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Combining dual accounting/programming background

This question is how to better combine a dual accounting/programming backgrund in SAP. I have an accounting background with 6 years of programming (3 in VB and 3 in ABAP). I made the move from accounting to programming 6 years ago because I did not find my accounting job challenging. I really love being an ABAP programmer and I love being able to learn more each day. My Accounting skills have helped me communicate with end-users. However, so far, I have been a bit disapointed in the sense that I have not succeeded in gaining more value from my accounting background. Any tips on how to better combine both skills?

This question is how to better combine a dual accounting/programming backgrund in SAP. I have an accounting background with 6 years of programming (3 in VB and 3 in ABAP). I made the move from accounting to programming 6 years ago because I did not find my accounting job challenging.

I really love being an ABAP programmer and I love being able to learn more each day. My Accounting skills have helped me communicate with end-users.

However, so far, I have been a bit disapointed in the sense that I have not succeeded in gaining more value from my accounting background. Any tips on how to better combine both skills?
Your question is a great example of a point I have always emphasized, which is: when in doubt, follow your passion instead of what's marketable. In general, I recommend an FI career path over an ABAP path because of how outsourcing has impacted the ABAP world, but in your case, you seem to really love programming, so you should follow your instincts. The reason I feel this way is not because I am idealistic, but because I am practical: I believe that keeping an edge on other SAP professional means going the extra mile and mastering your area of expertise. And if you are fired up about ABAP, but indifferent about accounting, you're better off being a fired-up ABAPper than a half-hearted FI person. There's no simple way to incorporate finance into ABAP work, but I would recommend that you try to find ABAP positions that focus on custom development within the FI module. And as far as fighting off the outsourcing trend, I would just do your best to stay on the cutting edge of programming. Don't be satisfied with just ABAP - learn all you can about web programming also, and try to get involved as a liaison between the functional and technical sides of your project. This way, you can stay informed on the functional side while also providing a greater value to your projects and reducing the risk you could get outsourced.
This was last published in October 2003

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