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ABAP Developer Specialist or Generalist or something else?

What is an ABAP developers nowadays? This question I'm trying to get answered and also how I would describe my work at this time as a developer?

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In this blog I try to "better understand" the ABAP Developer or sort the required Skill-Set of an ABAP Developer mentally.

The classic ABAP developers

Is the classic ABAP developer existing at all? Why the skill requirements are so different? And how the developer Jobs actually looks really?

In other professions there was a development from generalists to specialists and to Super-specialists. Take, for example, the doctor profession for comparison. Here the development of the general physician to the medical specialist as to the Super-specialist. A similar trend I see already in our profession.

Specializations of the ABAP Developer

  • classic ABAP Developer
    • enjoy Controls / Reports / Screen Programming
  • WebDynpro Developer
    • WebDynpro ABAP 4 / JAVA
  • BW Developer
  • SAU UI Developer 5
    • Fiori
    • HTML, CSS, Javascript, Jquery
  • SAP HANA Developer

MUST-HAVE-knowledge for all ABAP developers

Yes, it is a criterion that both in freelance as well as in permanent Jobs you should mastery the ABAP OO and  also the OO thinking which summarizes for me content such as OOA, OOD and architecture skills.

SAP Module knowledge

Among the technological skills SAP Module skills are added.
In the SAP environment, there are an estimated 250 main and 750 sub-Modules. The SAP Module knowledge is very often a must-criterion for the ABAP Developer and only in combination they describe the "ideal candidate" for the company. I have my own opinion abaout the module-topic and my experience is so far that even experienced generalists  brings added value to projects where for them new Modules are used.

Additional knowledge

Each ABAP Developer should bring a good basic skills in the following topics:

  • Interface technologies (BAPI, RFC, IDoc, XML)
  • Performance Basics
  • Security Basics
  • Testing Basics

New frameworks and tools

  • BRFplus (see SCN)
  • BOPF (see SCN)
  • Core Data Services (CDS, see SCN)

What does this mean for me as a developer? The comparison to medicine can certainly bring many insights, but our profession is without question to understand quite different. My intuition tells me that the skill-set is quite developed so that a "broad-based developer" can make a big added value in the company in combination with a "specialization".

Generalist or specialist or super-specialist?

How do you see that?
What specializations  can you find in your job environment?


This Blog is also translated in german: ABAP Entwickler quo vadis?

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