• IT that grows your business

  • 8th June 2023

Recruiting the Best IBM i Developer

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Recruiting the Best IBM i Developer

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Recruiting the Best IBM i Developer

The IBM i platform (formerly AS/400), is a popular choice for businesses looking for reliable and efficient business applications. However, finding the right IBM i developer for your organisation can be a challenging task.

The IBM i development environment is complex, and the developer you hire must have a good understanding of the platform’s architecture, programming languages, and tools. In this blog, we’ll provide you with some tips and strategies to help you recruit the best IBM i developer for your organisation.

Document the Role and Responsibilities

Documenting the role you are trying to fill will provide you with a list of your requirements.

Detail the daily tasks, responsibilities, scope of the work, Hours etc.

This will not just highlight the list of required/desirable skills (both technical and non-technical) but will identify whether it is actually an Analyst Developer you need to hire or a Developer.

It may be that you just need a developer to code off the back of a prepared dev spec, or you need them to be able to consider your whole system and analyse the impacts involved with the changes required, which means you will need a Business Analyst or Analyst Developer.

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IBM i Skills to Look For…

You will probably now have a list of technical skills that you know the role needs. However, it’s also good to look for candidates who understand and have in-depth experience of the IBM i Operating System.

The IBM i platform has its unique set of programming languages, tools, and technologies.

When recruiting an IBM i developer, make sure to look for candidates with experience in RPG (Report Program Generator), COBOL, and CL (Control Language) depending on your requirements.

Knowledge of SQL, Java, and web development frameworks like Node.js or Angular is also beneficial. IBM i developers should also be familiar with the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and tools like Rational Developer for i (RDi), which is an essential tool for developing applications on the IBM i platform.

Find Candidates with Industry Experience

IBM i is commonly used in industries such as manufacturing, finance, healthcare, and retail.

Finding an IBM i developer with experience in your industry can be a significant advantage.

Developers with industry experience will have a better understanding of the specific challenges and requirements of your business. They’ll be able to design and develop applications that are tailored to your business needs.

Check for Certification

IBM offers certification programs for IBM i developers. These certifications are a good way to verify a candidate’s skills and knowledge of the platform.

For example, candidates who have earned certifications like IBM Certified Application Developer – ILE RPG or IBM Certified Application Developer – WebSphere Development Studio have demonstrated their proficiency in the platform and programming languages.

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Conduct a Technical Interview  

A technical interview is an excellent way to evaluate a candidate’s technical skills and knowledge of the IBM i platform.

You can ask questions related to programming languages, tools, and technologies used on the platform.

You can also give the candidate a coding test or ask them to walk you through a project they’ve worked on. This will give you a good idea of their problem-solving abilities, programming skills, and attention to detail.

Look for soft skills

While technical skills are essential, soft skills are equally important. Look for candidates who have good communication skills, teamwork abilities, and a willingness to learn.

IBM i developers must work closely with other members of the development team, project managers, and business stakeholders.

They must be able to communicate technical concepts to non-technical team members effectively. They should also have a passion for learning new skills and technologies.

In conclusion, recruiting the best IBM i developer requires a careful evaluation of technical skills, industry experience, certification, and soft skills.

The IBM i industry is relatively small in the UK and you will often find candidates who you have either worked with before or you know someone who has worked with them. Experience and word-of-mouth recommendations go a long way to finding the best developer for your team.

Struggling to recruit? Get in touch to find out how our team of experienced IBM i developers can help support your business.


KFA Connect – IBM i Support Specialist

8th June 2023

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