Me @SAP Labs, India

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I started with working for Business Partner and later moved to Product Master Application area. Both belongs to Master Data Management SAP S/4 HANA.

  • Master Data? This was first explained by my buddy in our first meeting. There is Transactional Data and Master Data. He shared, it is the central source and core information which would not change frequently. This is used as base for any transactions like selling, purchase, procuring, producing, stock transfer e.t.c. Transactional data is which would change is not a core but more based per transaction.
  • Business Partner? A Business Partner can be a office, a group of people, an organizations in which SAP’s customer’s company has a business interest. Let’s say the companies or offices, Nestle has a interest in.
  • Product Master? This contains information on all the materials that a company store, sells, procures or produces. It can be about a car, car part or even a consulting service.

During my time with SAP:

  1. In Manage Customer Master Data and Manage Supplier Master Data I enabled extensibility feature. Extensibility is something which is specific to customer. Using this feature customer can add more fields in the tables, have it on the UI, have their own checks on them i.e., extending the SAP delivered application in a way which suits their need. These two applications were built from scratch using Smart Template, BOPF, CDS, OData.
  2. I then moved to supporting extensibility in Manage Product Master. Enabled extensibility for more parts of application in further releases with this was also responsible for keeping all up in not so stable development systems.
  3. Responsible for enabling Product Master Hierarchy Type using classification data. The path contains classes and characteristics. This was a highlight as IS-Media Integration with Product Master Application in the year 2017. To understand this in generic terms, a product can have associated categories based on classes and characteristics. A car can be in different colors or features. Cars can also be divided into classes. With this, integration of three areas which were classification, Media Hierarchy and Product Master was implemented. I wrote a blog post which has more details.
  4. Solely responsible for back-end for enabling Article Hierarchy in Product Master application. This was challenging for me given the requirements, discussions and planning happened. Worked on enabling the display scenario on the front-end. Aricle Hierarchy was shipped as separate, OData Service, UI5 component and BOPF component. It was enabled as a loosely coupled component with Product Master Application without having any associations to the main entity Product/Material. I wrote a blog post which has more details.
  5. With SAP moving forward to cloud, security is primary concern in SAP digital core. I was responsible for enabling row level authorization of CDS views using DCLs for Product Master. CDS views are more powerful way with which every field exposed from SAP’s table can be controlled. Every CDS view will have a SQL view attached with it. CDS views can be considered as the endpoint to have access to the specified columns or part of tables. SAP ships these CDS views with the application, which also means the customers or 2nd level customer can have access to data like address, accounts information if not protected. To protect these data accesses Data Control Language is used. This blog post has more details.
  6. I was solely responsible for keeping 400+ CDS views automated test covered with 100% coverage using ABAP CDS Test Double Framework. This was released after I joined Product Master Application area. Also was responsible for ODATA Automation and for automation of authorization test for the DCLs protected CDS views.
  7. While working on all these I enhanced core methods, API; mainly backend, worked on high priority customer incidents. Responsible for core and transactional CDS views changes for enhancements done in Product Master Fiori Application to handle Maintenance Status; dynamic field handling.
  8. SAP is going to file a patent on the invention submission that I ideated and gave it a better shape with my colleague Venkat Bhargav A.S. A super nice person who is different than what he seems, btw. I was surprised that this silent, all time formal person, has a sense of humour; first time, during a call.
  9. I got to meet this person and heard him speaking about everything he does with his family and team. There are NGOs and organization who won’t make you feel slightly uncomfortable, but this one makes you touch so many different possible aspects of human life. I can’t imagine what goes in his mind when he starts his every new morning.
  10. Became friends with her ♥. She wrote/drew for me and also cooked on my birthday. Me haven’t.DSC04744.JPGI I do not have permission to share any other photo of her.If you need any information about the technical details that I mentioned above, shoot me a mail or Tweet to me; would be happy to talk starting from most basic and minor details, the information which is available on the help guides and documentation.

Also..

