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[SCN] kids these days...

People keep making fun of ABAP "dinosaurs" who don't use OOP but there are so many SCN questions showing complete lack of understanding of even basic concepts of Computer Science. For example:

- confusing FTP, HTTP, and URL;

- no clue about a JOIN and UNION difference;

- no idea how printing happens;

- "how to move file from AL11 to share-point" (moderator alerted), can't even express the task using the correct terminology.

These are all from ABAP tag. Do these folks not have a degree in computer science? Are these things not taught in schools these days? I got my degree long time ago but we had classes on the OS, Electronics, DB management, etc. There is Wikipedia these days to fill up any gaps and Khan Academy has some very good (and short!) clips like 'How does Internet work".

Is this some education system failure? Or did our generation just had to learn more about the basics because we had to type in OS commands manually? :)

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Mar 06 at 06:06 PM

Its not just ABAP.
If my understanding is correct, you ABAP'ers rarely actually install something or configure network.
In BI/Analytics admins are tasked with installations, network config and interfacing with other third party products and technologies - yet we still get questions on basic stuff.

I blame the instant glorification culture :)
All those online campaigns "code in a week", "certification boot camps" etc...

I see it even with recent comp science students - they learn coding and high end languages, before they learn how computers or networks work.

are we in the "get off my lawn" category now ?

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"Learn SAP in 24 hours" :) Yeah, that could be.

It's true, ABAPers are usually not involved in the infrastructure work. But I'm starting to worry about the future of my lawn in the hands of this generation. :)

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you're just starting ?

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i got my linkedin stream full of people saying "Screw resumees! Attend Code<something> and you'll be able to improve your skills and find new jobs!".

Yes, the Code<something> events are a good way to have a different point of view on a topic and to challenge yourself as well as for networking, but they cannot give you a deep knowledge nor a minimal one (speaking of professional levels!)

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Don't even get me started on the radio ads: "Joe Schmo was flipping burgers but now, only after a 1-month training at our Technical Institute he has a job earning 70,000 USD annually as a network security expert". Give me a break.

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Jelena Perfiljeva
Mar 14 at 08:24 PM

I would have used $70,000 or $70k to describe the salary, but me-thinks you work with SAP s/w...

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Yep, supporting SAP for both US and Canada branches teaches one very fast to start using proper currency codes in communications. :)

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My main problem with this is, that most of these people seem to absolutly lack the desire to solve their issues themselves. The only use they have for google is to find this site and ask their question. And some fail even at that.

IMO if you don't like solving issues, you're not suited for IT work in any way. Being able to troubleshoot is one of the main characteristics every IT person should have.

You don't need to know everything, but I expect that you want to learn more day by day. But not even trying to find your own answers... I get really, really annoyed by stuff like that.

Have alerted some lazy (and basic) questions by a user in the last hours, where the main body of the question was a "hi" or "please". I mean really?! GRRRRR!

Saying "I'm new to this" means absoluly nothing. I wasn't born with my current knowledge either, I had to gain it.

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So true! Sometimes I feel SCN (and IT field in general) is full of "The Reluctant Programmer" types from here:

Rather than urge their kids to be doctors or lawyers, some parents push 
their progeny to go into software development. Sometimes it works out. 
And sometimes the poor, benighted offspring gaze out of the office 
window yearning for hard labor in the 95-degree heat -- anything except 
spending their lives doing something they don't want to do, whether or 
not they have the aptitude for it. Usually their work is mediocre, and 
they're out the door every day at 4:55 p.m. sharp.
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Jelena Perfiljeva
Mar 07 at 05:48 PM

Some 'Lopsided Workforce' inspiration from Mike Rowe:

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Jelena Perfiljeva
Mar 14 at 08:46 PM

4:55pm! Good lord, that's late. I'm out the door at 4:00pm sharp!

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I find these questions frightening.

We’ve all been new, and we don’t know what background these people come from (might be a functional going techie?).


What is the setup/culture/competency level that they can’t find this out from colleagues?

I assume someone asking a simple question and working at a real company either

A) should be able to run this past their immediate team, or

B) is bulls***ing their way through pretending to know more than they do

In case of option a, this represents how smart a team is, and in case of b, ... well, either way these are people building major ERP Systems.

But it s the end customer’s responsibility to ensure that competent people are building their systems.

But ultimately the beancounters call the shots.

And this is how large companies are run these days.

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On (A) I actually asked a question back in 2016: Why do people not ask their teams for help?

