For me it was my first day on first job right out of University. I showed up, went through orientation, and then was shuffled off to the SAP implementation kickoff meeting. One other new hire (right out of University as well) and myself were going to be the developers assigned to this next generation ERP project. I had no idea what SAP even was before that fateful day.
For me it was 2003 and my boss said hey I need you to read about this thing called SAP so when you return to the US you can do the implementation there. Mind you I was a web application developer and never even heard of SAP, the closet to “ERP” for me was the MAPICS system. Needless to say I read, learned and ended up working for SAP and never returning to the US for the implementation 🙂
In case anyone is wondering, they did the implementation and successfully completed it on time.
I did an internal (small) project at my university as intern, and we were using a file based storage and the task was to switch to a DB based storage, we were going to use some freely available small db (I think it was going to be mysql, but not absolutely sure). But then my boss told me that the university is going to implement "SAP" in some future, so we should do something with "SAP" to be future-proof. A quick research revealed that SAP was some system using SAP DB. So, SAP DB it became. My internship ended before the implementation on SAP DB started, but I followed them for one or two years. At that time we had not the slightest idea what SAP was, nor that using SAP DB didnt make us more nor less future-proof in the sense of compatibility with the "soon to come SAP Implementation" 😄
My first contact with actual SAP was in 2007, almost a decade later.
I tried to get a job at Mercury Interactive (later bought by HP) and they were all ready to hire me but my current employer wouldn't let me out of my contract. At first I was VERY disappointed, but I stayed where I was for another few months and then got a job offer at SAP, which was the best thing that could have happened to me. When I interviewed was the first time I had ever heard of the company.
P.S.: When I came, I was clueless, and I had heard that there were such loyal employees that their baby's first words were "ABAP"
Mine might be a bit different than the above. I heard about SAP at my job. They needed me to go train to use it. And they needed me to be a part of the first training group. I was 5 months pregnant. I went to boat camp which was 4 weeks. It was an interesting time. I got the flu while I was there, and I found a med center. (I had to because I didn't know which over the counter medication I could take.) They let me go and told me what I could take. I got better that weekend. Went back to training, and finished with a certification test. Which I proudly passed.
When we went live I had just returned from my 6 weeks off after having Nate. I then was spending the nights most nights helping to fix everything that didn't work right. Yes, we had an implementation partner. And that is quite another story.
So I doubt very much that I'll ever forget when I "heard" of it.
Ruthvik, that's a great question!
For me, SAP was the enemy 😀
I ran the competitive team at a small French startup called... BusinessObjects. So I spent my days coming up with arguments about why we were a better business intelligence solution than anything SAP could offer (I remember being slightly awed at the depth of loyalty of SAP customers). I guess we did something right, because SAP eventually decided the same and purchased us in 2007 -- and I celebrated 30 years with the combined companies this year! 😀
I was part of the SAP competitive task force! My team was building some special training so that we could connect to and report from BW data. We had just finished building all of the training when SAP acquired us. I don't think the training organization had ever been so prepared for an acquisition. 😀
Congratulations on 30 years!
For me it was when I'd finished my Classics degree at University College London and had started work (in the IT department) at Esso Petroleum on Victoria Street in London. After some weeks of graduate training (in COBOL, JCL and so on) I joined the Database Support Group (DBSG) where my very first task was to create a backup & recovery strategy for the (IMS DB) databases belonging to a project just starting out on the floor above. There were over 100 databases which was unusual, all with VSAM dataset clusters defined via IDCAMS. This project turned out to be an SAP implementation project, installing and configuring SAP R/2 4.1. When I finished my time in DBSG, I joined the project, dived completely into the SAP tech world, and have never looked back since.
That was in 1987.
Working in R&D at a company called Fairlight (for their MFX3 product used for Audio Engineering) in Sydney and kept seeing these high paying jobs in the paper for something called "Sap". Then my high school friend Al Templeton started working at a new company doing large SAP OO custom development with IS-U who was hiring any good developer who wanted to learn SAP (at double my current salary!) so learn SAP I did!
Side note - This was OO in 4.0B so I believe Thomas' answer for when OO was introduced is wrong since we were productive at multiple customers (albeit using global includes and pushing the basis to the limit when compiling).
Hello everybody! Greetings from Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico).
The first time I heard of SAP was in 2006, I was hired by a pharmaceutical company (PiSA Labs) as Microsoft .net Developer. As part of the onboarding process we had a training in SAP as "Users", days later I had an introduction to ABAP by one of the Senior SAP Developers that was about to leave the company, it turned that one of my colleagues and I were replacing him. My first ABAP assignment was changing a label in a SAPScript, I remember that I used to hate the editor (we were running R/3 4.5B). A few months later I was hired by IBM as SAP ABAP Developer and it completely changed both my career an my life. 😃
Interesting question - I first heard about SAP when I was on my placement year at University. I was working at a UK Bank and they were implementing SAP for HR back in 1999/2000 and my department was going to be working on the Basis implementation work. I had a job offer from the bank for post-University and would work on the project, although I wanted to go back home - so did not take it. Who knew that 2 years later I would land in the Basis field anyway and that over 20 years later I would still be working in the field.
