RPG programmer has OneWorld on a string
By Mark Baard
Every once in a while a software package comes along that companies just have to have -- and in turn they have to have people to support it. That's what happened when J.D. Edwards' World and OneWorld came along.
Lee Greer, president of Kingwood, Texas-based consulting firm MIRUS Enterprise Services, says he's been programming on the AS/400 platform "ever since it came into existence." About six years ago he asked his wife, a recruiter, to name other skills AS/400 employers were looking for, and she said her clients most wanted expertise in J.D. Edwards' World. (J.D. Edwards and Co. and Software2000 -- now Infinium Software, Inc. -- "were in stiff competition for the ERP market at the time," Greer recalls.)
Today, MIRUS provides programming and consulting services to AS/400 shops that use the World and OneWorld software packages. The firm also hosts OneWorld data for some clients on its internal AS/400 systems. Some of MIRUS' 25 analysts have expertise in both RPG and OneWorld, which is written in C++. (World is written predominantly in RPG III.) "Learning both of them is hard because they use different terms to describe things that are essentially the same," notes Greer. "It gets very confusing when you have to learn an entirely new vocabulary."
Still, AS/400 programmers who master RPG, World and OneWorld will earn more than their monolingual competitors. "Programmers who know them all are definitely in demand right now, and they are going to make more money," Greer says. But programmers should not expect to pick up World and OneWorld in classrooms or textbooks. World and OneWorld "are just not that intuitive," he says. "Most classes steer away from complex examples, and they are no substitute for real-life experience."
Baard is a contributing editor in Milton, Mass.