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Starting out in ABAP programming

I have worked in a SAP environment for one year as a trainee ABAP programmer. I have been trying to pursue my career...

by joining other organizations, since the company I am working for at the moment is closing down. No one is looking for entry-level programmers. I also feel that I don't know much about the language. Please advise as to how to start out in the ABAP programming world? Thanks in advance. Mosimanegape (South Africa) Disclaimer: I don't know much about the South African SAP market. But the good news is you did get one year under your belt. Whether that is enough for you to continue in SAP, I don't know. Obviously there are many books on ABAP you can now purchase that would enhance your knowledge even further. And there are all kinds of web-based resources, like this web site, that can push your knowledge along.

In the United States, the ability to keep up a junior-level SAP career is largely dependent on age. That is not a very nice thing to say, because obviously age discrimination is illegal. But my experience is that junior roles mean junior salaries, and most "junior" roles go to folks in the their twenties who are open to that salary level and willing to be the lowest person on the management ladder. The way to find out your chances is simple: apply for new positions in new companies. All you can do is go where the offers are. The good news is that you only need one job offer at a time in life. But if you receive only one ABAP offer, and several job offers doing something completely different, choose carefully. The amount of job offers you receive in a given area is a reflection of the relative demand for those skills. So if you discover that the demand for a certain set of skills is very high on the open market, you have to take a look at that.

If you decide to stay in ABAP, remember that SAP's technology landscape is changing, and you'll need to continue to add web programming skills to your ABAP knowledge to stay marketable. I write about this issue extensively on SearchSAP, so read my other answers for more on this.

This was last published in May 2004

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