Is practical experience more important than reading?
Recently I got involved in debates with my some of my colleagues.
The question was – What is more important to become a successful SAP consultant;
Is it having practical experience or is it reading SAP books?
Reading books brings in knowledge. The more you read the
greater the dimension you develop to think about possibilities. SAP is like an
ocean. It has tremendous flexibilities. As a consultant one should be aware of
the scope and possibilities in his area. The role of a consultant is just not
to configure a system. He is suppose to understand a clients requirement and
then advice client based on the possibilities, best approaches and industry standards.
One can harness these skills through regular reading. I have come across
consultant in my life who are veterans in their SAP career, but at times fail
to meet client requirements, saying things are “not possible”. This happens
only to people who stop learning. Technology is changing constantly and being
an IT consultant one has to keep pace with the changes happening around. It is
not necessary that, what you learn today will immediately get implemented. But
yes once you are in a particular situation and if you are aware of the
possibilities in your subject, you would definitely re explore and provide a
Well, just reading books alone will not boost your career.
In SAP, I believe one should try things practically and surf through the system
as to whatever he has learnt. When you actually start working in an area you
might realize that your reading is still incomplete and you still need to
explore further. Even to crack interviews your bookish knowledge alone, will
not help. When you start working on the system you understand other integrated
areas as well. But yes one has to be cautious while configuring the system. I
have seen people who actually configure a system through trial an error method
and when asked about the approach, they look completely blank. So, if you have
worked on a new area or tried a new thing, it is advisable to look back and
rethink as to how did it happen and conclude your thought process with a clarity
about the linkages and results. Being complacent and thinking the job is done can be
dangerous and might bring out some defect in your configuration.
Therefore, I would conclude saying that reading books is
equally important that having hands on experience in SAP. To be successful
consultant in SAP career, you need to continuously sharpen your saw.