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Author's profile photo Katan Patel

What’s an old ABAP developer supposed to do?

I have now been working in SAP for 11 years, or at least I think so. I pretty much stopped counting after the tenth year.  I’ve been programming in ABAP for about the same number of years and recently I came to a juncture in my career where I started to wonder where I was going with all this.  Possibly the same experience I imagine other people in a similar position to me are experiencing or have experienced.

Although the ABAP language is still changing at a steady rate, I guess I just needed a new challenge. I looked at a few languages out there & ultimately opted to run with Javascript. It is now a hugely popular language and things have come heck of a long way since I first used it at university to validate web page form content.

I have been developing in Javascript for about 4 months now and my learning curve has been huge.  I have learnt not just to program in this language, but learnt new techniques to deal with problem solving.  I have got a much deeper understanding of web protocols, which helped a lot in my work with Process Integration, BSP Application Programming (yes BSP is still relevant) & HTTP Service creation in ABAP. 

I am now starting to look at the SAPUI5/OpenUI5 Libraries, which I first looked at six months ago.  At the time I must have completed the demos, looked at the APIs and then crawled into a hole with shame at my lack of understanding 😯 . Now I can look at the APIs with much more confidence and a greater appreciation for what I can deliver with them.

I’m now also going to starting to look at Python development. Apparently all these data science folks love that (well not the super serious ones, who are hooked on “R”).

Not to worry I am not giving up my ABAP day job, but I now have new skills that really supplement the work I do.  Anyone can do it and there is so much info out there (a lot for free).  So I say to you, pick a new language and get out of your comfort zone.  I certainly did and I do not regret and I’m sure neither will you.

Look forward to hearing other ABAP hacks stories of progression. 😉

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      Author's profile photo Uwe Fetzer
      Uwe Fetzer

      ABAP + JavaScript (UI5) + Python: you are doing it right 😆

      ... says the (very) old ABAPer

      Author's profile photo Florian Henninger
      Florian Henninger

      Yes your right. Looking to both sides always helps you in your job. I totally agree with you and in my opinion it is also necessary to get into a second language ( I will not say new) just because of all the solutions, which are coming with it.

      SAP just throws a lot of new things right to all of us and I'm pretty sure, the old-looking SAP-System will get a new face by using the browser's technology and knowledge.

      So there is just one sentence to add:

      Do nothing is just like going backwards in the career.



      Author's profile photo Bjørn-Henrik Zink
      Bjørn-Henrik Zink

      Nice blog. While reading it, I was thinking about Thomas Jung's post Developer's Journal: First Steps into the SAP HANA World. I would like to add SQL skills (and more specific SQLScript) to the list of things an old ABAPer should do 

      Author's profile photo Stevanic Artana
      Stevanic Artana

      I just want to add Bjorn-Henrik Zink's comment about SQLScript. I found Open SAP courses are effective in getting myself familiar with software development for HANA which includes SQLScript, server side javascript and HANA specific views.

      Author's profile photo Robert Russell
      Robert Russell

      Hi Katan,

      Apologies, I can't add any value to your questions on career progression in ABAP.

      However I do think you hit on a subject that resonated with people around the world.

      Something I am interested in is maps and I checked all the tweeted blogs via @SCNblogs  in January and your blog came top for clicks from the most countries.

      I featured your blog in mine below,



      Choropleth maps of @SCNblogs links and crime data using SQL Anywhere