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Author's profile photo Martin Fischer

Where are the passionate and agile developers we need for the digitalization?

I want to share some thoughts I have on the current situation in the IT world. As I’m based in Germany, these thoughts are somehow limited to my German SAP ecosystem bubble. I’m looking forward to any comment, also from other parts of the world.

Actually as developers we live in paradise at the moment. There is a high demand in the skills we have and an even higher demand is predicted because of the digitalization. But every once in while I have the feeling that the whole digitalization could fail because of a lack of developers with the right skills and attitude.

The digitalization also brings a lot of new technologies with it which the developers have to learn. Just have a look at the SAP portfolio, a lot of new technologies, products and platforms got introduced within the last years. Even the ABAP stack saw many innovations. So for developers it’s for sure not enough to know one programming language and stay with it for the entire career. It’s essential that you know the right programming language for the task you have to solve. I’m also one of the guys who own an “ABAP is not dead” t-shirt. That is because I regard ABAP as a special purpose programming language for developing scalable and stable business applications. For this, I think ABAP suits very good. I don’t think ABAP is the right language for UIs. So I’m still working on my JavaScript skills.

So in my opinion besides a good education in computer science as a foundation, a good developer needs passion and the willing for learning new stuff. I’m sure attending classroom trainings will not solve this problem. You can learn programming only by programming and solving your own programming challenges, not by repeating prepared exercises or copying code.

After decades of just offering very expansive classroom trainings even SAP started to offer free and on demand education: courses, tutorials on and SAP CodeJams are just examples for this.

But what about the developers out there? I still have the feeling, most of them are not interested. It seems that they are not interested in the new stuff. They not even read blog posts or announcements of new products and technologies. Because of the lack of qualified candidates, they do not need to be afraid of losing their jobs (yet). But this might be a risky game, just take SAP HCM ABAPers as an example. With the SuccessFactors acquisition the classical SAP HCM will disappear, one day.

I think it’s very dangerous to only relay on the training planning of your employer. Speed is somehow essential and a developer knows best which technology might be worth to look at. Unfortunately, this also means developers should invest some of their free time into their education. But hey, it’s an investment into your personal future! And it helps to make your job easier! I spend a lot of time of my life working. How can I not care about what I’m doing? Or am I just a guy who is too passionate about programming and nerdy tech stuff? Do most of the developers choose this as a profession because you can make good money out of it, not because they are interested in building cool software? Should the employers care more about trainings and education?

In my opinion this is a real threat for the whole digitalization. The industry needs good developers to be able to transform their business. Global sourcing will also not completely solve this issue: co-location and a good team work between business experts and developers is essential for fast and successful projects. This is still difficult to achieve with offshore teams. Even in times of video conferencing and other technical tools: language-, time- and cultural differences are threating successful projects. Will the digitalization in Germany fail because of the lack of qualified people having the skills needed?


Do you agree with me? Did you experience the same? What can be done to overcome this? I’m really interested in your thoughts and ideas!

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      Author's profile photo Anders Bang Christoffersen
      Anders Bang Christoffersen

      Things are moving very fast even for the functional consultants in the market - the lack of the resources is currently leading to increased procentage growth in the pay and a great deal of calls from recruiters.....

      Author's profile photo Martin Fischer
      Martin Fischer
      Blog Post Author

      ok, that's true. I'm really not complaining about my personal situation. But I have the feeling that the lack of skilled people will become our biggest problem. Recruiting of people with SAP skills is a nightmare in Germany.


      Author's profile photo Marius Mihet
      Marius Mihet

      Excellent article, it reminds me the exact problem in many IT organisation function we have, face up. I must say that most of the times the developers cannot keep up with the numerous emergent technologies as they are not interested into investing time in learning and playing with. This might come also from a weak IT background foundation.

      Another important point is to have organisations leaders willing to push those new technologies, otherwise, we the developers will not have the opportunities to experience with what those technologies bring.

