48 Replies Latest reply: Dec 12, 2014 9:02 AM by nav mrid RSS

Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?

Thomas Dulaney
Currently Being Moderated

We see many questions in this forums from recent college graduates seeking advice for how to break into the SAP marketplace. I'd like to hear your story! If you are currently working with SAP configuration, programming, security, or system administration (not end user): how did you get your start? This thread is for stories. I am also starting another thread which will be for abbreviated versions which will be more easy to tally.

I'll start...

My journey started as an undergraduate. Although I studied microbiology, I was an ardent computer gamer. As a side effect, I learned about all things PC related including building machines from scratch and the ins and outs of DOS as well as other operating systems. All of this was essentially a hobby.

In 1989 I graduated with a BS in Microbiology and proceeded to UCLA to pursue a PhD in Biology (genetics but part way through I switched to X-ray crystallography). As a poor grad student, I supplemented my income by building computers and installing software for a small client base in Los Angeles. Also, in my first year of graduate school, we were all required to take an "Computers in Biology" overview class. The graduate student who taught it was horrible! I volunteered to teach it the next semester and continued to teach it for the rest of my time at UCLA (under the guidance of the magnificent Professor Simpson.)

My interest in the intersection of biology and computing grew and I frequently helped faculty and students with their computational problems. When the person who ran the computational facility retired in 1994, I knew the systems better than anyone else, so they asked me to take over. I stopped short of my PhD, earned my Masters and agreed.

In the years that followed at UCLA, I spearheaded major advancements to the data center and to the university's approach to instruction (I helped the Biology department migrate instruction from chalkboards to powerpoints/web sites among other projects.). A friend of mine asked me one day what I knew about SAP. I pulled the most recent over-sized Computerworld issue off my shelf, flipped to the back, and showed him the advertisement that claimed SAP consultants earned between $100 and $200 per hour. He immediately went for an interview and was hired. I continued at UCLA for another year or so until my friend called me one day, out of the blue, and told me SAP America was hiring and that I should check it out.

My projects at UCLA were running smoothly and had pretty much plateued. I was confident that others could carry on what I'd started, so I researched SAP in a bit more detail. The SAP architecture and the idea of helping companies improve efficiency appealed to me, so I applied.

I was hired by SAP America in 1998 to work as an SAP Basis consultant. At the time there was not enough SAP talent out in the world, and hiring experienced os/db administrators with no SAP experience was the only way for SAP to get the necessary employees. I'd say at the time I was pretty typical for the new hires. Most had 4 to 6 years of system administration or database administration experience. We had a mix of UNIX and Windows backgrounds in the class. I underwent a 13 week training ordeal and was placed with a senior consultant at a customer site.  I worked for SAP America for 12 years before I had to get off the road. During that time I worked over half a dozen go-lives, worked with dozens of customers, lived in Germany for over a year, moved my family 8 times to support projects, and built a network of friends and colleagues that I cherish. Today I work for a small SAP firm who focuses on one geography. This has allowed me to continue with SAP work but stay off the road.

One note: In 1998, there was no pool of experienced SAP Basis folks on the market from which SAP could pull. SAP America did a few more New Hire waves but I think the last I remember was 2004 or so. After that, SAP only hired experienced SAP folks. I conducted the lion's share of the technical interviews for my region (SAP's technical consulting practice was broken into 4 or 5 national regions at the time), so I can tell you my experience was that most applicants to SAP from about 2005 and on got their start in the SAP support group at a customer. I'm curious to hear the stories others in this forum have to tell.

Please include the year you started serious (not end user) SAP work. If you were hired into the position, please relate how your work history/experience compared to others who started in your organization at about the same time if you can. Also, please mention if/when you were certified. I certified in Basis in 1999 and again in 2004 I think. I certified in Solution Manager in 2010ish.

Hopefully we'll get a good mix of functional, programming, security, and basis stories. If I missed anyone (training? org management? project management?) feel free jump in. Don't forget to register the short form of your story too! The question is open to all!

I hope this will be enlightening!

Best regards,

--Tom

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Sunil Deshpande
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Thomas,

     

    My path is,......No IT backgorund .......Never think of SAP 18 years back when i joined first job....But was the great attraction to IT industries...

