Skills for the SAP PI developer in 2012

In late December 2011 I performed a survey to learn how people see their skills in the SAP PI space. There were 40 respondents on the survey, which gave a good indication of some trends. But I don’t think it has statistical significance, it is way too long time I have had statistics to remember how to calculate it.

Watch the video to get a commentary on the results.

I wanted to learn what people found most important, and also where they saw they needed to improve in 2012. I did have some areas that I expected to be interesting. I got the following responses.

Topic Now Want to learn
Adapter usage

27

7

B2B setup

11

12

BPM and BPMN

19

18

Business understanding

19

11

Development methodology

17

8

Edifact/X12 mapping

10

13

IDOC

25

6

Java mappings

17

16

Mappings

31

6

Module development

9

16

Naming Convention

16

4

Project participation

17

7

Proxy / Enterprise SOA

22

12

XSL mappings

11

10

Grand Total

251

149

 

I have highlighted those areas that I find most interesting and people voted for.

Almost everybody said that adapters and mappings are most important to know, and not a lot wanted to learn it. I do agree that you cannot make anything if you don’t how to use the adapter or mappings. There must be some threshold where you need to have your skills regarding adapters. You need to know those adapters that you are using, and then it is not difficult to learn new adapters. It is much similarly with graphical mappings, the basic concepts of it is quite difficult to understand, but when you get there you can move easy.

The BPM and BPMN are quite high also. This is something that people want to learn in this coming year. I have an idea that we do not get to use the tools often enough to become used to ccBPM. I think that you can be a good SAP PI developer, without using BPM. It is not a lot of use cases where it makes sense to have them. A skill is also to know when to use BPM and when not to. I would though recommend that you practice when you have the chance.

Of upcoming things it looks like the module development and java mappings is excellent examples on where we can improve our skills. I guess that I will make sense to make some courses in this perspective to make people learn how to use the tools much better.

The naming conventions are also quite important for people, but it is not something that they want to learn more about. I guess this was something that I should have known before I created my naming convention program last year. I would though still think that it is something that people could use.

Proxy and Enterprise SOA is also a hot topic to be good at. I don’t know if the two topics should have been split, it would probably have made sense. It is two different skills that you need to acquire to use them. Proxy is the technical part where E SOA is the business part.

There were also free text fields to get the input that I forgot.

Other skill that is important is to be able to understand the flow of the processes involved. It makes it easier to understand if you know something about the lingo and know why the business wants something.

ABAP has mentioned by a lot of people. I think it is quite true, it becomes much easier if you can do a little ABAP around proxys or idoc extensions.

One of the big items that I forgot was the troubleshooting and monitoring aspects. Every pi developer needs to take his terms in supporting a running PI solution. We all need to be good at the support part, if we want to serve our clients or employer’s.

One take away from it is that the last 2 weeks before Christmas is not a good time, if you want to have a lot of comments. I guess that it is something; I’ll take into consideration next year.

The winners of the survey has been notified.

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