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Java in i-series

 
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Hi everyone,

I would like to know what's the current market like for Java in IBM i-series systems. Can anyone share some tots here? If possible, I would like to know....like how's the job market like for this specific (i-series) system and also are there many companies currently using it?

The reason that I am asking is I am thinking of making a transition from rpg world to Java....but then, locally, I don't see much of work demand of Java in i-series system.

Thanks in advance....!
 
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Originally posted by Jessica Lang:
Hi everyone,

I would like to know what's the current market like for Java in IBM i-series systems. Can anyone share some tots here? If possible, I would like to know....like how's the job market like for this specific (i-series) system and also are there many companies currently using it?

The reason that I am asking is I am thinking of making a transition from rpg world to Java....but then, locally, I don't see much of work demand of Java in i-series system.

Thanks in advance....!



i-series is a niche market and Java is a niche within that niche... I was COBOL/RPG programmer on i-Series for past 10 years and tried breaking into Java development on i-series for past several years but never got the chance. Things are picking up with Java development on i-series with continual advances in Websphere applications and IBM's support. But RPG seems entrenched for some time and its continually being enhanced, so, for short term at least no widspread need for people to switch from RPG to Java, so Java on i-series is still to be seen as a niche within a niche. In other words don't bet your future on it..

If you're stuck working with i-series (I loved that platform), then it doesn't hurt to learn Java and it can be your ticket onto other platforms as the i-series begains to fade slowly away.
 
Jessica Lang
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Thanks for sharing the tots. Actually, after almost 10 years of being in rpg i-series....I am thinking of re-skilling. I tot about Java....hoping that I can get a good job in Java i-series. But then again, after hearing your comments....I am thinking if Microsoft C# dot net is my better bet?

Some friends been advising me that one can't be a Master of all trades (either Java or C#)

Please advise and thanks....I am very *undecided* now....
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Jessica Lang:
Thanks for sharing the tots. Actually, after almost 10 years of being in rpg i-series....I am thinking of re-skilling. I tot about Java....hoping that I can get a good job in Java i-series. But then again, after hearing your comments....I am thinking if Microsoft C# dot net is my better bet?

Some friends been advising me that one can't be a Master of all trades (either Java or C#)

Please advise and thanks....I am very *undecided* now....



Well, its true that no one can master both J2EE and .NET, but I think a good programmer could develop an adequate level of skill to use both technologies on projects of average difficulty in less than 2 years. J2EE still holds a larger market share than .NET and C# is no where near as popular as Java right now. But since Java has been around longer there are more Java programmers and it seems as if more of the advertised job opportunities require more years of experience. It may be easier for a C# developer with 1 year or less experince to get a job than the same situation for a Java developer. So, in general , maybe C# or VB .NET is good choice to start with because of less competition and less required experience.

But still, everyone is asking for experience, I think the key is which one is most likely to be used at your current job now or in the near future. Get experience at your current job using either technology (they both will be around for while). Since you mentioned the i-series, I bet that Java has most potential for you at your current job. Most i-series have Java pre-installed and the system admins can request free copy of WebSphere Development Client (based on Eclipse) that you can use as an IDE (but for just starting no IDE needed). If you can get authority, all i-series come with Websphere and some type of web server such as Apache and/or IBM's own , so you also could try Java Server Pages. Java on i-series is a little different than other platforms and I never learned it that well. But get experiece on something so you can put it on your resume later.
 
Jessica Lang
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Thanks Herb for all the *great* advices. I really appreciate your *immediate* replies there..!

At the moment, at work, I am very much *locked down* to rpg coding....no way, I can do anything on Java in i-series stuff. With your analysis, I am still very much *undecided* between Java and C#.

I think in the long term.....picking up C# may be a better choice...eap for a newbie to me...but then in the near term, Java may be a better bet for me. But then again, finding a Java job in i-series doesn't seem to be good...I can't seem to find any local advertisements for Java in i-series...

Please advise again...!
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Jessica Lang:
With your analysis, I am still very much *undecided* between Java and C#.