     

    Bachelor degree in science------> Get in job manufacturing industry in Quality control dept-----> Spent 18 years chemical & petorchemical industies as QC incharge ------> Get oppoturnity as core team while implementation in domain-------> Left job & Join as SAP QM consultant in IT industries--------> From last 3 years SAP QM_PP Consultant...

     

    It is very intresting and inspiration blog for SAP professionals to start and remain in SAP community..

     

    Thanks,

     

    Sunil

    • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
      Thomas Dulaney
      Currently Being Moderated

      Your story is inspirational to many. Some think that it is difficult or even impossible to switch to SAP after 18 years, but as your story attests, it is not only possible but happens all the time. I would argue that for functional consulting, you are far more valuable to a customer as compared to the freshly minted MBA just starting out since you have a wealth of real world, practical experience and wisdom you can provide during the blueprint and don't have to rely solely on what you've read. I'm not saying that MBA freshers don't add value, just that folks are often too quick to dismiss the added value someone who has really lived their specialty can bring.

      Best wishes for continued success!

           --Tom

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Ajay Kumar
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Everyone,

    This is Ajay from Pune, India. Currently working in IBM India as SAP ABAP Consultant. From childhood I wanted to become a doctor & serve people. But when I saw computer game for the first time in 2000, I changed my mind & took Computer Science instead of Biology for Senior High School (11th & 12th standard). I enjoyed every bit of learning about how PC works, softwares, games etc. Even though in 2001 there was twin-tower collapse & sudden IT doom, I had made my mind that I'm gonna make career as a Software Pro. So enrolled for B.Tech Information Technology course (2002-2006). Now starts the journey.

    I heard about SAP from a friend in 2004 (in 2nd year of my B.tech). He used to tell that SAP is such a big thing & that after B.Tech he is gonna do a 1 month course of SAP & will get a starting salary of 5-6Lac INR pa. We (classmates) used to laugh that it is a big joke. That time it was indeed a huge salary considering the fact that freshers used to get a salary of Max 2Lac INR pa, till 2006 when I graduated.

    I wanted to make it big hence enrolled for MS Information Technology course (2006-2008) from IIIT (1 of the top 10 engineering colleges of India). I got job offer from IVL India & Sun Microsystems. IVL India was the First Company to start providing SAP Services in India long before 1995. But Sun was my dream company hence joined it. Then in 2009 Oracle acquired Sun which started the horrible time in midst of global recession. Also the girl whom I wanted to marry was in Kerala & her family put a condition that they will be ready for marriage only if I work in Kerala. FYI, I'm from New Delhi. There is lot of cultural,linguistic difference between our families. Its like a German marries Japanese ! There is a great novel '2 States' by Chetan Bhagat which emulates my marriage.

    So here I am from New Delhi => Trivandrum, Kerala, looking for job. Got a call from IVL India for SAP ABAP. Went through the written/interviews & started career in SAP ABAP in August 2009. Collabera acquired IVL India. Its office is in Technopark Trivandrum, very beautiful, green, fresh air & what not  

    Collabera has a SAP Certified Addon Product called Optisuite. I was part of multiple implementations of Optisute & learned a lot from clients about their respective businesses. Then joined IBM, Pune. I still miss Collabera for its quality work culture & awesome place. IBM work culture is also cool, learning somany things in so much little time. Its great feeling

    So at the end I would say that I got a SAP Career because of my Wife (maybe this is one of cases where people say "There is a woman behind every successful man.")

    Cheers

    Ajay

    http://in.linkedin.com/in/connect2ajay

    • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
      Thomas Dulaney
      Currently Being Moderated

      What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing it! For US based colleagues, 5-6Lac INR pa equates to about $10,000 to $12,000 per year starting salary (if I'm using my currency converter correctly) for a brand new ABAPer right out of college, which you and your friends thought was outrageous since $4,000 per year was standard for college gradate. Those numbers were quite shocking to me when I read them. In the United States, that equates to the kind of salaries high school dropouts expect. It really highlights the reasons behind the massive outsourcing of jobs to India over the last few decades.

      I was also interested in your description of the differences between regions in India. Many in the US think of India as one seamless country when in fact there are significant regional differences. Yet if you ask an American if folks are the same in New York (or any of the Atlantic States) and Alabama (or any of the Southern States), you'll definitely raise a lively discussion on the differences, yet we all speak the same basic dialects and have much more in common culturally when compared to differences inside India or China or a number of other countries. It is for stories like your that I opened up this thread. Delightful!

