You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks — My Journey from an ABAP Developer to a Fiori Developer
This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend the Minnesota ASUG Chapter Fall meeting. I always make it a point to attend, as the ...Contact us
This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend the Minnesota ASUG Chapter Fall meeting. I always make it a point to attend, as the content is so good that I’ve never failed to learn something new. I also enjoy reconnecting with my colleagues and meeting new ones. At this particular meeting however, I had the privilege of contributing back to the community by presenting on my journey from an ABAP developer to a full-stack Fiori Developer. I think I learned more by leading a session than by attending.
What did I learn? A ton.
- I’m not the only developer that has struggled with the transition from ABAP to Fiori technologies.
- We all struggle with finding the time to learn new technologies.
There’s a general estimate that IT departments spend 80% of their time on maintenance and 20% on new projects. Trying to fit learning a new technology stack in that 20% is stressful. If we don’t have a bucket of time set aside for training, we need to make time outside of normal business hours. With all of our time obligations, that can be very difficult, and learning the tech stack is not an 8-hour task. It’s a real time commitment to which you have to dedicate yourself. Remember when you learned ABAP? You didn’t do that in a couple days. Learning SAPUI5 requires the same dedication.
- We are all capable of learning SAPUI5.
You learned ABAP, right? You can learn SAPUI5. I did. I’m not an expert, but like any other skill, it takes time. It’s a process, not a race. Proficiency over pace.
I don’t have the answer for every question, but I can offer the following advice and points of encouragement.
- Focus first on learning OData and the SAP Gateway. This is a natural transition for legacy ABAP developers. The backend gateway code is written in ABAP. You will need to focus on learning OData modeling, but if you’ve built a relational database before, the concepts are similar. Learn the terminology (“entity” instead of “structure”, “property” instead of “field”), and you’ll get there quickly. There are some nuances in building expanded datasets, but there are tons of great blogs out there to help you.
- As you work on backend tasks, you will have to interact with front-end SAPUI5 developers. Ask them questions. Walk through scenarios. As you delve into SAPUI5 for yourself, these discussions will give you lots of “a-ha!” moments.
You can learn this. All it takes is that first step and the dedication to keep moving forward!
Check out the presentation here:
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