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I spent the last few weeks touring our HANA projects and in one of the customers, I offered to provide a 2 hour briefing on HANA. During this briefing, one particular person from the customer peppered me with questions, stretching my knowledge and coming up with some questions to which I didn’t know the answer. I’ll have to reach out to someone who knows more than me.

This got me to think about Robbo’s fascinating blog, A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, punctuated by a wonderful and existential comment from DJ Adams. Here’s the piece that reached out to me.

I have always been an advocate of deep learning; when I describe what I do sometimes, I say “I learn”

So I thought I would pen some thoughts on characteristics of great consultants. If you’re looking for some career advice, you could do worse than to read on.

Forget about formal education and certification

This might be easy for me to say, because my degree is in Computer Science, and if you’re reading this and considering a career in IT but you’ve not chosen a college degree, then go and complete a MSc in Computer Science or Engineering. If you don’t believe me then do some research based on this Forbes Article.

But some of the great consultants I know have degrees in Teaching, Physics, Philosophy or Classics. You don’t need a classical computing education to be a great consultant, though I would argue that most great developers are classically trained.

Similarly with Certification – Certification won’t guarantee you a job. If you work in the industry and you have the opportunity to become a certified consultant then sure, take it – I’m a SAP HANA Certified Professional. But please do not burn thousands of dollars of your own cash expecting to get a payout. The glory days of consulting careers based on a piece of paper are long gone.

Be obsessive about deep learning

When I visit a project, I first ask the project leads to tell me about the customer and I expect them to be able to tell me who the customer is, what their business is, what their business objectives are and how this project serves those objectives. This requires the “consultant” to do a Google search, read their home page, read their earnings and corporate objectives and research Wikipedia.

This is symptomatic of a trait that I call “restless curiosity”. If you’re doing something then find out why. If you want to learn a topic then as DJ says – go deep, go long. I’m a HANA Professional and I download all the manuals and read them cover to cover. I consume all the HANA content I can find. If you want to be a great consultant then do the same. The important part is that you need a wide overview knowledge and a deep expertise. Choose your area of expertise and consume everything and then…

Practice

If you’re serious about your career then invest here. Get a working sandpit up with your technology of choice running and start tinkering. Build prototypes – in HANA, for example, there are lots of publicly available Big Data sets. You can get an AWS instance which you can stop and start at will to keep the cost down. Build. Get stuck! Work late into the night! And when you’re stuck…

Ask Questions

SCN is a wonderful place where you can ask questions. If you’re restlessly curious, then you have already read the manuals and you’re stuck, so feel free to ask questions from other community members. They will help, and your questions will help others later, especially if you curate your questions as you should and make sure they are answered. Answer them yourself, if needs be. And once you’ve learnt, practiced, asked questions and built your scenario…

Share your Knowledge

Here, the cycle is complete. Great consultants are great communicators and you need to learn how to write. Spend time on communicating your points carefully and practice here too. Even the best artists started by creating rubbish, and you will too. But as you practice your communications skills – in writing or spoken form – you will become a more effective communicator.

And if you are lucky, as I was last week, someone will hopefully push you hard and you will learn where your gaps are. Be humble here, and admit when you don’t know the answer. If you did a good job of the steps above you will know a (wo)man who does.

Final Words

The cycle above is what I believe makes a great consultant and if you’ve got the perseverance to see this through then you will make a great consultant too. Just remember “because that’s how it works” isn’t an answer. Find out how it works, and why it works this way.

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92 Comments

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  1. Chris Kernaghan

    John,

    You touch on this in two of your points, Ask questions and contribute – adding these two together and you start to form collaborative networks. This is where I have learnt the most, primarily because I often lack patience – I prefer build it, break it and discuss with others.

    As you say, continuous learning because you enjoy it is a critical trait in being a great consultant, and I think it best described as a journey not a destination. Never forget to have humility and fun, investing heavily in your passion/career means that you should be careful to enjoy what you do and not be trapped by things.

    Chris

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    1. John Appleby Post author

      Thanks for the response and you add some things I should probably have included in my piece in the first place.