      I wish continued happiness and success for you and your family! Thanks again!

      Best regards,

        --Tom

      • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
        Aastha Mehrotra
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi Thomas,

         

        I am a very determined and enterprising female Aastha, from Delhi the capital city of India. Currently, I am a SAP ABAP Consultant, working in Mumbai.

        My association with IT has been 2 and half years long. 2 months more than my experience in SAP. It has been a very smooth journey for over two years in SAP ABAP, now.

        Let's talk about the year 2005 when I set foot into first year of my graduation in Mechanical engineering. I was a Maths and Computers student and used to be spectacular with C and C++, I loved programming. I bagged several feathers in my cap owing to my programming skills, in the school days.

        However, I was always fascinated by Mechanics and Aeronautics . Hence, I planned to pursue Bachelors in Mechanical engineering and down the line, Masters in Aeronautical engineering. I enrolled for Mechanical Engineering class and started chasing my brainchild. My dad always wanted me to work in an air-conditioned cubicle rather than fixing machines in a fevered workshop. He insisted that I should switch to studying Computer Science and work for some prestigious IT firm; I had to give a nod. He had a word with the manager of my college and I was moved to CS .  I immigrated into my new Computer Science class. The next 3 years of my graduation vanished creating code snippets. In the third year of Graduation, I was selected by Larsen & Toubro Infotech, in the phenomenon of campus recruitments. That was the year 2008 (I was to graduate in the year 2009), the year of global IT slump. Hence, my joining date in the company was indefinitely delayed. I decided to move on, and joined HCL BPO, the day I graduated 10th of June 2009 (the only job requirements at that point of time popped from the BPO sector). I worked for a technical process of AT & T, for a period of 3 months. Nonetheless, I was not happy with the work there; owing to the odd shifts we had to work in (US time). I decamped from HCL and joined Dell in a Hardware profile but that work as well could not make me sojourn. I quit in another one month. It was the month of November, 2009 and I was not sure about the things ahead. Conclusively, I decided to further my studies and started preparing for the GRE exam, to pursue MS from the USA.  Howbeit, destiny again played it's cards, I got an email from L & T Infotech confirming my joining date to be the 6th of January, 2010 .

        I joined L&T on 6th of January. I underwent a rigorous training and got cross skilled on various platforms for a period of 2 months. Finally, I was selected to work in SAP as an ABAP developer.

        Since then, it has been an amazing world of possibilities for me to explore. I am still burrowing into it, in the quest of seeking enlightenment 

        I intend to get certified in ABAP at the Tech Ed-2012.

        So, this is how, I bumped into SAP and happened to be a proud member of the SAP community.

         

        Regards,

        Aastha Mehrotra

         

        • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
          Thomas Dulaney
          Currently Being Moderated

          You never know where life will take you! Thank you for sharing your story! I plan to use your story as a prime example for something I say often. Get the job first, then get the training/certification! I see too many folks who have been convinced by an institute that they need to pay for all of their SAP training up front, before getting an SAP job. My experience (as well as yours and many other from what I can tell from the short version of this thread) has been that companies hire for entry level positions based on many factors, but certification is not one of them. Certification can be a big help in the middle career and is certainly a good validation that you have covered the basics. I can tell, though, that with or without certification you have a long and bright future ahead! Thank you again for sharing your story!

          Best wishes on your continued success!

            --Tom

      • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
        Sara Iyer
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi Thomas,

         

        Loved your replies to each comment posted here. I should say you indeed are a great observer.
        Well since its brought up, I d like to throw more light on this. Here in India the companies do get good clients from different countries , and good revenue as well, but there is no standardization of income here esp the NON-MNC's and Start Up's. The Start up refrain from becoming a MNC as their market value would be available in internet otherwise, and standardization would have to be done. The employees are paid less eventually.

         

        There are many Engineering graduates , and MBA passed outs who work as courier boy , receptionists etc. During 2009 the recession was on its peak, it was even worse in those days.

         

        Speaking about Cultural differences which persist withing the country are , even within one region there are different divisions and different practices and traditions, this is followed in every state. So mostly arranged marriages take place here. Languages are very different as well, so common language spoken mostly is English, then Hindi.

         

        In spite of such huge differences, every place(district) here has its own specialty. Its rich and varied heritage is a backbone of unity in people here.

