I have an option in my credential to pursue either a primer for iSeries or the new .NET tools from Microsoft. I am wondering if the iSeries would give me a more unique skill set?
As with any pursuit, you should first be very clear in your goal for your career and personal fulfillment. We find some professionals to have a very wide skill set, but find that it can be rather shallow ... that is..."a mile wide...an inch deep". This generally can look good on the surface but is found lacking as the skill set is exercised.
If your background and training is primarily in the Microsoft platform then increasing the depth of that knowledge would likely be the best use of your time... ergo, '.NET' tools would be a better path.
Taking a primer in a sophisticated platform outside of your core competencies without investing into a deeper understanding and addition of higher level skills will offer you only the ability to discuss with some comfort rather than becoming an asset in the programming and analysis within that environment.
A 'primer' is simply that... it may start the process but much work is required to receive a return on that investment.
The iSeries is a robust and sophisticated platform that is not for everyone. Its capabilities are far beyond those of the Microsoft environments. It has its own unique operating system that has the architecture needed to operate batch processing while supporting outstanding OLTP applications. Microsoft and Linux operate on top of OS/400 and actually operate more reliably when so installed.
Professionals who have DEPTH in both platforms and the co-existence thereof are valuable in any Data Center.
Think about where you want to go in your career and make a decision to use your time in a way to maximize your ROI.
Thanks for your question. I hope this has helped.
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