      In my opinion i think this can be overcome by having a group of skilled people in every industry and functional area who can build a network of skilled and experienced influencers among others. No one has enough experience with all those new technologies, and i think everyone is a bit reluctant in experiencing with something unknown.

      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine

      Hi Martin,

      I’m going to directly address one of your points, as I fear all the rest is related.

      But what about the developers out there? I still have the feeling, most of them are not interested.

      Firstly, I’m going to deconstruct a little, I’m going to make the assumption that you mean SAP ABAP developers when you mention “developers”. These are people with mostly over 3 years of experience in supporting essential and non-essential components of their large company’s ERP system. They suffered a relatively steep learning curve when starting because the whilst the ABAP was nothing new compared to other languages they had used (indeed it was quite ancient in some respects) there a was a huge library of standard function modules, classes (if they were lucky) tables with field names that only made sense if you were good at German and squeezing long words down to 5 character.

      These “developers” are now queens and kings of their domain. They are needed (a lovely thing) and what’s more they are paid relatively well compared to their colleagues over in web development. So, there are these new UI5 projects coming… well, a few of them will learn how to code a gateway service, and soon they discover that they can actually build one using not an awful lot more than an RFC enabled function module! Great, nothing to learn here, move along, still king and queen of the ABAP domain, plus they still own all the business knowledge. Those web developers can build the UI5 stuff – looks icky! Plus every time they speak to the web developers, those guys are complaining that this UI5 stuff is completely outdated still uses jQuery (what’s that?) and doesn’t use Angular (no idea what that is, sounds dangerous.)


      If these people were interested in learning new stuff, they would have already jumped from ABAP years ago. What they are interested in is a well paid job with appreciation for their value, doing something new isn’t likely to amplify this.



      However, it may not even be the developers themselves that are making this decision! ABAP developers have in my experience never been a cheap resource. When one considers that support costs of an SAP ERP system factoring in the costs of that specialist resource set should be a consideration. Figuring out how to lower that cost should also be a consideration. By spreading your highly paid ABAP developers thinner by training them to also complete UI builds (full-stack developers rather than back-end devs) you are implying a higher cost and needing more of these ABAP trained folk. If instead your web developers take all the UI builds and you can take away that from your ABAP folk, you might even be able to make one of them redundant and save some cash… And so as the support manager (who has a target to reduce support costs somehow) you have the option of encouraging your team to upskill into an area where the business already has trained an lower cost resources, and as a result your team’s going to demand higher salaries, or… You see how this might go!


      Yes, if we completely restructure our businesses to a dev-ops model where there is huge value in full-stack developers, we should reap the rewards of having people with more skills. In the mean time what drives the adoption of technology by both business and developers is $$$$. For business with compartmentalized support departments a greater breadth means more cost, not less. At the moment if you are a great HCM ABAP developer and you’re really interested in learning how to build cloud extensions for SAP SuccessFactors, I have some blunt advice for you: expect a pay cut, I can hire people with most of those skills for two thirds of what you are paid.


      In the end it all comes down to money, how to make it and how to save it. All the desire in the world to get people excited about new technology will not succeed unless we can address that fundamental issue. How does training this person (alternatively how does my self training) in a new technology mean that the business will earn or save money?


      Answer that question and do it really well and you’ll find a big up tick in people wanting to learn more.


      At the moment that concept of “digitalization” is still in the sales pitch phase – note the Google trend diagram that shows rapid growth in last year and a half.

      We aren’t yet into mature implementation phase where interest plateaus. Perhaps as that comes around, we will find that the question of why is it valuable to have these skills in-house becomes addressed and the problem solved.


      To end on a more positive note, I think those enterprises that invest in dev-ops are encouraging this learning, and are attracting those folk that will be able to bring their companies a clear fiscal advantage in the near future. But restructuring a company into that model is a hella hard thing.


