This blog is written by Brian Lannoye, who’s been working as a programmer at Masters Gallery Foods in Plymouth, Wisc., since June 2010. He earned an Associate of Applied Science degree from Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wisc., and studied under Jim Buck in the programmer/analyst program, which trains students specifically for the IBM i. Before his career in IT, he worked as a truck driver locally and over the road. Brian attends meetings for the Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professionals Association (WMCPA) regularly and currently serves on the advisory board for The National Society of Leadership and Success.
One of the differences between writing code in the work world compared to writing code in school is that I get to concentrate almost solely on the project at hand, as opposed to having at least three classes with projects and assignments for both. School covered a lot of ground, but doing it in the work environment allows me time to understand it better.
Since I've been working, I've improved my:
- Static and dynamic SQL
- Subprocedures and called programs
- Arrays and indexing
- CL to control job streams and as a front end for single screen programs
I'm aware I could be doing a lot more, like PHP, and more Web technologies, but at Masters Gallery, there simply isn’t a need. The 5250 is fast and reliable so why change? MGF also has a diverse collection of source code. (Hint: We have a lot of fixed format RPG in our arsenal.) As a result, I've learned a lot more about RPGIII since I’ve been working too.
The perception I got from school about working on the platform was that I would have to scroll through thousands of lines of code day after day only to change one parameter or perform some other mundane task. Writing my own programs would be a rare occurrence and SEU and PDM would be my two main development tools.
I'm happy to report that for the most part, these things are not true. Sure, we have some big programs and sometimes the task is to update one or two lines of code. However, since I started working I've created five programs from the ground up, and I've overhauled a few more. Thankfully, I've also been given tools like RDP and Data Studio which help immensely in all of my work. So far every day is a new adventure and I don’t know whether I’ll be swamped with projects or asking around for more things to do.
I’d be a real jackwagon if I didn’t plug the spring conference for the WMCPA March 16th and 17th at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisc. After all, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here writing this blog, and I’m looking forward to being there, so stop by and say hi if you see me.