      Definitely, breaking things in your sandbox is one of the best way to learn. Don’t learn this way on real customer systems, but your sandbox is soft and fluffy.

      And yes, it definitely never stops. Perhaps, it changes, perhaps you’re consuming information about management and leadership rather than deep technical information, but the premises of devouring information are always the same.

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  2. Andy Roche

    Great post.  One of the best I have read on this subject in a long time. If I may add one other thing:

    Learn to think outside of the box.  So many times we get stuck on a problem and can’t see the answer because it is not something that makes sense.  Allow all that training and practice to lead you into solutions that may not make sense on the surface but your “gut” will tell you is right. More issues can be solved when you stop and relax and trust your instincts.  But always test your idea in test, not production. 😉

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    1. John Appleby Post author

      Thanks Andy. What I love about blogging is that you never know when you will write a piece that touches people. I thought this was a very average piece and that I didn’t get my point across, but readers seem to have enjoyed it.

      What I also love about this blog is that the best stuff was written by people like you in the comments, and those that responded filled in the blanks in my average blog. Think outside the box – couldn’t agree more.

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    2. Typewriter TW

      Andy,

      Think outside the box and test the idea in DEV (sandbox)! Thanks for these “concepts”!

      Somehow we forget these…could be because of many reasons…but lot of “become and staying a great consultant” is to remind yourself regularly about these concepts (e.g. on a daily basis)

      Thanks!

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  3. Henrique Pinto

    In my first SAP project ever, the guy that was supposed to be my coach taught me two things:

    – how to logon to the SAP system

    – the SDN URL

    Best. Coaching. Ever. Or was it?

    A sandbox and a SCN account, that’s all you need.

    But I admit, it ain’t for the faint of heart. 😉

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    1. John Appleby Post author

      I run a a day session on SAP for our graduate program, usually at the end of the first or second week. I tell them about the history of SAP, and the future of the SAP community as I see it.

      But then I open it up to “what is getting in the way of you being great consultants”. I’ll write up my details onto the wall and make them create their own OSS, SCN and SAP usernames. By the end of the day, the good ones are already hacking away quietly.

      And usually the “special person” in the group has broken a system 😆

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        1. John Appleby Post author

          Yes, I had no doubt that you would be the “special” person. That’s just someone for whom restless curiosity is Promethian.

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  4. Joao Sousa

    You can get an AWS instance which you can stop and start at will to keep the cost down. Build. Get stuck! Work late into the night! And when you’re stuck…

    It’s true that you can stop and start but the problem with AWS is that static data. Keeping data in AWS is expensive even if you don’t run the instance.

    Just a tip, so people don’t get surprised with the bill like it happened to me.

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    1. John Appleby Post author

      Yeah we really should have a FrankenHANA AWS instance available for development that doesn’t use SSD. But, I’ve consistently lost the battle with SAP to get an underspecified HANA image available 🙁

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  5. Nathan Genez

    I’ve found that SAP professionals are very bad at taking notes.  Even if they follow all of the above recommendations… spend time consuming content in their respective area, digging in the system, getting stuck, searching for answers, engaging others, getting un-stuck… they rarely follow up and document the final solution.  Maybe it’s because, at the moment in time when they figure out the error resolution, it seems so simple to them that it’s not worth documenting.  But if you’re learning a new area, the likelihood that you’ll run into that same situation is high.

    For the first 5 years of my SAP career, my greatest skill might have been digging in the system and professional networking.  The next 5 years, my greatest skill was reaching outside of my comfort area… continue learning in spite of my new found expertise in a single module.  But for the past 10 years, my greatest consulting skill has been taking notes.  I’ve documented just about every error I’ve encountered and every solution I’ve built.  It’s a great resource and a legitimate asset.

    -nathan

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    1. Justin Molenaur

      I would totally agree with you on the last part. I am a prolific documenter (even just self documenter). I see great value in a personal library based on real experiences, findings and solves.

      Regards,

      Justin

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      1. Nathan Genez

        I guess I didn’t make that clear but 95% of it is for my own personal usage… and it seems that the longer I work with SAP, the more basic the information is that I track…  whereas I used to only document notes on a user exit or some other advanced (perceived) solution.  Now I document the basic architecture of a solution even though I know I can rediscover it at SE11 / SE24 later.  I think a lot of this is driven by laziness because I don’t want to re-figure it out.