      Cheers, and as always these are my thoughts and don’t necessarily represent the company line!


      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine

      P.S. and my point of view only!

      ABAP isn’t dead, but the end is nigh! You shouldn’t build an app with ABAP anymore. You should possibly still build APIs with ABAP. Give it a few more years (perhaps as many as 5) and SaaS based S/4 will become more important, companies will want to use standard APIs not custom ones and build enhancements on SAP Cloud Platform using far cheaper resources than ABAPers. But then again, there are COBOL programmers still out there.

      Some fascinating display of “value” of various tech skills can be found:

      ABAP not rating as high as an ABAP developer might like. Perhaps they should try and get some IoT skills instead ?

      refer: for more details.

      Author's profile photo Martin Fischer
      Martin Fischer
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Chris,

      I didn't think about the support and money aspect in that detail. But at least in Germany and for my knowledge a UI5 developer is not cheaper than a ABAP developer. The JavaScript "natives" do not want to learn SAPUI5, they rather do Angular and the customers still expect some business process knowledge if the hire a developer in the SAP context. Furthermore, not too many of the SAP devs did gain SAPUI5 skills for real. So they are also missing.

      I'm with you, that the demand for ABAP devs will decrease. But S/4HANA is still ABAP based and there are also a lot of innovations coming in the ABAP stack. With all the cloud stuff, I'm sure we will see real packaged based software with not too much customer adoption. But only for common business processes like HR or accounting. But as soon as a specific process is part of the USP of a company they will also build their own applications. And I still think ABAP is very strong in implementing business apps. With the new stack including OData services, CDS and BOPF it will get even stronger. I would even bet that we will see ABAP on the SAP Cloud Platform sooner or later. Furthermore, as complex as the S/4 transformation looks for me, the installed Business Suite base will remain for a long time.

      My point is, that ABAP is not the only technology which will play a role in the future. The times when ABAP was the only language even within your SAP landscape is definitly over. Even if companies might think, they rather hire cheaper web developer to implement the UI5 apps, the ABAP developers should start to gain some knowledge before they are stock.

      Btw. I've learned many things about software development, architecture, unit testing, clean code, design patterns ... when I started to connect to non-ABAPers. Why does it take ages to motivate that ABAP guys?

      Just a cite from an interview with a candidate two years ago: "If you do all the class design, I'm able to implement the methods!" Again, that was in 2015! But I'm sure, even this guy is making his money as ABAP freelancer.

      I'm afraid, that all this change toward this so called digitalization will fail because of too less skilled people. And I'm really not afraid that I will not benifit from the current situation. But I would sometimes just work with skilled people and move a bit faster forward. But I'm sure, most of the people I'm talking about will not read this blog post, because it would mean that they put some efford in being up to date.




      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine

      Hi Martin,

      here in Australia, experienced UI5 developers aren’t cheap either (mainly because they are also full-stack ABAP, Java, Biz experts). This said, I have trained up much lower cost HTML5 developers to develop UI5 in a relatively short time. Compared to the cost of training an ABAP developer to build UI5, it’s my view that, it is much cheaper to train the HTML5 dev to  build UI5 apps. Both resources get a pay increase when they know UI5, but I still end up paying less for the “junior” UI5 developer.


      I don’t get the benefit of years of biz experience or knowledge of how the SAP data model works or things like that… but I guess it depends what I want! Different requirements for different situations.


      I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the importance of #sapcp in delivering non-ABAP based future application enhancement. I think the desire to not use ABAP resources to develop an application and be able to support with much more commodity skillset will put an enormous pressure on organisations to steer away from implementing any cloud based solution in ABAP – especially when considering S/4 SaaS. In 10 years I would suggest this would be majority use case for SAP, not the edge case it currently is. I mean just listen to what SAP’s CTO is spending his time discussing!




      Author's profile photo Martin Fischer
      Martin Fischer
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Chris,

      I just try to get why you think SAP should get rid of ABAP.

