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What are you RPG guys doing?

 
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I thought, I would pose a question to the RPG guys who are certified or trying to get certified and what were their chances of actually coding Java on the job? Are there any ongoing frustration were your company feels that RPG is the greatest language that was ever developed and they feel that Java would be unproductive. Also, let's don't forget the pro RPG manager who is running the department and he says that there is no way in hell that I'm moving to Java even though the majority of his staff is certified and has a tremendous desire to move java including other development technologies (i.e, xml, jsp, etc..

Just curious,
Donald
 
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I assume the RPG is the same RPG that ran on the system 34 36 or 38. For the newbiew's RPG on an AS400 is popular these day....
I have one opinion...
If you do not help your-self... no one else will...
Find a new manager or find a new job...
You career development is your responsibility and yours alone.

------------------
Multi-Platform Database Developer ( on E.S.T. )
[This message has been edited by Monty Ireland (edited August 07, 2001).]
 
Donald Nunn
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Well said!
Thanks,
Donald
 
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But, any advise how to convert to be a, said Java programmer?
 
Donald Nunn
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Well Nan, I guess the first place to start is to get certified and then try to get some experience. It's a tough market right now, however, maybe you could build a website and incorporate Java and maybe some JSP or XML. This will at least show an employer that you know what your doing or maybe try to secure some open source assignments. I'm sure they're other ways to get experience, but it's going to take some effort. I guess the bottom line is If you want something bad enough you'll get it. That's my main dilemma right now. I'm in a RPG shop and they have no intentions on moving to Java even though they keep saying they are. I guess you call it dangling the Java carrot.
Thanks,
Donald
 
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Without having read any of the responses, let me tell you what our RPG guys are doing!
Making sure that every XML special character they send us Java programmers in an on line Web site is ENCODED correctly; i.e., you don't send, in an allegedly XML message from one host to another, a "plain text" ampersand as just "&"! You shall encode it as "&"
Well, the RPG programmers are writing 120 lines of code to accomplish that. How many would it take in Java?
"Inquiring minds are fed up!"
 
Donald Nunn
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Hello, Tony. It's great hearing from you. I've read your background and how you got started with Java and it was very inspirational. I'm not saying Java is the end of all woes, however, RPG development nowadays is so boring that I would rather watch paint dry and with the popularity of RPG gradually dying including the questionable future of the AS/400 (i-series) I'm just a little scared to put all my eggs into one basket. Java apprears to be a very interesting language and it has been a tremendous challenge getting up to speed with it. It would just be nice If these AS/400 shops would be a little more open minded to the newer technologies since IBM has turned flips to make the (i-series) as flexible as possible.
Donald
 
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Hi Donald - Don't know why I am butting into this discussion. I am an old MVS aka OS/390 aka z/OS type, but have spent the last 2-3 years working in *nix systems.
I can understand frustration with not moving from RPG to Java. I do not think IBM is pushing Java as hard on AS/400's as they are on the S/390 architecture machines.
But the job opportunities for AS/400 folks!!!
In the US almost every county and a lot of small towns have AS/400's installed. (OK, some are still S/3x).
I read recently that there are more AS/400 production shops in the world than any other platform.
You can go almost anywhere and work. Won't make the $ you would in NYC, but you can pick your 'quality of life'.
My 0.02 bucks.
Regards, Guy
 
Donald Nunn
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Hello, Guy. How are You? What your saying is true. It's just a little frustrating to work on a platform that in my opinion is fantastic, however, you have managers controlling the 400 groups who are closed minded. They get older and they will only go with what they know, in this case RPG. So, when an opportunity arises the developers who have so much more to offer other than RPG will take off for higher ground then the department has to hire someone else and that person has to become familiar with the environment. But, I guess companies don't care. Being a RPG developer among other things, I know what the future will bring If you don't enhance your skill sets and for one I don't what to become obsolete where I can't make a living. I don't think I would be very good at selling cars or insurance.
Regards,
Donald
 
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What a great topic of discussion!!!
I became a SCJP in june this year with no assistance from my company at all(I was previously an RPG A/P).
They are all RPG,RPG,RPG. We are currently embarking on a major new module of our internet based insurance product and the powers that be have assigned an RPG programmer (with zero knowledge of web technologies/java/etc....)to assess the available technologies and to cost them out. The main focus is the throughput of data (real time) onto our backend legacy system whilst also handling batches.
Looks like the RPG team will have one hec of a project on their hands ---- AGAIN!!! (I estimate that the project would be 8 times quicker & cheaper should it be done using java/xml.)
But there again it is frightening to think about embracing newer technologies when all u know is rpg!!!
Thank you for allowing me to vent my frustrations!!!
Bob
PS Please continue to post topics of this nature here as it is very therapeutic!!!

 
Donald Nunn
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Well Bob, you know the story. It's a shame that 400 shops are so closed minded. I've been fighting this battle for a long time and it's time to get off this horse. It really shouldn't surprise us because IBM introduce ILE with V3.R2 if memory serves and RPG III/400 shops fought it, so it really doesn't surprise me that all of this nonsense is going on today with the newer technologies. Most of my friends that saw the light way before I did jumped ship back in early 1997 and haven't looked back. They treat the 400 like any other server. Doing RPG is definitely tying you specifically to one platform for the most part and then your stuck. As I said before the i-series 400 (AS/400) is a great platform for doing Java, however, if no one will exercise all of the great features that the machine offers then IBM might as well give up as far as the 400 is concerned.
Regards,
Donald
 
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At my job, there are two camps, the internet camp, using Unix, PHP, and a little Java, and then there's the AS/400 RPG camp. The owner of the corporation always found the internet camp to be his favorite even though the As/400 is still doing the overwhelming lion's share of the work to run the business.
Recently a study was done by a team of mainly technologically
ignorant people at our company to determine if we needed to change the technologies we use. The team was stacked with pro -Unix people (AS/400 proponents are always outnumbered) who were sick of "green screens" who thought Java will cure all our problems.
So we're headed off to Java land yet the company has yet to provide any plan of retraining the RPGers. I welcome the move to Java since I'm a SCJP, but I resent the way the As/400 and RPG are always sold short and seen as vastly inferior. The As/400 is a great machine that never got the respect it deserved.
Even though I am a SCJP, they are only allowing the 2 established Java programmers with experience code in Java, so I'm getting a little frustrated because if I can't get Java experience at this job, I don't know where I'm going to get it, and a cert by itself means little...
 
Donald Nunn
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You're right Herb. I don't know what your family status is but for me I'm married with children and I've worked in this industry for a number of years and I can't afford a tremendous pay cut that would probably result in moving to another platform. Even with the certification it would be very difficult for me to even get hired as a java developer on a different platform. So, I was really hoping that more 400 shops would move to Java where I could use my 12+ years on the 400 along with the Java experience that I've accumulated over the past two years. Don't get me wrong RPG is a great language, but let's face it If Java will give you a look and feel that RPG can't then lets give it a chance and see what happens. Sure, there is a tremendous learning curve for Java, however, you have to start somewhere and If people are afraid to try new things just because they present a challenge then it's going to be rough future for the ambitious AS/400 professional. Also, the 400 is for sure a great platform for Java but If the decision makers aren't comfortable with moving to the newer technologies then you're in a bad situation.
Regards,
Donald
 
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