Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Learn Peoplesoft

I have been seeing peoples in forum posting question on how to learn Peoplesoft. Some of them are like me who has just entered a new Peoplesoft job, and wanted to learn more about Peoplesoft in order to handle their task more efficiently. Another group of people are keen to learn Peoplesoft because they realize that there's high market demand for Peoplesoft skills, and want to get a high salaried job in Peoplesoft. Many of them are aiming at the Peoplesoft consultant position which is one of the highest salary job in the Peoplesoft world.

I am not sure about the others, but for me, learning Peoplesoft is not possible without first being in a Peoplesoft job. First of all, we need a Peoplesoft environment (i.e. the Peoplesoft system and PeopleTools, App Designer, Peoplecode, SQR, App Engine) to learn and practice using Peoplesoft. It's not possible to create our own Peoplesoft environment without license. So learning Peoplesoft on your own is almost impossible. Some people will choose to attend a Peoplesoft training. This might help to build up some very basic knowledge about Peoplesoft but will never enough to help in getting a Peoplesoft consultant job. And most probably you will forget about what you have learned from the training, after a few months with no exposure to Peoplesoft at all.

Having that said, my best advice to learn Peoplesoft is to start from getting a Peoplesoft technical job. You might not have any Peoplesoft experience in your resume, but with appropriate technical background and reasonable salary, there are companies that will offer you the job. Think of it this way, everyone, including all the Peoplesoft experts started to learn Peoplesoft with no prior experience in Peoplesoft. It's not a subject that is being taught in universities or colleges. So there must be some companies out there that offer Peoplesoft jobs to these people (when they are still totally new to Peoplesoft), that enable them to build up their Peoplesoft career today. I get my current Peoplesoft job with no prior Peoplesoft experience.

When you have find your way to get into a Peoplesoft technical job, you will naturally start to learn both technical and functional aspect of Peoplesoft. Problems will come, and you will probably get stuck when trying to solve those problems, but that will be the best time when you can really learn Peoplesoft. The best resource for both technical and functional reference for Peoplesoft is the PeopleBook. For those who do not know what a Peoplebook is, it's simply an online Peoplesoft library, created by Peoplesoft itself. It's like an encyclopedia for Peoplesoft, and I find it very useful in getting answers for all kinds of Peoplesoft questions, for both technical and functional. Another key point to learn Peoplesoft, is to play around with the system. I am not sure about the other areas, but there are so many configurations in Peoplesoft HCM, that you will not actually understand what's the usage until you really try out yourself. One example is the calculation of various benefits deduction in payroll. Many times, I thought that's the way how it should work, but it's actually not. I actually need to try out with various different setting, and then run the payroll, and compare with the explanation from the Peoplebooks to really figure out how's the logic of the back-end engine works. So if you have a development environment in your current Peoplesoft job, don't just study the Peoplebooks.. start experimenting various configuration setting in your development system. I find this a very efficient way of learning the functional aspect of Peoplesoft.

I am only at the beginner level, and certainly have much more to learn. These are just my personal experience of how I learn Peoplesoft. You might not agree with me, but these are the methods that work for me. Good luck everyone, and all the best on our way to learn Peoplesoft.. ;)