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Welcome to the JonERP.com Podcast Directory

This podcast directory provides handy previews, in text format, of all the podcasts available for download at JonERP.com. There are also video podcasts in the SAP Blog section. Note: The JonERP iTunes feed is currently the most complete audio feed of all new audio content, as Jon posts audio of his video podcasts and hangouts in that feed also. If you're a video fan you'll want to track JD-OD.com also.
 
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SAP Podcast: Jon Reed Interviews Thomas Jung of SAP Labs Print E-mail

"The Future of SAP Development"
Podcast Interview Date: February 7, 2008
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SAP development is changing rapidly, and this technical evolution is impacting both technical and functional SAP professionals. To get an inside look at the future of SAP development, Jon interviewed Thomas Jung, NetWeaver Product Manager with SAP Labs and an influential blogger on the SAP Developer Network.

Jon asked Thomas about a number of "hot button" topics in the SAP development space, including the innovations of the CE environment and the modeling tools needed for eSOA-driven development, the impact of outsourcing and how to make your skills "outsourcing proof," why ABAP development is alive and well, and how's SAP's SDN and BPX communities are affecting how SAP professionals interact with SAP and enhance their skill sets.

In this thirty-three minute interview, hosted by Jon Franke of SearchSAP.com, "the two Jons" and Thomas cover the following topics:

- Thomas' role at SAP Labs and how his NetWeaver Product Management team is involved with the rollout of the NetWeaver product line and the interaction with SAP users at events and seminars.

- Why the online communities have had such an effect on SAP development and how knowledge about SAP products and skills trends is disseminated.

- Jon asks Thomas to explain why his presentation on "Updating Your ABAP Skills to NetWeaver 7.0" has been so well received at SAP conferences, and what the key adjustments a 4.6 SAP developer has to make to be effective in NetWeaver 7.x and eSOA environments. Thomas points out that one key aspect of the "SAP developer of the future" is simply mastering object-oriented programming and ABAP Objects - something you can get started on even while working on 4.x projects.

- Frequently, Jon his from readers who ask him "is ABAP dead?" Thomas puts these fears to rest once and for all by explaining that ABAP is still very much a part of the NetWeaver development environment. He describes some of the situations where ABAP is more useful and some where Java-based tools are more relevant. ABAP works best for powering high-volume, core transactions and Java is ideal for "edge programming" where SAP is extending its functionality via Enterprise Services. But ABAP can be "opened up" as well, and many new SAP components are built partially or fully in ABAP.

- The impact of offshoring - Thomas gives his take on which SAP projects are better suited for outsourcing and which development projects are more effective to have in-house. Thomas doesn't believe that it makes sense to outsource all SAP development projects, and he goes on to describe some of the ways that SAP programmers can make their skills "outsourcing proof": don't build a "wall" between you and the rest of the team, keep up on your knowledge, stay visible, and become known as the person who learns the latest SAP technical tools and shares them with others. 

- Thomas shares the highlights of the SAP Composition Environment (CE), including the integration between CE and the Enterprise Services Repository (ESR), Visual Composer, Guided Procedures, and the other bells and whistles of this EE 5 environment.

- What is the makeup of the ideal SAP project team? Thomas puts on his CIO hat and talks about the kinds of people he would put on his SAP technical project team. More than anything, he'd be looking for self-starters who aggressively educate themselves through their involvement with SDN and other learning communities. He'd want to see a mixture of Internet, Java, and ABAP skills on the team, but more important than specific tools is an SAP technical team that can adapt to the pace of innovation.

- In terms of "soft" business skills, Thomas places a high value on those who get outside their cubicles and interact with the project team, making an effort to transfer knowledge to other team members. Thomas believes that you can't get away with being a "cubicle coder," anymore. If you aren't needed on site, then you run the risk of being outsourced. One way to differentiate yourself is to know enough about the business to be able to help business users define their requirements and what they want to accomplish technically.

- Thomas explains why the latest batch of modeling tools are catching on and why modeling is having such an impact on SAP development. There are two types of modeling tools: those that help business users model processes on a higher level without needing to program (Visual Programmers), and those that help programmers reduce repetitive programming tasks (Web Dynpro for Java being one example, and other modeling tools added to the NetWeaver Developer Studio and the ABAP Workbench being other examples).

- Jon asks Thomas about SAP's eSOA strategy and how it is impacting development. Thomas agrees that eSOA will allow companies to build Enterprise Services using the language and platform of their choice, but he also notes that SAP is building some of the best SOA development and consumption tools on the market.

- Jon Franke of SearchSAP.com asks Thomas about how business users can get more involved in these trends, and Thomas points out the BPX community, and how business users can get involved in a variety of ways, including through BPX's industry vertical communities.

- Jon points out that Thomas' "Update Your ABAP Skills to NetWeaver 7.0" seminar is available on the Virtual TechEd '07 track on SDN (for a fee), and Thomas shares the forward schedule for when this workshop will be held next.

- Thomas wraps the podcast with a compelling argument to avoid career panic in the face of new SAP technologies. He makes the point that SAP developers should follow their passions, and when you are the best at what you do, that's an excellent way "outsource-proof" your skills.

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