In recent years, the world has experienced a skyrocketing demand for developers. The pace of technological advancement has surpassed what many organizations were prepared to implement, sustain, and secure, making the role of developer a top opportunity in the job market.

However, despite the role’s growing benefits, today’s developers crave resources for constant career growth and learning so they can keep up with ever-changing job requirements.

Learn SAP for free — anywhere, anytime

SAP has long offered robust learning and certification opportunities for developers, all of which fueled career growth and opened doors to fantastic opportunities. When we launched the SAP Learning site in 2021, we started out with seven learning journeys for developers only. Today, we provide more than 140 learning journeys for various roles and skill levels. We are excited to further these offerings with a new role-based certification opportunity and free learning content for backend developers with ABAP Cloud, alongside a new free massive open online course (MOOC), Generative AI at SAP, to help developers build generative AI skills.

There are many reasons why I’m excited to share these offerings with our developer community, but today I’ll share three key reasons developers will benefit from this new role-based certification in particular.

A True Focus on the Future With AI and ABAP Cloud

Today’s developers require constant adaptation and learning in order to keep up with the tremendous pace of change in the tech sector. Gartner predicts that by 2028, 75% of enterprise software engineers will use AI coding assistants, up from less than 10% in early 2023.

However, AI isn’t the only fundamental turning point that our ecosystem is seeing. As organizations continue to navigate hybrid work, the continual shift to cloud will continue to be a key player in the tech space. In fact, by 2027, Gartner predicts that more than 50% of enterprises will use industry cloud platforms to accelerate their business initiatives, up from less than 15% in 2023.

This trend has led to the emergence of ABAP Cloud, presenting an entirely new version of the language and runtime that’s available to all customers running ABAP-based applications. ABAP remains highly relevant for developers extending SAP S/4HANA, and our new certification gives these developers the opportunity to continue capitalizing on the knowledge they have while upgrading their skills to prepare for the most modern, cloud-ready version of ABAP.

Unlock Doors to Unexpected Career Paths

I’m always inspired by learner stories, particularly of people whose careers totally transformed.

Take Baiba’s story for example. The 35-year-old from Latvia was optimistic about finding a job after studying European economics around the time Latvia joined the European Union. However, when the 2008 economic crisis hit, she found it increasingly difficult to secure a job. Baiba decided to explore the tech industry, going back to school for computer science and participating in a two week-long intense boot camp where she learned about ABAP and SAP. She secured a paid internship afterwards, eventually leading to her full-time position at Accenture as an ABAP developer.

“ABAP is evolving and has taken many best practices from the industry,” she explains. “It’s the backbone of SAP and has become a thing where everyone can find something exciting and interesting.”

In some parts of the world, certifications are table stakes to even be considered for a developer position. We strive to unlock barriers to entry and make certifications, such as the ABAP Cloud certification for backend developers, more accessible to learners of all backgrounds.

What I love about this learner story is how Baiba was open to career options outside of what she had studied in school. There is value in “pivoting” no matter what stage you are in your career journey, as it can unlock doors to an entirely unexpected path.

My own career has taken a variety of twists and turns that led me to lead the SAP Learning organization. From consulting to founding a startup to teaching business to joining SAP in a corporate strategy role — I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to see firsthand how being open to a pivot can pay off tremendously.

Focus on Roles and Opportunities, Not on Products

While product-based certifications are necessary for certain roles and responsibilities, we are shifting to more role-based offerings to make the skillset of a learner even more attractive and adaptable in today’s dynamic and evolving job market. The new role-based certification and corresponding learning journeys, covering ABAP development on SAP BTP and the SAP S/4HANA solution, are designed to help developers with the skills required to build cloud-ready extensions aligned with SAP’s clean core strategy, preparing them for a role as an ABAP Cloud backend developer.

By combining the power of ABAP Cloud and business AI skills with the help of SAP, developers can unlock their full potential and set themselves up for success. Alongside our Enterprise Architect certification, the new role-based certification for ABAP Cloud backend developers and free learning content continues our journey to provide more accessible digital skill development opportunities. And there is more to come, with another role-based certification soon to be launched for backend developers using SAP Cloud Application Programming Model.

As the industry evolves at a rapid pace, we’ll continue to roll out learning content to equip learners with the skills they need to succeed in the future, no matter their background.

Max Wessel is chief learning officer at SAP.

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