Pulling my facts together as an ABAPer

SAP ABAPers career choice

A good friend of mine(who also happens to be the entrepreneur behind this blog as well) asked me to check this blog out sometime back. I did and found that he has done exactly what we have been searching for so long as a developer “A For Dummies Landing page for ABAPers“. I have used some of the articles for self-study myself but have been thinking of what I should contribute as I really wanted to for quite some time now. Finally pulled myself together and decided what I should write about – some personal opinions in the SAP technical space to share with my fellow colleagues, peers and juniors(Yeah….Innovation!!! This would be a first in this space) before I start with some tutorials.

Having reached the ultimate level of monotony with ABAP, I wanted to try something new three years back and started working in SAP Mobility and Hana Data Modeling (Cloud and On-Prem) as a developer. Yes, you got it right  – as a Developer. My love has always been technical consulting and development although I happen to have a Management PG Diploma as well in my portfolio. Some of my friends and colleagues clearly pointed out to me that we do not have ample opportunities in the technical space in our country if you are a “Senior” and the only way to “Survive” would be to get into a managerial role, I begged to differ! I wanted to do what I loved the most and believed that there would always be some space for the “Developer” in our industry.( Mythbuster Alert 1 – There is a technical path in our industry even if you are a senior however you need to be sellable).

SAP Manager

SAP Architect

As I was intrigued with mobile apps I thought I should move to that area (SAP’s paradigm shift towards UX was not in full force like now, back then)- Hey I had undergone a training in Gateway and Odata sometime back as well, that would help. I knew I had to prepare so went to the Master of knowledge – GOOGLE. Googling had me come across a lot of Jargons – Fiori/HANA/Etc. ( Mythbuster Alert 2 – Fiori is not a technology but a unified UX platform/strategy by SAP). Being from ABAP background the obvious choice was OData, got hold of a sandbox (which you can also rent on AWS) and started my own small projects beyond my work hours. Fiddled with UI5 a bit and I could bind my small services to see some output. Yeaaaah!!!

Check SAP HANA from Space Level.


Two months of hard labour put in and I thought I was ready but hey there’s a new kid in town that is causing some stir in the SAP space (including mobility) – HANA. What does a database have to do with mobility? Mythbuster Alert 3 – HANA is not only a Database but also a platform built by SAP which supports other languages like Java etc especially with the combination of Cloud Foundry). It so happens that HANA DB has a thin application layer which lets you expose underlying data models (On-Prem and Cloud) as services and is extremely performance optimized. God!!! Another new learning in my “To Do List”. Went to the master again and searched for “How To”s but could not find much so decided it is the time I get my hands dirty to acquire the knowledge. And so it all started, all on my own? Of course not – I underwent a training in HANA(internal) as well but that was basic – Coming to the point at last after so many (unnecessary?) lines/words.

What is XS – Like I said, it is a thin application layer over the Hana Database that lets you expose underlying models in lieu of services. But that has NO ABAP and is all SQLScript and XSJavaScript. What about ABAP then? Where did it go? It is still there and I do not know how long it will be that popular or whether it will be replaced by something else. For now, at least for creating a sales order programmatically BAPI is the best way to go. Do we have BAPIs in XS? NO! Some respite atlast….but hold on. We do have built-in library functions which serve some of the purposes. Maybe someday we will have a function to save an order as well, who knows? One good thing is On-Prem gives us the option of good old ABAP so no worries, who cares if Cloud has only the XS route. ABAP is there to stay I felt but then again, would I be using two different languages in the cloud and on-prem version of the same application software? I have no idea, confused. Decided to leave the tea stall debates ( ABAP/No ABAP in future) and get myself acquainted with the new kid in town(XS) instead. I believe if I need to stay in the technical area (which I love and am proud to call myself a Developer) I need to upgrade myself for myself as well as my Organization who needs to compete everyday in the market with other big players, I also need to add my two cents back. It is because of our organizations we work for that we can call ourselves “Seniors”.

Also Read: Create your first program in HANA.

SAP HANA XS 2 Tier Architecture

It is a consumer-centric industry and we need to think about our customers. I felt, they no longer want a good solution, they want a good cheap solution now as they need to compete as well in the market every day. Maybe ABAP will still be there, maybe it won’t. I believe if I keep upgrading myself I will stay sellable for myself and my organization and that is what matters to me as a professional. It’s time to pull myself together and as “O Great One” says, Just Do it!!!!

