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Junior RPG Programmer Opportunities

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  • Junior RPG Programmer Opportunities

    Hey Guys,

    I'm a couple months into learning the ins-and-outs of the AS400 while also furthering my understanding of how to code in RPG Free. Is this something I should continue with? There just doesn't seem to be a ton of opportunities out there, especially in Denver, CO (where I plan to move in the following years). I use LinkedIn and Indeed to job search, is this where most IMBi professionals find positions?

    Thanks a ton!

  • #2
    Hey Tho_Ros

    I may be biased but I absolutely believe you should continue with RPG. I started out around 10 years ago and while I also use other languages to support online development, I honestly find RPG the most simple yet functional language that I work with (and it looks so beautiful when it's done properly). The market for other languages is extremely competitive (and underpaid in my opinion), but I can't really say the same for RPG. While developers of other languages jump companies every two years, RPG developers seem to stay with their companies for 10+ years. Sadly, we also lack the influx of new developers, so the pool of available developers just gets smaller each year.

    As far as the lack of opportunities, I think this may be due to the whole pandemic thing, so don't let that change your opinion. I recently immigrated to the US and within fifteen minutes of my first application, I was contacted back and soon after had a job offer (just as the whole quarantine stuff was starting to hit more states). I do recommend that once you are more comfortable with RPG that you should branch out to other languages and also learn what you can about modernization concepts as this will be invaluable to your career.

    I personally used LinkedIn for my job search as I found the more "modern" focused companies were there, and I wasn't looking to move to a fixed format shop (or a company that was not looking to modernize). I have to admit though, I've not really engaged with the online RPG community until recently, so I don't really know about all the "hubs" of where reliable jobs are advertised - perhaps someone else has some recommendations.


    • Tho_Ros
      Tho_Ros commented
      Editing a comment
      This makes me very happy to hear. I want to make sure there really is a market for junior level RPG programmers (and that it is not a figment of my imagination haha). What other languages do you suggest branching out to?
      As always @Ghost, I appreciate your advice as well as your time!

    • Ghost +
      Ghost + commented
      Editing a comment
      You're most welcome as usual

      I'd recommend Java for database/middleware, and also the "standard" languages for online development - HTML, CSS and JavaScript. There are a few other online languages to work with, but overall, I'd start with those. FreecodeCamp.org is one website I generally recommend to new web developers but there are loads upon loads of free learning tools and communities online.

  • #3
    You probably aren't working on an AS/400, but rather Power Systems hardware running IBM i. The AS/400 was discontinued about 20 years ago (see attached diagram). Not to be pedantic, but referring to it as AS/400 could cast you as outdated. It's funny, but it seems that IBM i shops think it's hard to find developers, and IBM i developers think it's hard to find jobs... Anyway, RPGLE is a great business language! I would also suggest learning SQL if you haven't already. I think Javascript is also a good idea, as Ghost suggested. Welcome!

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    • Tho_Ros
      Tho_Ros commented
      Editing a comment
      Terrific, thanks for taking the time to explain this to me Viking! I'm making strides as we speak to learn all of these things. By the way, that's not pedantic at all! My current shop still calls it the AS400 so it is a bad habit of mine.

  • #4
    I've never seen an RPG job posting for a System i or Power Systems. iSeries seems to be about as far as most programmers got. I've never heard a user anywhere say anything other than AS/400. That said, you can call it AS/400-iSeries-IBMi and still use SQLRPGLE, Node, PHP, Javascript, etc and accomplish just about anything your business calls for.
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