March 2

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Are there AS400 jobs in 2022?

By NickLitten

March 2, 2022


RE: Position of “AS/400 Lead” in NYC (Remote).

I got this random email from a recruiter today:

Are there AS400 jobs in 2022? 1

My initial feeling was this is a fake email trying to solicit people’s Curriculum Vitae for their database.

But then I was tempted to email him back asking “Do you really mean AS400 Lead?” and perhaps helping them to advertise the job correctly with “you should be advertising ‘IBM-i Lead’ because the AS400 hasn’t been sold by IBM in over 2 decades”

  • Do .NET Developers describe their jobs as PC Developers
  • Do PHP Programmers call themselves BASIC Programmers?
  • Windows came from DOS – but we don’t call a Windows Server a DOS Server

I just don’t understand the mindset behind technical people working with an IBM-i Server deliberately using the wrong name for this IBM Power System? #verystrange

There are NO jobs on the AS400 in 2022

The term “AS/400” refers to a computer that was discontinued well over two decades ago (in the late 1990’s). yes, the AS/400 stopped being sold by IBM back in the last Century!

AS400 B60
The IBM AS/400 is born. It’s big, creamy and like something out of Star Trek

1980’s AS/400 running OS/400

The good old AS400 system used to run an operating system called OS400 (Operating System 400). The success of IBM’s AS/400 was largely down to its simple command driven operating system and availability of a huge range of business applications which could be bought and installed at the time of installation.

The OS evolved hugely over the years, but remained focused on green/screen business. A computer system invented before the advent of the Internet lead to its demise.

The AS/400 was replaced by a new machine — the IBM iSeries.

1990’s IBM iSeries running i5/OS

Are there AS400 jobs in 2022? 2
The iSeries was way more powerful and a modern slinky new black shade

This new iSeries hardware was a massive boost in performance, but the operating system remained basically the same but with many internet focused additions – from integrated web servers to integrated Windows servers and network interfaces.

The new version of OS400 was rebranded as i5/OS A true internet focused e-business machine.

Sadly – because the screens of the applications looked the exact same – many people would upgrade to an iSeries but continue to call it “The AS400”. Completely wrong, of course.

The iSeries was further upgraded and sometimes called the System i – IBM’s cack-handed attempt to steal the ‘i’ brand from Apple.

2000’s IBM Power System running IBM i

The current IBM i operating system is one of the most secure, resilient application platforms in the world. IBM i has a strong heritage from its old i5/OS and OS/400 roots and, it runs on the most powerful commercially available server – the IBM Power Systems server.

IBM i Operating System in more detail
bringing us to the current generation of IBM POWER systems running the beautifully slick IBM i operating system

Using IBM i on a Power System you can write RPGLE (an ILE language with full SQL support) as well as Java, JavaScript (using Node.JS), Control Language (CLLE, CLP), Cobol, PHP, etc etc .. one of the nice things is that is has total backwards support for all the older versions of these languages.

note: the IBM Power System can be partitioned and can run IBM i, Linux, AIX all on the same physical machine, but that is a whole different question…

There are many companies out there using old legacy systems that were originally written on the AS400 and designed to be used with 5250 screens (the green screen terminals we still see everywhere).

Over the years the hardware and operating systems have been upgraded and the power of the machines far surpasses the old pre-internet designs of these old legacy applications.

Many of them haven’t even had code upgrades applied so the RPG program code (easily the most dominant language from the old AS400 days) so there is much work out in the marketplace focused on either (a) modernizing old program code or (b) writing web-interfaces to these functioning legacy business critical systems or (c) migration projects when business decide to move to different platforms (ie: SAP is a common example of an ERP that runs on a range of different hardware platforms).

So the short answer is “there is not much work on AS400 systems, but there is lots of work on IBM i systems” 😉

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