         


        I got so overwhelmed by the experiences shared here, that I couldnt stop myself from writing it down.

         

        Regards,

        Sara

        • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
          nav mrid
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hi Everyone,

           

          I totally agree with Sara, in India there is no standardization of salaries at all. I started my carrier in SAP PI in Oct 2011 after completing my B.Tech in june 2011. It was totally unexpected as I was preparing for MBA entrance from Delhi and suddenly in the month of Sept out of nowhere I got a call from a startup company in Bangalore and within a week after the interview  i received my call letter to join this company. It was a hard decision whether to go for MBA or SAP as my performance in the MBA coaching was also quite satisfactory. The company hired me at a 5 digit annual salary with a bond, but i joined it keeping in mind the growth opportunities by SAP. Initially it was quite hard to cope up but after a year and a half I started getting comfortable in this company and finally in Apr 2014 i switched to CMC Ltd (soon going to be TCS) and got a good  hike and the responsibilities that I am holding today in SAP PI are quite exciting. But now I want to go for Higher studies and I am in same dilemma as i was 3 years ago while choosing between SAP and MBA. Now the dilemma is whether to go for MS from US or MBA from some top class foreign university. In future after completing my Masters I want to come back in the world of SAP. Hope I get some valuable advice from all you learned people on this thread.

    • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
      Rohit Sharma
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hello Sir,

      I am Rohit Sharma and recently completed M.Tech(VLSI Design) but my interest is in IT so i was looking for some IT specialization. Now if i do SAP ABAP+WEBDynmo course then can i get job. I want to ask is compnies recruite Post Graduated fresher or not from other domains? Plz tell i am confused....?

    • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
      Sara Iyer
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Ajay,

       

      I am a big fan of "2 States". The way you have quoted the real time scenario happening in India was too good. Enjoyed the story.

       

      Thanks,

      Sara

    • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
      Deepak Gosavi
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Ajay,

       

      Really awasome story glad to read this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

       

       

      Regards,

      Deepak

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Gretchen Bowman
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Tom -

     

    I actually had a unique situation. I was hired as an Organizational Change Management intern on an SAP project my junior year at the University of Southern California. I later discovered that USC has an academic partnership with SAP through which students may become certified in MySAP Business Suite. I jumped at that opportunity, and it was a great hands-on experience. Fast forward a few years down the road, after I'd moved to a consulting firm, I met a guy who was on the Basis team at CSU Chico. He was responsible for maintaining the USC course servers housed in Chico. Small world!

     

    - Gretchen

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Eduardo Hinojosa
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Tom,

     

    I began in an end user company, a manufacturer of ceramic tiles. After my university in Economics, my former interest was statistics and econometrics. But as my computing skills were weak, I decided improve them. After some time I learnt Visual Basic (I forgot it all now !!!) and after some time woking as a clerical worker I was hired by this company in 1998. In this company I built little applications for finance (I was a kind of Assistant Controller for budgeting, reporting, treasury,...) with MS Access and VBA. In 2000 they decided to run SAP. I became the key user for CO and I was trained in ABAP (in the company we were the only workers with programming skills) for a release 46B. Other of my roles was create the files to populate data in SAP, so, I learnt a lot about dictionary, functional flows and so on. As the key module was SD and there were a lot of gaps, my bosses gave me the opportunity for guessing to solve them (I remember a SAP Mentor calls this learning way 'dirty hands') in typical issues: reports, forms (SAPscript), customizing gaps (CO reports, layout to enter data in CO, ...).

     

    During 2002 I was trained in some customizing tools (LIS, advanced COPA,...) and after some time I began to do more complicated things in SD (pricing, VOFM subroutines,...) and with ABAP.

     

    In 2007 I left this company and I guess as a Senior SD in a Consultancy Firm where I was working during a year. After one year I left this consultancy firm because I had the opportunity to work as a Senior Business Analyst (where I go on) because it is a retailer, and I understood that perhaps I will never have again the opportunity to handle an IS-Retail and because I needed return to ABAP.

     

    Regards,

     

    Eduardo

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Ashwini Thakre
    Currently Being Moderated

    HI Tom and all SAP Friends,

     

    Well your stories are interesting, i would also like to share my story with you all and would appreciate if you guide me further way in this.

