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Yesterday were exactly three and a half years that I work as ABAP consultant, or developer, or programmer and I went a long way from the first steps in SE80. I did almost everything in ABAP and develop mobile, hybrid and native, applications with SMP and Gateway and develop Fiori like applications with SAPUI5 and now I’m preparing for HANA certification. How not to ask myself where am I going? Oh, did I mention that I know Java very well and develop Android applications in free time?

When graduated with Master’s degree I’ve been looking for a Java programmer job and only by twist of fate started my career in SAP as a programmer of language for which I have never heard, ABAP. Everyone who sees SAP GUI for the first time and ABAP for the first time is, to be polite, not exactly delighted. All those grey screens and procedural code can look like relics of the past to someone who just developed his first Android application in Eclipse with Java and XML, or worked in Visual Studio. But I gave it a chance and began to explore it and I have never regretted.

What is the meaning of this blog post? Reflections on my career paths and decisions as well as my way of asking for further directions to those of you who have a much greater experience with SAP and who may have passed this same path. Indeed I have so many questions to ask, but first let me tell you about my skills in SAP.

My first code in ABAP was a report with selection screen and old procedural, or function based, ALV. After several of these reports with more complicated SQL statements I began to learn Dialog screen programming. Then as the time goes by I developed more and more complicated programs with many screens and different containers and transfer from procedural ALV to object ALV (CL_GUI_ALV_GRID and CL_SALV_TABLE) and added as many object oriented code inside my programs. I learned to work with Smartforms and BAPIs and to create dictionary objects, functions, classes, packages, authorizations objects and almost every other object that exist in ABAP. One of the most complicated user interface that I develop with dialog programming was a program with master detail template where master container is a tree structure where the root is company code and then goes all the way to field with crops (it’s custom module for agriculture) and for every level there is a detail part of screen on which are different tabs with reports and entry fields and even Google maps display of all these objects.

Then there was a need for mobile applications for this custom agricultural module that my company developed and I started to learn SAP Mobile Platform which at that time was Sybase Unwired Platform 2.1. I learned how to make MBOs (Mobile Business Objects) and Hybrid applications in Eclipse but because of complexity of application hybrid wasn’t good enough so I learned how to make native Android applications with SUP 2.3 which then was renamed to SMP 2.3. I developed a couple of really cool applications with offline capabilities and everything was excellent but SAP then announced that SMP 3.0 will no longer support MBO and that they will switch to OData instead but with no offline capabilities in the beginning. Nice move SAP, I thought, by now a see that it was a smart move because now we have Gateway and there is no need for Mobile platform at all. And our next mobile app project was exactly with Gateway OData web services. We develop backhand application in SAP and create a class for sending notifications via Google Cloud Messaging through RFC destination to GCM and all the web services on separate Gateway server with aliases and users for SAP development server and production server and one very complicated native Android application with two interfaces, depending on the type of application users. On this project I learned all about SAP NetWeaver Gateway server and OData services and sharpen further my Android skills.

At this point I started getting offers for an Android developer position which didn’t have any contact with SAP world. So I refused them. I wanted and still want to stay active in both SAP and Android but that is not so easy. What do you think about this issue?

Then SAP introduces FIORI so the next logical step regarding Gateway server utilization was developing FIORI like applications and that implied learning SAPUI5. I did have some knowledge about HTML, CSS, XML and JSON but not with JavaScript or JQuery. It took me about a month to learn enough to start making my first SAPUI5 application and three more to finish it the way we imagine it. And now I have knowledge and tools to develop web based SAP applications (tried Web Dynpro before but didn’t like it).

What is next?

The company in which I work is SAP partner so we must do audit every two years and it means that we must have enough number of certificated consultants from certain areas. So this year there is a possibility for someone to take some certification regarding SAP HANA and I apply for SAP Certified Technology Associate - SAP HANA (Edition 2015). I tried HANA Cloud trial some time before in one of openSAP courses and now I connected an instance of HANA database from cloud to HANA Studio on my computer and learn from there. If someone could tell me if this is the good move?

Whether I move on too many different sides?

Or to simplify:

Dear experts, I would very much like to hear your opinion about where to go from now on in my SAP career.

Thank you for reading and for your opinion.

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