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I am an experienced IT freelancer (15+ years of software development and systems administration) and have recently gained some SAP certification, actually the basic SAP ERP certificate (from SAP AG) and an ABAP certificate from a local university.

Now I'd like to apply my new skills a bit, preferably remotely.

On the well-known sites where freelance projects are posted there is barely any SAP stuff. Are there any special sites I just don't know about or SAP distant contract work doesn't exist at all?

  • SAP is used practically exclusively by very large corporations, and SAPing is actually more configuring existing infrastructure and consulting, at least this is expected from SAP developer in cases I've met. Remote working doesn't pass well to that model. The larger corpo is, the more remote-shy it seems to be. – Danubian Sailor Sep 6 '13 at 5:16
  • @ŁukaszLech A colleague of mine started working database thing with a client, who later told him that he's some executive in large company. Now he's working for such company remotely database things which are normally not outsourced or appear on freelancing sites. And he did this via odesk or elance (not sure now). – Peter MV Sep 6 '13 at 17:47
  • @PeterMV yes, if you have luck and you get personal contacts, you can get the conditions that are unavailable for common grasshoppers – Danubian Sailor Sep 6 '13 at 17:54
  • @ŁukaszLech No, he did not know this person. He did a couple of jobs for him and then he was offered a good deal. That is why I suggested him how to try. You never know what will happen if you don't knock on the door. – Peter MV Sep 6 '13 at 17:56
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Being specialist in such tech is a good and bad thing. Good thing because you can set higher rates. Bad because there isn't much work.

Looking for a specialized communities is a bit outdated. I once read that most such communities are abandoned nowadays. I am not sure about SAP, but it may be the same thing. Or maybe someone will give you a killer URL ;).

So first thing I would do is constantly monitoring top 5 freelancing sites (google link). Set up a good RSS which will inform you on any SAP job that is posted. Being so rare and you being so good will get you a change to win almost all such project.

The second thing I would do is not limiting myself to SAP or broadening my search. For example, I see a project where I see that the client is having a project where he may need my services in the future or he needs them now but did not explicitly asked for them. I would also apply to such job letting the client that he should need my services as well or offering myself for future work.

As in real life, a client may not need you right now, but it's good you too introduce to each other.

The third this is that I would find a large clients of a specific website. Once they post a job which comes into the category of my services, I would apply to it and introduce myself. Many such large clients will never post a job for a specific service because he has a lot of experience on those websites and he simply does not think that he will find a good person there.

Good luck!

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I don't completely agree with one of the answers. SAP/ABAP is a field where many clients are searching able people in Germany. There are also several recruitment companies around that specialize on SAP.

But most of them are bigger companies and they are very reluctant to let the people work remotely. That also has to do with the fact, that you will work on systems which are central to their business. Without their SAP systems or when data will got lost, those companies would suffer enormously.

Also, many German companies are very traditional. So they want to have the freelancer in their rooms. Some companies will trust you after a while and you might be allowed to work part-time remote. Very seldom, they will allow for full-remote access after a few months of orientation and trust building.

I explicitly asked an experienced SAP freelancer about the topic because I was thinking about doing some ABAP freelancing myself and he confirmed that is nearly impossible to get a full remote freelancing job in this area in Germany. Also I am looking for job offers and when SAP is involved, the maximum you will normally get are 1-2 days of remote work a week, after they got to know you.

There might be some jobs with 100% remote after on-site training, but they are pretty rare.

One thought about "SAPing" and programming:

Yes, "SAPing" is very often about configuration, because many companies just use the standard system and configure it. But there are also many big corporations that also do programming. The culprit is that those are the biggest SAP users. So those are really big corporations and they do not just hire some freelancer -- but they often have their preferred consulting companies. Those companies of course first use their own programmers and only when those are overworked, they may hire you as sub-contractor. But than again, the big players want you in their own halls. Only with very special knowledge, you might have a chance to get extra treatment.

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A good compromise is to offer that you work on-site for some time, then switch to remote. On the platform GULP, for example, you can also specify what is your total availability, and what is your availability on-site.

As - according to your profile - you are from Germany, I suggest you call GULP to get advice targeted at your situation and preferences. I have noticed that they have some very helpful staff. In August 2013, 18.2% of all projects offered were SAP projects, at an average rate of 89 EUR per hour.

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