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Wanted: UI5 developers. UI5 is mandatory, JavaScript is optional

Hello All,

Our org. is in need of UI5 developers. The requirement is clear. The candidate should be able to develop using UI5. Then, on query about the need to know JavaScript, the team’s reply, ‘ JavaScript? Not required’. I went silent and then remained silent.

The topic came across yesterday during my conversation with one of the team member, who shared the experience. I was just wondering, why do we always make the mistake of falling for the same trap or the same marketing gimmick. To clarify, I am not saying UI5 is a gimmick. Its just that we always tend to fall for the keywords.

UI5 is nothing more than a set of JavaScript libraries which are made available as open source by SAP. Its not a new language neither a new specification by SAP. Its just a set of features on top of existing web technology.

JavaScript is at the core of the development. The client side scripting language which has literally come to the fore front, is the actual engine behind the new user interface. In collaboration with HTML5 and CSS they form the trio of modern web technologies. UI5 is nothing more than set of SAP toolset on top of the trio. Its like an external API/JAR which is used within the existing framework.

To perceive UI5 as a new language the team leads make the mistake of giving importance to the terminologies. The fundamentals of JS are more important to the developer rather than the jargon. The technical terms can be adapted to by the developers in a few days. But, to have one without the necessary fundamentals, we risk giving another half-baked solution. Later, we blame the developer for not being good enough. Well, where was the wisdom of the team when the skill was identified based on the outer branding rather than the actual fundamentals.

We should give more impetus in using the technology trio and use the UI5 libraries to facilitate the SAP specific solution. The former is the key, the latter is an assist. Let us not mix it up, Once Again.

Best Regards,


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  • I don't think SAP has ever tried to state that UI5 is anything but a JS Lib.  They have created a new set of APIs to build modern web applications.

    I agree that management and recruitment are sometimes unaware of the technical requirements of some of these terms. Any marketing pitched at them is deliberately designed to be non-technical, as there interest is more with regard to what it looks like, as opposed to how do I do it.

    Despite their naivety, it is those unscrupulous consultancies and consultants that will take advantage of this situation for their own benefit, without taking the opportunity to learn the prerequisite base skillsets (JS, HTML, XML, OData, etc).  

    A better developer/employee/consultancy would at least make some concerted effort to warn them of their mistake, but ultimately the decision of who they hire will firmly rest on their shoulders.


    • Hello Katan,

      SAP has been clear about UI5 being a JS library. I totally support your point.

      However, traditional market for SAP has been based on the SAP terminologies. Based on this, the teams scout for people with the specific term in their skillset. My objection is to that mindset which is more centered on the specific term rather than the actual skill.

      Best Regards,


  • I guess the main message here is not that SAP is trying to falsely brand Javascript as something else, but that organizations (or team leads/managers within them ) fail to understand the new concept, thereby proclaiming false statements such as "we need UI5 developers!!" when what is really needed is someone with deep understanding of Javascript. And CSS. And, of course, web design. Which might not be the same person, after all (the guys building the engine are usually not the same as those designing the car).

    You're making a very important comment. Organizations need to look through the "hype" and get the basics right.

  • I’m not sure how to take this post, so please forgive me if my comments are off the mark.

    There is and always has been a chasm between those who cannot or will not descend deeper than the high level names and acronyms such as UI5, such as recruiters and a small number of PHBs. There is nothing special about the advent of UI5 or indeed any other recent UI toolkit or framework that changes this.

    But to say that “UI5 is nothing more than a set of JavaScript libraries” is similar to saying “R/3 is nothing more than a set C++ modules with a built-in proprietary language and UI processing environment”. It’s an extreme view.

    It’s also not true to say that the language used in UI5 is “just” JavaScript. Declarative languages such as XML and HTML, that are used to build views, are just as important.

    If I understand you correctly, you’re saying you have an issue with the perception of UI5 as a new language. I agree that it isn’t a new language, but it *is* a new skill set, which, like many technologies that are built upon others in the layer model, is greater than the sum of its parts.

    So yes, recruiters asking for UI5-but-not-JavaScript are clearly in the wrong career, but the opposite end of the spectrum (“it’s just JavaScript”) is missing the point of UI5.

    Just my 2p of course.

    • Hi Adams,

      Agreed. You do bring some perspective to my blog. My sole intention was with the fascination w.r.t terminologies. Your point about UI5 as more than JavaScript is perfectly valid. Its natural for the recruiters to look for the terminologies as they are not expected to know the technology in depth. But, I am frustrated when teams are built with not-so-right set of people even though its with the best intentions.

      To go deeper into the actual skill and then address the need.

      Thank you for your time and the feedback.

      Best Regards,


  • I'm not sure I fully understand the point you are trying to make, is it the lack of understanding of the skillsets required for SAPUI5?

    There will always be new technologies/products (SAPUI5, Fiori, Hana, Cloud etc.) which people may not be familar with, therefore I think the onus is on the people with the technical understanding to educate those without.

    If any of the teams I'm involved in were to create a incorrect job specification or were recruiting the wrong skills, I would highlight and explain what skils they should be looking for. The same goes for recruitment agencies who will always filter CV's on keywords, if they contact me for a role that doesn't match my skillset, I will explain what they should be looking for.

    If I were to turn it around I would suggest that rather than complain about the current situation, a blog which explains the skills required to be a competent SAPUI5 developer, understanding of Javascript, HTML5, CSS, oData, Gateway would help educate and improve awareness.

    Many thanks,


  • Guys,

    I understand that SAP´s ecosystems is changing with SAPUI5´s mobility strategy.

    The ABAP language never will die and programmers too, but I think that will arise new skills as: SAP Web Developer anda SAP Web Designer.

    These professionals must have knowledge in HTML5, JS and CSS3,  even distributing  excelent libraries.