     

    I have decided to become software engineer when I was in 8th std and was not knowing much about computers except some basic fundamentals. I started my carrier in 2007 in well known Automobile Company called Skoda Auto as an after sales officer which was not at all related to my field (IT field) initially. Parallel I was doing MCA and same I completed in 2010 with so much of hasals as because i was doing job i was not attending the college and MCA being a regular course attendance was compulsary but my friends helped me lot for giving my Proxy in class. i used to go to college twice in a week only.  I left the Skoda and went to Pune for .net course in last year of MCA after coming from there my marriage got fixed and I came to Bangalore in Dec 2010 one of my husbands Friend had offered me to work in his company (Jockey India) as SAP SD tech support. I thought why not…let’s take a chance and I started working in it but I was not known to the depth of SAP that time and its market value. Sometimes I used to feel very boar while working in it as being a fresher I was not having much work to do. But slowly I got hands on SAP SD pricing and many other interesting areas and now I don’t have any second thought about it...I learnt MM too small part and ABAP debugging and problem finding in very short span of time. Now my BOSS is dependent on me….i want to switch my company and my target is SAP Labs I want to see my self working there with all grate SAP people.

     

    Thanks

    Ashwini

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Sanjay Sarda
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Thomas,

    This is Sanjay from Hyderabad, I have always been interested in developing my career without the support of my parents. My father has his own Firm(Financial Planning). If I would have done B.COM or any other accounting courses, i could have joined him and worked for his firm which wouldn't have required any struggle, but since, i was always focussed on making a career which is different & dynamic and also brings in fame and adds to my individuality, i choose IT. I was a computer-freak in my secondary and higher education, 24*7 on social networking websites, checking in with new application & gadgets in the market, upcoming technologies and many other stuffs. My mother always wanted me to work with my father, in his firm, but i would always deny and convince her that i would make a career and develop on my own.

    I took B.Tech-CSE in my graduation in 2007 from Mahaveer Institute of Science and Technology(Was in top 10 colleges in my state). In the last semester, I was offered a job by HCL Technologies. I accepted the offer. After successful completion of my graduation, I was waiting for a call from HCL for 8 months. In the meantime, i gave few interviews for BPO & KPO's,but nothing was working my way. Finally, i gave an interview as a s/w engg in MAQ Softwares and cleared all the interview rounds. When i was about to sign an agreement with MAQ, I received the Call from HCL. I was confused on which offer to accept & which to deny. I consulted few friend of mine. HCL was offering me SAP-ABAP domain and MAQ was offering me .NET platfrom. All of my friends suggested me to join HCL as its a brand and SAP-ABAP is a course which would fetch me higher pay and recognition with higher opportunities. Since, I wasn't sure about what to do, i started surfing and finding details on net, when comparing .Net & SAP, i understood that SAP is vast and will provide me lot of learning + enable me to understand Business Processes. Finally after lot of survey, I decided to go with SAP-ABAP in HCL.

    I've been trained in SAP-Abap Basics for three months. I loved the software. Every single day, i would learn something new about SAP. After completion of the training, i worked with the acadamy on some research and development in SAP. Today, being on bench(waiting for project to work on),I do not feel disappointed, as SAP is ocean of knowledge. Daily, i come to office and check out with different domains in SAP and feel amazed at its solutions for different realtime scenarios. Right now, I am trying to understand SAP-CRM domain by using some pdfs and other documentation. Do help me with presentations or case-studies which would help me in understanding it in a better and easier way. Hope, I get some project to work on ASAP.

    Today, I feel happy that i made a right decision and my parents are proud of me working in a corporate world.

     

    Thanks Tom for the opportunity. Hope my story encourages others who aspire to join & work with SAP.

     

    Regards,

    Sanjay

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Vivek H
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi,

     

    Has anyone started their career as a Java developer and then moved into SAP?

     

    If yes, Could you please share your story with us ? It would be helpful if you mention which SAP module did you choose.

     

    Regards,

    Vivek

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Harish Allachervu
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Thomas,

     

    You have vast knowledge in the SAP field and i'll really appreciate your contribution through your blog to reach all folks with your valuable thoughts and suggestion.

     

    I just want to share my break in the SAP career i was completed my MCA in year 2012 while i am in the last semester learned SAP BW/BI from my cousin brother, Only reason to learn this module it is a combination of all the modules and moreover i was bit fascinated in the business terminology so i thought it will make me quite interesting after started learning i just felt my decision was right....

