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Inspiration – what inspired me to be a programmer?  What continues to inspire me?  What makes being a programmer exciting and fun.  To understand that, you would have to understand the time period where I was learning what was possible with computers.   I will start at the beginning and work my way through my ultimate decision and what it means to me.

This of course, is just a start on what I wanted to share.  As I started to write, I found myself writing more and more.  I was making this blog post exceptionally long.  For this blog – it will be my inspiration, and challenges as the world continued to grow and change.  Some of you will find my path familiar and some will wonder what I am talking about.

So here is the series that I want to do:

  • Behind the scene, what does my day to day look like today and in the past. That will be my next blog.

  • One of my most challenging projects, and my mindset what I was thinking as I was involved in the project. I may even get a little technical on this one.

  • Developing my soft skills then and now

  • And… Anything else I decide on.  Have something fun, you would like me to write about.  Please leave a comment.  I do take recommendations.


My first of many big decisions:

What do I want to be when I grow up?  That is what I thought to myself as I was going to the end of my Senior year of High School.  For me, it translated to what do I enjoy doing?  Well, I love to ride and train horses,  I love to travel, I liked math and English, I liked “programming” in my one class that was available, and I had no idea what I wanted to do.

I had to make a list.  Horses were out.  It was not a practical job.  I loved riding horses, and knew I wanted to continue.  That meant I would have to make good money.  Travel, a travel agent was a possibility.    But I wondered how reasonable that was too.  I settled on programming.  It was creative, it was fun, it was what I could see myself doing.  I was so excited with a click of my keyboard; I could create something!!!  A something that someone else would use and of course love!

My Next step was to see my guidance counselor and talk with him.

The day of the appointment approached, and I felt happy about my choice.  I was in for a big setback.  My counselor was a member of the quill and paper club.  In other words, he did not like computers.  He told me that by the time I graduated college that all the computers would be programmed.  Sadly, I went back to my list.  There really was not anything on the list that would work for me.

I started working.  My first job was at Burger King.  That of course, did not pay much.  My next job was at a bank as a person to help in the office.  Then I worked as a bank teller.  As I was working as a bank teller, I decided that I had to go back to school.  The bank offered to pay for courses.  I took advantage of it.  I decided I would be an accountant.  Yes, that would be a good choice.  I liked numbers.  I continued working as a teller during the day and going to college at night. Then I found, much to my dismay, debits and credits were opposite for the company and the bank.  It took a lot to finish that class.  But that class did involve some simple programming.

I had found what I wanted to do when I grew up, again.  I wanted to program.  In order, to do that I would need to go back to college.  I was so very lucky.  My parents were both working at good jobs.  However, my mom would have been able to go further with a degree.  With that in mind, they offered to pay for my college if I stayed at home and went to local colleges.  Of course, I agreed.

Out of college and ready for the first “real” job:

I learned the skills I needed in college.  I thought I would never have to learn anything again.  I knew it, and…  That was not really what I thought.  I would like to say it worked that way.  However, I would have really been bored.

I had gotten a job working with RPG on a system 36.  That means I was working on a mainframe.  I learned a lot about CL and RPG and moved on to working on an AS/400.    From there my learning continued.  I learned many different things.  I learned how to hold meetings.  I learned how to create requirements.  I learned how to be a good programmer/analyst.   I felt very technical and secure in what I had decided to do.

The first big change:

The day came when my company moved to SAP.  I had a lot to learn again.  I had to learn ABAP.  Back then if you could spell it, then you were an expert.  I had to learn to move from green screen programming to windows.  Ctrl-C and Ctrl-P were the first thing I learned.  I no longer felt as technical or secure in what I was doing.  I was bombarded with new technology.  I learned SAP Script while working on converting to SAP.  I was now moving down a technical path and not analyst.  That was good back then.  There was just so much to learn.


I learned the different tools and finally found a new site.  It was called SDN.  It was a place where I found more information.  I found others who helped.  It was an amazing find.  I still did not fell as technical.  Not nearly as technical as the people there.  However, I was learning and that was all that mattered.

Time went by:

After some time, I felt like a full-fledged programmer again.  It was amazing.  I had learned basically all the parts that I needed to develop great solutions.  I learned about the “functional” side of SAP.  I had worked on configuration.  I was back to setting up meetings, proposing solutions, and still programming.  I was technical again!  I was a programmer.

I have so many more times that I was learning different things and examples of changes in technology.  Changing in the SAP technology where I had found a home.  I was a programmer and for the most part, I really enjoy what I do.


So back to the first paragraph that I wrote.   What inspires me?  Learning, having fun, and excelling at what I do.   Creating a “thing”.  A program that is being used and usually updated.  A “thing” that people will like and will save time / money.

Do I love my job all the time?  No, at times I hate it.  But for the most part, I jump out of bed.  I am pretty happy to be living the dream that I had way back in High school.

Wrapping it all up in a bow:

Programming is amazing.  It is changing and evolving every day.  Everything will NEVER be coded.  There always will be something that needs to be done.  I started working with RPG on a green screen.  That would be strange now.   SAP itself has evolved and programming now does not look like programming when I started working as a customer with SAP in 1997.  I am still on the customer side.


It inspires me to be involved with a community where we all have a something in common – SAP.  I love the fact that I have millions of friends out there with different skills that I can draw upon.  A million might be a stretch, but a lot of friends that can help.  The SAP Community is amazing.  So many people are willing to help.  It inspires me to know that I am not that lone programming down in the basement trying to figure everything out by myself.

Please join me – you do not have to be nearly as “wordy”.  Please leave a comment about what inspires you to program.