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How did I become a part-time ABAP Developer?  I don't have a developer key now, but I used to, and did I enjoy it!

First, while working as a BW Developer, waiting for more work to come my way, an opportunity arose for me to work on an ABAP report.  I did not have any training in ABAP, but over a weekend, I read cover to cover, Horst Keller's excellent ABAP Objects book.  I finally understood the need for internal tables, structures, and how they would be used in reports.  I learned to the importance of single selects versus multiple selects, and nested selects.  What about views?  I also liked using the Code Inspector a great deal too.

I learned what was coming in and out of function modules.  I also used it to help me develop custom BW transformations, which in BW 7.0, have to be written in ABAP Objects.  Time flies when you are writing code or debugging ABAP code.  Oh...those nasty short dumps!  However, I did learn that ST22 was pretty good at telling me what code I was missing.

While I don't code now, it is useful to know how to read an ABAP program, whether you are a functional analyst, super user, or a BW developer.  It is the foundation of the ECC/BW systems.  It has helped me to better understand what kind of requirements ABAP developers need.  I am a better analyst for having done actual ABAP work.

I do wish/miss the old days of where the programmer had to write an overall flow-chart of what the program is doing.  I think if the functional analyst or the developer does that, time is not wasted.  However, I have not seen this done.

It was also ingrained into me that if I was the developer, I had to perform my own unit tests.  Too many times as a functional analyst code would be "thrown over the wall" for me to test, and the initial test would fail.  Had the developer performed their own unit test, time would have been saved.

Last year, I was fortunate to take 8 hours of Introduction to Java through Harvard.  I think that will be a good foundation for me to read/learn about ABAP Objects...oh...reusable source code...what a concept!  I'll save that for a future blog.
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