     

    after rigorous work hard.. i got job in the MNC but my package was too low to my expectation so i am in mood of change but after reading yours and @Ravi Sankar venna blog i've changed my decision we need strive for excellence instead of craving for money so life is going to good but not as much as challenging i've expected before joining.

     

    Regards,

    Harish

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Kannan Ramaswamy
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Thomas Dulaney,

     

    I am Kannan Ramaswamy from India. I am happy to see lot of gamers in here. I was a hardcore gamer myself. When I was young I always wanted to become a game developer (don't know what it is though then ). I started building games usually in adobe flash. Like the simple ones which you can find on any website. Later started getting into making mature games with python+pygames. I urged my family that I will get into courses related to gaming, but was denied all they wanted was a B.E degree behind my name (Typical Indian parents ).

     

    I had to Join B.E so I choose Computer Science and Engineering which was near to my field of interest. My first year (freshmen year) I was a avid gamer (more) and programmer (less). First year flew by and on the second year I had a crush on SQL. The way it works with data was so easier than any typical programming language (excluding python). Throughout third year I was always playing all the new titles that gets released (ps:I am a big fan of EA Games). Obviously I just crippled over the pass line each semester expect the programming papers. 

     

    Entered final year then it was time for the Campus placements. Many companies came for recruitment each week.

    Most Indians might know how this works, let me brief it to others:

    1. Group 1/Dot 1 companies - the companies who short list the above 80% scorers and put them through 3-5 rounds of interview and recruit all the good looking girls(not biased but really), few geeks and many hard working gentle men.

    2. Group 2 - the companies who screen 70% scorers and the group 1 left overs and put them through similar 3-5 rounds and recruit average looking... and again the hard working gentle men.

    3. BPOs/KPOs - the last set of companies which recruits all the "peters" (slang in south India, people who communicate in English among their native language speakers)

    4. Come on there is no more! Go out of college and do something for living. (My group)

     

    Stepped out of college with a edited template found on internet (which I called my resume back then) and started the hunt. Most of the companies were only looking for the numbers. Finally I had an interview with Wipro Technologies the interviewer luckily was a geek and asked me to code a game on a piece of paper and that was my area aint it. I got through and started my career at Wipro Technologies on 25th OCT 2010.

     

    I got trained on Oracle 9i Administration for 3 months. Then I was in free talent pool, I thought of using my spare time to do something useful and attend data warehousing seminars held inside the company. I got myself nominated luckily for a months training on SAP BW. I completed the training and got my self into the SAP world. And from then on no turning back. The pain I felt when I parted with my first love, gaming, was eased by the new found crush on SAP. The BWA, TREX (dinosaur), Planning, Analysis and many aspects of SAP BW inspires me, keep me occupied and leaves me sleepless.

     

    One fine day, honestly I dont remember Google introduced one of my life changers SCN. Then I met lot of great people Arun Varadarajan, Ingo Hilgefort, Jason Cao, Marc Bernard, Marilyn Pratt, Mark Finnern, xMoshe Naveh (Old Acct), @ramanjaneyulu_korrapati, RAVI SANKAR VENNA, Tammy Powlas and you Thomas Dulaney here and become addicted. Slowly SCN hours reduced and took over my FB hours. Thats my story so far...

     

    Public disclaimer: The parts about looks, my resume and any other thing that might cause you to read this was just added for the fun part of it. I know its a public forum and wont be spoiling my own reputation, now would I?


  • Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Kannan Ramaswamy
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thank you Ram, for your valuable tip. I will learn, practice and share what ever I gain with the community.

     

    Regards

    Kannan

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Ankit Jha
    Currently Being Moderated

    NIce journey Thomas !. I too want that one opportunity to switch to SAP

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Deepak Gosavi
    Currently Being Moderated

    HI Tom,

     

    Really awasome story and got really inisipired with this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

     

     

    Regards,

    Deepak

    • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
      Rome Njaka
      Currently Being Moderated

