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Career in SAP?

Kumar Prem
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 03, 2002
Posts: 18
Hi,
I am a software professional having about 4 yrs of exp. mainly in java, jsp, xml. Unfortunately I had been out of job from couple of months.
I am thinking of shifting to SAP. Please suggest/guide me on what is the scope in SAP. Is it better than java?
Thanks
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
You mean Secondary Audio Program? :-p
SAP is a vendor's tool, it is not a programming language per se. SAP is to Java what Lotus Notes is to C; no inherent relation.
SAP applications include supply clains, CRM, ERP, forecasting applications, inventory control, etc.
--Mark
shay Aluko
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 01, 2002
Posts: 167
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
You mean Secondary Audio Program? :-p
SAP is a vendor's tool, it is not a programming language per se. SAP is to Java what Lotus Notes is to C; no inherent relation.
SAP applications include supply clains, CRM, ERP, forecasting applications, inventory control, etc.
--Mark

i don't think you correctly understood his question. I believe he knows there is no inherent relation, he is talking about acquiring a different skillset to pay his bills since Java is not panning out; and SAP is also based on ABAP so it is possible to do some programming for SAP.
Anyway to his question, if you believe you have the motivation to invest some time to learn SAP and its functional areas viz: Logistics, financial or Human resources by all means go for it. I believe it does require a fair amount of dedication, but the upside is that might be better for you in terms getting a paying job
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Oh, my mistake, I took the "better then Java" comparison literally, as opposed to the implied career/industry.
I have seen a bunch fo SAP job postings. I also know many people who did SAP work and were some of the first to be laid off. Many people in SAP are in consulting (whereas with Java there's often a clearer line between the two); this may mean there's more competition.
--Mark
Derek Grey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 09, 2002
Posts: 204
Many people in SAP are in consulting (whereas with Java there's often a clearer line between the two); this may mean there's more competition.

Mark,
Could you please explain a little more in detail. Coz I too have an opportunity to pursue PeopleSoft but I am in a dilemna between Regular Programming+Web Development vs. PeopleSoft, Siebel etc.
Ofcourse the criteria is to choose the one which might give me a better chance of getting a job soon, preferably one that I would be difficult to replace with.
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hello,
In the early 90's, if you are a SAP consultant, you probably making around $500US/hr. When the company sponsored me to learn it in 00's, the consultants I encountered told me not that hot anymore.
I think SAP and Oracle worked with each other perfectly. Unfortunately, I had using SAP with SQLServer which required so much tweaking. But it was then, now probably everything work like a charm.
Just my 2 cents,
MCao
[ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by San Tiruvan:

Mark,
Could you please explain a little more in detail. Coz I too have an opportunity to pursue PeopleSoft but I am in a dilemna between Regular Programming+Web Development vs. PeopleSoft, Siebel etc.
Ofcourse the criteria is to choose the one which might give me a better chance of getting a job soon, preferably one that I would be difficult to replace with.

Well, most of my information here is second hand. Others with first hand knowledge might be better suited at answering then I.
I am a software developer. I write code from scratch, or extend code. While I may tie in to third party packages, most of the functionality is what I or my team creates.
Many SAP consultants are doing integration work. Yes, technically the language is probably turing complete (as is the language for, say, Lotus Notes), but you wouldn't use it to write arbitrary applications.
To do this type of work, you definately need good business and customer-facing skills. DOmain knowledge is also helpful (although these packages cross many domains). Typically you integrate with databases and legacy systems, coding the glue between them, also possibly coding up front ends (sometimes using prefab components).
Originally posted by Matt Cao:

In the early 90's, if you are a SAP consultant, you probably making around $500US/hr. When the company sponsored me to learn it in 00's, the consultants I encountered told me not that hot anymore.

I'd like to see that pay stub. I simply can't believe your statement is true. Security/Crypto guys can't bill for more then maybe $300 an hour. Most laywers don't even bill for that much. Even when a company like a Big Six billed out a senior consultant at a few hundred an hour, the consultant himself didn't get that rate. And, of course, salaries weren't that outrageous during the early 90's, it wasn't until around 96-97 that they really just started to take off.

--Mark
Rory French
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 97
SAP is pretty broad in scope, so if you want to get into it, there are quite a few choices. You could be:
- a functional consultant. SAP software comprises many functional modules e.g. Financial, Human Resources, Sales and Distribution, Workflow etc. Each of these modules is customisable via a GUI interface. So it is the job of the specialist functional consultant to ascertain the requirements of the business where SAP is being applied, and then customise/configure the software accordingly. Generally, the functional consultant does NOT require any programming knowledge/ability. More important is the consultant's business knowledge e.g. a consultant for the SAP financial module would likely come from an accounting background.
- An ABAP programmer/consultant - any required extra functionality which the functional consultant can not easily configure, is usually handed over to the ABAP programmer/consultant. This usually involves modifications to the SAP user GUI, and more often, the writing of reports.
- A Basis Consultant - the basis consultant is responsible for the maintenance and administration of the interface between SAP software and the platforms on which it runs - the database (e.g.Oracle), the operating system (eg unix) etc. So a basis consultant often has previous relevant Database and/or operating system experience.
Traditionally, these (abv) are the 3 main roles within SAP. Incidentally, SAP has also embraced Java, and delivers many of its applications (e.g. e-business apps) based on Java or J2EE.
As for PeopleSoft, when I last I checked it was an ERP specializing in Human Resources. It may have since expanded its scope. But like SAP and other ERP's it's also cusomizeable/configurable, is programmable, and requires platform administration support.
Also remember that its not that easy to get a job using SAP - it's possibly more difficult than getting a Java job. And its not like you can teach yourself SAP consulting like you can teach yourself Java; training is very expensive. So obviously the best way is to be on a site that has implemented or is about to implement SAP or to know someone who is in that position that can get you hired.
Hope the info helps
[ July 24, 2003: Message edited by: Rory French ]
Kumar Prem
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 03, 2002
Posts: 18
Hi,
Thanks for all the responses. I am thinking in terms of shifting to SAP-ABAP programming.
Thanks
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
are there still any future in software development?
or do I have to be good in mainframe, database and software all three ?
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

I'd like to see that pay stub. I simply can't believe your statement is true. Security/Crypto guys can't bill for more then maybe $300 an hour. Most laywers don't even bill for that much. Even when a company like a Big Six billed out a senior consultant at a few hundred an hour, the consultant himself didn't get that rate. And, of course, salaries weren't that outrageous during the early 90's, it wasn't until around 96-97 that they really just started to take off.

--Mark

Hi Mark,
It's second hand info. probably one of those urban legends.
Regards,
MCao
 
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