  1. I sprinted on OWASP Hackademic project in their summer of code program.
  2. Became Maintainer for Systers Portal and Volunteer Management System. Worked as Google Summer of Code, Google Code InOutreachy mentor for these two projects.
  3. Organized and mentored Learn IT girl!, second season.
  4. Received Anita Borg Systers Pass-It-On Award Fall 2015 to work on improving the number of women in open source.
  5. Invited to speak in Django Con Europe’15(Views in Django), Linux Con Europe’15(Faults in Linux 3.x), PyCon UK’15(Share Your Code @PyPI), Open Source and Feelings’15(Don’t get scared, get started!), Latinity Conference’15(Faults in Linux 3.x), FOSSCON’15(Faults in Linux 3.x), GitHub CodeConf’16(Contributing to Linux Kernel), PyCon UK’16, Django Under The Hood’15 and ‘16; all fully funded; at DTU, IEEE Delhi Section SAC on getting started with open sources and in FOSSMEET’16 at NIT Calicut on Contributing to Linux Kernel(Workshop) and Getting Started with Contributing to Open Sources(talk).
  6. Became Quora Top Writer, 2016. A question and answer site with Alexa rank of 159. Mostly written about open sources, programming and computer science.

SAP! ☞

Numbers

To relate it with the market and how has it grown you can read the history here. If you read here, in global developments,

SAP Labs China marks the ninth opening of a development location outside of Walldorf. This and the other research centers in India, Japan, Israel, France, Bulgaria, Canada, and the United States help SAP convert IT expertise into business utility for its customers. The company now employs around 30,000 employees, approximately 17,000 of whom work outside of Germany.

The total headcount now is 87800+ in more than 130 countries. 365,000+ customers in more than 180 countries, with SAP S/4HANA celebrating 1,000 live customers. SAP is huge and growing!

SAP Labs India was founded in November 1998; current numbers here.

Technologies

Mostly SAP!

Big old royal chunks are written using SAP ABAP and Java, mostly former. With SAP Fiori, the goal is to simplify the user experience in Cloud and ERP.

SAP Fiori Apps library has all apps which are Fiorified. Mostly they are built on a stack which includes

  1. Smart template
  2. SAP UI5
  3. OData services
  4. Business Object Processing Framework (BOPF)
  5. CDS views
  6. ABAP Programming Language
  7. SAP’s internal testing tools, all follow setup and teardown methodology.

Different software component categories are (taken from wiki)

  • SAP_BASIS is the required technical base layer which is required in every ABAP system.
  • SAP_ABA contains functionalities which is required for all kinds of business applications, like business partner and address management.
  • SAP_UI provides the functionality to create SAP UI5 applications.
  • BBPCRM is an example for a business application, in this case the CRM application
  • SAP ABAP is an ERP programming language.

Show and Tells With Other Teams

SAP is huge hence they have many different developments going on everyday, in different locations of the world. There are JAM pages for special interests. You are free to schedule a show and tell with someone outside your team if you wish to learn what they do. I did these since the start but gained a bit more momentum after finalizing my leaving date. I would suggest to schedule regularly from the start to be more closer and deeper into the bigger picture.

Fancy!

Campus and Events

SAP Labs Bangalore campus is big.

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There is a badminton court(♥), lawn tennis court, play room, nice gym, cafeterias, path for runners, big parking area, all the cool things to make you feel comfortable!

All festivals are celebrated with same enthusiasm. Rangoli, special food menus; I also heard dhol sounds in campus at times, people singing and dancing.

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Events would be going on all over the year. Hackathons, talks, special interest talks, workshops, sports competitions. SAP organizes family day, annual day, fresher’s day, went to school to teach kids, do paintings with them.

 

During Diwali time

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Foood

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There were team outings to different locations and resorts, dinners, lunches, LOB events.

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I had some or the other work during these times, so skipped kind of most of the above.

SAP4Good events

I think I attended most of them them as and when I got the chance.

The best part handled by good planning and support was, after a while we were all free to talk, see everyone around and interact with people in most of these visits.

There were InspireUs events where people like Rahul Dravid, R.Madhvan came and gave talk. My friend is a fan of both, I attended one, at the time of second one I left SAP; she didn’t attend, bad me.

I heard they also invited Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam sometime back in 2010, sadly I don’t think I can hear him in person now.

Work Culture

great place

It depends on your team; on you. In releases, I vouched for more work and then worked more.

There are shuttle with Wi-Fi enabled, there were late night cabs; with different timings for both of them. I tend to walk till 3 to 4 kilometers of commute so didn’t used shuttles much.

You can read about employee ratings here and here. Many more are covered here by Mahuya Paul.

I am sure I have missed quite a few things in the fancy ones.

I plan to speak, write more about ^^ sometime in future. To work more closely with systems engineering and distributed systems projects and investing full time in learning and implementing things in programming langauges that I really want to explore more I have joined Mapbox engineering team, woot! 🎉​

 

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