Sadly, you're right about the "bean counters". And it's not just in IT/SAP, we can see all over the place where the thinking does not go farther than "how do we prop up the stock price before the 3rd quarter shareholder meeting". Saving today on cheap outsourcing even though unqualified resources will screw up your business for years to come.

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For some reason like is not working for me, but I can't agree more....
Its like ability to plan for more than 2 weeks is no longer a skill that is required in senior management.

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What scares me it's always the "No, the requirements is to use this exactly worthless and wrong technology" attitude of many developers.

People always seems to be afraid by saying "no, it's the wrong approach" to a customer or an user as well as admitting they do not know something.

For my very personal experience i always found more rewarding on the long run to say "Sorry, i never did this before and i have no idea on how to start. If you want and trust me, i'll investigate and ask and give a try".
At the end, customers always accepted errors (they happen) without a blink and they begun to trust me more than "big names in consultancy".
And the same it's happening with my boss here: he wanted to fire me after 2 weeks, but now he's happy to not having done it, appreciating the fact i can say no and offering a different point of view.

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Simone Milesi
6 days ago

Sounds like a great blog post topic that would generate some deep conversations!

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Maybe i'll write it :)

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I saw that question yesterday and had to bite my tongue. Thanks for chiming in with an answer. It's really ridiculous. Not only it's an old (ancient, actually) technology but you don't even know how to achieve a goal with it, so wouldn't this be a perfect case to get rid of the old stuff?

"I don't know but I'll find out" is a great answer for a consultant. Much more preferred to just "I don't know but I'll pretend I do and just feed you misinformation or provide you with a bad solution".

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Another gem: Excel can't open XLSX file. Well, that's because you're sending plain text with XLSX extension...

SAP came through on this one though.

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i got a slow week (finally and strangely) and you are killing my will to come back and look at questions, Jelena :(

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Simone Milesi
6 days ago

Slow week - good for blog writing ^^ hint hint

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Gotta love this even more - our teachers are asking why they teach math with calculators / watches / phones / computers available. Yes, they hand out the laptops at an earlier and earlier age. Yes, if they even teach basic math it stops at first grade. Complex problems just put them into the computer.

Oh boy! And a dinosaur expects them to know the basics. I'm guessing they are never taught the basics.



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That's why I'm rather curious what does a CS program look like these days. Are students simply not taught basics anymore?

My kid is in 3rd grade and they don't use calculators yet. More over, their tasks demand not just a solution but also an explanation how did they arrive at their answer. Sometimes it makes no sense to me but at least I hope when these students grow up they'll be able to do some basic analysis.

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Jelena Perfiljeva
5 days ago

Woohoo! Glad to hear there are some schools out there that make sense. I may have exaggerated a little here but not by much.

If you think about it when there weren't cash registers... People really had to do things. Now if I go to McDonalds and the total is 15.55 I give them 21 - and I get a blank look as they punch it into the machine. Or if they have made change ahead of the time this really confuses them.

I'm just saying the further we get along the less basics we need to know. I couldn't create a computer from scratch. 010101010 - yup can't do the whole binary coding either. I don't remember much about DOS either.

If SAP really moves more and more to a place where they don't want you to change the code underneath the covers -- then that piece will be lost. And we all will be experts on the front end, but not know what is underneath. I don't think this will happen. 1. ABAP is still alive. 2. it's just too expensive to have SAP itself code all the changes needed under the covers.

I digress - yes it would be interesting to see the CS degree. I learned COBOL, RPG, BASIC, and C. I don't use any of them. But the logic helps me even now. (BTW - I probably couldn't code in any of them now, not unless they had the 30 days to be an expert in ... :) )

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Cash registers - LOL. Once a cashier accidentally punched in a wrong number and was at complete loss what to do now. They didn't know how to calculate the change. I told them an answer from the top of my head. They did not believe me. :) Went to get a calculator.

When I tried to explain (there was no one behind me) that this can be easily calculated by separating tens and ones they looked at me as if I was talking quantum physics. To be fair, the cashiers are probably not the brightest candles but still, it's 1st grade stuff.

Well, this is another reason why I always pay with a card these days. So I suspect the change calculation skills will also be completely lost at some point in future. :)

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Yup... I got my first job running a cash register at a pharmacy when I was 14 because I was the only person they'd ever seen who got all of the questions right on the "making change" test....

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Dell Stinnett-Christy
2 days ago

So there ya go, kids: learn how to count money and you'll end up with an SAP job! :)

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