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For AS/400 programmers, diversity is key

For AS/400 programmers, diversity is key
By Mark Baard

What AS/400 skills should consultants have? According to NexSource, Inc. President Gary Patterson, RPG IV, ILE, CL and JavaScript are the top requirements. "Internet, data access and communications programming skills are also important," he says. "It's hard to find specialists with all of these skills."

Programmers can ramp up on RPG IV by reading books by AS/400 aces Bob Cozzi and Bryan Meyers. Last summer, Cozzi updated his bestseller, "The Modern RPG IV Language" (now in its second edition), to cover the functions and op codes that have been added to RPG since 1996. The second edition of Meyers' book, "Programming in RPG IV," is due out this month.

For an integrated look at CL and ILE, check out "Control Language Programming for the AS/400," a textbook that Meyers and co-author Dan Riehl updated in 1997 to describe changes to ILE and its impact on the AS/400. It also includes an explanation of how to use the ILE debugger. The book, which assumes no prior knowledge of either subject, lays out a graduated path from basic to advanced CL programming.

JavaScript hopefuls may want to get their feet wet by perusing "Thau's JavaScript Tutorial." "JavaScript is not Java!" Thau proclaims in the punchy introduction to the tutorial's first lesson. (Yes, he goes only by Thau.) He also recommends David Flanagan's book "JavaScript: The Definitive Guide," a hulking 776-page manual for experienced programmers. "Not only is [the book's] reference section complete," he points out, "but it also does a good job of telling you what works on different browser versions."

Baard is a contributing editor in Milton, Mass.

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