Recently I got involved in debates with my some of my colleagues. The question was – What is more important to become a successful SAP consultant; Is it having practical experience or is it reading SAP books?
Reading books brings in knowledge. The more you read the greater the dimension you develop to think about possibilities. SAP is like an ocean. It has tremendous flexibilities. As a consultant one should be aware of the scope and possibilities in his area. The role of a consultant is just not to configure a system. He is suppose to understand a clients requirement and then advice client based on the possibilities, best approaches and industry standards. One can harness these skills through regular reading. I have come across consultant in my life who are veterans in their SAP career, but at times fail to meet client requirements, saying things are “not possible”. This happens only to people who stop learning. Technology is changing constantly and being an IT consultant one has to keep pace with the changes happening around. It is not necessary that, what you learn today will immediately get implemented. But yes once you are in a particular situation and if you are aware of the possibilities in your subject, you would definitely re explore and provide a solution.
Well, just reading books alone will not boost your career. In SAP, I believe one should try things practically and surf through the system as to whatever he has learnt. When you actually start working in an area you might realize that your reading is still incomplete and you still need to explore further. Even to crack interviews your bookish knowledge alone, will not help. When you start working on the system you understand other integrated areas as well. But yes one has to be cautious while configuring the system. I have seen people who actually configure a system through trial an error method and when asked about the approach, they look completely blank. So, if you have worked on a new area or tried a new thing, it is advisable to look back and rethink as to how did it happen and conclude your thought process with a clarity about the linkages and results. Being complacent and thinking the job is done can be dangerous and might bring out some defect in your configuration.
Therefore, I would conclude saying that reading books is equally important that having hands on experience in SAP. To be successful consultant in SAP career, you need to continuously sharpen your saw.