… create clean, self documenting, highly-performant, technical-debt free, non-redundant & re-usable code!)
Sadly, The Beastie Boys couldn’t get anyone at their record label to sign off on this track and we had to suffer their re-worked version. However, the underlying message is one I’m keen to re-iterate to our vast global ABAP community.
As a moderator of the ABAP space here on SCN, I see a LOT of shall we say “interesting” discussions, where it is apparent a relatively junior coder is struggling with how to answer a functional requirement or deliver on a specific set of functionality. I’m not talking about the “I’m new to ABAP, please tell me how to tie my own shoelaces” posts – I mean those people who now know enough about ABAP and SAP to question the requirements they are given but don’t quite feel confident or experienced enough to question why they are being told to do what they are.
Your job isn’t to say NO, it is to point out there may be a better way
I saw this tweet just a few days ago and felt it was very relevant to this post’s topic. Many people will devote most of their efforts to learning new and exciting technical abilities, but will ignore inter-personal and social skills. As a result, they get into a situation where they don’t know how to deal with someone asking them to do something they firmly believe is wrong. I see it especially in the off-shore side of our industry, where “leads” appear to be making shocking decisions on what should be built and how it should be built, and the poor “junior” is left stuck between doing what they are told, or what they know is better.
So, for the sake of your own longer term career and for the sake of the SAP system you are working on, please learn to stand up for your own opinions when it comes to bad design. Just because you are the junior and your lead has told you to do something, really doesn’t make it right. There are lots and lots of documented examples of where this just isn’t the case here on SCN.
I’m not advocating arguing with your lead over everything but as the tweet above suggests, it is about educating those around you that there is a better way. Sadly, in some cases this may end with the lead pulling rank and just telling you to do what you are told – in such cases, I’d suggest you start to also brush up on your CV writing skills and get networking on LinkedIn, as that isn’t the sort of Lead you want to be around for long… I’d also suggest you make sure you document your objections in an email to your lead, so that if/when the proverbial hits the fan you can at least defend yourself.
This isn’t much of a technical post, however that’s kind of an underlying point – being good at ABAP (indeed anything) isn’t just about knowing the language inside out. Devote some of your efforts to softer skills and develop the ability to deal with conflict and disagreement in a team. You never know, you might just find yourself taking up the role of lead 🙂