      • Is it because of a more common skill set would lead to decreasing costs?
      • Do you see any major advantages in not using ABAP for an on-premise transactional business application from a technical perspective? I know about the missing cloud capabilities, we do not need to discuss that.
      • Or is it because on-premise systems will decrease a lot and it makes no sense to differentiate between an on-prem and a cloud developer?

      I know, we are completely my original topic, but interested anyway 🙂



      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine

      Hi Martin,

      Yes sorry we are diverging from the original topic! But it is fun!

      I think costs of support will be a major factor - I certainly see that this will bite in future a more common skillset will reduce support cost.

      There are major advantages to building on-Prem apps in ABAP not a one-way street! - But the advantage of using cloud based development and non-ABAP languages are around the ability to consume non-SAP application libraries. Even for something as simple as generating PDFs containing graphics generated from master data. Trying to do that in ABAP would be tricky! In Java, there are libs out there that will help me do it fairly easily... When you start doing things like OAuth authentication to external application and so on, not having to rebuild in ABAP is very useful!

      I do believe that we are seeing the being of the end for on-Prem systems, although not the end for customer differentiated enhancements for those systems. building now using cloud based enhancement means that companies will have an easier migration to cloud SaaS - but not sure there would be many companies that have a fixed short term view that would make that fiscally attractive (why pay for cloud infrastructure when you have perfectly good on prem infrastructure?)



      Author's profile photo Tobias Hofmann
      Tobias Hofmann


      the path to cloud will be long and interesting journey. Back to standard, more configuration instead of custom development. That demands more effort/work than most clients are aware off. Not to mention adjustment of procedures and guidelines and expectations. But it will be a very interesting time. I am just not sure what will the impact of this in 10 years to the SAP developer community. Rise of the ABAP dev? ABAP @ Cloud? Drop of rates as skill becomes obsolete? Or rise in salary?

      Author's profile photo Johann Fößleitner
      Johann Fößleitner

      Hi Martin,

      I agree 100%! And yes I have the same experience.

      In my view, ABAP will never die! ABAP is a very robust, maintainable programming language - ideal for backend implementations. I don’t know many developing environments in which solutions can be implemented similarly quickly and easily. ABAP has nearly everything a modern programming language should have.

      Admittedly, for beautiful, fancy UIs, ABAP (Gui, WD, FPM) is not really suitable. Personally, I'm also not sure that SAPUI5 is "the" solution.

      Unfortunately, it looks like many ABAP developers are not interested to expand their knowledge.

      Besides all the technical skill gaps, I also see big problems in lack of knowledge of topics like: Clean Code, Code Patterns/Anti Patterns, Refactoring, Unit Tests, …  - „a good developer needs passion and the willing for learning new stuff.“ - Martin Fischer

      What can we do?

      -  We must continue talk about it, write about it. Thx for this blog!

      - We must organize & visit more meetings like the SITs, "Stammtische" or ABAPCodeRetreats to show how cool the development with SAP systems can be, to motivate & inspire each other!

      - We need to motivate our development colleagues (about company boundaries!) to learn new topics and improve their skills.

      - I think some of us have foregotten, that development is a kind of art! We must bring this back in our minds!


      Regards, Föß

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      Hi Johan,

      I think some of us have foregotten, that development is a kind of art! We must bring this back in our minds!

      I consider it more like a craftsmanship. But in general I agree totally with your post.


      Author's profile photo Enno Wulff
      Enno Wulff

      Moin Martin,

      I think it's not the lack of developers in first place. Just a few years ago there were a lot of "simple" and discrete ecosystems where you could specialize in: ABAP, HTML, Javascript, JAVA and so on. In every ecosystem you could do your work without getting in touch with any other technique (if you didn't want to).

