Despite indications that the population of iSeries (or AS/400) users is composed of newer users, Search400.com's recent poll shows otherwise. Poll results on Oct. 2 revealed that of the 284 members who responded, 64% have worked on the 400 for 10 or more years. Only 14% have worked on it for five years or less. And 22% have worked on it for five to 10 years.
How do those users view the iSeries industry and the current focus on the basics at technical conferences? Below are some of their comments.
You're as young as you feel
I am 53 and have been in DP (as it used to be called) since 1972. I started as an autocoder/assembler/Cobol programmer on an IBM 360 mainframe, then moved into systems work on mainframes running DOS/VM/VSE/CICS. I always managed to get the job done and keep the systems running, but never fully understood it all, and it was work. My company switched to an AS/400 in 1994. It was new and different, but so much easier to understand and self-teach. I thoroughly enjoyed the change and started to have FUN at work. I feel younger now than ever before since my AS/400 is part of a growing IT department that supports a company that now has a LAN and a presence on the Web. My brand-new five-partition 820 runs WebSphere and supports a CRM solution for customer service. There is always something new and exciting to learn and implement, and I am having a great time. There is no time to grow old and stale -- I feel young by the challenge and the fun of working with the AS400 / iSeries.
Manager of Systems and Operations
SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company Inc.
Too much focus on the basics at tech conferences
I was a little disappointed in the last technical conference, as so much of the information was rather basic. I imagine the same is true of the COMMON conferences these days. I have been on the AS/400 for a number of years, and would like more advanced technical information that perhaps I can't get anywhere else.
JDA Software Group Inc.
Middle-age users appear to be the norm
I've done speaking engagements at local user groups in the Chicago area on ILE, and I've found the majority of attendees to the in the "baby boomer age." I think this is the norm. There doesn't seem to be much incentive for younger people to come into the 400 world.
David R. Beasley
Love the 400, but more job opportunities in Windows platform
I have been in DP / IS / IT since August 1967! I guess the abbreviations I used tell the story. All of my experience up until August 1990 was with IBM mainframes. But a layoff forced a change, and this is where the AS/400 came into my life. So, I guess the correct poll answer would be 10-14 years. But the last two to three years have been mostly working on PC + Microsoft + CITRIX (curses) platforms along with Telxon / Symbol RF systems. Another fellow in our shop has taken on most of the AS/400 support duties on a day-to-day basis. My deep-seated preferences still lie with the IBM mainframe, but employment opportunities in this area are almost unknown.
URM Stores Inc
Ten-year user disappointed with IBM customer service
I am 36 and have been on the AS/400 for 10 years. I love the platform. Unfortunately, IBM can't market the product properly. For example: On Sept. 26, I received a letter from IBM about the Greenstreak promotion. The 38% software discount changes were changing to only 32%. What is wrong with IBM? Our company moved to the AS/400 when it first came out, and we have upgraded multiple times. So much for IBM servicing loyal customers!