      My name is Romanus (Rome) Njaka  and I have a dual Nigeria/US citizenship.I had wanted to become a medical Doctor but fate took me around that wish when I landed a job as a science reporter with a news organization almost immediately after my graduation from college. As a reporter and Features Writer for the news organization, I developed a special interest in the area of information technology writing stories on Systems innovations and entrepreneurial successes in the fast growing IT industry at the time in Nigeria. It was while working as a reporter that I became familiar with terms like ERP, SAP, Oracle, Linux, People Soft and several other IT acronyms. This knowledge coupled with the meeting of many talented IT professionals deepened my interest and became my source of motivation to venture into this exciting but very challenging new field. I later applied and got an international job (though regrettably not in IT) with a publishing firm in Madrid Spain in 2003. I was employed as a Proof Reader in the English print department and little did I know that this new appointment (which I had initially thought was a disappointment), would turn out to be the start of my long journey into the SAP security world. As fate would have it, and just after two years of my arrival to Spain, the company acquired the SAP ERP system to run its business. It was during its implementation that I was lucky to be selected as one of the new trainees for its go-live operations. I have not looked back since then!


      I was to move to the US after I met and married my wife who incidentally had just finished her residency program as a Physician and was in Spain for an exchange program in the Spanish language. It wasn’t long before I regularized and obtained a job as a Security consultant. I have been involved, as a team member, in full life cycle implementation and migration projects apart from more regular roles as User, Profile and Authorization Administrator both locally and globally.   My focus on the profession has blossomed with the wealth of experience I now possess after almost 8 years of consistent interest and hard work  Being one who seeks upward mobility in the profession, I believe taking new challenges will create the avenue for me to excel. At the moment, I work as an SAP Security Consultant with a company in NC. 

  • Re: Storytime! How did you get your start in SAP?
    Benjamin Onyango
    Currently Being Moderated

    To make a difference you need knowledge. Knowledge is sought with vitality. In the pursuit of knowledge, I knocked on the doors of SAP Community Network (SCN). I have read hundreds of blogs, i have read discussions and I will always do to quench my thirst for knowledge. As a matter of fact, SCN is now part of my life.

     

    Reading several SCN blogs from talented and exceptional consultants like Ravi Sankar Venna, Colleen Lee, Lakshmipathi G, kishan P   TW Typewriter , jitendra kansal and many others inspires this blog. Honestly I am because of the opinions, comments, and contributions of thousands of SCN, members and fellow SAP consultants, I salute them. Sometimes I imagine, how was SAP consulting before world wide web and SCN? maybe someday I will get the answers. My domain and passion is inclined towards SD and MM. Being a SAP consultant happens to be one of the greatest achievements in my life. I always believe in doing my best and as Steve Jobs said "You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future". Dreams do come true, the dots do connect.

     

    My name is Benjamin Washiali, alias SAP evangelist, I come from Kenya. Kenya is in East Africa. I live and work in Nairobi City as an SAP consultant. Did I say certified? Growing Up, I wanted to be a pilot, and as a child all I thought of was flying, being like Prince William. I was introduced to computers when I started secondary school education. Honestly, what fascinated me at that time was games, I played them hard, so hard. I din't think much about computers by then, flying was still at heart.


    I passed my secondary education and I was sponsored by the government of my beloved country to take a degree in computer science. It's during the times as a university student that I discovered SAP. Accidental discovery, A discovery that became a beacon of hope and a pillar to a great future. A journey that began way back in 2010, while I was still a second year student at the university. It was at the university that I got to know the SAP Ocean as a result of the many assignments, as it is a norm in college. This led to curiosity and eventually a huge insatiable appetite for me to pursue a career in SAP. I read volumes of web pages on SAP. I read stories of ABAPers who coded passionately and integrated SAP with almost any system in the universe. Stories of functional consultants who transformed amorphous ideas into tangible results. Stories and testimonials of fortune companies whose operations had been simplified by SAP. I read the history of SAP and how A1 metamorphosed to the current powerful ECC 6.0 . The more I read the greater the desire for SAP became. The best thing is SAP offers great room for career growth. I was inspired . I wanted to be part of the greatest ERP that man has ever known.


    For every action there is always a reaction, how was I to get into this prestigious career? A career that is so expensive to train bearing in mind that I did not have the financial muscle. A career only for the unique few. All I had was a dream, hope that someday, one day, I will be a SAP professional and be part of the great SAP fraternity. I nursed this ambition with pride and hope. When I least expected, on a Thursday, November 22, 2012, around 11AM East African time, I saw an advert on the Daily Nation, a local paper here in Kenya. Truth be told I had to procure my first set of glasses to really confirm and ascertain that what I was seeing was true and authentic. It was a scholarship opportunity sponsored by SAP in collaboration with the Kenyan government. SAP Skills for Africa:http://www.icta.go.ke/sap-skills-for-africa-graduation-multimedia-university/ This was an opportunity that I grabbed with both hands. I always believe that SAP read my mind, my goal, telepathically and thus the initiation of this noble program.


