This is one of those religious discussions unfortunately :-)
My shop typically chooses Microsoft .Net these days. By learning to do something like VB.Net or C# for the i you extend the ability to write readable business logic similar to RPG and you can also take advantage of all your RPG code and DB2 databases. A happy byproduct of this is you are ready for SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL and most other non i platforms when you need to broaden your mind.
Microsoft support for .Net WILL NOT be going away any time soon.
In our case even on the i we are writing lots of Java and wrapping CL around it so it's consumable by the i developer.
We also still do quite a bit of RPG, but new development is usually in .Net or Java and wrapped into or connected to the i.
If you have a short career lifespan left, you can probably get by with sticking in RPG and looking for work.
If you want to broaden your horizons, pick .Net/ASP.Net, PHP or Java/JSP as a language of choice because they are multi-platform.
If you're sticking with RPG you might want to go with CGIDEV or one of the many commercial RPG frameworks. Then there's ASNA's Visual RPG for that as well (which is really .Net)
Bottom line answer is it all depends on which technology you buy into.
Whatever you do try to focus and get really good at it. (Subliminal message: .Net with i ) :-)
Can't help it. I've been using MS with AS/400 - IBM i since 1994.
Not sure if I helped you, but thank god the world we live in today has so many choices :-)
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date: Sat, 12 Jan 2013 19:18:52 -0600
from: Booth Martin <booth@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
subject: Preferences for developing the i beyond the 5250 user
Hopefully this will be written well enough to start a discussion and
avoid religious wars. My goal is to fairly hear the experiences and
conclusions from those who have already traveled this path.
What works? What has a broad base of support? Where is IBM going with
the user interface? How are designers, analysts, and developers moving
forward with the i?
I want to develop my own skills to get the job done, and I am seeing far
too many choices out there to feel comfortable with my ability to pick
the right paths forward. I have spent time working with: VARPG, OS/2,
GWT, Java, HTML, JSON, XML, Zend & PHP, EGL, and other offerings. The
more I learn, the more uncomfortable I become with my skill at making
choices; hence this desire to hear what others have to say.
So, what is _your_ opinion of where the future lies for RPG programmers?