17 tips to develop your career in Business Objects

1. Learn the basics of data warehouse design.

Start with the excellent book written by Ralph Kimball. Not only will the contents of this book help you understand the underlying data warehouse structures, it will also help you with universe design and report design.

2. Immerse yourself in the technology.

Keep up to date with news, blogs, white papers and articles on the subject. Buy and read books on the subject.

3. Volunteer for Business Objects work.

Show your enthusiasm. Let your managers and peers know that you’d like to work in that area. When they need someone, they may call you.

4. Consider a testing role.

If you are starting out, consider a testing or documentation role. By its very nature, you will become familiar with the various bits of functionality in that application.

5. Work on as many different Business Objects projects as possible.

Working for a consultancy is one way of achieving this. You will always pick up something new on every project.

6. Learn best practices.

Set yourself a high standard and follow it. Pick up best practices from your peers.

7. Get certified.

Becoming certified requires commitment, time and effort. It also helps you stand out from the crowd.

8. Use the software.

If you are learning Crystal, consider buying a personal copy of the Crystal software. Many books
have been written about Crystal. If you are learning Data Integrator or Enterprise, speak to your site manager. Licence issues permitting, you may be able to develop your skills in a development area in your own time. You can’t master Business Objects by reading.

9. Improve your existing setup.

Can current universe and report designs be improved? This may involve improving response times or improving the layout and readability of reports.

10. Specialise.

Become the ‘expert’ in a particular Business Objects niche – Data Integrator, Crystal, Enterprise or Xcelsius. Once you have mastered one area, take on another.

11. Be aware of competing products.

How do Business Objects products compare to products from other software vendors? Being able to discuss the merits of certain products against their competing products earns valuable kudos points.

12. Attend conferences and seminars.

Even better, speak at a conference. If anything will help your Business Objects career, this will.

13. Contribute to forums.

The best Business Objects forum in my opinion is BOB. Get involved. Build a name for yourself.

14. Know BI.

Have an awareness for Business Intelligence in general.

15. Write a blog!

Share your knowledge, expertise, issues and experiences with other people.

16. Keep an open mind.

You don’t know everything. You might think you do, but you don’t. So keep an open mind and keep your eyes and ears open. You might just learn something new.

17. Enjoy your work.

Enthusiasm is infectious and rubs off on other people. They will want you in their team.

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