        -nathan

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        1. Justin Molenaur

          Yes, we are on the same page 🙂

          I typically get in scenarios that I remember I had already solved for in the past, and just by browsing my library I can get code samples or even specific configuration examples. This allows me to deliver solutions much more quickly than if I had to sit and work through the same problem once again.

          Of course when it comes to producing content for outside consumption, it also makes it easier if I have screenshots already laid out too.

          Regards (and Happy HANA!),
          Justin

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  6. Florian Henninger

    Hi John,

    great blog, here are some additional words I blogged. But I think in your blog it fits perfectly too.

    Do you know a lot? Whenever you think that you are wrong. And that is exact the difference between the people just doing a job and passionate ones… Spend always time to discover new possibilities.

    ~Florian

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  7. Christopher Solomon

    You nailed it!

    Funny you mentioned about some of the best consultants not actually have an IT focused education. I whole-heartedly agree. One of the BEST developers I ever met actually had his degree in music. I think it is more a creative mindset, willingness to learn, and most importantly, an understanding that you will fail….often….but be better for it. 😉 Past that, there is a laundry list of great qualities….and some fit better in some situations/roles than others…some strengths can be weaknesses and vice versa depending on what is needed….But I digress…..haha

    Thankfully there isn’t one set formula or pattern for a “great consultant”. They are all unique snowflakes….but they are not unique in their uniqueness. haha 😆

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  8. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Great blog! 🙂

    Thank you for speaking up about the formal education / certification. Hopefully it’ll spare many people from great disappointment and expense.

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  9. Papri Roychoudhury

    Good post John. I think all of the above traits are outcome of passion for the subject which if gets transformed into a career – what else but a good consultant. I am totally for making and breaking builds in a sandbox which is where I learn the most and at times I have already seen scenarios and have clear vision of issues in prod. Another most important is communication – without which all the knowledge acquired is not used effectively. Consulting is an advising role and oration in the business language that the client understands is a must.

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  10. Graham Robinson

    Thanks for this great contribution John.

    For me the central message of this blog touches on one of my fundamental beliefs about life long learning. The best way to learn something is to try and teach it to someone else.

    SAP used to have a training course called “Introduction to SAP” – they probably still do. It was a challenging course to deliver because the attendees all came from different backgrounds and the instructor had to get them all to understand fundamental SAP concepts that, especially in the early-mid 1990’s, were little known.

    The interesting thing for me was that lots of instructors didn’t like delivering this course. But there were a few that absolutely loved it. They really enjoyed testing themselves by having to introduce new concepts to a diverse group of people. Things like …

    • Relational Databases
    • TCP/IP Networking
    • 3-Tier Client Server Architecture
    • Change & Transport Server
    • BASIS
    • LUW
    • etcetera

    And of course those that loved the challenge were the best at delivering the course.

    https://www.gapingvoidart.com/gallery/images/143870/love-what-i-do.gif?sw,852,852,0,,100,4246294117

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    1. Marilyn Pratt

      Wildly shaking my head in agreement, Graham, and I’d love to point to a number of sources around the concept of learning by teaching.

      I remember reading a number of year’s ago about the particle physicist, Frank Oppenheimer .  He is credited in some circles with saying “the best way to learn is to teach” and in a practical instantiation of that idea he founded the “Exploratorium“, a science museum with unique learning concepts in San Francisco. More of his concepts are found in this high school address on Teaching and Learning and like John Appleby Oppenheimer speaks about developing in his students “restless curiosity“.

      In the Exploratorium by the way, is a very good model of “reverse mentoring” as the “explainers” are the museum guides rather than the more common docents. The idea of an “explainer” is a fabulous one in terms of a concept and there are two types: High School Student Explainers and Field Trip Explainers who are themselves experienced educators and teachers.

      I should hope the majority of consultants would be more like the Field Trip Explainers rather than the High School Student Explainers. ( hmm will I get myself in trouble for saying some implementation partners and consulting firms misuse this kind of concept to train “freshers” on the job at the expense of a client?)

