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IBM Power Systems
Academic Initiative (PSAI)

 Educating the next Power generation

From College Student to iSeries Programmer/Analyst

Seth Gabriel, a Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) graduate, used the skills he learned in Power Systems classes to land a job with Lee Industries in Conover, North Carolina this past October, 2017.

Gabriel graduated with an Associates Degree in Computer Programming, which included the following classes:

  • AS/400 Operating Systems
  • Programming in RPG
  • Advanced RPG Programming

Gabriel said, "of the three classes, my favorite was the Advanced RPG Programming. It was challenging, and when something is challenging, it requires hard work, research and teamwork. Out of all this, you fail and learn better ways and new ways – which is why I liked the class."

Gabriel said that the knowledge he gained in the three classes is helping tremendously with his current job as a Programmer/Analyst with Lee Industries. Lee uses the AS/400 for most of their operations. Gabriel writes/updates RPG code, queries data from the AS/400 to Excel using SQL to create refreshable reports for his colleagues, and works with the IT team to troubleshoot issues. He indicated that he still references his RPG textbooks.

For others considering a career in Power Systems programming, Gabriel suggests having an open mind by learning and considering job opportunities in fields that are considered "old" or "outdated" such as RPG programming and AS/400 OS. He shared, "these technologies will never be the most popular, but they do the job and do it well!" He had multiple job offers in AS/400 programming. He also suggests keeping up with popular technologies like PHP, JAVA, and JavaScript as they are used beside the AS/400 to glamorize raw data into a website.

CVCC, located in the town of Hickory, North Carolina, has been a registered member of the IBM Power Systems Academic Initiative (PSAI) for the last 11 years.

Currently over 655 college and university faculty members are taking advantage of IBM PSAI's resources and helping to drive skills development in the marketplace. With enhanced curricula and access to the latest Power Systems technology, our members reap the many rewards of the PSAI while college students gain valuable skills that can help them land job offers in their chosen technology – sometimes even before they graduate.