Break out of the comfort zone -- Experiment with new technologies

Find out where you can get your hands on new technologies and get your creative juices flowing again.

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Tim Granatir

Too often we as iSeries professionals get caught up in the day-to-day grind of getting the work out by doing the same old thing the same old way. Quickly we can forget that our work can be fun, challenging and exciting. We lose the enthusiasm to creatively find solutions, and we start to fall into the realm of professional burnout.

As the iSeries becomes more open, we are increasingly being nudged to do challenging things that are outside our comfort zone. In addition, there is an ever-increasing demand for iSeries professionals who are more than "just programmers." One way to help combat job burnout and obsolescence is to experiment with new technologies. Renew the excitement of creating things in new ways. Thankfully, there are resources out there to help you do just that. Many of the technologies that are new to iSeries professionals are available at little or no cost, and you can learn and use them on your PC.

Consider exploring HTML, SQL, TCP/IP, or FTP. If you're unsure what your "renewed interests" may be, check out IBM's education offerings. Here you can sample a variety of Internet-based education and presentations.

If that doesn't completely renew your interests, you can also download Java, learn about Apache at either the Java Apache Project site or through this Redpiece, learn about WebSphere, or try downloading one of the free implementations of Linux.

If you get stuck in your travels, don't overlook the many resources available to you such as the following:

  • IBM Product Publications:
    It includes links to the AS/400 Online Library, AS/400 Information Center and Redbooks, among other things.
  • Software Knowledge Base
    Browse through the latest system service information, including helpful installation and configuration tips.
  • And last, but certainly not least, use search400 and its iSeries-specific search engine to find articles and tips about emerging technologies.

If you haven't already done so, try something new. Not only will you broaden your horizons and have a little fun, but you may also find that your career gets a little boost in the process.

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About the author: Tim is vice president of Technical Services at Interlink Technologies in Maumee, Ohio, where he serves as chief architect for their warehouse management system. He has worked in the banking, insurance, healthcare and distribution industries in various positions, including programmer/analyst, systems analyst and DP manager. Tim has worked on IBM midrange platforms since 1983.

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This was first published in February 2002

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