I was fortunate to be invited to participate in the Blogger Program at SAP TechEd && d-code last week. I had a busy week of meetings and meet-ups, keynotes, briefings, etc. and I also did a couple of presentations on SAPUI5.
One of my takeaways from the event was that there is growing recognition amongst the SAP developer community that this SAPUI5 thing might be something of some relevance to them. In my opinion this is a good thing.
Technical people, especially Developers, are a pretty sceptical bunch and need time to understand new technology releases and to build trust that they will serve them well. And for SAP UI Developers this is especially so due to many false starts in this area over the past decade. The obvious example is WebDynpro which has never really gained much traction. There are two main contributors to this. The first is that SAP never seemed to get on board themselves – for example the only WebDynpro transaction I recall using much is SOAMANAGER. The second reason is that WebDynpro screens never seemed like the answer the end users’ were calling for.
SAP are certainly committed to SAPUI5 – and committed to oData too which is an important thing to be recognised. SAPUI5 is SAP’s “go to” technology for building user interfaces across their entire product range. Tangble evidence of this is that the number of available Fiori apps has now passed 500 and this initiative continues to have a strong focus.
And the screens produced with the SAPUI5 libraries do look pretty good. In an area where people can be very subjective it is hard to find anyone who does not like the cool blue Fiori-style. It goes beyond the look of each individual control too. The SDK has tons of examples that shown in the context of a full application. In this way they are also serve as part of a more subtle campaign to guide the developers, who typically aren’t great UI designers, in how to combine these fundamental UI components into complete applications with suitable aesthetics. Essentially the demo apps that show how things work also serve as part of more holistic design patterns, thereby encouraging a consistency that would be impossible if every developer went their own way.
As mentioned, I twice presented an ASUG session that was designed to help the total newcomer to SAPUI5 understand where it fits in relation to other web technologies as well as the rest of the SAP technology stack. Those who attended the second session got a smoother “user experience” as a self inflicted technical issue disrupted things a little in the first – but in both sessions there were many in the room who realised SAPUI5 was an important technology they needed to add to their skill set.
So let me suggest a few tips about how you can start on the road to becoming a true SAP Web Developer. Others will have their own suggestions and I encourage them to put them in the comments.
- Learn how to use the debugging tools of your favourite web browser. I recommend Google Chrome but ultimately it is a personal choice. Knowing the purpose of these tools and how they work will help you with Step 1. Not to mention debugging tools can be handy during the development lifecycle – but you knew that right? 😎
- Download the OpenUI5 SDK from GitHub, install it, and start reading. There are tons of guides, examples, etc. and all the code is there too.
- Setup your own personal development environment on your local machine. 😉 Improve it the second time. And the third. Etcetera.
- Start building stuff because Steps 1 through 4 won’t make you a web developer. It is a skill that requires considerable familiarity before you become even a little bit competent. It takes time, practise, evaluation, etc. and lots and lots of refactoring.
There are of course plenty more things you need to learn and do to successfully add SAP Web Developer to your resume – I have planted some seeds in this article if you look close enough.
And let me close by pointing out how important the right attitude and an inquisitive mind are. Chris Solomon captures this aspect better than I ever could in his recent post My path to learning OpenUI5…..deeper down the rabbit hole and back again!
— monkchips (@monkchips) September 22, 2010