I think in the long term.....picking up C# may be a better choice...eap for a newbie to me...but then in the near term, Java may be a better bet for me. But then again, finding a Java job in i-series doesn't seem to be good...I can't seem to find any local advertisements for Java in i-series...

Please advise again...!



All I can do is to continue to add more confuisng information...

Yes, there are few Java jobs on the i-Series. I have seen them and I expect them to increase in number. But I think the total number of i-Series may be slowly decling however, so you're looking at a declining market overall. But Java, because of its platform independence, is a skill that can be used on other platforms and can give you flexibility to move around in the job market.

Learning Java does also introduce you to a number of concepts (if your background is only RPG) that can be applied when you learn C#. I've heard some claim that you can pick up C# fairly easily and quickly if you have learned Java well.

To learn C# you'll have to purchase Visual Studio in some form, whereas Java has lots more free tools. Visual Studio is a fine product though, and it really is fun to work with. You'll love it like crazy after working with green screens for years...

Are there any customers or internal people that would to like see data or reports in a more graphical format? Use Java or C# to write a simple app to connect to the i-Series and display the data in a way that RPG cannot...
Are your apps still using green screens?
 
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During the 2002-2003 job drought, one of the few locally-advertised jobs was for iSeries+J2EE: a local hospital. I also know of a growing health-food company within the metro area that's got a similar environment.

However, as a long-term career specialty, I'd be wary. I think that both the i and z machines may not be around in another decade or 2. Most of what they offered that PCs didn't has evaporated now. And I don't just mean CPU horsepower, because that particular advantage went out not long after the PC/AT. Now, however, the same high-performance peripherals plug into either mainframes or PC servers (or both at the same time), and I/O performance (lots of channel processors) was the mainframe's primary edge.

Heck, I've got OS/MVS 3.8 running on my laptop. It outperforms the Amdahl 470/v6 I was responsible for in 1986 CPU speed (even under emulation), I/O throughput AND DASD capacity. All it lacks is the Storage Tek robotic tape units.
 
Jessica Lang
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<Are your apps still using green screens?>
Yeah, the apps that I am working on are still on green screens.

Yeah, I think knowing Java and then learning C# will be better, rather than from rpg to Java.

You are very rite when you say that i-series job market is declining. I think people are still able to find jobs (a few) in i-series....but mainly for maintenance purpose. In other words, can't expect much expansion from the job.

It seems to be now, putting hope in *i-series java* is not a good bet. Maybe this is good: Java FIRST, followed by C# eh?

What do you guys think?....
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Jessica Lang:
<Are your apps still using green screens?>
Yeah, the apps that I am working on are still on green screens.

Yeah, I think knowing Java and then learning C# will be better, rather than from rpg to Java.

You are very rite when you say that i-series job market is declining. I think people are still able to find jobs (a few) in i-series....but mainly for maintenance purpose. In other words, can't expect much expansion from the job.

It seems to be now, putting hope in *i-series java* is not a good bet. Maybe this is good: Java FIRST, followed by C# eh?

What do you guys think?....




Green screens actually can pack a lot of data into the screen efficiently, but I've seen many end users and managers who think that a GUI front end will do magic for them and somehow transform the entire application. So there's your opening, find a way to put a GUI face on existing or new green screen applications, and sell it to management. Java on the front end and RPG doing the backend processing is an ideal combo, exploiting the advantages of both languages. Or, if the number of transactions is low just make the entire app Java.

Using Java Server Pages is actually the way to go on the i-series for developing world class applications, but if you're new to Java it may not be the best place to start. First start with simple programs that run entirely
on Windows, then make a simple app that runs on your PC and connects to the i-series and retrieves a few rows of data.

What would be ideal is if your company could send you to the COMMON conference held every year. Its like a user's group for the 400 and IBM sort of sponsers it. It lasts about a week and there is always 4 or 5 days of Java classes and how to use Java on the i-series. Setting up Java to run on the i-series is no simple matter, especially if you've never used the IFS on the i-series.
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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