Next step in my AS/400 career

45 pts.
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AS/400 jobs
AS/400 Query
COBOL certifications
COBOL/400
Hi, I've been working for last 3.5 years in AS400 and in which Cobol400 as programming language. I didnot get any chance to work in RPG in these years. Actually i want to grow in my career as technical expert in AS400. But being only knowledge in cobol and cl, i am not sure that i will make it. Could you help me by giving some suggestions that i need to do to become an expert in AS400.

Also i have a question that will this AS400 be there for next 10-15 years; as i keep on hearing gossips that IBM is going to stop support for AS400. Is this true??

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Thotts:

by technical expert, i am guessing that you mean software, since you think you lack RPG skills.

while there is a lot of RPG out there, and i encorage you to learn it, remember that RPG is just another language. the actual software is a collection of objects that support one or more systems.

by knowing how to define a program, especially if you can define a series of interlinking programs and files, and can come up with solutions, you may find that you’d be just as suited for Project Manager, System Admin (it’s not all programming), networking and even the Analyst because of the skills you’ve acquired.

i dont know how much “free” time you have, but i’d start by creating some simple programs that allow data entry, display with subfiles and some reports in RPG/IV. there are tons of examples on the web (if magnetically interpetated 1s and 0s have weight and/or mass) .

also, go to websites like MC Press Online and System i Network and www.RPGIV.com for examples. you’ll not only find good sample code, but also friendly, if somewhat sarcastic at times, people who have been in your position.

as for stopping support for the AS/400, that could be true, but with the number of RPG and COBOL programs out there, the programming platform will still be there.

i started on a /34 back in ’81, dont see that anymore, but the language, though somewhat evolved, lives on.

-sarge

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  • TomLiotta
    AFAIK, the System i product line is still the most profitable line that IBM has. While it might not produce the most revenue, it has a much wider profit margin. IBM doesn't seem likely to drop it any time soon. Further, there are few areas of information services that cannot be studied or learned on a System i. COBOL is a fundamental example, but you need to think about Java and web services and Qshell/PASE and shell operations and TCP/IP networking and virtualization and LPARs and Linux and... and... etc. Without a doubt, experience on other platforms is an excellent addition for any career. Pay attention to and learn about any workstation you might use. Download and explore various IDEs for Windows and/or Linux. Learn ODBC/JDBC. (Perhaps learn about SQL CLI in COBOL on the System i at the same time since it directly relates to ODBC.) I left the mainframe world 30 years and wondered during the 1980s how long they would be around. Tom
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  • Thotts
    [...] Next step in my AS/400 career [...]
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  • Rbogar
    To expand your technical expertise on the system, consider IBM's excellent sys admin classes (I had course S6019 about 5 years ago, see if it's still available). Even if you stay in programming, it can be very helpful to understand what's going on at the next level down of the system
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  • vssagar
    hearing gossips that IBM is going to stop support for AS400. Is this true?? Absolutely not! I was in IBM till this March 2010 as AS400 System Admin and I have seen increase in support for customers using AS400 and there is also huge development going on. In the past 2 years, IBM has twice more AS400 customers then they had earlier. I totally agree on what Tom said "AS400 is still the most profitable line IBM has"
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  • Splat
    The rumours of the imminent demise of the AS/400 started about 5 minutes after the announcement of the machine in 1988.
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