      I love that the “Always Evolving” framework guide to Explainers says that:

      During their tenure, Explainers become enhanced learners. They then inspire visitors to engage with the world and empower them to take control of their own learning.

      Ultimately that should be the role of the great consultants: to empower the customers/clients to “take control of their own learning” and environment.

      Another great path of thinking around Learning by Teaching is the concept of “(German: Lernen durch Lehren, short LdL” (source: Wikipedia ) It was a method I loved to employee in my ABAP classes. (ie to improve the learning process through shared discovery)

      Love this topic and the ensuing comments and discussions.

      Thank you both for sparking all this line of thought and inquiry.  Obviously it resonates with many here.

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  11. Ivan Free

    Your point is great, I think to be a great consult , it needs lots of time to study . but sometimes, we have no good working invirmoment ,  we may often face some difficult questions and can’t think out the correct answers. so it’s more hard  and get confused .

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        1. Jon-Paul Boyd

          I much prefer that response to a groundless “yes”, “no” or **** (replace with intact male cow).  Successes can often be attributed to resourcefulness.

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  12. Jon-Paul Boyd

    To become a great technician you must push your own boundaries and comfort levels.  In pursuit of technical end goals be relentless, stubborn and obsessive (tip. find an understanding partner).  Get a system, be ambitious, build, struggle, research, break, rebuild, conquer.  Recognise the foundation basics – UI5? Pick up that Javascript or CSS book.  Hana? SQL for dummies (or other), don’t be proud,  It will serve you well going forward.

    To become a great consultant softer social skills are also required.  I’ve known consultants with a rock-solid technical core and the ability to communicate well in the written word.  In a mixed group they do not interact, contribute, influence, support or energise.  These skills too can be learnt, often by watching and listening to others.

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  13. Stephen Johannes

    The interesting part of your blog is that I actually recommend people “answer questions” instead of asking questions to learn.  By answering questions I mean not those that require looking at help.sap.com for copy/paste, but those scnearios that require you to think/research and you don’t know the answer to start with. However that’s could be my learning style where there was never too much documentation or too much code to review, before I would ask.

    I also probably disagree about the MS in computer science/engineering at least in the US market unless you want to work for Google, Facebook, etc especially if you aren’t already working yet.  It’s a good way to take on extra debt that isn’t needed, and many companies won’t higher those with advance degrees for lower positions due to overqualification.  For someone who is a professional with a degree already, getting additional CS/IT education could be a good thing.  A masters degree is overkill for ABAP development, perhaps UI5 & HANA require more smarts, but ABAP is a simple language compared to C, C++ & Java.

    Take care,

    Stephen

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    1. Joao Sousa

      By answering questions I mean not those that require looking at help.sap.com for copy/paste, but those scnearios that require you to think/research and you don’t know the answer to start with.

      I agree completly. Those are the questions that make you think and research.

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    2. Manish Kumar

      This learning style can also be attributed to shyness.

      The fear of rejection makes people avoid asking questions in public.

      I was rated as a shy person in an assessment test. Almost all the questions revolved around whether you would talk to others or try doing it yourself.

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      1. Henrique Pinto

        Shyness does not make great consultants.

        And of course I’m not saying shy people can’t be good consultants, I’m saying they usually need to overcome their fear of rejection in order to really blossom.

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        1. Typewriter TW

          Henrique, members,

          For me shyness (in a non-professional setup) is different from being shy at work. At work, if i must communicate etc. to get the job done then i do it.

          Some one who keep talking just to talk (or be heard) in meetings…that does not go well.

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            1. Typewriter TW

              Waza,

              A client must feel (observe, notice) that a consultant is a good listener.

              This is so important.

              It is a tricky trade-off though – client should not feel that the consultant is less skilled, gets dominated by easily….but should feel that the consultant is an expert in his field and an important input is the clients views / input.

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              1. Joao Sousa

                And then you have those people who just pay you to listen and don’t let you speak.

                Unless of course, it’s to agree with them with a nod of the head 🙂

                It’s so hard to fight urge to say: “Dude, you’re paying me big bucks for my opinion, let me speak!”.

