Thanks for the replies.

I'm not just out of school, but in my mid 30's and have been working with Linux systems for quite a while now. I've got some background with C/C++ (and Pascal "back in the day") but now working in the NOC for a local service provider,, in Santa Rosa, CA. In the NOC, I don't get to practice my programming much if at all, although have been doing some bash scripting here & there to make my job easier.

There was 1 AS/400 job locally listed a month or two ago; a part time system operations position at Korbel. These jobs do seem few and far between in this area, no doubt, but I'm willing to wait & see what may turn up. Having collocation here at Sonic, there's not only a few customer iSeries machines but even one S/390, so I know they are "here".

As to where I'm picking up these skills... I've been purchasing books since acquiring the 170 I found locally on craigslist. It may not be the fastest system, but I'm enjoying learning about all of the built in functionality that the system and OS brings. Honestly, CL seems pretty straightforward, COBOL doesn't appear to be too difficult, but I'm still getting through RPG.

Clay Carley

Stone, Joel wrote:
The answer depends on your current skill-set, years-to-retirement, geographic location of where you will reside next year, etc.

The obvious answer is to look at the job web-sites like Craigslist, Monster, DICE, etc for your geo location.
Are there dozens of RPG or COBOL listings? If yes, consider learning these tools. More than likely there are few in your area.

If you have no computer background, pick up skills where the jobs are (C#, Java, SQL, SAP, etc) and where public education is available (not RPG and not COBOL).

If you have all the popular skills, why would you look at landing a job with legacy software? Only makes sense if you are within 5 or 10 years of retirement.
Most Iseries shops are transitioning AWAY from RPG and COBOL, although it may take 5 or 10 years to arrive. Many are moving to ERP or other packages such as JDE or SAP. None of these platforms run RPG or COBOL in their current flagship versions.

And where would you pick up the skills? There are no community colleges that teach RPG or COBOL or CL anymore (maybe in India??)

No platform is uncool by itself, only in the context that there is limited earning ability associated with it.

-----Original Message-----
From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Clay B Carley
Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:06 AM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion
Subject: Recommendations for a newcomer?

Being new to midrange systems, I'm attempting to pick up skills that will be useful for me in the future, in hopes to get a job working with them. Reading articles that say things like COBOL is uncool, and RPG is worse isn't really giving me hope for a future working with a midrange system though.

Is it going to be worth my time to learn things like CL, COBOL, and RPG now? Or are they fading away? It would be pretty sad to finally become proficient with these languages, only to find out that they are dead and replaced with <blah> instead.

What would you recommend a newcomer focus on (aside from system operations)?

Reading Rob's message from last week regarding "20 years of experience, versus one year of experience repeated 20 times" looks like a pretty good starting place I suppose. I'm really trying to look at where we're going to be in the years to come, not necessarily tomorrow.

Thanks for any suggestions,
Clay Carley

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