      Nowadays there is a highly complex and complicated network of different ecosystems. You cannot say: I'll do SAPUI5. You have to know webservices, HTML, servers and understanding of object oriented frameworks. You have to deal with authorization concepts as well as node.js, JSON, security and many more.

      If I might try a parallel: In the past you drove through your city by bike, motobike, car, running, walking, with backpack or with trailer. Some things always changed a little: you get better and more reliable accus for your LED lights, some minor inventions and changes made things easier.

      Now your are pushed to go by train to the harbour, enter a jetski with some containers and correctly filled out customs documents to a water plane that must be controlled by tower (where of course you had to ensure to have authorizations to fly and land) and then throwing parachute packets from the plane where you somehow must have calculated to be picked up by a truck service...

      Something like this... 😉

      What we need now - and where I myself face a lot of diffculties and also fear - are architects who can bring together all of the existing techniques and frameworks.

      I cannot.


      IF sy-uname CN "Gregor|Wolf|craig|Cmehil".
       you_are_out( "sorry" ).


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Enno,

      Now your are pushed to go by train to the harbour, enter a jetski with some containers and correctly filled out customs documents to a water plane that must be controlled by tower (where of course you had to ensure to have authorizations to fly and land) and then throwing parachute packets from the plane where you somehow must have calculated to be picked up by a truck Service…

      A very good description/picture of the actual situation. And it’s not only technolgy, also methodolgy, concepts, etc… It’s just overhelming much. Maybe manageable, if you’re working in a team, where all kind of knowledge is more or less available, but as an independent consultant…difficult.


      That said, I continue with my Scala tutorials… ?


      Author's profile photo Tobias Hofmann
      Tobias Hofmann

       ABAP developers are a very special kind of developers. Someone today in his 40s will be able to retire in 25 years without having to learn something drastically new. In 15 years there will be still demand for "classic" ABAP skills: writing reports, expose a functionality as a BAPI, etc. That same person won't even have the pressure to learn object oriented programing. All praise SAP.

      In the world outside SAP, the term full stack developer is used to describe a jack of all trades. A dev that can deliver an e2e app, from UI to backend, without knowing everything in detail at each layer. ABAP devs are the original full stack developers: enough skilled to create a report, business logic and DB skills to persist data. Does not mean an ABAP dev that writes alone a WDA app knows HTML or web architecture. The framework given by SAP is just too good. The dev won`t have to think about this. An ABAP dev until "recently" didn't even had to leave SAPGui to do all this. A perfect isolated eco system.

      There is not enough pressure and need to a classic ABAP dev to look around and learn new stuff. From the events I organized I learned that people can get very far without knowing ABAP OO. Or unit tests. Or front end development. Or any other technology layer. Most don't even know how to develop a proper BAPI (just check the remote enabled checkbox and it works). Because they do not need this to deliver great results at work. Now, that's different from devs that come from another area: Java, .Net, Javascript, etc.

      There, change is constant. The way to develop is different: agile, continuous integration and delivery, for years. Tools that analyze the code written, that test it, give insights. Easily accessible via a browser. Here, devs are focused on concepts than a specific technology. When you service is REST enabled, the backend technology isn't super important. Same for the frontend. Devs are forced to learn new stuff all the time. Poor JavaScript guys. They do not even know if their framework is still "in" next Monday. A Java EE dev that acquired his knowledge with 1.4 wont be able to write a Java EE app 7. Any Java dev had to update his skills. Whoever decided not to do so is getting obsolete. J2EE 5 was introduced 11 years ago. I guess you`ll have a problem finding a J2EE dev that did not upgrade his skills. And I guess you can easily find an ABAP dev that writes code like he/she did 12 years ago. Again: lack of pressure to learn something new. Also: blame the company. Still running ERP 6 with EHP4? Or even ERP 5? Not offering a lot of chances for the dev to learn new technologies in the SAP world.

