Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.”.
I love what I do, that being programming, and when that is the case, you also have the motivation for it. I am an SAP ABAP Developer with 8 years of project experience in IT consulting firms, having the opportunity to work on international projects, for industries like Automotive or License Management. In addition to my experience, I have a solid educational foundation and a passion for programming.
My story began in June 2020 when I decided to learn for 2 SAP certifications, which I passed successfully. The first one was SAP Certified Development Specialist - ABAP for SAP HANA 2.0, obtained in September 2020 and the second one was SAP Certified Development Associate - SAP Fiori Application Developer, obtained in December 2020. In my case, I had no experience with either HANA or FIORI, so I started from scratch. The idea behind it was to learn these new technologies for possible future projects. In my opinion, it is easier to get certified later if you have the experience, than it is to get the experience later if you have a certification.
From my point of view, the SAP certifications are currently the most demanding certifications in the Information Technology world. However, the IT field innovation never sleeps, so I realized that I need to work hard to get to the top. My learning journey lasted 7 months, which is not that much if you think about the fact that I was preparing for two different exams.
Why do this?
Some people prefer to get certified, but others, even if they are good specialists, do not. I believe that both aspects are important, a combination of experience and certifications is always the best way to work on the project you want. Certification is a valuable tag in the job marketplace, it does verify at least a certain level of knowledge.
Most of the people who get certified are doing it for reasons like a better job, a higher income, reputation, recognition, promotion, etc. All these reasons could also apply in my case, but above all, I was eager to learn about these platforms and I enjoyed it. Mostly, when it comes to projects, there is a greater chance of being proposed for a project, compared to other colleagues with the same level of experience. The most important thing for me is that I have achieved the SAP certifications not only for better project roles or a higher income but also for my pure passion regarding SAP.
The following steps kept me focused and with the eyes on the prize: The key to success is: “Study, Study & Study”. There is a lot of information to cover for the exams. Thus, why you must invest a good amount of time to study all of it. It is not the kind of exam for which you can study the night before it. You should plan and start preparing months before the exam date. For me, it was really helpful to have an action plan, especially when the preparation time was short, I made a daily learning plan, and I stuck to it no matter what.
I used Assessment Questions from SAP certification exam materials. There are several sources available, online and offline, that helped me in self-preparation for the examination. I also read blogs and other sources of information that were available online, related to the study. Many exam questions are tricky and it’s important to understand the logic behind them. I also went through all the materials and all the assessments from the SAP Learning Hub, concerning the exams. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed by a large number of study materials, but with patience and perseverance, you can manage through. I set my goal to pass the exams from the first attempt.
The route to get certified is like climbing a mountain, mostly when you get on the top you feel the beauty of the journey. When I finished the exam and saw the positive result, I felt proud, grateful, and relieved. Just like being on top of the mountain, I had a feeling of accomplishment and happiness. These experiences increased my confidence and gave me the courage and motivation to learn more. A new milestone was added to my career.
There is another important aspect to becoming a real specialist. That would be practice, practice, and then again, practice. As soon as you are SAP certified as a professional, your responsibility will be increased, and you need to keep the habit of learning and practice.
I can honestly say it was worth the effort because I really improved my SAP skills and now I feel more confident when it comes to being part of several streams or projects.