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!
that sound's almost my story. When I started business engineering studies after I have understood that mechanical engineering is already solved, I had the chance to educate Students with the SAP basis in 1997 after I had installed the first time SAP R/3 3.1H and a classroom with 20 PC and one MAC device (yes, it was possible at this time) and I thought them SAP Basics ...
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 🙂
For me it was my father was hired by SAP. That was the first time I had heard of SAP. That would eventually lead to him suggesting I consider sending my resume into SAP as SAP was hiring people right out of college. That ended up with me working for SAP and then at various customers of SAP for the next 17 years. That lead me towards my current focus which is Enterprise Architecture.
In Italy, between 4th and 5th year of highschool, schools organize for each student 3-4 weeks of job in a company (big or small) related to your study address.
At that time (1999) i was studying as accountant (fun fact: i tried to avoid as much as possibile everything related to my studies 😄 ) so i ended up for my 4 weeks doing some data entry on SAP 3.6 (could be?) and then forgot it.
After some years, i was layed off and i was searching a new job: a company proposed me to attend the (in)famous BC400 course and then send me to their customer as developer; I vaguely remember SAP name but nothing more, but i need a job so I accepted since, in the worst case, i had a new course in my resumee.
It was 2004, I ended up in the same company where i did my 4 weeks in summer in 1999 and...well, i think i nailed it somehow since i worked as consultant for them for 12 years 🙂
I am a SAP-Oldie. I first got involved in 1989 with SAP R/2 Version 4.3. Next I came into touch doing a Migration to SAP R/3 2.2G followed by R/3 3.0B (about 1994)
-> 3.1I > 4.0C > 4.6C > ERP 6.0 with EhP 3...8 > S/4HANA ....
It was an interesting journy for meanwhile 33 years.
It is really easy for me to remember it.
It was the 3td of July 1998, just before the football match France - Italia (for the word cup).
I just sign my contract as developper for an IT company. There was nobody outside, no car, the streets were totaly empty (like for the COVID 🙂 ).
And I start my first day of ABAP learning the following day of the World cup final. Obviously the learning session start with some delay.
I also remember the first time I saw this famous editor :
(thanks for Eclipse !!)
Great Journey, your 10 Years Journey is very nice. Sir, i have also 8 Year journey with SAP FI as end User. I would like to change from end user to sap fico consultant, i have learn course in outside institute, is it possible to change from sap end user to FI Consultant.
Kindly Suggest. Please
It was in 1996 when I first heard the three letters, when I was looking for alternative careers... I still remember those tough days learning the SAP R/3, I remember people were still talking about R/2... I started off with R/3 Sales & Distribution Module. A long journey to current day's several *4HANA Products..
I joined TCS, India as my first company on 2nd Jan 2017. There I was allotted with a batch of 30 guys (out of 120 developer profiles). I was thinking, either we are the best 30, or the worst 30.
I immediately called my elder brother to confirm if I should plan to switch from SAP profile or not. Well, he told me it is a awesome thing to be a part of. And that's how my journey began with SAP.
P.S: Certainly, we were the super 30 😉
I guess I heard of SAP for the first time in the mid 90's as a friend of mine did an internship at SAP and even started his work life with SAP in 1997 - to be honest, had no real clue what SAP is and does (he tried to explain it to me several times, I never understood it 🤔) .. anyway I started my work life early 1998, and 1999 our company was bought by SAP - which coincidence..
...and my first real touch point with SAP Software was the usage of the famous own-developed SAP internal email system MLP... my god, was I shocked 🤣 .. but since then everything developed quite nicely from my perspective 👍
I was recruited by a "head hunter" in 1997 as I had some reputation as a database administrator, apparently. Within 2 years I was already very active in the America's SAP Users Group. The pre-Y2K ramp-up was successful enough that I spent December 31, 1999 in downtown Baltimore without a pager (remember them?).
Meanwhile, the SAP Community Network was at work (if that make sense).
13 years ago tomorrow, one of several logon adventures.