      Of course, this is not an excuse to average ABAP guy. An SAP system is not going to be alone. Considering it as the (digital) core of the company, many other systems will depend on it. Concepts from outside SAP like continuous integration and the test that come with it won't leave the SAP system alone for very long. It is a good idea for the dev to understand what is happening outside SAP. When millions of IoT devices are sending data and maintenance orders are created automatically by (predicted) events, it makes sense to write the backend service in a way that can handle the new load / interactions. If not, maybe the 40 year old ABAP dev wont be with the company the next 10 years. But then again, there are companies running R/3 4.7 …

      Author's profile photo Martin Fischer
      Martin Fischer
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Tobias,

      I agree with you. To sum it up, in a way the behaviour and products of SAP in the past is one reason for the "laziness" of ABAP devs when it comes to new technologies:

      It took ages to recognize how important a vivid community is! I'm not talking about the frontrunners like Craig Cmehil or Mark Finnern. I don't wanna know what fights they had internally. I just look to the new SAP community. Yes, it's getting stronger again. But it was released with a marketing driven focus on design and it seems as nobody really thought about the features. I know there was the chance for the community to do beta testing, but hey, SAP makes a fortune each year. They cannot completely relay on crazy community driven guys who do that in their free time!

      And the second reason is the downwards compatibility of the ABAP stack. No need to spend time on new features. The old stuff still works!


      Author's profile photo Florian Henninger
      Florian Henninger

      'To the second thing.

      Things which worked 10 years ago still work without the need of any change is also a strong argument to the business that this is a good solution, because the people in front of a barchart do not care how the programming-model looks behind, they just want a result on the screen...

      of course, as fast as possible (not to say real-time hana like) but if the solution works fine, there is no need for change and that makes an incredible ROI:-)

      So it is not just bad, depends on the view you have on IT.


      Author's profile photo Martin Fischer
      Martin Fischer
      Blog Post Author

      I didn't say it's just bad. But it's a reason for the slow adoption of new stuff in the ABAP community!


      Author's profile photo Florian Henninger
      Florian Henninger

      Hi Martin,


      thought more the comment as an addition, not as an pov. Of course it is a reason and as already mentioned on twitter, I also have similar thoughts on that topic.

      We just need to be fair, that there are a lot of different views on it and of course there are also a lot of reasons, that the strategy of SAP is valid and the gap, that some people inside the SAP ecosystem maybe do not race that fast on new technology is something we have to live with.

      And additional to that, I would not reduce it on the ABAP-community.

      Author's profile photo Martin Fischer
      Martin Fischer
      Blog Post Author

      I agree with you! Actually my post was not intended to target only the ABAP community. It’s somehow a problem for the whole industry, at least in Germany (imo)


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      See how do you know adoption is low, just because you don't see much in the market. You have to consider the economics too. For a small shop where I don't need HANA why would I buy it?

      If I have ODATA and can create .NET apps why would I use UI5. If I don't need something why would we do it.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      I agree new technology may be great but one can not force it down my throat. Each enterprise will evolve at their own rate. I find this whole digitalization marketing a poor joke because we have been digital long time back. Does that means SAP ERP was analog and not digital?

      What makes more sense is what IBM talks about- Cognitive, Analytics, Mobile and Social. YEs we are moving more towards Cognitive, mobile apps and predictive analysis that is the foundation for machine learning.


      Author's profile photo Tobias Hofmann
      Tobias Hofmann

      "The old stuff still works!"

      This is also known as enterprise software. While this is good, it's also bad. Not always SAP is to blame, but lack of knowledge from the devs and customer, architects, etc play an importan role too. Dev codes a function module, checks the remote checkboxs, and there is the BAPI. No GetList, GetDetail, Create, Change, etc. Just a remote FM. Goes well until this FM should be accessed via OData. OK, let's develop the logic natively for OData.