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                1. Typewriter TW

                  Joao,

                  Very true!

                  And there are some team leads who just don’t let the consultant (in the SAP) who is responsible for the development / requirement speak.

                  In an internal meeting they understand (the broad lines) and then don’t let the consultant nor the client speak.

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      2. Stephen Johannes

        I guess my point was more that if you RFTM twice, and work through the problem, then you can ask better questions.  I do personally ask questions when approriate, but it’s after I have done my own homework.  I am more of the camp that believes in learning by trying and failing many many times rather than waiting for answer to every question that I have 😈 .

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    3. John Appleby Post author

      Ah Stephen, even I don’t agree with everything I write 🙂 Thanks for your additions to the conversation.

      Really like your question on answer questions though as you say it must be caveated with real primary research.

      On the MA/MSc point, that is the topic for an entire other blog. In short my advice to would-be students is this:

      1) If you’re going to do a degree, then make sure you do it in a technical degree. CS is one of the degrees with the best ROI.

      2) In most cases, a BA/BSc has a better ROI than MA/MSc or PhD. I often interchange them because my course was a 3 year MA.

      3) For the US market, if you can do Ivy League then these schools have an excellent ROI. If you can’t, then choose the best local state education. Mid-tier schools are relatively expensive and have a terrible ROI.

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      1. DJ Adams

        Being a Classics (Greek & Latin) graduate, I have to disagree to a certain extent. But you knew I would 🙂

        To be fair your point on a technical underpinning is valid and very relevant in some cases. However it does often come down to the core skills that are gained during a degree-level study, regardless of subject. Those skills are: learning to learn*, think logically and clearly, assess situations, organise knowns and unknowns, and self-starting and self-propelling.

        * And this takes us neatly back to Robbo’s post!

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      2. Stephen Johannes

        John,

        I really don’t think you need an ivy league education do SAP work and I hate to say but the Ivy league is really for 1% of US and not for the rest of country.  In fact people who go there really need to be working on real problems like curing cancer, solving pollution, etc.  SAP stuff is really easy compared to all the other hard problem stuff I encountered in college.

        The other problem with the degree programs is that you need to do more than just the classwork to be hirable.  I didn’t get hired just because I had a CS degree, but because I also had some related IT experience in running a webserver, working in end-user support and serving as a webmaster.  I actually tell this concept to the current students that I have mentored recently as an “Alumni Mentor” from my Alma Mater.

        I really don’t think I necessarily disagree with people getting the right foundation, I just think perhaps SAP does not need as much rocket science skills as you are suggesting 😉 .

        I actually met a person who was a PhD in Computer Science working on Enterprise Portal.  He was way more brilliant than me, and easily picked up all the SAP stuff.  I really confused though why someone that intelligent would be working on iView development instead of harder stuff.

        Take care,

        Stephen

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        1. Joao Sousa

          I really don’t think you need an ivy league education do SAP work

          No, but you will probably be a better consultant. Being a consultant is more then knowing SAP technically, your abstract inteligence must also be developed so you can come up with better solutions for the problems you face in your work.

          My major is electrical engineering, and technically I don’t use the knowledge directly in my work. But I’m pretty sure all the math and physics classes I had during my college days improved my abstract reasoning quite a bit.

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          1. Stephen Johannes

            Unfortuantely not everyone has the benefit of being born wealthy, super-smart or having insider connections to study at the Ivy League.  For the rest of us we have to settle with a college degree from a “regular” school that can covers most of those topics.

            It’s also interesting that if we ever do have a really heavy duty CompSci conversation using SAP technology very few people if any actually engage.

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            1. Joao Sousa

              Unfortuantely not everyone has the benefit of being born wealthy

              That doesn’t change the fact that an Ivy League school provides a better education, and probably makes you a better consultant. That’s what I has saying, I wasn’t making judgements on the fairness of college access in the US.

              I’m pretty sure I would be a much worse consultant if I hadn’t gone to college, even when my major isn’t Computer Science.

