I think the news about the shutdown of the openSAP platform came as a mild shock to many. 'Hola, hola, where will we now deeply learn about the myriad things offered by the SAP ecosystem?'
The answer, as we already know, is SAP Learning. And now the question is - how many people who eagerly awaiting full and 'meaty' courses on openSAP (or exercises from Tech Ed/Devtoberfest on GitHub) regularly visited SAP Learning. I confess without hesitation that I rarely and rather avoided this site as a learning source. Why?
Some time ago, various tutorials on SAP Learning site were simply discouraging and overwhelming in their form - many of them were one-liner 'copy/paste' types without even short explanations. The tutorial title - 'Do something in a SAP product' offered content that a trained monkey could handle. Click here, hit the keyboard there, bam, you have 100% effect. And maybe 5% understanding.
What went wrong? Too little explanation - why, what is the context of what we are doing, what does this mean. It's clear that you can't incorporate entire manuals into training, but it is a highly desirable (and difficult) art to encapsulate information in 2-3 sentences that will trigger the right switches in the mind and the ctrl+c/ctrl+v operations will be accompanied by a motivating 'aaah, I get it.'
I mentioned earlier that this was the case in the past because SAP Learning has been heading in the right direction for some time now. Everything has been added - content, functionalities (paths, missions, etc.). The material is interconnected - it directs you to similar or helpful areas, provides the time needed for a particular material, related certificates, etc. The training content is no longer just 5 sentences, it is much more comprehensive, and it continues to grow. I entered this 'new' world on SAP Learning after a long absence and rather sporadic visits to individual tutorials. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw, and I found the paths I took valuable.
For this reason, I don't join the chorus of despair over the news of openSAP closing - for me, the decision to have a single training platform is very understandable, and SAP Learning is on the right path; I give it a generous credit of 100,000 non-existing trust tokens that it will continue to develop. At this point, I would also like to express very heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in openSAP - it was a piece of very good work! And I hope it stays with us because, as I understand from the migration FAQ, the content will be transferred to SAP Learning. I also hope that the new-old platform will benefit from the experiences of openSAP, especially in the field of deeply technical training.
Returning to SAP Learning - as I mentioned, it is heading in the right direction, although it is not yet perfect. For me (but I emphasize here that I am a rather a technical person), in some places, there is still too much marketing language - where I would expect a more adequate description of the solution, I read slogans about how a company these days must be a certain way. For me, even a division into a 'business' and 'technical' course would make sense. In the first one, there would be a more detailed description + functionalities. In the second - 'for developers' - those elements would be shortened and embedded, we immediately dive into technical meat, because it may be that in the project, I was gifted with a particular solution and I need to quickly jump over the areas of 'what does it do and how nice it looks' to 'I need to be able to do this yesterday.' Such a division would make navigation a bit easier, and I wouldn't have to search for the more technical things in the paths.
One thing that is unclear to me is groups. On openSAP, for a given training, it directed you to related discussions. On SAP Learning, you jump to some general page on groups.community.sap.com, which, for me, is not very user-friendly (but I haven't been an active user of community.sap.com for some time).
Now a few discussion points about both platforms. Firstly - time constraints on openSAP. To obtain a course completion certificate, you had to hit the window + complete assessments for each week on time. On the one hand, this was motivating - starting a course usually made you want to keep up with it and finish it. On the other hand, it exerted unnecessary pressure and made you rethink whether you really have time for this course now. Do I need a certificate from it? On SAP Learning, there is no dilemma; the material is always available, and you receive a certificate upon completing the path. I leave its 'market' value aside - such badges/documents often stimulate the learners, and for them, it is a specific feedback currency.
The second issue is the way the course is conducted - on openSAP, the material was presented in video form by 1-3 presenters, which gave the impression of being 'closer' to them, the form of interacting with the course became more personal, somewhat like in school. On SAP Learning, video material is in shorter forms, and there is more to read. Whether it's better or worse - it's a matter of personal preference.
It would also be helpful to have simplified reporting of inaccuracies. The 'Feedback' button immediately hits us with a Qualtricks survey, which is OK if you you would like to participate in longer, valuable feedback process. In the case below, where the paragraph oddly cuts off:
and I wanted to report it the only option left for me was a sad face.
Being generally satisfied with the content, I click that this lesson was not helpful, and there, in the description... I have a limit of 250 characters.
So I have to somehow rephrase it before I lose interest in reporting. Sometimes a simple option titled 'hey, there is a typo/something wrong or missing' should be a bit simpler and faster.
In summary - thank you again, openSAP! SAP Learning platform - keep teaching us and keep learning how to do it better and better.