Q

Best way for a Pascal, Java, C++, C and ASP.NET programmer to start in SAP

I'm a recent graduate; I've got strong programming skills in Pascal, Java, C++, C and ASP.NET, as well as database analysis, design and administration using Oracle and SQL Server. I want to join the SAP domain and I don't know where to start and which area is appropriate for me: Basis or ABAP? What's the best way start?

I'm a recent graduate; I've got strong programming skills in Pascal, Java, C++, C and ASP.NET, as well as database analysis, design and administration using Oracle and SQL Server. I want to join the SAP domain and I don't know where to start and which area is appropriate for me: Basis or ABAP? What's the best way start?
With your background in programming and systems administration, you could pursue either Basis or ABAP. However, you want to start thinking less in terms of Basis and ABAP and more in terms of NetWeaver and J2EE/Java.

The first step to breaking into SAP is getting a clear understanding of how your skills fit into SAP's latest products....

The reasoning here is simple: There are less experienced NetWeaver folks than Basis folks because Basis has been around for longer. The best way to get a chance in SAP is to anticipate where the product is going next and cultivate your skills to catch up with SAP at the next intersection.

There are some great ways to learn more about SAP's latest technology, including TechTarget's SearchSAP.com. There are also some good books out there on NetWeaver already. So, the first step is to learn more about the latest releases.

The second step is to match up how your skills fit into the picture and choose a direction to pursue. You do need to choose between system administration and development. The focus on one or the other is important to the mastery a consultant needs. If you're on the fence between the two, I would choose system administration because it is less vulnerable to outsourcing.

The next step is to get your first job in SAP. You can consider investing in training, but the best thing would be to get a full-time technical job with a company running SAP, preferably one that is about to embark on a 5.0 upgrade. Try to get through a couple of implementation or upgrade cycles, and then you can take a look at testing the open market. Good luck!

This was last published in May 2006

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