This is my first post , but i have been reading this site for a while now.
I have a strange question that maybe somebody on here can give me an answer on? I know there are many very experienced Programmers on here!
My question is that i have been working in my current role as an RPG programmer for 18 months....However, for the first 2 months i learnt about an application called Qlickview which allowed us to connect to our I series to produce some lovely business reports, a very clever little BI app that eventually the company decided against buying as it was deemed the recession was starting to bite!
Next it was on to CL/AS400 Operations/AS400 Admin via Tapes - headphones!! which took about four months. The company then sent me on a course to learn about I - Reports which is an SQL Reporting tool for Oracle/I-series databases..We needed to create some pretty reports by using an ODBC connection.This despite not ever having any experience in SQL! So another language and APP to get my teeth into...
Next I was asked to complete some user manuals for our new WMS which meant learning how these processes interacted with each other to write the manual in a coherent fashion.
Finally I was shown my first ever RPG programme (RPGIII) after I had listened to yet more tapes regarding the syntax and structure for RPG III! This takes me up to Feb of 09...
It was decided that i should try to write some RPGSQL programmes to begin with as this would be easier to learn, but again, this meant yet more learning on my part, to enable me to learn about opening and closing Cursors and Embedded/Dynamic SQL using RPG IV.
I wrote my first successful Live RPGSQL programme to produce an interactive sub-file screen for the users to look up some required data in April 09, I then went on to write maybe five or six of these types of programmes.. I graduated to writing RPGSQL programmes that would output to Excel and then would be sent straight to the user or customers that the report needed via E-Mail. I have actually wrote many of these types of programmes now and have even started to write them using RPGLE. I have written many programmes that output to a printer if required but have tried to concentrate on the E-mail Versions.
I feel RPGLE will be much better for me and will allow me to do many more things that I have been unable to do with RPG IV. But again this will mean yet more learning to get to a competent level.
I have been asked to learn yet another application which is Cobwebb, which will allow us to produce much better output for our spool files into PDF/TXT/CSV. It is a very good tool and i have now converted many of our programmes to send by E-Mail only as the business wants to get away from printing!
Did i mention that I am now the guy who looks after our DataMirror operations and have done many IPL's / Testing / monitoring / Switching of our nodes, and yet again this took time to learn, as there are just so many things involved! Sync checking / IFS/ BSF OBJECTS/ GROUPS/ ETC ETC
We also are starting to convert many of our legacy programmes that send faxes by the imps server, so that they now send by E-Mail... again this meant learning how the IMPS server works and how the syntax needs to be for New CL''s and RPG/RPGLE programmes.
Finally my question is this?
Is this par for 18 months? I feel i have learnt a hell of a lot, a hell of a lot! but yet i still feel like a novice!! I was asked this week to look at an old programme and try and change it so that we can send EDI messages by E-Mail as well as writing to log files.. To tell you the truth i'm struggling, the syntax is foreign to me(as written many years ago and there are many Arrays and GoTO's in there as well, the programme also uses the old RPG Cycle to read straight through the file with Primary file and L1 breaks , there are also data structures for the dates and not much notation! In Fact, i would say that there are about 20 numbered indicators that have no known notation which makes me want to SCREEEEEAAAMMM my head off but i can't as it is a professional environment and I am a professional!
My feeling is that i am learning many things, but I'm not actually settling down to one particular area? I'm trying to juggle many balls in the air and soon it will come crashing down around my ears! Will this Novice feeling ever go away? This week i felt like i was back to square one trying to change this programme? Is this a normal feeling and does it eventually go away? I thought after 18 months i would feel like i know what I'm doing ..but if I'm honest , i haven't even reached base camp!
Please give me some feedback about this as i'm seriously thinking about packing it all in, as i cannot see an end to this feeling of being a novice surrounded by programming Guru's!!!
I also see C#... and it looks fantastic! Some people in our shop are now using this language and I like the look of it! I want to learn it, but yet again will be another curve to overcome!
When I started 18 months ago i had no programming experience whatsoever, so basically have learnt everything from scratch....I have no way of judging how far i have come, or indeed, have not come..but would appreciate any advice you are able to offer?
I would ask my colleagues, but they all say i am doing OK, but at the same time give those knowing glances when i ask them yet again what the syntax is for that piece of SQL code that has a group by in it? Or the classic "This programme will be easy". It may well be for those that have been doing it for 20 years, but for me off the streets, easy? I wished...............
Thanks for listening..
January 9, 2010 2:00 AM
August 25, 2011 1:28 PM