Cloud is NOW (not the future anymore) and Modelling/Mobility/XS so far good ways to go parallelly(I don’t have a vision so not sure 5 years down the line).

The IT industry always has a technical path and it is up to us to fill the gap in the niche areas and stay sellable as professionals. How we do it and if we decide to is up to us, opportunities are there in plenty.( Mythbuster Alert 4 – This is the end of this nonsense talk, however, I plan to be back with some tutorials in the mentioned areas – hopefully, if people don’t throw stones at me after reading all of the above). 🙂

Note –  The opinions and thoughts expressed in the above article are completely personal and has no connection to any corporate/business/package direction or decision. Also, it is not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings and is entirely a personal journey where all my colleagues/peers/seniors have been pillars of strong support and cooperation! The above article encompasses only one area of SAP mobility and does not mean to say that there is no other option to explore as an ABAPer.

Do you Agree with me? I want to hear from you.

Whether you agree or not, please leave your quick comments below. Let’s start a healthy debate. 🙂


  1. Absolutely! I liked the way you mentioned myth busters and fact that to be sellable you need to keep upgrading yourself. Technology change has become a key factor for IT sector and we just cant follow it rather we have to run parallel to this. Thanks for sharing such a great article – Abaper

  2. Loved your post and it’s all true you mentioned. Being a developer you have to has to update yourself aimlessly or shamelessly. I have already taken a 1st step to go with FIORI,UI5 and now HANA and many more is on my minds…!!!!

  3. I was bit late in reading this blog but finally I made it. It is funny and felt some what scary. The industry is changing, changing every day. The world is changing. Change is scary but unavoidable. But I believe if Fiori, HANA and cloud investments of SAP are successful then it means a lot of work for us – ABAPers.

  4. Thanks for this, I enjoyed reading it, I am the same – I have stayed hands on technical for 20 years in SAP now, and just about manage to keep up with technology! It’s the fact that there’s always something new that keeps it interesting, but if you are an experienced techie once you have demystified the new jargon, under the hood it’s always not so hard to understand or work with if you are an experienced techie, and there is always work for those who are able to do the techie stuff that is required by all those who don’t have the skills and need someone to do it for them. And although the younger guys can be quicker to learn, you can’t undervalue experience… us old hands have already made the mistakes the youngsters haven’t made yet and learned how to avoid them, hopefully! I want to move more into an architect type role as am a bit bored of just programming and more interested in designing and integration, but I’m not interested in management, all the politics etc…! It’s important to go where your passion is – ask yourself, would I do this if nobody paid me, just out of curiosity and for the personal satisfaction? That’s a good indication of if you should go in a particular direction. As time goes by you do evolve and change and your priorities change, just go with it…

  5. Thank you for the post.
    In my humble opinion, technology is in constant change. As fast as science change. If tomorrow they find a new material that could be a faster conduit to transmit data for example, the industry will construct new equipments with it. And it means new technology! It’s us, developers/system analysts, who will “get our hands dirty” with those new technologies. (For the pleasure of built new applications that could change the world.)
    We need to forget almost everything that we learned with the previuos technology and learn fast this new one. This capability of fast adaptation defines a developer, different from the other professions.
    An accountant for example need to maintain himself up to date with the changes that happend in this area too but, don’t need learn again from the basic. (I respect the accountants.) For us, if a language die, it’s a brutal change. For example, forget your mother language (English) and you will need to learn a new one from zero (Greek). And not just the language but all technologies that surround it, methodologies to built and go on. We pay the cost of the depreciation of a technology. It is sad that in soo many countries we don’t have the same value as in USA or Germany for example. Now, about the ABAP, it’s evolving. SAP is following the rhythm of the market and science to survive, of course some day it will change and it will change as long as needed. My respects.

  6. To the point.. Every Consultant irrespective of the Technology would face this dilemma.. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am sure this would motivate many developers (including me) to take the right decision.. there is no end to Learning and upgrading our skill.. 🙂

    Looking forward to your next post.

  7. Absolutely loved the post (especially the myth buster portions), as well as the way you have upgraded yourself over the last three years. Something many of us (including me) can obviously learn from. Inspirational and witty, this was indeed a fun read. Kudos and may there be many more!

  8. Learning is very important part of our life and It remind me as well few things which i need to brush up as we all part of same group and share the passion for coding .. Very well articulated ..


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