Late 90's. I was a VB analyst-programmer (or whatever). A colleague who moved to DW (data warehouse) to get more cash told us he was leaving to get an SAP course.
He didn't even knew what SAP was, but "the cash is there".
I forgot it until 2004, when another colleague told me his company was recruiting freshers to get an ABAP course ("something related with SAP"). I took that "course", and since then I'm developing in or near an SAP system.
The cash is around, I must admit it... but for some reasons it doesn't fall into my pockets. I prefer a lower income with a happier environment.
I don't exactly remember, but sometime in the late 1990s, the company I then worked for (Kodak in Germany) decided to move from self-programmed systems (with PL/1 on IBM mainframe) for accounts payable and receivable to SAP R/2. But I wasn't really involved with that. I was then still focused on PL/1 where we had to tackle projects like the EURO-introduction and Y2K within our homegrown systems.
Also in the mid to late 1990s, Kodak worldwide decided to switch to SAP R/3 globally, so shortly after we had successfully survived Y2K, I was sent to Walldorf to learn SAP and ABAP from scratch over the span of four intense weeks together with a few colleagues. Luckily, the switch from PL/1 to ABAP wasn't too big a leap and it then took several months of still maintaining our PL/1 code-base and gradually moving into the ABAP space on a then global 3.1 system.
For me it must have been sometime during 2004. In September of that year I attended an SAP XI 2.0 training course, which kickstarted my SAP career.
I had done some Java and XML work previously, and around that time, NetWeaver and products like SAP XI introduced those technologies to the SAP world in a big way.
Hmmm must have been in 1995 or so. I was studying Physics and there was a couple of years when it wasn´t TOO easy to find a job (or maybe I wasn´t too good of a candidate...). I applied for jobs at Anderson, Booz&Hamilton, Boston Consulting, Bull, and that Dutch competitor of SAP in the MFG space - they even offered me a job as a consultant for 2000 DM alleging I wouldn´t spend a lot of money, as I´d live in hotels, customers would invite me for lunch and dinner, and I´d just need 2-3 shirts, sweets, socks and ties and a pair of black shoes.... No thanks!
I started to see a lot of job offers related to SAP, and just applied even not having any idea of SAP.... and "boom" got an invitation from Bertelsmann mediaSystems, now Arvato GmbH. Why? Because I knew some Spanish and could talk to the Mexican key users........ so it started all there with some R/3 2.X systems, and a little glimpse even into R/2...
For me it was in the mid 1990's. I had just finished college and had a couple of job offers - one was as an SAP Developer. I had not heard of SAP before so looked it up and it looked like my kind of challenge!
I started working on R/3 version 2.2 at the tail end of a big SAP implementation in Sydney, Australia. It was a bit of a learning curve, Google had not yet been invented, there was no 'Internet' to look things up about SAP - we just had SAP's internal ABAP system documentation, or the coveted "SAP Help CD's" that we had to order from Walldorf and get posted to us. I would also hit the IT book stores to regularly look for new ABAP or other SAP technical books to quench my knowledge. Those books were the equivalent of gold and would mysteriously go missing from your desk, never to be seen again, if you were not careful of other developers on the prowl near by 😬
I've worked on countless projects and implementations, worked in just about every continent around the world, worked on so many SAP development areas and tools, seen systems and tools from SAP come and go (some wondering why did I invest the time to learn it 😁), worked with a lot of great people and had a great time!
After almost 25 years as an SAP developer this rollercoaster ride is still as fun as it was in the beginning and the learning never ends!
I read about SAP in Freelance Informer in about 1996. I thought that sounds cool, but I'll never be able to get into it - I just don't have the right experience. At the time I was a developer on the All-In-One office application on VAX/VMS, at Eurotunnel.
Then in 1997, Tate & Lyle Sugars (UK) were recruiting internal staff for their SAP systems - no SAP specific experience, or industry experience required, as training would be provided.I had nothing to lose, so applied for it, and somehow got the job. I was initially trained as a PP consultant (with PS, MM secondary), but we were all expected to learn ABAP. Already having experience of a dozen languages (C, Cobol, Modula-2, various assemblers, various 4GLs...) that present no difficulties.
24 years later. Still here and programming!
I was attending a boot camp, 2005, and the presenter was running SAP on her machine. The first time I saw the SAP logo - I just loved the blue SAP Logo - and the slogan "The BEST Run on SAP". The font, the look, the feel, the user interface - it was just NICE..! way better than excel 🙂
Definitely much better than free online software. She navigated so easily in her presentation, every single step in the presentation looked so articulate and results were displayed neatly well. Later on, the more I began to use it, the more it delivered sound business integration practices and a 360-degree view of all functions key to any organization.
To date, that very first impression has never changed, and am passionate in my role of a Business Solutions Consultant in actively assisting other businesses transition from ordinary, entry-level ERP & CRM systems, to the great professional and articulate way SAP is able to transform an ERP experience - just as it did for me 🙂