From loathe to love – my feeling towards programming

Graduate: From loathe to love – my feeling towards programming

Hi All, I am at the end of my 2nd placement and after a nice break, I’ll be moving on to my last graduate placement in the New Year.

As mentioned in my last blog, I chose to work in SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) due to the nature of it being a large software system where the possibilities are endless. In my current placement, I'm working in the British Gas Billing team. All of our customers get a bill monthly or quarterly and everytime the bill is produced, it is done through SAP.

Joining the billing team was a great chance to understand how the billing process works, how payments are processed, how tariffs are configured and to gain a greater understanding of the company as a whole, because the bill links to everything – from the type of house a customer lives in, to if a customer wants to pay by Mag Card. (I’ve never used one either!).

I’ve worked on quite a few projects during this placement including one large one called Revenue Assurance where I have been investigating any issues around billing. After learning ABAP I was able to improve a report which was introduced as part of the revenue assurance project. This report checks every account (and we have a lot!) to make sure there are no inconsistencies found. Once we have the report output – any accounts with errors are fixed, and there we have it- Revenue is assured.

So now, to answer your previous question, ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) is SAP’s very own programming language. There are not many systems that have a language only used by them, but because SAP can do so many things – I mean you could literally run a large business just using SAP and many people do – it has its own language which is similar to C & C#. After debugging through programs and writing a few of my own, I am now ABAP literate. As those of you who write code would know, debugging is a lifesaver.

To those of you who are thinking “Oh dear, me and code are like chalk and cheese”, worry not. I HATED programming at university – it was the subject I least looked forward to, however I seem to like ABAP. I’m sure it won’t be the same for everyone, but if programming isn’t for you – there’s always other things to do within SAP, such as being a functional analyst which is what I did in my first placement.

SAP isn’t the only system in place at British Gas. For example, IS Grads Vicky and Alex are working with the software Hadoop in Big Data. Or Ollie, a new IS Grad, is working in a team that checks out our system to make sure it remains secure.

There are a lot of opportunities within British Gas, and joining the graduate scheme gives you the chance to learn something new – or develop something you already have.

My next placement will be in a Solution Architect role still working with SAP. This is going to be a bit different to my first two roles, but the knowledge I have gained so far gives me a great foundation going forward.