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Should I take a new job that will include a platform change?

I am considering a job change that will eventually include a platform change. I am currently an iSeries 400 RPG and COOL:2E programmer. However, I have this opportunity to change jobs to continue working on the iSeries with RPG and COOL:2E, but eventually the company is going to migrate to Unix and Oracle-based applications. The company will train all the RPG and COOL:2E programmers in Oracle. I love working on the iSeries with RPG and COOL:2E, but I feel that the trend is towards Unix and Oracle and eventually I would get squeezed if I don't change. What is your opinion on this? Do you think I should take this opportunity or do you think Unix and Oracle is a passing trend in the long run?


Much as I would like to say that Unix and Sybase are passing trends in the long run.... they certainly are not...Unix has been around in various forms and versions for over twenty years. As I recall the early versions were from the UC Berkeley Labs, ergo called Berkeley Unix. As a matter of fact, much of the architecture in Microsoft's NT is Unix based.

In response to your quandary and subsequent question.... hum... being philosophical for a moment... As we all know, the iSeries 400 is probably the most reliable system ever devised by IT. Unfortunately, the promise of its capabilities fall too often on deaf ears. A goodly number of IT professionals today were exposed primarily to Unix in their formative college days and gravitate toward what they know. Sybase has maximized its marketing into this population successfully.

Empire builders abound in IT and have found a happy home in Unix/Sybase environments. For every iSeries 400 PA or operator, Unix/Sybase environments require three, each with a specialty (DBA, Communications, etc).

Sorry to be long winded and indirect .... Reflect on where you wish to go. Adding depth to your skill set portfolio is never a bad thing. Don't, however, ignore your core strengths (i.e. RPG, COBOL, etc.) for they will certainly be in demand for years to come.

We see more and more shops looking for PAs with expertise in the use of both environments, with the ability to work RPGese and UNIXese seamlessly being very desirable.

Good luck as it has been said.. 'If it were easy, anybody could do it..'.

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