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How to become a SAP Business Technology Platform Developer in 2021?

SAP Business Technology Platform Backend Developer Roadmap 2021

The original German version is maintained here. It’s also available in this GitHub repository

 

I remember the first time I tried to learn SAP Business Technology Platform on my own…

It was frustrating.

Conflicting information. Confusing terms. And techniques that didn’t work.

I didn’t know where to start or what to look at.

Many ABAP colleagues of mine are asking, “I want to prepare for the SAP SAP Business Technology Platform next year. But I do not know where to start. What should I do?”

Do you want to build knowledge about the development of the SAP SAP Business Technology Platform in 2021? This roadmap will help you structure your learning with the SAP BTP. It contains topics that you might learn to know BTP well.

This is my biased recommendation. It focuses on JavaScript / TypeScript and Cloud Foundry on the SAP SAP Business Technology Platform.

It can be scary to work through this roadmap because there are so many things to learn. This roadmap covers everything I would recommend to have at least heard. Do not feel overwhelmed. You don’t need to know everything in the beginning if you want to get started.

The purpose is to give you an idea of the landscape. It should guide you if you are confused about what to learn next and not encourage you to choose what is hip and trendy. You should understand why one tool is better suited for some cases than another. Hip and trendy does not mean that it is best suited for the job.

So let’s start without further ado…

 

 

So this is my recommendation on how to learn backend development on the SAP Business Technology Platform, Cloud Foundry Environment in 2021. I’m working on collecting good tutorials, articles and videos on individual topics. I will add them here bit by bit.

Are you of a different opinion? Can you improve the roadmap? I’d be happy to hear your feedback and thoughts in the comments.

Feel free to follow me to stay updated about new content on SAP Business Technology Platform.


Changelog:

  • 23.03.2021
    • Included YouTube video explaining the roadmap on a quite high level
    • Updated terminology in accordance with the new branding
    • Updated, extended and regrouped graphics
46 Comments
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    • Clear. The next step is to detail the areas. However, I'm afraid it won't be until next year when I want to detail the areas in a consumable and meaningful way.

      The journey is the destination. Let's see when I'm ready.

  • Hi Tobias,

    Really awesome, thanks a lot for sharing!

    Some proposals to further extend your map:

    • To get an overview, you could mention the SAP CP tutorials and learning journeys.
    • In the vein of DevOps, you could add monitoring, alerting and ops automation, to support your SRE team (for example, SAP CP offerings in that direction would be outlined here).
    • And mention that it is always good to engage with other customers, partners, experts, such as via the SAP Community DevOps topic page :-).

    Best regards,
    Boris

  • Well, that's overwhelming. I really don't know how a lot of present day ABAP developers will be able to cope with that sort of development setup. The best part about ABAP was the single IDE to do everything. A developer didn't have to worry about git, versioning, CI/CD pipeline and above all the ugly messy Eclipse. All she had to focus was the business logic. She could summon the database into an internal table and do magic with it - all without having to worry about becoming a dev-ops ninja!

    Open source is great! Maybe. But, disrupting such a well settled ecosystem baffles me.

    • You nailed it right, this is exactly what I have been thinking after going through the blog. Where to start next and when we work with those real projects is something am eagerly planning for. I feel we are moving fast in terms of technological advancement, looking at the customer setup who are still quite comfortable with ECC 4.6, I do sometimes go crazy and think of when can we actually realize and adopt these trendies 🙂

      • I agree that it felt easier in an old ABAP stack. However, it is probably also simply a case of getting used to it. Outside of SAP, the world has moved on. I guess it's not that we are moving fast in terms of technological advancement, but we need to get back on par with the outside world.

        We all have a long way to go. But you grow from your challenges. It remains exciting and I hope the efforts are worthwhile for our clients and thus society ;)...

  • Thank you Tobias for sharing us your journey. I made something similar last year, but not quite that deep as you did. There are so many things to discover, and the most important point: It's a moving target, so there are changes everytime.

    The world of open source is really nice and at the same time it's so much effort to spend and understand modules and things around your chart. So you need a lot of time and motivation.

    I can tell you people: it's worth it!

    Thank you verry much, Tobias!

    • Hey Cedric,

      I agree that it's probably a moving target, but some things are likely to stay, specifically around the design and development principles. On the other hand, it's hard to evaluate which trendy topics you can safely avoid and which ones are really worth the effort.

      Did your journey include additional topics that are worth adding here?

       

       

    • I think we overestimate what we can achieve in the short term and underestimate what we can achieve in the long term.

      With a little bit of commitment, a basic level of knowledge in each area should be achievable within a year or two. However, closing the gap from 80% to 100% in most areas will take a long time.

       

      Best regards,

      Tobias

  • Thanks Tobias for this flowchart detailing the possibilities for the developers in the cloud. This definitely make us easier visualize the different technical aspects.

  • Thank you so much Tobias Steckenborn!!! This is exactly what I was looking for, but could never find a proper flowchart which could explain clearly.

    I am not sure why such information are not officially given by SAP, so that intrested developers & consultants can plan their Career path accordingly.

    If you find similar flowchart for Frontend Developer (UI5 & MDK) and HANA Native Developers, please do share it. Thanks again!! 😉

    /
    😉
    • Sure, if I see something floating around I'll share it. If nobody else in the community is doing it ping me at the end of the year and I'll see if I manage to create one as part of my end of year activities :).