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            2. John Appleby Post author

              So elitism wasn’t my intention – my point was: if you can have the best education, then take it. It is indeed a privilege. In the US, if you can’t then your next best bet is a state school, where you will get a good education. Statistically it is those that go out of state to a mid-quality school that get the worst ROI from their education.

              And in any case, it’s not education that makes the difference in the end, it’s the other stuff I mentioned in my blog.

              Do you have an example of your last point? That could be an interesting conversation in its own right. I’m a sucker for heavy duty CompSci conversations.

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  14. Typewriter TW

    John,

    Risk taking and dealing with failures are two things I would add to the list.

    Thanks for your motivating blog.

    Note: I haven’t read all the comments. Probably this has been covered before.

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  15. Billa Biksam

    I am doing SAP consulting for almost 7 years. If you give ‘100’ to be great consultant. I rate my self as 25. I know how to fix the issues. I can troubleshoot issues very fast, google& SCN helps me a lot, thanks to many of the guru’s for instant solutions, this keeps my consulting career keeps going and getting paid. The real problem is, once the issue is fixed, i think. I will come back and read the whole concept behind the architecture/logic and details later. But, it never happens. Documenting is good habit, it makes to remember solutions for a while. I am trying to improve my skills go in depth and learn as much deep as you can and focus in your favorite area. This is great blog. Keep writing John.

    _Biksam

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    1. Typewriter TW

      billa biksam,

      Whenever time permits or it is a requirement related to an important object (say pricing or copy control – as i am an SD consultant), I first read all the theory about that and other “surrounding” areas. It might look to my PM that I am a bit slow but that is not an important point than keeping my knowledge refreshed.

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    2. Nathan Genez

      [referencing my reply above]

      I see this all the time and to be honest, don’t have much sympathy for it.  It’s the same thing when people say on January 1, “I’m going to exercise more this year”, and of course, they never follow up and develop a routine. 

      If you want to be healthy, then exercise.  If you want to retain your knowledge, then write it down.

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      1. Billa Biksam

        Nathan,

        If everyone is perfect, there are no fat people in this world and there is no need of a trainer i guess. These kind of blogs and mentors/comments like yours keep helping people. Like everyone, i like to keep an edge on my knowledge and skill set i have (i am in Basis). SAP is huge and learning never ends. And i am kind of guy, who gets excited by reading these kind of blogs for few hours and goes back to normal routine as usual until next problem shows up, than i feel bad for few hours ..i feel like darn i could have put more effort when the issue happened last time. I been having this issue for a while and i want to put an end to it. As a human, it’s is very difficult to change. I am guessing, all the successful people might have been gone through this phase and came over all this hurdles and may be you are one among them.

        I have a question for you, how long you been doing SAP? How far can you go to fix or learn something? Do you feel pumped-up, whenever you see something related/something new comes to you in SAP? How do you keep yourself active everyday?

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        1. Nathan Genez

          I’ve been working with SAP since 1996 and I still enjoy working with new situations and new issues.  I’ve been working with a series of new FI solutions for the past three years and it’s been refreshing from the normal FICO/PS work I do.  But even if I work in some older areas and encounter a new error, I’m still…  well, entertained is probably the best way to put it.  I like figuring it out and then documenting what I just learned.  A simple .txt file is a fine way to start taking quick notes on a topic.    

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  16. Syam krishnan M R

    Great . In short commit to your goal and never distracted by anything else. Believe that being an SAP ( any technology of your choice) consultant will serve your future. I think this belief, thought and feeling should come first.

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  17. Rahi Khandelwal

    Very good tips, the goal is to have your belief in your skills and go deep on your time on the tools (BO, HANA, BW anything), great article

    Thanks for sharing!

    Regards,

    Rahi

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  18. Krishna Tangudu

    Great article.. Great advices.. and excellent comments… SCN is filled with lot of “Great consultants”.

    The advice I got from my father, when you don’t get something you love… then love what you have got and excel in it..

    Aspired to be a chemical engineer and currently proud to be a HANA Consultant 🙂

    Regards,

    Krishna Tangudu

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  19. Matthew Burfitt

    Great Blog. If more people took the time to understand their areas of knowledge instead just remembering them, we would have far better consultants in the fields.

