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September 21, 2011


Bruce Guetzkow

As I'm sure you already know, WMCPA (Milwaukee) is ahead of the curve there. Our President (Jim Buck) is an instructor at Gateway Technical College which has a strong IBMi curriculum. I'd strongly recommend that user groups find technical schools in their area and work with them (and IBM) to get a stagnant program revitalized (as Jim did) or start a new one.

We have students attend our monthly meetings and annual conference. Two of Jim's former students are extremely involved with WMCPA as Secretary and Conference Sponsor Director. Many of the students work very hard with us to put on our annual conference (isn't slave labor wonderful?).

I've had a couple students as interns and almost all of Jim's students have found work on IBMi. I've had the great privilege to fill in for Jim in his RPG & CL classes last year when he went to COMMON...this is not the RPG I remember from my school! Heavily into procedures and using CNX Valence for class projects.

If there's anything WMCPA can do to help other groups, we'd be glad to help.

Jon Paris

Thanks Bruce - as we've noted in the past WMCPA and Gateway are great examples of what can be achieved.

We're also hoping to see more in-house initiatives from companies with teams of 5 or more developers. There really is no reason not to develop in-house skills - if you need to hire PHP, Java or whatever programmers then also train them in RPG. Broaden their skill set and increase your own resource base.

Aaron Bartell

Jim Buck produces some good quality students. KrengelTech hired one a little over a year ago and we have been quite pleased with his (Adam Taylor) work.

I know I hark on this point a lot, but I think the landscape would be much different if currently-non-IBMi people could gain easy access to a machine in the cloud. Then we as educators could put together content/courses/training/articles/etc that are geared towards bringing new blood to the platform. I would LOVE to do this, but we need easy access to machines - like how Amazon's EC2 makes it stinkin easy to host your own infrastructure at very reasonable prices.

Account Deleted

Re: "Have you trained newbies in your shop?"

I work in a small shop (2.5 developers [I.T. Manager used to be a developer and still does a little]). So we can't afford to hire anyone who isn't already experienced in RPG IV, DDS, and CL.

The largest shop I ever worked in was around eight developers. For that job I had to take a skills test.



In 1999, Countrywide Mortgage trained two classes of business line employees in RPG and shortly thereafter trained 30 or so RPG programmers in Java. There was far greater success from the RPG training than from the Java training probably because as a RPG shop, there was support available for new people doing RPG development and much less support available for those new to Java. In this formal route, success can be achieved.

A recent article on states that more the 70% of IT professionals feel that self-taught developers are as good as those with IT field degrees. How does one become a self-taught RPG developer? Within minutes I can have a PHP/MySQL environment in place and Java and .Net within an hour. There is no apparent route available for becoming a self-taught RPG developer.


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