From my perspective, I know Bob is right on a few fronts and
wrong on many. The market for our platform has certainly shrunk
over the last decade, and it is still shrinking. However, it is
not going away in some time. For Bob to be preaching that it will
die ~tomorrow~ is essentially spreading fear. And, my concern is
that was on a forum that is pro-i.
Trevor: You make some good points. True, it's hard to decide how much of
Bob's rants are driven by other factors, such as disillusionment with his
previous employer and driving his current business. But likewise, people
dependent on iSeries for their business aren't likely to post critical
opinions of iSeries prospects either.
Certainly, the iSeries business won't disappear tomorrow. But we all agree
that the business is in decline, and those working in I.T. have to adjust
to current realities. In my opinion, to deny what's happening does no
favors to people who depend on I.T. to support themselves and their
What is wonderful about our platform is that you CAN expand in
many ways right on the i. And beyond that, having skills that
leverage your i experience while becoming a well rounded IT
developer is also key.
Exactly! Unfortunately, I see too many people who stick their heads in the
sand, thinking that they can work out their careers without having to
learn anything new. Or who think that iSeries and RPG are the greatest
things since sliced bread. One has to be realistic. Having an education
plan is vital, and you can't always count on your employer to help. In the
past, I've made some specific recommendations, and I'll repeat them here
in case the alternatives aren't immediately obvious:
1) Learn HTML, CSS, and Apache. These skills can, of course, be applied on
2) Learn Linux. Most of us have more than one computer at home anyways.
Keep one on Windows for the things you need Windows for. But have at least
one machine running Linux since the software development tools there are
so much easier to use. (Besides being free!)
3) Learn at least one new programming language. I've always recommended
Python since it's easy to learn, powerful, and provides a much gentler
introduction to OOP that Java or C++.
Once you start with these things, additional learning opportunities will
readily present themselves.
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