    Nothing comes easy, everything is earned.  but when you want something so much, as Paulo Coelho once wrote in his book, The Alchemist, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it. The selection process was tough, so tough, I mean so so tough. Albeit, I am happy to say I was among the chosen few(80) to be part of the pioneer class of 2013 from a pool of close to 1500 applicants, 1500, talented applicants per se. What impressed me most was the fact that we came from different parts of the country, we were the face of Kenya. Memories that I treasure so much and look back to with nostalgia. The training was exciting, intense, demanding and ooh! exhausting. In the pioneer program, SAP trained four modules FI, MM, BASIS and ABAP, each class had 20 students. I chose MM. For eight weeks, Donkey weeks, weeks that seemed longer than usual, we saw, we ate, we talked, we slept, we goggled and text SAP. Everything about us was SAP. Day and night, we read acres of pages from piles of SAP books and SCN community. Thanks to heavy lunches provided by SAP, that helped rekindle the lost energy. I will surely ask for more. Personally, I was determined and set to the end goal, a dream and this was it. Lest I forget, I hard the highest score i.e I was the best. Today I am not only a certified in MM  but SD as well. SD came through personal initiative, I invested in myself. For once I felt like Albert Einstein when I clicked on the submit button. SAP made me. As a young SAP cub, It's apparent that I have a long journey ahead in perfecting my skills, with SCN around, the dream is half achieved. In the next few years I will be a force to reckon with in regard to SD and MM.

     

    Education is the passport to the future, today I am a perfect paradigm to what was said by Malcom X in 1964 at the founding rally of the organization of Afro American unity. Over the past 9 months I have had the incredible privilege of being part of 2 end to end implementations. The second HANA implementation in Africa and the largest implementation for a global IT firm. I have learnt a lot professionally through this implementations. This privilege was only possible because of the SAP Skills for Africa training. As usual, nothing comes easy, getting a placement(internship) in order to sharpen and reinforce what was learnt at the SAP academy, was no different. this was like a mission to Pluto, or climbing to the peek of mount Everest without protective gear. Three months after the training no opportunity had come up. Yet deep down my heart was beating for SAP, I wanted in, I wanted to be part of the incredible planet SAP. Hard work, passion  and patience were in trial. Time was flying fast. so I could no longer wait for SAP to place me. I had to move in by self. It is during this period that I knew, determination and commitment is key to achieving what you want. I compiled a list of all SAP partners in Kenya and submitted my applications, but nothing came forth..things were a mirage. The dots were not connecting. I had to change my mode of application. I decided to send direct LinkedIn messages to CEO's in companies where SAP was the backbone here in my home country, Kenya. I send hundreds of them. Only one responded. One that changed the face of my life. Honestly, I still read that message over and over again. He offered to give me an opportunity in SD yet I was trained in MM. I took the opportunity and it has been the best decision ever. Mr. Serge Blockmans, a selfless SAP professional and CEO nurtured me to whom I am. I wouldn't be writing this blog without the help of Mr Serge. Thank you Serge. I pray that the world will have many people like you. People with a heart and passion to change the lives of many(strangers) and make the world a better place. People like Mahatma Gandhi, Luther king, mother Teresa, Hasso Plattner and many others who dedicate their lives in making the lives of others better. I have also met many experienced and incredible consultants like Sila Njenga and renson kiogewho have galvanized their knowledge in me. I am yet to meet many. After I left the SAP academy, my life has never been the same again. Now, with every sunrise, I have a chance to make a difference, an opportunity to contribute positively to the society and family. Every night I go to bed knowing that I am doing my part in building the nation. I sleep knowing that the sky is no longer the limit. SAP is a life. ''Education is the great engine to personal development, it is through education that the daughter of a peasant farmer can become a doctor, the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation": Nelson Mandela.

     

    Blessed are those who choose to pursue SAP as a career for a more fulfilling future belongs to them. I have just started with hopes that someday I will be a brand and be part of massive SAP projects all over the world.


    There is a lot to  be written, but I prefer being brief like a miniskirt , so I will stop here believing that someone will enjoy the read and be motivated.


    Thank you.