      A dev that knows web 2.0, rest, etc, understands that there can be software outside the same SAP system that wants to interact with the data, users that are not using SAPGui would have helped. But: learning is needed. You can do this on your own (company will love it), or ask your manager to support this (manager will be happy) or ask for budget (wait: you cannot do this on your own, after work hours? And aren't you already an expert on this? Why go to a training/event at all).

      Are the parameters set for devs to learn? Are they encouraged? Is there enough "pressure" and need to learn?

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo


      <Sigh> really we won't learn it because in 25 years or so we retire?   I would say we are always learning.   Why not learn something else to have in our bag of tricks?  I have been guilty of using something new - just because I could.   So I had to tone it down a little.   Use something new when it makes sense.    

      I don't believe I am an exception.   I believe that people who decide on a career path with programming in general expect to change and learn. 

      So I have never really mastered anything.    I will be constantly learning.  I tend to add it to my bag of tricks now.   I use it when it makes sense.

      So to add one more reason not to learn the latest and greatest - you have to move to the point when it makes sense to use the new technology.   If you come from a small shop of developers - I do.   Then you have to make sure either everyone else knows the technology or you train them.   Because at some point they will need to fix / change your program.


      Author's profile photo Roberto Vacca
      Roberto Vacca

      Hi Martin,

      I think if we lived in a bubble of a perfect and correct world then I'd say you're right, there are no programmers with passion. But reality is something else. At least that from here in Italy and I assume in other countries.
      The reality is that first of all, in front of everything, comes the company that you work for and the company that you work for, honestly, it does not seek passion, no!

      Passion is useful to the maximum as a seasoning. The company looks for revenue, looks for money, but it does it cunningly, avoiding to look hungry for money, it's not good for businees to eat a lot 🙂
      In the end we all know that when the company can't pay its workers, paying the first results are just the passionate people you are looking for.
      Passion is not well seen by profit seekers or better it can be a very risky bet.
      Better to focus on the quiet of many loyal "workers". Faithful to the mortgage to pay, either because of the fees or because of the expense associated with the family.
      The faithful worker is willing to do all that the company may need to do, even burying "dead bodies" 🙂

      That being said, speaking of real world, I believe that passion is exhausted. Which real passionate programmer would be consuming for an economic reality like the one where it prevails over every other immaterial thing? Rather, it would do everything to avoid letting it go 🙂

      It is something that goes above perhaps the will of a single master. It is a force that now drives all companies into the Big Players' decisions.
      So ... to you the conclusions



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Gurus,

      When we talk about learning new skills, etc. passion is of course important. Passion could be doing the job well, learning new techniques,  etc. Ove the last couple of years SAP has really moved forward in a big way. AS ABAP 7.5 is a big release with so much under the hood that takes ABAP to a completely new level who thought that would be possible a few years back. Today we have cutting edge technologies like OData, HANA, etc. This are real new great inventions.

      I don't think some one has to show a passion for learning ABAP by learning UI5 only. Every thing just comes down to UI5 for the author's frustration, there is no hard and fast rule to learn UI5. I am passionate and I keep learning new skills in ABAP like CDS, BOPF, OData services, ABAP for HANA, SQL Scripting, So am I not passionate?

      When it comes to UI, we have so many things that are open and available on the OData service foundation and I guess when Vishal Sikka talked about time less software he meant opening up SAP data to any UI not trapping it to UI5. SAP using Fiori design language and providing smart templates is a smart choice but don't force it down our throat. Why won't I advise my customer to better build a better UI on.NET and other technologies why UI5 and Fiori?

      SAP has been a massive failure with UI roadmap, GUI the Web Dynpro and then UI5 then something else. Also when there is a big market for the open source technologies like JS, Angular etc. why would some one get trapped in a proprietary format like UI5 libraries.

      I am also puzzled why one would not like a separation of task where you offload the heavy duty task to an ABAP developer and let the web developer do his UI magic. If you have an ABAP developer interested in UI development good but this is not mandatory.

