoying and think that i am showing a bit of an attitude 😥

    Yes. This is true. But, once people realize the real benefit of this approach, they would be appreciating this idea for sure and the chain continues.

    Any experts here has a different approach? We are always happy to learn 😆

    Thanks,

    Vinod.

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  3. Priyanka Jain

    good one Vinod.. 🙂

    Even sometimes I also felt like getting spoon feed but I know thats not the correct way. But then tried my own and came out with flying colours and increased confidence level 🙂

    Regrads,

    Priyanka

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  4. Sapna Rao

    It’s hard to answer a good question–and even harder to pose one.! 😀

    Vinod, all your questions provocate the learning worm in a fresher’s mind. Your experiences of learning and teaching is indeed a fruitful one. Good blog. 🙂

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  5. Matthew Billingham

    Good mentors won’t spoonfeed. A critical part of being an expert is the ability to work things out for yourself. Good mentors will point you in the right direction so you can do this.

    I’ve been doing SAP for 16 years. When I started we didn’t have an internet. Yet somehow we still managed to learn! I do find it somewhat depressing when people ask questions that they could so easily answer by reading the documentation – that’s what we had to do.

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    1. Vinod Vemuru Post author

      Thanks a lot Matthew. Glad to know people like you do read our blogs.

      It would be an inspiration to us to go further.

      Many people feel difficulties despite of having these many modern day facilities. I could imagine how you guys sailed through with out even having internet. It awesome 🙂

      I would say SAP software itself is an expert teacher by having documentation for every minor part 😎

      Really appreciate the great minds involved in the design and development of SAP software.

      Thanks,

      Vinod.

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  6. Srinu S

    Hi Vinod,

    Nicely written article . One can definitely relate to it, both as a learner and as a mentor.

    Thanks for sharing it. Keep on sharing 🙂

    Srinu.

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  7. Vinod Vemuru Post author

    Thanks Sunny, Hemanth, Siva 🙂

    I am surprised to see no other even better approach has come out of this discussion yet. May be experts are too busy 😆

    Thanks,

    Vinod

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  8. Amaranatha Madhaba

    I have just completed my training. During this period i use to rely a lot on my seniors to sort me out of my problems so that i can do solve issues faster.Or I can say that i was asking them to spoon feed me. And use to think why don’t they just help me out of the situation,never had the answers for that.

    But now after this very important period i got my answers.

    It was their style of mentoring

    Thanks Vinod fot posting such a nice post.

    Regards

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  9. Sukant Chakraborthy

    Thanks for sharing vinod, i have seen some of my mates know only Tcodes, ask them any  query they will tell go to….. & there do …..  which is not a good practice i agree  with your points. Its better to go by path & understand the process.

    I hope by reading your blog this will change.

    Thanks

    Sukant Chakraborthy

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    1. Vinod Vemuru Post author

      Thanks a lot Sukant. Yes, I would be happy to see that change. It is easy to forget the t-code but not the business process.

      Thanks,

      Vinod.

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    1. Vinod Vemuru Post author

      Thanks Vivek.

      Absolutely true. When we try on our own, we get to know many things apart from the original issue 🙂

      Thanks,

      Vinod.

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  10. Ranu Eugene

    Hi Vinod,

    Nice Blog with good points.
    I seriously follow few things which you have mentioned in your blog, like I “replicate the issue in test system” which truly teaches you many things like you will understand business process well and once you understand the business process well then solving issue gets easier.

    Very impressive blog.

    Keep up the Good Work. 🙂

    Best Of Luck. 🙂

    Regards

    Eugene

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  11. Vinod Vemuru Post author

    Thanks Hari, Chandra.

    Even though I get loads of scoldings at back end from juniors at start, I see happy ending with every one after a year 😉

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  12. Nikhil Rao

    Hi Vinod,

    Really very well written article & highly motivating for a self learner….. 🙂 & I Iiked the fact that the emphasis of your method stays on with the individual who is to learn the thing unknown to him. I am a fresher myself & I am looking forward to follow every point you mentioned… (as soon as I get my chance…. 😀 )

    * Your article should be part of the initial training given to every new joinee… 🙂 🙂

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      1. lakshmi p

        Hi Vinod,

        All true in u r blog initially i was felt like getting spoon feed 😛 after i realized and start searching from sap.help.com most time spent in SCN,google search now i get confident.

               Your blogs always inspired me every time i get boost from u r blogs thank a lot for u to share u r knowledge.

        Thanks

        lakshmi

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  13. Ganesh Suryanarayanan

    Thanks Vinod, I guess the idea here is for all of us to learn. Be the Juniors who walk up with the question, and even for us to ask them the “right question”, so that we also learn what to ask.

    Good to see you share your views, I can take couple of examples for my team 🙂

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