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  20. Kavita Agarwal

    Hi John,

    Motivating and great blog. I liked the following line from your blog..

    “when I describe what I do sometimes, I say “I learn” “

    In other words, I would say..become GREEDY 😀 for knowledge…

    Regards,

    kavita

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  21. Gokulkumar Rajagopal Devika

    Hi John,

    Really this blog is worth reading, thoughtful and useful for me. I also liked the following verse from your blog :

    I have always been an advocate of deep learning; when I describe what I do sometimes, I say “I learn”


    Regards,

    Gokulkumar RD

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  22. Jagrut Patil

    Hello John,

    I’m new to this communitiy. The first blog read by me here was this one and it definitely boost my confidence to start my career in SAP.

    Thanks a lot… 🙂

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  23. Ravi Kumar Grandhi

    Hi John,

    Thank you very much for sharing this bog.

    What you said is correct. To be a great consultant we always needs to learn and needs to share the knowledge.

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  24. DARSHAN DESAI

    Hi John,

    Really nice article for the SAP consultants to work on. I am working in a  SAP customer company and i handle all the issues and problems relating to the users. Initially it was very tough as i had to depend on partner for each and every issue. But after becoming an active member of SCN where asking questions and posting notes, my confidence level has increased. Thanks to SCN and community members for there whole hearted support i am able to resolve all issues on my own and learn new things..:)

    Regards

    Darshan Desai 

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  25. Akhil Renduchintala

    Thanks John Appleby,

    I Like the way that you explained us..

    but i want to ask one thing about what is the correct place to learn SAP..

    is there any Url to Learn by online..

    Will You Please Reply For this..

    Thanks With Regards

    Akhil Renduchintala

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    1. Joao Sousa

      In my view there is no substitute for real business experience. Knowing SAP is more then knowing a software, implementing SAP is all about the processes.

      You can’t help your customer if you don’t know what he needs.

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    2. Typewriter TW

      Akhil Renduchintala

      what is the correct place to learn SAP..

      is there any Url to Learn by online..

      SAP is very vast…SAP is divided in two Functional and Technical (among other things). So first thing for you is to get an idea of what (specifically) you want to learn.

      Make your question more specific.

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  26. Josias Junior Leonardo

    It was a great text John Appleby !!!

    It really depicts how should (must) behave a great consultant, and passion for what you do is the mothership about keep going through the molehills that you’ll certainly find on the way.

    I’m a SAP newbie in fact I have some experience with Data Warehouse and I’ve decided to take a SAP BW Modeling Academy that is going to start at the end of this month, and I’m plenty happy to see that I’ve being doing the right thing, about gather knowledge, soft skills and that restless curiosity (desire) to know more and understand the needs before provide a solution. I’ve bought books and have in touch with several sources of specs and info related.

    Nice to know that here I can get and share all needed knowledge to start.

    Ps: I’m completely agree with Joao Sousa “It’s all about get in touch with the business”

    Best greetings.

    Josias L. Junior

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  27. Hemang Vyas

    Hi John Appleby,

    Thanks a lot, you gave me a big boost while I am learning SAP HANA currently, while I never knew a thing about SAP Technologies about 2 months ago, and being in a situation that I had to move to a country where there are difficulties in expanding your career I decided to go with SAP HANA, though I have learned a lot in last couple months I still had doubts as my education background is in applied sciences (Maths) and work experiences in management and somewhat IT related, but today after reading your blog I am more satisfied about the decision I made.

    Cheers…

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  28. couscous kabaylouss

    Hi John,

    As you said, you don’t need any certificat to work in something, and the best consultants you know came from differents specialities, you just proved it by writing a good article that showed your high writing skills and your deep thinking and without any philosophy or litterary degree, you must be a real long life learner…thumb up of the year from paris.

    regards,

    Mouad.

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  29. Win Kyaw Kyaw Htoo

    Thanks for sharing such a useful post for all beginners like me. Now I am a fresher of SAP Functional Consultant and trying to understand and learning it. Hope you to post such a wise post in the future. Honestly I have no experience of SAP before but a company hired me as a junior in it. If you have something to share with or to give a suggestion, I would be really appreciated. Thank you so much.

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