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Is being called an ABAPer disrespectful..?

The trigger for writing this post is actually comes from one of the post from my friend Prabhjot. I thought of penning down my response as a post, as my reply seemed long and emotional?

Original%20Post

Original Post

My Initial Reaction

The initial reaction from me was no..no.. A big NO being called an ABAPer does not feel demeaning or disrespectful to me. I have always lived by this mantra “Once an ABAPer always an ABAPer”

Then I thought of reading through the comments and see what is the viewpoints coming, read on

What the feedback on the post say?

  • The majority of the viewpoint was shocking that ABAPer’s themselves feel the same way. 

It’s surprising. We should be proud of who we are. Calling us by ABAPer/Developer/Consultant won’t make a difference its our knowledge which will. 

  • The second viewpoint which came was we have lost our value in the economy market, owing to lot of expectations from ABAPer’s such as taking care of new UI Technologies as well as Backend etc.

I personally think otherwise because of evolution of SAP we as ABAPer’s have actually learnt so many new things about other technologies. We are more relevant and valuable to both SAP and Non SAP ecosystem. We can participate in many communities, help developers like us, learn from them etc… SAP evolving its stack is just awesome.

Then I thought as my vocabulary has always been bad in school and college, let me search when do we add an ‘er’ to anything and that made things more clear and meaningful!

What the dictionary says?

ER%20usage

ER usage

So we add ‘er’ to symbolize a person or thing that does something

  • Farmer
  • Builder
  • Sweeper

Do they sound disrespectful A BIG NO NOT AT ALL. We code in ABAP that is why we are ABAPer’s I hope it instills confidence in all ABAPer’s who felt demeaned or disrespectful!

 

Wrapping it up with what is more important than the designation or being called something?

So ending this post with what shall matter to each and every one of us which is more important then the title is

  • Always be a Learner as DJ Adams always teach and inspire us to be
  • Don’t keep the knowledge with you, share it with the community. Knowledge is one of the the few things which when divided gets multiplied!
  • Being respectful to each and every one
  • Being Empathetic
  • Being Honest

What do you think?

15 Comments
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  • Thanks for the shoutout, Nabheet – but more importantly, thanks for sharing this interesting question with us.

    For me – give me any title, or no title, and I’m fine with whatever I get. That’s been my view since my career started back in the late 1980s.

    I don’t understand why folks would feel disrespected because of a title like that, but perhaps that’s just me. And I agree with your thoughts Nabheet – be proud of who you are, whatever that is, and whatever feels right to call yourself – that’s the right title. What others call you? Well that’s their shout but again, it doesn’t matter.

    Ironically, looking at the alternative being offered (“ABAP consultant”) – being called a “consultant” back in the day was to some extent used as a veiled insult – as “everyone is a consultant”, draining any meaning from the word 🙂

  • Thanks for bringing your important thoughts on this topic.Heard many people discussing on this topic.As long as we love our work and have a learning and sharing attitude, nothing is disrespectful  be it abaper or any other work/job.

  • The title is meaningless without context. As DJ said, “consultant” has become much misused so I take that with a pinch salt.

    Traditionally a “consultant” is someone whom one consults. I will consult the oracle if I want to know the future, or even consult a dictionary if I want to look up a word – i.e. who provides an advisory role. Many “consultants” (whether self-proclaimed or by role title) these days do not fall in that category.

    A similar is argument is sometimes made between programmer and developer.

    My personal opinion is that ABAPer is a catch-all term for anyone who works with ABAP, so I see zero offence in it. As I suggested at the beginning it’s all about context. “we need a good ABAPer to resolve his” is a good thing, “What does he know, he’s just an ABAPer” is not. It’s exactly the same as racial or otherwise sensitive terminology; it’s not about the words, but about intent and meaning behind them.

    • Thanks Mike for the great comment! I think the context for me is in general calling an ABAPer in general but not in terms knowledge able or not knowledgeable one. It is in general use of term.

      My thoughts resonate with your these thoughts of yours

      Many “consultants” (whether self-proclaimed or by role title) these days do not fall in that category.

       

      By looking at the comments and post its feels like a generic one irrespective of knowledge.

       

      Regards

      Nabheet

  • For me, “ABAPer” is just short for “ABAP developer” which doesn’t include a value judgement. That – as Mike shows in his example – depends on the context the term is used in not the term itself. So, I see myself as an “ABAPer” as I write and understand code written in ABAP. I also know my shortcomings – cough ABAP OO cough – so there certainly are limits to what type of ABAP I write and understand.

    Cheers

    Bärbel

    • Fair enough.. Liked this:)

      I also know my shortcomings – cough ABAP OO cough – so there certainly are limits to what type of ABAP I write and understand.

  • rings like a ‘coder’, ‘technician’, or ‘techie’ to me, and is disrespectful only in the eye of beholder. it is a badge of honor among those who respect the skill required to ‘make computers work’. ABAP is just unique to SAP and not really all that different from any other programming language required for the data to start flowing.

    also something to keep in mind, to many a ‘consultant’ is a euphemism for someone who is out of work or ‘on the beach’ and trying to find a permanent employment.

    how does ‘ABAP Practitioner’ sound to everybody?

    • So true everyone has his/her opinion, no one is wrong no one right in spiritual sense:)

      rings like a ‘coder’, ‘technician’, or ‘techie’ to me, and is disrespectful only in the eye of beholder

      I must say this sound nice!

      how does ‘ABAP Practitioner’ sound to everybody?

  • Oh boy!  I think you wrote this in the wrong place.   I agree with everyone else.   Being called and ABAPer is not disrespectful.   You can pretty much give me any title and that’s fine.   We all do the same type of thing.

    However, it is sometimes an HR plot.   They are sneaky devils.   Sometimes (When I worked for a bigger company) they would do a compare to see how their company standards were meeting with the other companies.   To do that, they would use the title.   Based on the title they could pay less or more.  Then they could justify it to the employees, future employees, and managers.   So they would use the title that paid less.   Back a while ago, we were called programmers (RPG days).   Then they changed the title to ABAP developers and we were paid more.  Our bosses fought and won that one.  Crazy right?  We were doing the exact same thing just in a different language.   It happened to be one that wasn’t used much at the time.  (1997)

    It is interesting the the alternative given was ABAP Consultant.   There are so many other versions of the title.   Perhaps my favorite is SAP Developer.   Why?  Because I am starting on a journey to develop in different languages.   That probably isn’t even accurate anymore because of the various interfaces we develop and use.  Those aren’t even just SAP centric.   So really I’m at a loss as to what I should be called.   ABAPer works.   Pretty much anything you’d like.  I’m happy with what I do so it doesn’t matter what the title is…..  Yes, I worked my way back to my first paragraph.

  • Yes, ABAPER sound disrespectful because it was used as a way (for consultancy firms and customers) to pay less specific roles, as Michelle Crapo wrote.

    And it’s somehow still there: it doesn’t mean anything to them if you as, ABAPer, can follow and understand the complete flow of a Material, from the Sales Order, down to Production, with external working too, up to warehouse management and then delivery and billing, ending up in FI and CO documents.

    You just code right? 😉

    So, yeah, i’m an ABAPer and always be it, proud to be able to understand so many linked processes and to see the full complexity of a company 🙂