      Also, I am sure you guys have looked at the AS ABAP roadmap, where SAP has shown Machine learning, Bitcoins, IoT etc. for ABAP .  It is a lie then the 2019 roadmap? SAP talks about the SAP ABAP cloud tools, ABAP as platform for all cloud solutions.

      One commentator has put a screenshot on ABAP popularity, respected Sir FYI I will change my name if you can show me a list where ABAP ever counted in top 10 popular programming languages. It's a SAP proprietary niche technology brilliantly suited to SAP applications and it's platform strategy.

      I don't understand why SAP should go seducing Java or other developers, there are already 4 million ABAP developers you have a faithful ecosystem. Even Apple didn't go for Java or C they have Objective C and now Swift. It's simple you have this rewarding Apple ecosystem you want to be a part of it learn our technology and learn our language. Same with SAP because if those JAVA developers were so much interested in SAP they would have learnt ABAP long time back or the JAVA stack would have seen traction.


      Prasenjit Singh Bist




      Author's profile photo David Henn
      David Henn

      Hi Martin,

      I think education and life long learning is essential for being a professional software developer. Whether you have to do this in your free time or it is part of your work depends on your company. (I do have time at work for education and I try do do some in my free time because it is fun 😉 )

      Since it is really hard for us to find software developers which have knowledge in all disciplines, we try to raise them ourselves by having Azubis und DH students.

      Additionally we try to get fresh graduates and teach them ABAP (we have developed a full stack training course from DB to business logic, BOPF, BRF+ to WDA and UI5). They normally already have a good knowledge of web development and are fast ABAP learners. (AiE helps a lot there).

      And yes, this is definitely not a fast way, but at least "a" way 😉

      Cheers, David

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo

      Hi Martin,


      Interesting question and thought process as always.    I have to think we had a similar discussion many years ago.    Should we learn objects?  We can do the same thing without them.   Originally there weren't very many that were provided by SAP.   So why learn it?   Should our company want us to learn?  Heck no!   My company at that time, didn't care what we used just so long as we got it done, it worked, and we made project dates.   So they didn't care ABAP or ABAP objects - just get it done fast.   Oh boy!   That made things interesting for awhile, and I still think I've got a lot to learn about objects.

      So ultimately who will move toward digitization?   Me because I just like to know things.   Wait does that mean other developers will be curious enough to want to learn it?   They sure will.  I don't think it's a huge jump.   I mean "we" (I) have learned Webdynpro (it's about dead now, I think), JAVAScript, applets, MII (Very cool), proxys (OK ABAP objects again) and more that I probably can't think of......   I never want to stop learning - how boring would that be.

      You will get people who want to learn.   Those people will push to start using digitization.   Maybe wireframe it.    Or let people know it's a possibility when brain storming.   Once the end user starts wanting it.   Then we HAVE to start learning it.   Does that mean forget ABAP?   No.   Remember it is at the bottom of everything..  There will still be a need to customize to get the data your company needs, add custom fields that can be pulled...   That's why I say on-premise a lot.  The cost of having SAP do any of that would be high.   If you already "own" - have your ABAP person on staff then you can get it done cheap and quick.    Now if you have great interfaces!  Woohoo!   You have it all.

      Back to the original question.   We will learn.   Simply because we were curious enough to learn ABAP in the first place.   For me it was COBOL, RPG, and then ABAP.   😉

      Interesting blog!


      BTW - I get to spend 4 hours on training a week at my new job.   They are amazing.

      Author's profile photo Joachim Rees
      Joachim Rees

      Well, I like to use new technology and I'm happy I can do that at work.
      It's nice beeing able to move in S/4HANA environments and the assosiated high Netweaver releases.

      Right now I don't feel I will need much more the ABAP in the next few years, but of course I'm keeping my eyes open on the surroundings (e.g. UI5).

      I do aggree that it seems hard to find staff nowadays, but I don't fear that this will kill the digitalization.