       

      Best regards,

      Tobias

  • Thanks Tobias Steckenborn  for sharing information from your personal learning experience.Very well written and presented. It is a well drafted plan for someone to take up this learning journey. Lot to learn 😉

    Kind Regards,

    Kapil Patil

    • Hi Kapil,

      I agree, there is a lot to learn. But if you focus on certain areas, you can still get going quickly. After all, a craftsman needs to sharpen his tools to stay effective, right? 😉

      Best regards
      Tobias

    • Hey Ridva,

      glad you liked it. I didn't create a chart for frontend development yet. Perhaps somebody of the community is willing to do that?

      Best regards

      Tobias

  • Great overview and I think you nailed the path. This is pretty much how I progressed last year. The worry I share with so many others in these comments is how do we take ABAP developers that are working on projects day in and day out and move them through this diagram as quickly as possible.

    • Great that you could progress on that "road" last year. Any recommendations for others on how they can make it efficiently? Any changes you would propose to the roadmap based on your experience?

  • Thank you so much my friend! Great content! The path is even harder for guys like me who are willing to go from the functional side to the technical side! I have already worked as ABAP but this is totally a brand new level!

     

    • I agree with you there. I know what you are talking about. Before I started working in SAP CRM, I trained as a bank clerk. From there it was an adventurous journey…

      First you are interested, then you curse it, then you despair, but in retrospect you are glad you did it.

      From my point of view, it’s the learning, the puzzling and sometimes the swearing that’s always fun. Overall, I’m more at the interface between IT and business, but one advantage (mostly) of IT is that you see the success of your creativity more quickly.

      • Truly adventurous.. really motivated to learn something. I have book-marked this a must read every once in a while when I lose interest. For an ABAP developer like me, I think first we can start with RAP, CAPM, JS/Typescript, Node.js from the language point of view. any suggestions to add?

        • Don‘t try to much at once. It‘s overwhelming. In case you want to utilize your ABAP knowledge go for RAP. If you want to learn something new, get started with CAP and JavaScript / Node.js. After you are familiar with it you might tackle TypeScript. The TypeScript support currently isn‘t perfect yet, but once you catch-up it‘ll probably be better. 👍🏻

  • Thanks for sharing and thanks for all the effort which went into it 🙂

    Just wondering if it would not make sense to put testing a bit earlier in the loop - if not in the first place.

  • Thanks Tobias.

     

    I have recently found development using the SAP Cloud Platform very frustrating, there are lots of tutorials and suchlike, but there have been changes to SCP and the tutorials in most cases can no longer be followed.

    I would greatly be in your debt if you or your readers know of any "Up to date" tutorials, especially using the Full stack Web IDE and workflow.

    I have lost count at how may articles and tutorials I have tried to follow using the trial system, only to find that they don't match what I am now seeing in front of me.

     

    Best regards

    Gary

    • i agree, Gary.  Particularly when it comes to learning the replacement for the WebIDE - the Business Application Studio - not only do the tutorials have to be "interpreted" to fit the updated flows of the trial version (even if they are only a few weeks old), but I have not reached the end of a single tutorial without some sort of connection error being thrown up, either with the underlying BTP or when using ES5 as an OData server.

      I'll be sticking to the WebIDE for a bit, until the BAS has settled down.

      Andrew

    • Glad I'm not alone with that issue, I was beginning to doubt my sanity.

      As well as following articles/training using the Trial system I'm also trying to use a non-trial version, but get an error when I use Service->Portal->Go to Service to choose a portal in order to place any developed apps.

      There is an OSS Note that is pointed to, which has about 3 or 4 entries to check, and which I have checked, but still can not get in and choose or create a portal service. Although my colleague who has the exact same auths as me can get into this option without an error. I have raised a ticket with the business but so far no reply, after a week, and suspect they are as perplexed as myself.  😉

      I also have the E-bite "Introducing SAP Cloud Platform Workflow", but that's informative, but again can not be followed. You would have thought that being an E-bite (electronic) it would have been updated to match BTP and Business App Studio

       

      /
      😉
    • imho, there are too many branding changes to make sure that each every tutorial is up to date with all the connections and configurations since they were originally drafted. for all intents and purposes, i have given up on the 'workflow series'. not that SAP were not trying to help, but i don't think anyone going cold into those tutorials would survive till the last phase. i would be more than happy to get corrected on this.

      for all those who have decided to toughen it out, congrats.

  • Hi Tobias! Great content! Thanks for that!

    I have a question, with official courses or certifications, what's must be the roadmap? I'm confusing about that, I'm interesting in BTP from API's and integrations perspectives.

     

    Regards,

    • Hello Gustavo,

      I am not quite sure if I understood your question correctly. I understood it in the direction of which certification I would recommend? If you are looking at APIs and integration, you should go for the SAP Certified Development Associate - SAP Integration Suite (C_CPI_13). It's heavily focused on the product formerly known as SAP Cloud Platform Integration, so don't expect too much around SAP API Management, Open Connectors, Event Mesh and the like, but your current best bet in terms of integration. The relevant courses are the CLD9XX series, so look for CLD900, for example.

      Best regards,

      Tobias