• Subject: Re: Legacy code. Was:Dates
  • From: "Chris Rehm" <Mr.AS400@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 13:38:14 -0400



>Dean Asmussen (DAsmussen@aol.com) wrote:

>>YOUR COMPANY!!!  Doggone it, can you not see that a Synon-Certified
employee
>>can bring in $10-50/hour more than a traditional RPG programmer? 
Education
>>pays for itself!

>What do we really mean by "pays for itself"? I think it's an illusion to
>think that anyone else but the client ultimately pays. You may not be
>able to bill the client directly (although I have known contractors to
>make this arrangement), but you or your company must more than recoup
>the costs from your clients through future billings which will be
>greater than they would have been without the education (they might even
>have fallen to zero without it). If you don't recoup the costs, then
>that particular course was a bad business decision.

Of course the client ultimately pays. If you are a contractor you will
bill your client, if you are an MIS department your clients are the other
departments. 

But _why_ should they pay and _why_ should you do it? If you do no
periodically evaluate technologies and choose those which would be an
advantage for your client and then ramp up to them, you are selling your
client inferior services. This is the "pays for itself" comment. As
professionals in our areas, we must pick and choose those directions which
will mean more ROI for our customers. 

If we do this too often, our clients will not have realized their previous
ROI before we are off on a new bandwagon. If we do not do this often
enough, our clients will be paying us for slow development and cumbersome
applications. 

I am a strong Java advocate. I believe that every shop should be looking
at this technology. But I don't think that most shops should be seriously
considering a move in that direction for at least two years. 

Right now, I would suspect that the best ROI for AS/400 development comes
from ILE RPG and VA RPG mixed. I think that before there will be enough of
an advantage to switching to Java, ILE RPG will receive the bytecode
compiler and more OO improvements. As a result, a shop doing ILE
development today might be the best development ROI for the next 5 years. 

So, a shop with bunch of RPG guys today might want to evaluate and decide
to train in ILE coding and techniques. Five years from now they might
re-evaluate and change. 

But the decision isn't just "what's the best". It is "what gives MY
clients the best ROI." Sometimes those are different answers. Some shops
have reason to be coding Java TODAY. Some have reason to be coding RPG II. 

So, back to the question, the end user always pays the price for training.
Our job is to see that the training we are billing to that customer is
training that reduces overall expense or improves overall revenues so that
"Training pays for itself". If it does not, then we simply got the
training to make ourselves more marketable and we should not be billing
that to the client. It should be a personal expense.

>
>Rent, heat, light, food, clothes: all paid for by clients.

Or so we hope! ;-)

>
>Dave Kahn - TCO, Tengiz, Kazakstan






Chris Rehm
Mr.AS400@ibm.net
You have to ask yourself, "How often can I afford to be unexpectedly out of 
business?" 
Get an AS/400.
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