Long Life Learning – But Where And When To Start?
I really love ABAP and the SAP ecosystem. You cannot say that it will be boring some day…
I do not understand the SAP ecosystem at all. Although I am in touch with SAP since R/3 Release 2.1i as a programmer I am always confused by all the “primary tags” that exist. There are so many buzzwords around, all these HANA S/4 HANA CDS-Views HCM HCP SCP SAP Cloud Foundry Leonardo machine learning block chain screen personas IoT Netweaver Gateway oAuth TDD double testdouble unit testing mockups data aging KI ERP CodeJam CodeRetreat design pattern pair programming things.
I do not know what to concentrate on first. What is important for my work? What will be the next relevant technique? I don’t even know how to classify these things. It seems to me that everything the last years has become 100 times more difficult than ever.
I am really scared about all the possibilities there are even if I only concentrate on “programming ABAP”.
I will need three weeks of holidays for reading all the great articles of Paul Hardy and probably three months more for understanding them.
Help! I need somebody! ♪♫
Thinking this way is kind of depressing. You lose in world of extreme complexity once you’re in it. But is there a way out?
I am sure there is! The last weeks I had two experiences which were helpful for me.
1st: Be aware
Even if it’s confusing: Try to figure out what all the topics are that you come in touch with or that you hear from. Just for interest and not for thinking “oh my god there is so much I do not know”. Go to CodeJams, Inside Tracks, MeetUps, regular’s tables and other community events.
That will give you a bit more distance to the topic so you can follow it calmly, because you will realize that some topics, even if everyone is talking about it, are not relevant. At the same time you have learned. Ten minutes talk with the right person will give you great insights to the topic so it’s easier to classify the buzzwords.
First point is important for this second step: Keep track on all current topics, keep an eye on what topics you face on your working day – with a little distance.
And then, in the middle of the year, in the beginning or at the end, sit down and chose three things that are really interesting for you. Or chose one topic if it’s something bigger like UI5, S/4 HANA or something like that. From now on concentrate only on these fields.
I am sure that there are a lot of people who have the same thoughts and react the same. I am also sure that there are many ways of dealing with the more and faster growing complexity in our world. May be some people are cooler beacuse they do not feel the need of knowing everything. I think that’s the way it should be. But it’s not always easy.
There are also people who give a damn on all the new sh*t and do the things they need to do the same ways as they did the past 10 years. I think this is the worst choice. At least it is work for the most of us. This does not only mean that I have to complete my tasks, it also means that I should improve and develop myself.
Be Open Minded
When I started my career I began fixing errors in SAP Script forms. The first thing that I heard from many sides was: “SAP Script – errrrrgh!! I don’t do this!!”. Yes, designing forms is annoying if you have to move objects 1,5 mm to the left and dealing with minor faults in a form, but that is not the point. Most people even refuse to learn SAP Script. But it’s a difference if you don’t do something because you are not willing to and another if you are not able to.
A similar discussion often comes up when it comes to learning object oriented programming. If you are a programmer, you cannot say: “I don’t learn OO – Everything can also be done the classic way and I am happy with this.”
You need to engage in other things that belong to your working area! I am not even talking about the brand new things like WebIDE and eclipse… I am talking about object oriented concepts that turned out to be helpful for so many years now. You can be crucial with some topics, you can follow the changes from a distance, but when something shapes up as useful and common, then you must try to get into it.
My company hosts SAP Community events like CodeJam, ABAP CodeRetreat and SAP Inside Track in Hanover. Together with some great colleagues I organize and attend these events. I hope that this will encourage others to find their way through the SAP jungle. At least it helps me, because I get in touch with a lot of people.
Personal contact is the best way to not get lost.
At this point I would like to say thank you to all of my colleagues, community members, mentors, tweeters and people that help others learning things!