Sunday, March 25, 2007

Q4: How to switch, from other Industry to IT / SAP?

Hi thanks for this new forum.It is really a need of the hour.

I am working in a Manufacturing Industry for the past 10 years (before that I worked in a Bank for 17 years). First eight years I have customised and developed an ERP solution for the Industry starting from sales to Accounts. Now for the past 1+ years we are using SAP R/3. I have taken part in implementation as PP Co-ordinator and legacy data transfer and also coordinated with other modules due to my past experience. I have a good working knowledge in ABAP also and guiding junior programmers in that Area.

Now I would like to switch over to fulltime IT based Industry where I will have chance to go thru different implementation and learn new technologies like SAP Netweaver etc. I am sort of Jack of all type but an addicted programmer. One draw back for me is my Age (just 50) and academic ( How should I approach in searching job and turn my experience into positive results. I am well versed in PP concepts and a voracious reader.Youngsters who have the pulse of modern IT industry only can guide me.

Thanks in advance.

It's a very good question and a complex one as well. But let me try.

It seems, you have a lot of experience in the Banking/Manufacturing industry and you also have been a part of ERP product developments/implementations. I am sure, you must be good with the functional aspects of an ERP system and can co-relate with the industry business processes.

It's good that you know ABAP as well but you have very less experience compared to your over all experience. Also, your ABAP skills will be raw as of now because you've not worked as an ABAP consultant in a consultancy environment. The experience that you get in a consultancy environment is more refined compared to the ABAP experience that you get in a User company. It does not take much time to refine you ABAP skills but you need a chance in a nicely handled development project.

With your background, I would not suggest you to become just an ABAP programmer. Rather, you can work as a Techno-functional /Business Process Expert. Also, given your background, it will hard for any company to offer you a role of ABAP programmer.

I understand that it is hard to get such kind of roles as these are not advertised generally (with the same name) but that does not mean that these roles are not required for SAP projects.
Generally, these roles [e.g. techno-functional] are handled by very experienced ABAP consultants, who, by virtue of working with SAP functional areas, can also understand the functional aspects of SAP.

As per my understanding:

  • You would be most suitable as a Business Process Expert / Techno-functional for any SAP implementation in Manufacturing / Banking Industry.
  • With some training and hands-on, you can also become a SAP PP consultant.
  • In SAP maintenance projects, anyone who is techno-functional (knows a few functional areas, business processes and plus development expertise), can be very valuable.
  • A full time ABAP programmer job will be a mismatch for your profile and it would be difficult for you to position yourself as a Senior SAP Technical Consultant.

I can understand that programming can be addictive but if you can get into any SAP consultancy first then further, you can grab a chance where you should be able to utilise both your skills as a techno-functional.

As I mentioned earlier, though these positions [Business Process Experts / techno-functional] are very important, you may not find these roles in Job Ads [India specific]. I would suggest you to re-arrange your CV accordingly [may be positioning yourself as a SAP PP Techno-functional] and use your network to find a suitable job in the IT Industry.

Apply for the jobs, which might even be loosely related with your profile but you can possibly convince the employers during the interview. You seem to have a very good attitude and that should help you out. [Given your background (read ‘Age’), your attitude within the team will be the primary concern for your employer.]

In case, you are already working on any SAP implementation/service project from the User side, then you can take your time and improve on the aspects mentioned, before switching to IT industry. Once you will have a few years of SAP experience then it will be easier for you to find job. But then the time is running :-)

1 comment:

  1. I am working in a Manufacturing Industry for the past 3 Years as foxpro programmer but not much experiance IN programming
    but from 2011 our company implement SAP,so i like to go with SAP but I not sure which module better for me ABAP OR BASIS...... am BCA ,32 years old..
    is SAP Basis easily get job or not.

    Thanks for ur advise.


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